A real treat awaits you if you plan to visit Munich during Christmas and the holiday season. Christmas markets fill Munich’s Old Town with toys, woodcarvings and a lot more in December. The sound of organ recitals and holiday singing in the cathedrals is pleasing to the ears. The shopping streets sparkle with Christmas decorations with the backdrop of Alps covered in snow. Learn more about the top Christmas markets in the city full of nativity trails and artisan crafts.
Munich's Christkindl Market
The first Christmas market in Munich dates back to 1642 which used to offer chimney sweeps made of plums and almonds, manger figurines and gingerbread. Marientplatz, the city’s central square hosts the popular Christmas market known as the Christkindl Markt. More than 160 traditionally decorated booths offer traditional toys, gingerbread, mulled wine, Bavarian wood carvings and glass crystals with a 100 feet high Christmas tree towering over them. There is a special workshop known as the Heavenly Workshop, organized for kids aged between 6 and 12 years for craft making and cookie baking in the Town Hall. The workshop is conducted daily from 2.30 pm to 4 pm and then 4.30 pm to 6 pm. The balcony of Town Hall plays host to traditional concerts held at 5.30 pm every day.
Christmas Music in Munich's Church of Our Lady
The holiday season is incomplete without Christmas Carols. The best place to revel German Christmas Carols is Frauenkirche also known as the Catholic Church of Our Blessed Lady; it is the city’s largest church with a capacity of up to 20,000 people. Its twin towers shape the skyline of Munich. Bavarian choirs and musicians herald Christmas with organ recitals, classical concerts and church services. The Church was built in 1494 with a Gothic architectural style. The domes atop the towers are inspired by the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
Tollwood Winter Festival
It is an international Christmas market famous for the various outlets sampling organic food of various regions. One can also hunt for treasures from across the globe. There is a vibrant cultural festival that showcases music from various countries, circus and theater performances and art workshops.
Munich's Open-Air Ice Rink
Muenchner Eizsauber also known as Munich Ice Magic is the city’s largest open to air ice-skating rink which is set up in November and December every year in Karlspatz Square, the notable shopping district of the city. The kids love to skate during the day while couples enjoy gliding under the moonlight and treat themselves to mulled wine from the surrounding booths.
Munich's Manger Market
Kripperlmarket or Munich’s manger market is located within walking distance of Christkindlmarkt. It first started in 1757. The market features everything that you need to create a scene of the Jesus Christ’s birth also known as the Nativity scene. The nativity figurines made in Germany including baby Jesus, animals, Christmas angel, gifts of the three Magi and lanterns for the barn. It is devoted to mangers and nativity figures made in Germany. There are various souvenir shops that sell products exclusive to Christmas season.
Pink Christmas – Gay Lesbian Christmas Market
Pink Christmas is a gay/lesbian Christmas market where organic food and handcrafted items from various designers are sold from pink, white and purple pagodas. The market adorns Pink plastic Christmas trees and vibrant lights. It is a hotspot for families and couples for the live entertainment and cabaret shows.
Christmas Village in the Royal Residence
The Christmas Village is held at the Kaiserhof courtyard of the Royal Residence of Munich from November 24 to December 22, 2014. A life sized nativity scene and a chapel complete the picturesque views of the Palace. Kids get to meet the German Santa Claus, Nikolaus and enjoy carousel rides. Many goldsmiths, toymakers, glassblowers, knife grinders and wood carvers display their artworks in the outlets. A stage showcases live music and entertainment daily. A beautiful fairy forest with talking characters is the special highlight for children.
Starting from November 25 every Tuesday and Thursday, a little puppet show is organized. Families can also get their photographs with Nikolaus and reindeer on the historic 200 year old sleigh. There are several culinary treats including Debreziner in beer batter, potato specialties, quiche, crepes, Kürtoskalács, sausage specialties (half a meter bratwurst, giant fire sausage), meat skewers, herb fritters, Rahmfl eckerl, roast Käsekrainer, Christmas ham, eggnog, steaks hot chestnuts, dried fruit and cutlets bread. Beverages include German Christmas mulled wine known as Glühwein, schnapps, tea and coffee and brandy punch. Snacks include tunnels, roasted almonds, glazed fruits, fruit bread and delicious sweets.
The fifth Sunday before Christmas across Germany is Remembrance Day. Most of the markets are closed on this day. However, rest of the month is brimming with over 20 Christmas markets all over Munich with medieval markets filled with gospel choir and live shows.