Germany has the best Christmas markets in the world, and my hometown Munich is no exception to this rule. In December, you’ll find booths selling traditional gingerbread, mulled wine, and grilled sausages around every corner. Basically every free square in the city is used during the festive season. But where are the best Christmas Markets in Munich?
That’s actually quite the tough question because there are so more than 25 of them, can you believe it? It’s hard to take a pick, especially, as there are just so many other things to do in Munich in winter on top of that! But for me, a good Christmas market is a combination of four things: A lovely setting, excellent food, interesting booths, and a nice atmosphere.
With that in mind, I ranked the top 10 Xmas markets in Munich for you. Just in case you are not in a festive mood yet, I hope this post will change that!
1. The medieval Christmas market on Wittelsbacherplatz
The Adventsspektakel & Mittelaltermarkt at Wittelsbacherplatz is by far my favorite Christmas market in Munich. Why? Quite simply because they sell the best food and drinks. Unlike in many other places, this medieval market places a huge emphasis on artisanal food production.
Here, you’ll find the best Glühwein (mulled wine) in the city, and also the best meats and traditional foods. Definitely try Spätzle (similar to Mac n Cheese) and deep-fried apple rings. There is also a stage with live bands and performances in the evening, so how great is that?
On top of that, the booths don’t just sell the usual cheap trinkets, but rather authentic German craft products. Since it is a medieval market, all the shop owners are wearing lovely costumes, and you will find plenty of torches instead of spotlights. Wittelsbacherplatz also provides a wonderful setting. But in a nutshell, this market has by far the best food.
How to get there: Simply take the U3/U6 subway to Odeonsplatz and walk 100 meters down the Brienner Str. and you are there
2. Christmas market at Chinesische Turm
My second favorite and extremely enchanting Christmas market in Munich is the one in the Englische Garten called Weihnachtsmarkt am Chinesischen Turm. The Chinesische Turm (Chinese Tower) is the most recognizable landmark inside the landscape park. While in summer, you will find a magnificent beer garden here, it is turned into a magical Christmas market in December.
Why do I like it so much? For a start, it is not as crowded as many in the inner city. Also, once again, the setting is just so beautiful, especially after some fresh snow. The food is quite good, there is a live band in the evening, and there is even a small ice rink where you can experience traditional bavarian curling.
It’s also the best Christmas market in Munich with kids because there is a special fairy tale hut where kids can listen to ancient stories, while the parents stroll across the market and maybe have a mug or two of mulled wine without having to look after the younger generation.
How to get there: Take bus number 54 directly to Chinesische Turm. As an alternative, you can walk through the park from subway stop Universität or Giselastraße on the U3/U6 subway line
3. Residence Christmas market
The Weihnachtsdorf im Kaiserhof der Residenz (Christmas village at the emperor’s court of the Residence) has always been the most popular market among tourists. Why? Well, the spot is just so picture perfect. I guess it is a combination of the palatial charm of the courtyard and the gigantic Christmas pyramid. It just looks so pretty.
I do have to say, that I personally have mixed feelings about this spot. Yes, it is beautiful, but they don’t actually sell a lot of good food and the booths are usually not exactly interesting either.
The one thing that is special is the fairy tale forest at the back of the Residence Chrismas Market. Here you will find a series of lovely little huts. You’ll find automated puppets inside each of them. Kids (and adults, ofc!) and press on a button and they’ll sing or tell a festive story.
How to get there: Get out at Odeonsplatz (U3/U6). From here you can already see the illuminated entrance gate.
4. Weißenburger Platz
Every quarter of Munich has its own Chrismas market. You’ll find one in Bogenhausen at Arabellapark, one at the Rotkreutzplaz, and so on. Most of them are quite small and probably not as interesting for tourists – with one exception. I loove the one in Haidhausen at the Weißenburger Platz square.
Why? It is not as crowded and touristy as the ones in the city center and because of the round shape of the market, it feels very intimate. For me, it is a place where you can still enjoy the holiday season without being bumped into every minute.
How to get there: It’s just a 50 meters walk from Rosenheimerplatz (take any S-Bahn towards Ostbahnhof) or walk 200 meters from Ostbahnhof.
5. Marienplatz & pedestrian area
The most popular (at least in terms of visitors) place to eat your grilled sausages and drink your Glühwein is the Christkindl Markt on Marienplatz. It’s the oldest Christmas market in Munich and the easiest to find. It is also the most crowded and on Saturdays, it can be quite a nightmare in the evening.
That being said, taking a picture of the neogothic town hall and the huge Christmas tree is a must. Don’t expect the best food here. It’s not like it is bad, mind you, but they are serving thousands each day, which requires industry products with reproducible quality.
Still, you should know that this Christmas markets actually covers almost all of the pedestrian area, so it is a nice place to go for a stroll and find an authentic souvenir. Here is a post with couple of more pictures.
