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Munich – Christmas Markets in Germany
Munich Weihnachtsmarkt

When darkness falls and the snow on the roofs of the market stalls begins to sparkle in a glowing sea of fairy lights, it is then that the atmosphere of the Munich Christkindlmarkt in the central square of Marienplatz is at its most enchanting. The 3,000 lights on the soaring Christmas tree, the market’s landmark, glitter against the romantic backdrop of the neogothic town hall. Year after year, visitors from far and wide mingle with the Munich locals in the city’s „best parlour“ to join in the festive spirit and yuletide traditions celebrated at this charming Christmas market

Munich is the capital city of Bavaria (Bayern), Germany. It is located on the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps. The city’s motto is “München mag Dich” (Munich likes you). Munich’s Christmas Market – whose roots go back to the 14th century – is held on Marienplatz in the heart of the city centre. Town records first mention a ”Nicholas Market” in the Kaufinger Strasse near the Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady) in 1642.

Christkindelmarkt am Marienplatz

  • Monday – Saturday : 10:00 – 21:00
    Sunday : 10:00 – 20:00
    Christmas Eve : 10:00 – 14:00

Location: In front of the new Town Hall

Munich Christmas Market – 27th November – 24th December 2018

Christmas Market History

It is said that the origins of Munich’s Christkindlmarkt date back to as far as the fourteenth century when so-called Nicholas markets were held in the town. However, it was not until 1642 that the first one was officially recorded in the annals of the city – the Nikolaidult, a yuletide fair located near the „Schöner Turm“ tower in the Kaufingerstraße. The actual event was probably much older – reaching back to as early as the second half of the sixteenth century. Unlike the other fairs and markets held in Munich, the Nikolaidult – which took place on 5th and 6th December – allowed only local Munich traders to take part.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century the Nikolaidult moved to the square now known as the Promenadeplatz. According to the chronicles of Michael Schattenhofer, the Nicholas market of 1805 traded in „goods and wares from Oberammergau, Lebkuchen gingerbread from Nuremberg, cotton clothing for children, nativity figurines and chimney sweep figures shaped from prunes and almonds (Zwetschgenmanderl), and little paper pictures of St. Nicholas, nuns and hermits“. This market, which then moved on to Max-Joseph-Platz, is regarded as the forerunner of today’s Christkindlmarkt. “Now we find the age-old market celebrating Saint Nicholas is a thing of the past. It has been replaced by the Christmas market familiar to the Protestant faith … and has moved on to the squares at Residenzplatz or Max-Joseph-Platz”, wrote Lorenz Westenrieder in his diary on 6th December 1806. Under the influence of the Enlightenments and the growing significance of the Protestant religion in the early nineteenth century Munich found itself undergoing the same changes that other regions and towns such as Nuremburg and Strasbourg had experienced as long ago as the sixteenth century – the move away from the figure of Saint Nicholas as the bringer of gifts in favour of the Christ Child (Christkind). As a consequence, the yuletide market became associated with the Christkind or Christmas festivities and no longer with Saint Nicholas

The “Krampus Run”

The “Krampus Run” across the Christmas Market is great fun for locals and tourists alike. Dec 9th 2018, 3-5pm & Dec 16th 2018, 4-5pm. The 500-year old tradition of the “Krampus Run” dates back to the Christian mythological character of Bishop Saint Nicholas and his companion, “Krampus”. The members of “Sparifankerl Pass”, Munich’s first “Krampus group”, dress up in archaic costumes, take a thrilling run across the Christmas Market and show up in the most unlikely places. If you wish to know more about the tradition and customs related to the “Krampus Run”, the “Krampus” exhibition in the Deutsches Jagd- und Fischereimuseum is a must-see. www.jagd-fischerei-museum.de

Christmas Markets

During Christmas time, there are many of these Christkindl Märkte, or Christmas Markets , including the large Tollwood, but also smaller markets, where you can buy Christmas biscuits (Lebkuchen), souvenirs, and the typical Glühwein. Although pronounced glue-vine, it is mainly hot red wine with spices and different (secret) flavouring.

  • Münchner Freiheit — There is an artisan market at the subway stop in Schwabing.
  • Marienplatz — A bigger market, very commercial, it stretches across the shopping street, so you can mix Christmas market shopping (and eating) with “normal” shopping. If you walk south towards Sendlinger Tor, you’ll reach more traditional woodcarvers’ stands.
  • Chinesischer Turm at Englischer Garten has a nice Christmas market in a pretty park surrounding. Highly recommended if there’s snow! It can conveniently be reached from U/Bus station Münchner Freiheit on the Bus 54, which has a stopChinesischer Turm.
  • Wittelsbacher Platz — Close to Odeonsplatz, there is a medieval Christmas market where you can buy medieval clothes, food and drinks, swords / bows, and arrows and watch the performances of medieval dances and music.
  • Residence courtyard — A Christmas town with fairytale stories for kids.
  • Christkindltram — A Christmas tram that runs only during Advent through the city center every half an hour (departure is from Sendlingertor). The tram is nicely decorated, where people can enjoy Christmas songs and mulled wine (Glühwein).
  • Weihnachtsmarkt am Sendlinger Tor – A small, quiet market with Christmas music provided by “Schwabinger Turmbläser” every Sunday evening.
  • Kripperlmarkt am Rindermarkt – This market is filled with beautiful Christmas crib figures.
  • Haidhauser Weihnachtsmarkt – A traditional Christmas market with around 60 stands

Christmas Markets – Weihnachtsmarkt – Marche de Noël – Mercatino di Natale – Mercados de Navidad

German Christmas Markets or Weihnachtsmarkt,have now become popular and are a welcome and familiar sight in many of the cities, towns and villages throughout Europe during the season of Advent.
Whether visiting a local Christmas Market or taking a Christmas Market Tour, the wonderful festive atmosphere will be sure to lift your spirits and bring the Christmas cheer a little closer.
Wrap up warm and wander along the rows of pretty wooden chalets taking in the rich, warming aromas associated with Christmas such as hot roast chestnuts, grilled bratwurst sausages, crepes or pancakes, hot doughnuts, gingerbreads and Gluhwein or Mulled wines or ciders. You can sample the marzipan figures, chocolate covered fruits or one of the many festive delicacies on offer from around the world. There are all kinds of Christmas gifts and decorations, especially traditional things such as tree decorations, wood carvings, crib figures, traditional toys, candles, hand-knitted jumpers, lambskin slippers and glassware, you will be able to find that special little something that will be a unique gift for someone to treasure. Children will be excited to meet with Santa Claus and maybe, just maybe!! there will be a little present for them too!

Discover our selection of Top ten Christmas Markets in Europe

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