Munich: Christmas Markets

For the final hurrah of the Christmas Market season, we did an impromptu day trip to Munich last Friday.

I’m so glad we went early in the day, because it was significantly less crowded than the other markets we’d been in the evenings. We were easily able to walk slowly and peruse the booths, taking our time and sipping our Glühwein without the fear of someone knocking it out of our hands.

What I loved about Munich is how close together all the markets are. We just kept stumbling upon more booths as we walked through the streets with no particular plan in mind.

We absolutely loved the Middle Ages Market (Mittelaltermarkt) which was set up on Wittelsbacher Platz. The booths sold handmade Medieval-themed clothing, tools, leather, and art, and everyone working at the market was dressed in Medieval attire. There were multiple stands selling soup and noodles that were served in unique ceramic bowls. Glühwein, mead, and other hot drinks were served in the most awesome little Medieval goblets. Usually we return our mugs to get our deposit refund, but these were just too cool to give back!

The big Münchner Christkindlmarkt was pretty awesome, too. It’s spread over a large area through most of the streets and courtyards branching off of Marienplatz.

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Marienplatz is where the main part of the market is located. It’s a big open area between Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) and Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall).

It had everything we love about a good German Christmas Market. Right next to the Christkindlmarkt was the Kripperlmarkt. It looks like just a small cluster of booths, but it is the largest manger market in Germany. All the booths are dedicated to selling collectible nativity scene characters and decorations.

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We explored a little further down the pedestrian shopping streets of Kaufingerstraße and Neuhaserstraße. We walked through the 18th-century Karlstor gate and ended up at Karlsplatz, where we discovered a ice rink and Christmas café on stilts that overlooked the bustling streets. We ordered hot drinks in little mugs that resembled beer steins and people-watched until the warmth returned to our fingers and toes.

Down the street, we stumbled upon the Weihnachtsmarkt am Sendlinger Tor. The backdrop for this market is one of Munich’s three remaining Gothic gates which, like Karlstor, once served as fortification and defense for the city. The market is small, quaint, and a really cool stop if you want to check out some Medieval architecture while munching on toasty almonds.

After Friday, I guess you could say we were “Christmas-marketed-out.” The market season runs from the end of November until Christmas Eve, so it feels like Christmas lasts a month. It gave us time to really get into the Christmas mood, but we eventually started to get exhausted from pushing through crowds and traveling–sometimes far–to a different Christmas market each weekend. But as tired as I say I am now, I know that next November I’ll be itching for the tastes and smells of the season once again.

We’re young, adventurous, and child-less, so this is the time to do it, right?

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