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5 Best Christmas Markets to visit in Munich

Soak up the Christmas vibes at Munich's Christmas Markets!

· 5 min read

As the festive season unfolds and Christmas draws near, there's a particular magic that descends all over Europe. What better way to soak in the Christmas magic in Europe other than to visit a Christmas market! And especially, if you are visiting Munich, you really can't miss the Christmas markets there! Munich is known to have some of the best Christmas markets in Germany, and even across Europe!

Marienplatz Christmas Market

The Marienplatz Christmas Market is the main Christmas market in Munich, and if you only have time to visit one Christmas Market during your time in Munich, this is the one you should go to. Marienplatz is a bustling square at the heart of Munich's historic city center, and is the largest Christmas Market in Munich.

Marienplatz Christmas Market
Source: muenchen.de

This year, the Christmas Market will feature over 130 stalls selling a dazzling array of handcrafted ornaments, festive decorations, and Bavarian treats. You can also expect a line-up of programs, including Advent music from the town hall balcony and the iconic Krampus run on December 10th!

Don't miss the 25-metre-high Munich Christmas tree on Marienplatz! 3,000 LED candles will be lit for the first time at the opening of the Christmas market on November 27, 2023 and will then shine every day from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. until January 6, 2024.

Yes, the Marienplatz Christmas Market will be crowded. After all, it is the most popular - and also most touristy - Christmas Market in Munich! Consider heading there early to skip the crowds. But again, being part of the crowds is also part of the Christmas Market experience, isn't it?

Opening hours:

27 November to 24 December 2023

Monday to Saturday: 10 am - 9 pm

Sunday: 10 am - 8 pm

On 24 December, from 10 am - 2 pm

Medieval Christmas Market at Wittelsbacherplatz

Step back in time at the Medieval Christmas Market located at Wittelsbacherplatz. Nestled against the backdrop of historic buildings, this market transports visitors to a bygone era with its medieval-themed stalls and entertainment.

Medieval Christmas Market
Source: Medieval Christmas Market

At the Medieval Christmas Market, you can expect to find merchants and stall owners decked out in medieval costumes. Ornaments and craft products sold here are usually also medieval-themed, and the overall atmosphere brings you back to Middle Ages Germany! You can also expect to see cultural song and dance performances and concerts happening on all weekends of the Christmas Market.

Be sure to try the mulled wine at the Medieval Christmas Market. Look out for Würzwein (spiced wine) or Drachenglut (dragon’s blood) — they are usually served in clay goblets, which really adds to the atmosphere! Of course, don't miss out on the delicious food and treats that are available at the market!

Opening hours:

27 November to 23 December 2023

11 am - 9 pm daily.

Christmas Village at the Munich Residenz

Set in the courtyards of the former royal place, the Christmas Village at the Munich Residenz is one of the most family-friendly Christmas markets. The Christmas Market itself isn't big, but you can expect to find a variety of exquisitely crafted local products here.

Munich Residenz Christmas Market
Source: des Weihnachtsdorfs im Kaiserhof der Residenz

There are a variety of programs that are lined up for visitors of all ages, including a live woodcarving session by a wood carver from Tyrol. There is also a section with a 'talking moose' - an animated life-sized stuffed animal that can tell stories - which is an icon of the Christmas Village here, and is very popular with young children. The Christmas Village has also prepared small gifts for young children visiting the village (gifts are while stocks last).

There is also a hut at the Christmas Village that is reserved for the children's hospice, and all proceeds from products sold at that hut will go to the children's hospice. It's a perfect opportunity for you to give back to society and spread the Christmas joy.

And if you will be visiting the Christmas Village on the last day (22 December), there will be a Christmas tree giveaway, where you can pick up all the Christmas trees decorating the market for free!

Opening hours:

23 November to 22 December 2023

11 am - 9 pm daily.

22 December 2023: 11 am - 8 pm

Closed on 26 November.

Chinese Tower Christmas Market in the English Garden

For something quieter, venture into the English Garden for the Chinese Tower Christmas Market. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the iconic Chinese Tower, this market exudes a cozy and intimate atmosphere. Explore the wooden stalls offering handcrafted gifts, sip on a warm mug of Glühwein, and savor local delicacies while surrounded by the serene beauty of the English Garden.

The Chinese Tower Christmas Market is a much smaller Christmas Market compared to the other Christmas Markets, featuring only 18 stands this year. However, while the size of the market may not be big, you can expect to still find a variety of delicately handcrafted products and ornaments.

Munich Christmas Market Chinese Tower
Source: Chinese Tower

A highlight of the Chinese Tower Christmas Market is the carriage rides that are offered from Thursdays to Sundays from 1pm. It is not everyday that you get a chance to explore the English Garden, one of the Munich's largest parks, on a horse carriage!

Opening hours:

23 November to 23 December 2023

Thursday to Sunday: 11 am - 8.30 pm

Closed on 26 November

Tollwood Winter Festival

For a more eclectic and multicultural Christmas experience, the Tollwood Winter Festival is a must-visit. Held on the Theresienwiese grounds, the same location as Oktoberfest, this market boasts a vibrant mix of international food stalls, artisanal crafts, and live performances. If you missed Oktoberfest, the Tollwood Winter Festival is somewhat like the Christmas edition of Oktoberfest!

Tollwood Festival
Source: Tollwood Festival

The festival promotes sustainability and cultural diversity, making it a unique destination for those seeking an alternative Christmas market experience. Explore the heated tents showcasing global cuisine and enjoy performances ranging from live music and DJs to stage performances and shows. Different from the traditional Christmas markets, Tollwood Winter Festival features more international acts, and are generally more vibrant and high in energy.

Although the Christmas Market is only available until 23 December, the Tollwood Winter Festival also extends beyond Christmas, featuring a countdown party for those looking for a place to spend New Year's Eve.

Opening hours:

23 November to 31 December 2023 (Market ends on 23 December)

Thursday to Sunday

Closed on 26 November

Tips to Visiting Christmas Markets in Munich

Bring cash

While some vendors are more flexible in accepting cashless payments these days, this is definitely not guaranteed, and having cash on you is the best way to go! There may not always be an ATM nearby, so be sure to bring enough to cover your expenses for the day.

Bring a big reusable shopping bag for your purchases

With the large variety of European ornaments and goods at Christmas markets, it’s almost certain you will be able to find something interesting. So, channel your inner Santa and bring a big bag with you to lug around your finds!

Watch out for your belongings

Christmas markets are going to be crowded. Keep a look out for your belongings while you shop and hunt for treasures in the market grounds. If you will be traveling with young children, make sure to keep a look out for them so they don't get lost in the crowds.

Go early to avoid the crowds

If you want to avoid the crowds, it is recommended that you head to the markets earlier in the day, or where possible, during the weekdays instead.