Known as Münchner Christkindlmarkt in German, Munich Christmas Market is one of the best in Germany. But Munich doesn’t just have one Christmas market. The main market is held on Marienplatz, but there are several others around the historic city centre.
This guide provides confirmed 2023 dates, all location details, opening times and a list of local specialties.
Munich Christmas Market 2023
As the most traditional and historical of the Christmas markets in Munich, Marienplatz is hard to beat. The location is extraordinary, with the stunning neo-Gothic New Town Hall and the rest of the entire square decorated with lights and baubles.
In Munich, you’ll also find a small Christmas market off Odeonsplatz and the Medieval Christmas market at Wittelsbacherplatz. An alternative experience takes place at the Tollwood Winter Festival, with themed tents and art performances.
The giant Christmas tree is the centrepiece of the Marienplatz market, surrounded by Bavarian chalets and festive scents. Start your exploration of Munich at Christmas in Marienplatz. Full details of the other markets are listed below.
1. Christmas Market at Marienplatz
Munich Christmas Market dates: 27th November to 24th December 2023.
Opening times: Monday to Saturday: 10am to 9pm. Sunday: 10am to 8pm. Christmas Eve: 10am to 2pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Ice skating: Yes, at Karlsplatz-Stachus.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten free: Yes, but limited.
Pet-friendly: Yes, but not recommended during busy periods.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: The largest Nativity scene in Germany, the 30-metre Christmas tree and the diverse range of themed Christmas markets.
Recommended tour: If this is your first time in Munich, take a guided city tour to get an overview of the city, including a visit to the famous Viktualienmarkt food market.
Neuschwanstein Castle: Munich is the gateway to Germany’s fairytale castle. This is the most popular day trip to Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castle. Highly recommended if you have time.
Specialities: Delicious pommes, Bavarian bratwurst, hot doughnuts, cake, beer and of course, mulled wine.
Where to stay: Beyond by Geisel is located directly on Marienplatz.
Hotels near Munich Christmas Market
I’ve been fortunate to have visited Munich on several occasions. I often stayed near the main train station, which has many hotels. However, it’s a bit of a walk to the Old Town from there, but I think it’s better to stay somewhere more central if you can.
The most central hotel I recommend is Beyond by Geisel as it’s located directly on Marienplatz, the location of the main Christmas market. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a view of the New Town Hall from your room. It’s a great choice.
If that’s not right for you, read my guide to hotels near Munich Christmas Market, where I list several other choices.
Location of Munich Christmas Market
2. Residenz Christmas Village
The Residenz Christmas Village is an annual festive spectacle held in the grand courtyard of Residenz, Munich’s renowned city palace.
Renowned for its impressive architectural design and historical significance, Residenz serves as a major attraction in Munich throughout the year.
However, during the Christmas season, it takes on an enchanting transformation. Its usually expansive courtyard metamorphoses into a charming Bavarian village-style market, bringing the traditions and spirit of a rural Christmas to the heart of the city.
Residenz Christmas Village dates: 23rd November to 22nd December 2023.
Location: Munich Residenz. Access via Odeonsplatz.
Opening times: 11am to 9pm.
Location of Residenz Christmas Village
3. Medieval Christmas Market
The Medieval Christmas Market at Wittelsbacherplatz is an exceptional destination that stands out from the bustling Christmas celebrations across Munich.
Its intimate size, coupled with its distinctive atmosphere, transports you back in time with its half-timbered Christmas chalets styled in medieval aesthetics.
Wittelsbacherplatz, tucked away near the majestic Odeonplatz and the tranquil Hofgarten, serves as the perfect backdrop for this quaint market.
The market also brings to life culinary traditions of the past with special treats such as the tarte flambée, a delightful dish akin to a thin-crust pizza topped with various ingredients, and the warming wild drachenglut, a hot beverage that adds a twist to your usual Christmas market drink.
Medieval Christmas Market dates: 27th November to 23rd December 2023.
Opening times: 11am to 9pm.
Location of Medieval Christmas Market
4. Tollwood Winter Festival
Tollwood Winter Festival, an alternative Christmas market situated at the expansive Theresienwiese fairground, brings a unique spin on festive celebrations in Munich.
Though the market isn’t sprawling, its character is enormous, with a series of creatively curated tents, each showcasing an eclectic mix of music genres, theatrical performances and displays of alternative culture.
At Tollwood, the food offerings prioritise organic and vegan options, giving you a chance to explore sustainable and ethical culinary delights.
The ethos of Tollwood is deeply rooted in sustainability, making it an inspiring destination for those interested in eco-conscious festivities.
Tollwood Christmas Market dates: 23rd November to 23rd December 2023.
Festival Dates: 23rd November to 31st December including a New Year’s Eve party.
Opening times: 11am to 9pm.
How to get there: Underground U4 or U5 to Theresienwiese.
Tollwood Events: Find out more.
Location of Tollwood
5. Winter Magic at Viktualienmarkt
Winter magic at the Viktualienmarkt transforms this fresh variety market into a festive spot full of Christmas spirit.
