Munich is a magical place to visit year-round, and it’s especially magical at Christmastime! This is, in large part, thanks to the beautiful Munich Christmas markets found throughout the German city.
Christmas markets are plentiful throughout Europe, and the tradition dates way back to the 14th century. Today, they’re a fun way to gather with loved ones and family to connect and jointly celebrate the Christmas spirit. At Munich Christmas markets, you can also do your Christmas shopping, browse the many gift-y items in the stalls, enjoy some hot spiced drinks, and eat warm food. Often, there’ll be extra-special additions to Christmas markets, like Santa Claus, or a ferris wheel, or an ice skating rink!
And if you’re heading to Munich at Christmastime – or any time of year! – come visit us at Fat Tire Tours Munich and let us show you around this gorgeous town. We offer bike tours, private tours, Segway tours, evening tours, and even tours in German.
For the travelers who love German beer, our Six Best Beers in Munich Walking Tour was practically tailor-made just for you! Want to take a private beer tour with your travel group? Our Private Munich Beer Tour is currently accepting bookings.
Here are some of our recommended Christmas markets to visit while in Munich. (And if you need some Christmas market-related vocabulary to help you while visiting these markets, click here to read the 15 German Words You Need at a Christmas Market.)
This super-festive Christmas market can be found in the main square of Munich, Marienplatz Square. This isn’t just any old holiday market – it’s the O.G. market! Marienplatz Christkindlmarkt holds the honor of being Munich’s first-ever, original winter market. It’s been around since medieval times and remains one of the oldest Christmas markets in the whole world!
At Marienplatz Christkindlmarkt, you’ll be treated to festive and romantic vibes of the market, complete with stalls upon stalls selling different craft items, such as Nativity sets. Crafts workshops for children offer a delightful way for youngsters to get involved and make something they can cherish for years to come.
If you enjoy music, then Marienplatz Christkindlmarkt is a market you definitely want to visit. At this market, they feature live bands performing German folk music and holiday songs.
Address: Marienplatz 26, 80331 München, Germany
Dates: 27 November – 24 December
This market, Viktulalienmarkt, is one of the city’s finest food markets, and it oozes festive cheer during the holiday season. Come here to buy food for your holiday party or for you to enjoy on your own. You’ll find traditional German snack foods, German beers, and yummy mulled wine. At Viktulalienmarkt, there’s also a beautiful Nativity scene in the beer garden.
Viktulalienmarkt is located near the National Theatre, and it’s conveniently close to various underground and bus stops as well. Christmas foods are available here starting in early November and through early January.
Address: Viktualienmarkt 3, 80331 München, Germany
Dates: 27 November to 24 December
Christmas Village at City Palace
I mean, with a name like “Christmas Village,” you know this operation is pulling out all the festive stops. It’s been called one of the “most magical” Christmas markets found in Munich. Thanks to its central, historic location, it has a medieval and fairytale feel, perfect for conjuring up some extra-magical vibes for Christmas.
At Christmas Village, you’re treated to seeing authentic German craftspeople do their craftmanship in real-time. This is especially exciting for young children. There’s a wide range of vendors selling goods here, too, so you’ll no doubt find something for everyone on your shopping list. Christmas Village’s location is central and easily accessible. It’s adjacent to the Odeonsplatz Underground Station.
Address: Residenzstraße 1, 80333 München, Germany
Dates: 13 November – 22 December
Tollwood Winter Festival
Tollwood Winter Festival is a very cheery and festive experience that’s sure to put you in the holiday spirit – even for the biggest of Grinches among us. It’s been dubbed an especially “dynamic” festival, and offers visitors a huge array of delights: traditional German food, theatre, artworks, and more. Live music, lighting displays, and various events make this an action-packed festive experience. There are also free rides for children to enjoy.
Looking for exciting New Year’s Eve plans in Munich? Tollwood Winter Festival also puts on a great “NYE” celebration to usher in the new year.
Address: Theresienwiese, München, Germany
Dates: 23 November – 21 December
Schwabing Christmas Market
For all the art lovers out there, Schwabing Christmas Market was made for you. This market is known for its art tent featuring beautiful artwork and art pieces. There’s also a sculpture trail here to be enjoyed.
Mindblowing art installations and free arts-related workshops make this Christmas market a rare and unique one. Don’t delay in visiting the Schwabing Christmas Market, especially if you’re an appreciator of the arts. The market is near Bonner Platz Underground Station.
Address: Forum Münchner Freiheit, München, Germany
Dates: 1 December – 24 December
Christmas Mulled Wine Festival in Bogenhausen
People who appreciate good wine will want to make the Christmas Mulled Wine Festival in Bogenhausen a priority place to visit during the Christmas market season. Mulled wine is hot spiced wine, typically featuring orange peels, cinnamon, cloves, and other spices. It’s the perfect drink to sip to help you warm up on a cold winter’s night.
The mulled wine festival is for those who also want to experience a traditional German Christmas, as mulled wine is a staple of many German Christmas markets. At the Christmas Mulled Wine Festival in Bogenhausen, you can sample a variety of mulled wines, nibble on German snack foods, and delight in tasty German desserts like marzipan, gingerbread, and stollen (a German fruit bread with dried fruit, nuts, and spices).
For families with young children, your kids will love the carousel rides, storytelling events, and puppet shows featured at this festival.
Address: Cosimastraße 5, München, Germany
Dates: 16 November to 30 December 30
Anne McCarthy is the Editor in Chief of the Fat Tire Tours Blog. She is a contributing writer to the BBC, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Wired, and many more. She splits her time between the U.S. and Europe.