Festively decorated wooden huts and glittering Christmas decorations fill the streets. The smell of candied almonds, gingerbread and mulled wine fills the air. Even if we do say so ourselves, Munich has some of Europe’s oldest and best Christmas markets.
To help you make the most of this magical season on your trip to Munich, here are the top five Munich Christmas Markets recommended by our team at Go! Running Tours Munich. Read to the end for our bonus day-trip recommendation.
Münchner Christkindlmarkt (Munich Christmas Market at Marienplatz)
This is Munich’s original and most traditional Christmas Market, dating back to the Nikolausdult, which was first mentioned in 1310. Over 150 wooden stalls are set against the beautiful backdrop of the New Town Hall and the sparkling lights of Munich’s Christmas tree. This is a great place to buy handmade Christmas decorations and wooden nativity scenes, as well as cookie cutters in every shape and size imaginable. There are also plenty of festive treats on offer, including lebkuchen and stollen and, of course, mulled wine. This is the one market on every tourist’s itinerary (with good reason!), so we recommend visiting in the afternoon as it can get crowded, especially in the evening and weekends.
When: November 21 to December 24, 2022
Getting there: U-bahn lines U3 or U6, all S-bahn lines to Marienplatz
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Weinachtsdorf im Kaiserhof der Residenz (Christmas Village in the Residenz)
Just a few minutes’ walk from Marienplatz. This cosy and romantic Christmas market is found in a courtyard of the Munich Residenz, the former royal palace. Alpine-style huts turn the Kaiserhof (Emperor’s Courtyard) into a traditional Bavarian village. You will also see a village church with a life-size nativity scene. Watch live craft demonstrations by local artisans, including wood carving and glass blowing. You can also listen to traditional music, such as Alpine horn players. For younger visitors, there’s an enchanted forest and sometimes Santa Claus (St Nikolaus) stops by for a visit.
When: November 17 to December 21, 2022
Where: Kaiserhof in the Munich Residenz
Getting there: U-bahn U3, U4, U5 or U6 to Odeonsplatz
Christkindlmarkt am Sendlinger Tor (Sendlinger Tor Christmas Market)
In the shadow of the medieval Sendlinger Tor city gate, at first glance this appears to be another very traditional Bavarian Christmas market. Look closer, however, and you can find some unique Christmas gift ideas from around the world such as Murano glass, nativity scenes from Peru and Tirol, and Indian handicrafts. Warm up with Feuerzangenbowle (fire-tong punch), a traditional German festive alcoholic drink in which a rum-soaked sugar loaf is set on fire and drips into mulled wine.
When: November 21 to December 23, 2022
Getting there: U-Bahn U1, U2, U3 or U6 to Sendlinger Tor
Märchenbazar (Fairytale Market)
Colourful circus tents provide a vintage fairground-vibe in this wonderful alternative to more traditional Christmas markets. Listen to live music, browse for vintage clothing and handmade jewellery, while sampling delicious global cuisine, craft beer and cocktails alongside traditional mulled wine. We love meeting friends here in the evening and at weekends, perhaps after a stroll through the Olympic Park. For families, there is also free programme of activities for children.
Local tip: This is one of the few Christmas markets that remain open on Christmas Day.
When: November 24 to December 29, 2022
Where: Munich Olympiapark, Summer Tollwood Festival Grounds
Getting there: Tram 21 from Marienplatz to Heideckstraße stop, bus 53 or 59 from Münchner Freiheit to Infanteriestrasse. Alternatively take the U3 to Olympiazentrum and walk around 20 minutes through the Olympic Park.
Since 2005, a corner of the Glockenbach neighbourhood has been transformed for Advent into a wonderful pink fairytale Christmas by the LGBTIQ* community. Friendly and inclusive, everyone is welcome to come along. Enjoy a glass of mulled wine and browse for original gifts while soaking up the unique atmosphere. There’s also a fantastic entertainment program including live music, cabaret performances and drag shows.
When: November 21 to December 23, 2022
Getting there: U-Bahn U3 or U6 to Sendlinger Tor, then walk about 10 minutes
Bonus Tip: Christkindlmarkt auf der Fraueninsel (Frauenchiemsee Christmas Market)
For a truly magical Christmas experience, take a boat ride over the to the picturesque island of Frauenchiemsee surrounded by snow-capped mountains and crystal-clear waters. For the first two weekends of Advent, the whole island surrounding the historic Benedictine abbey is transformed into a wonderfully romantic traditional Bavarian Christmas market. Definitely worth a day trip from Munich. Local tip: Combine your visit to Frauenchiemsee with a trip to Herrenchiemsee island to see the beautiful island palace of King Ludwig II, intended to be a copy of Versailles.
When: November 24 to 27 and December 1 to 4, 2022, 12pm to 7pm
Where: Frauenchiemsee Island
Getting there: Regional train to Prien am Chiemsee (about 1 hour from Munich), then by ferry to Frauenchiemsee
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