As you walk through the market, you’ll see twinkling Christmas lights and decorations, adding to the sense of seasonal enchantment.
One particularly charming feature is the Nativity scene in the beer garden, creatively depicting the bustling market activities in its design.
Winter Magic at Viktualienmarkt dates: 27th November to 24th December 2023.
Opening times: 11am to 9pm.
Location of Viktualienmarkt
6. Pink Christmas Market
Pink Christmas Market in Munich is a vibrant Christmas marked by its iconic pink glow. It’s a spirited event that honours the LGBTQ+ community.
The market’s small stage hosts a variety of performances, including drag shows and live music, featuring both up-and-coming singers and renowned artists.
Pink Christmas Market dates: 27th November to 23rd December 2023.
Opening times: Monday to Friday: 4pm to 10pm. Saturday and Sunday: 2pm to 10pm.
Location of Pink Christmas
7. Christkindlmarkt at Sendlinger Tor
Sendlinger Tor Christmas dates: 27th November to 22nd December 2023.
Opening times: 11am to 9pm.
Location of Sendlinger-Tor-Platz
8. Eiszauber Ice Rink
Eiszauber Ice Rink dates: 17th November 2023 to 14th January 2024.
Opening times: 10:30am to 10pm.
Location of Karlsplatz/Stachus
Christmas in Munich
The video you’re about to watch provides an overview of some of Munich’s best Christmas markets. It captures the market’s festive atmosphere, range of stalls and highlights, offering you an authentic glimpse into what to expect when visiting.
Plan your Christmas holiday with my German Christmas Markets 2023 guide. Discover where to go, things to do and the best ways to experience German food, history and culture.
Christmas Specialties in Munich
Lebkuchen: These gingerbread-like treats are a staple at the Bavarian Christmas markets. Historically, they were first crafted by monks in Franconia, but today they’ve become an essential part of celebrations throughout Bavaria, including Munich. You’ll find them decorated with almonds, coated with chocolate, or filled with apricot jam.
Stollen: An essential Bavarian specialty during Christmas is Stollen, a rich, fruit-studded bread. Its history can be traced back to Dresden in the 14th century, and it’s traditionally shaped to symbolise the infant Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes. Each loaf is dusted with a liberal coating of icing sugar, providing a sweet contrast to the dense, fruity interior.
Brezenknödel: These bread dumplings, made from the region’s iconic pretzels, offer a comforting, hearty vegetarian option. Brezenknödel often features in festive meals, served with mushroom sauce or creamy spinach, providing a uniquely Bavarian twist on Christmas dining.
Marzipankartoffeln: Particularly popular in Munich during the Christmas season are Marzipankartoffeln or marzipan potatoes. They are small, potato-shaped sweets made from marzipan, dusted with cocoa powder to resemble soil, and usually presented in a small sack or bucket to further the illusion of freshly dug potatoes.
Weihnachtsgans: A traditional Bavarian Christmas meal, or Christmas goose, wouldn’t be complete without Weihnachtsgans. This richly flavoured bird is typically slow-roasted and served with knödel, red cabbage and a rich, meaty gravy.
Food at the Christmas Market
Lebkuchenherz: Look out for Lebkuchenherz, a heart-shaped gingerbread biscuit typically decorated with icing sugar messages. Usually hung with a ribbon, it makes a tasty memento of your time at the Christmas market.
Münchner Weißwurst: The Münchner Weißwurst, or Munich white sausage, is a Bavarian speciality made from minced veal and pork back bacon. It’s traditionally flavoured with parsley, lemon, mace, onions, ginger and cardamom. The sausages are traditionally served in a hot water bowl with sweet mustard and freshly baked pretzels.
Glühbier: For those who prefer a pint over a glass of wine, Munich’s Christmas markets serve glühbier or hot beer. This beverage is a unique take on traditional mulled wine, made with hot beer and various spices.
Reiberdatschi: These are traditional Bavarian potato pancakes that are fried until golden brown and crisp. At the Christmas markets in Munich, they’re usually served hot with applesauce on the side, a perfect treat to warm your hands and stomach in the winter chill.
Feuerzangenbowle: As for drinks, don’t miss out on the feuerzangenbowle, a traditional German alcoholic drink where a rum-soaked sugarloaf is set on fire and drips into mulled wine. It’s a spectacle to watch and a delight to drink, warming you from the inside out.
Käsespätzle: A popular dish in Bavaria, käsespätzle is a comfort food made from spätzle pasta, covered with sharp, melted cheese and topped with crispy onions. Find it in Munich’s Christmas market or Viktualienmarkt for a hearty meal as you explore the stalls.
Baumkuchen: Known as “tree cake”, baumkuchen is a traditional German cake renowned for its characteristic rings that resemble tree rings. It’s made by painting layers of batter onto a spit, which is then rotated over heat. When cut, the cake displays multiple thin layers resembling the rings of a tree.