Pro tip: Climb the tower of the Alter Peter Church for a lovely bird’s eye view of the illuminated square.
6. Pink Christmas
The most fun Christmas Market in Munich is certainly Pink Chrismas in the Glockenback quarter. This market is organized by the local LGBTQI community (which traditionally had a lot of bars and shops in this part of the city). It’s certainly not the biggest Weihnachtsmarkt, but you can support a good cause here.
The best part is probably the small stage. Almost every day in the evening, an artist from the local LGBTQI community will perform live. So, think drag queens and the like. They have their own website, so check it out here.
How to get there: Take the subway to Sendlinger Tor (U1, U2, U3, or U6) and walk 100 meters down the Thalkirchner Str.
7. Tollwood Theresienwiese
Are you more the modern kind of guy or girl? Then I’m very sure you will immensely appreciate the Winter Tollwood festival on Munich’s biggest festival ground. This is the place where the famous Oktoberfest is held as well, but in December it is transformed into one big Christmas market.
Here you will find a couple of stages and tented markets. I love the Christmas cocktail bar. The first time you’ll drink a warm winter cocktail will blow your mind and question the reason why everyone is just drinking mulled red wine, lol.
The main reason to go there are the many performances. Check out the official website to plan your visit. The best part: Unlike all other Christmas markets, Tollwood lasts past the holidays and closes on New Year’s Eve.
How to get there: Take the U4 to Theresienwiese. The festival is right outside the subway station.
8. Ice rink at Stachus / Karlsplatz
The Eiszauber (ice magic) Christmas market at Stachus has been an institution for as long as I can think. There is a big ice rink where you can actually go skating (you can rent shoes in a booth to the left). The rink is usually a tiny bit too crowded and somewhat small.
Instead, grab a mulled wine, climb the stairs up to the stage above and watch the madness unfold below. Watching the mix of semi-professional skaters and first-timers on the ice (mostly tourists) is just so entertaining!
Another beautiful and a bit less crowded Christmas market in the city center of Munich is the one on Viktualienmarkt. Munich’s best food market ads 21 booths to its existing panoply of street food stalls and shops, and I’m pretty sure it’s probably the best place to grab some authentic German food for tourists.
The place is officially called Winterzauber am Viktualienmarkt and often overlooked – for no reason whatsoever. Best go there in the afternoon when the regular shops are still open. And make sure to drop by at the nearby Rindermarkt, where you’ll find another big Christmas pyramid!
How to get there: Just walk through the big gate at the far end of the central square (Marienplatz) and turn right. It’s just 100 meters.
10. Blutenburg Christmas market
The last entry on this list is perhaps the most magical one. Blutenburg castle is one of 5 castles in Munich and in the first week of December, they organize a charming little Christmas market inside the medieval courtyard. I would have ranked it way higher if it was open the whole of December, but sadly it is not.
It is also not especially easy to get there, but it is totally worth it! From afar, Blutenburg looks like a water castle (because parts of the moat is still there). You will also get the chance to see the amazing medieval chapel of the ancient castle.
How to get there: Take the S2 to Obermenzingen. From here, you have to walk 500 meters to the castle (follow the signs). It takes about 30 minutes from the city center.
When is the Christmas Market in Munich?
Most Christmas markets in Munich open in the last week of November and close on December 23rd. The first to open is usually the one inside the Residence castle, while the Tollwood Festival lasts until December 31st. The mulled wine booth at Isartor is also open until January 6th.
How long are the Chrismas markets in Munich open in the evening
Most Christmas markets in Munich open between 10 and 11 am and close around 9 or 10 pm. Most markets close a bit earlier on Sundays.
How much money do you need for one evening?
You will probably need around 30 euros per person for one evening. More, if you plan to buy souvenirs. Usually, you have to make a deposit of 5 to 10 euros for the mugs and dishes. Which means ordering 4 mulled wines can easily cost 50 to 60 euro. So, better bring a bit more.
Do they accept credit cards on the Christmas Market?
Credit cards or debit cards are usually not accepted. You need to bring cash. You will find ATMs on most Christmas markets where you can withdraw whatever you need. Also, remember that most markets are within the city, so there are plenty of banks all around.
When is the best time to visit a Christmas Market?
The evening is the best time to visit the Chrismas markets in Munich because that’s when the lights are turned out. Everything just looks so much better then. A lot of locals will visit the markets after works as well, so things usually get very crowded at around 6 pm. Saturday evening are usually the busiest time as a lot of local tourists use the weekends to visit Munich as well.
So, I hope I was able to answer all your questions about the best Weihnachtsmärkte in my hometown. Just in case you haven’t seen it yet, I also got a massive list of the top 50 things to do in Munich which you absolutely need to check out.