Nürnberger Bratwurst: At Munich Christmas Market, you will get the chance to savour the famous Nuremberg bratwurst, a type of German sausage made from minced pork, beef, or veal. These slender sausages are a local favourite, usually grilled and served three in a roll with mustard.
Flammkuchen: Take a bite of the flammkuchen, a crisp, thin-crust pizza-like snack that originates from the Alsace region. It’s commonly topped with crème fraîche, onions and lardons, providing a savoury delight that’s perfect to keep you going as you explore the market stalls.
Gebrannte Mandeln: Sweet lovers should head for the stalls selling gebrannte mandeln, or sugar-roasted almonds. This snack originated in Germany and sees almonds coated in a hard shell of caramelised sugar. The sweet, slightly burnt aroma will guide you straight to the vendor.
What to Buy
Bavarian Beer Steins: In the heart of Bavaria, beer is more than just a drink; it’s part of the culture. Traditional Bavarian beer steins, often beautifully hand-painted and made from pewter or stoneware, make for fantastic gifts.
Wooden Nutcrackers: These traditional figures are a German classic and can be found in various sizes, colours and styles. Originating from the Erzgebirge region, these handcrafted wooden nutcrackers are a popular gift item during the festive season.
Bavarian Christmas Ornaments: Munich’s markets are a great place to pick up Bavarian Christmas ornaments. Glass baubles, often hand-painted with Bavarian motifs such as lederhosen, pretzels and beer steins, are a delightful addition to any Christmas tree.
Lebkuchen: A Bavarian gingerbread speciality, lebkuchen is often found beautifully packed in decorative tins or boxes. Different types include Nürnberger Lebkuchen, Elisenlebkuchen, and Lebkuchenherz, the latter often iced with sweet messages.
Handmade Candles: The Christmas market in Munich is also a good place to find a variety of handmade candles. Traditional Christmas shapes and more contemporary designs make for wonderful gifts and souvenirs.
Traditional Bavarian Clothing: In Munich, traditional Bavarian clothing, like dirndls and lederhosen, are available throughout the year, but you can also find miniature versions as Christmas tree decorations or even doll clothing at the Christmas markets.
Bavarian Music Boxes: Music boxes with traditional Bavarian and Christmas tunes are a beautiful keepsake. From simple designs to intricate scenes, these music boxes are often handcrafted, offering a sense of Bavarian craftsmanship.
Munich’s Manger Figures: Munich is famous for its Manger figures. Hand-carved and often passed down through generations, these figures add a touch of Bavarian tradition to the Christmas story.
Handmade Soaps: Many stalls at the Christmas markets offer beautifully crafted handmade soaps. With a variety of scents from vanilla to cinnamon, these soaps are often Christmas-themed and make for a lovely gift or souvenir.
Snow Globes: Snow globes are a classic Christmas gift, and the ones available at Munich’s Christmas markets often depict Munich landmarks or Bavarian scenes.
Bavarian Cookbooks: If you’ve fallen in love with Bavarian cuisine during your visit, a Bavarian cookbook could be the perfect gift. These often include both traditional recipes and modern variations, allowing you to recreate your favourite dishes at home.
Visit Munich is an excellent resource and the official website for visitors. They have an especially useful series that covers the city’s diverse neighbourhoods. It’s well worth getting outside of the Altstadt (Old Town) to experience a different side of Munich in these areas.
Sustainable Travel Tips
The choices we make have an environmental and social impact on the places we visit. Try to implement these responsible travel measures when visiting Munich at Christmas.
Green Energy: Munich’s city government is committed to green energy and has various initiatives in place. As a visitor, you can play your part by choosing accommodations that use renewable energy sources.
Food Waste Reduction: In an effort to combat food waste, you can make a conscious choice to only purchase what you’ll eat. Munich has a thriving “free fridge” (Fair-Teiler) movement where you can donate unneeded food rather than throw it away.
Ethical Consumption: Opt for local and fair-trade products when shopping. The Tollwood Winter Festival, a large Christmas market, emphasises ethical consumption and provides a platform for vendors selling eco-friendly products.
Sustainable Diets: A visit to Munich’s Viktualienmarkt allows you to indulge in locally sourced and organic Bavarian cuisine, contributing to a more sustainable diet. Choosing plant-based options is also beneficial.
Public Transportation: Munich’s public transport system is efficient and extensive. Choosing to use it over taxis or car rentals reduces your carbon footprint. Munich’s Christmas markets, such as the one at Marienplatz, are centrally located and easily accessible by public transport.
Refillable Water Bottles: Consider carrying a refillable one instead of buying plastic water bottles. Munich’s tap water is high quality and safe to drink, with numerous public drinking fountains around the city for refills.
Recycling: Make use of the well-organised recycling systems in Munich. You’ll find separate bins for different types of waste at your accommodation and in public areas.
Remember, sustainability starts with small, individual actions. Your mindful choices can contribute to a greener Christmas experience in Munich.
Munich Christmas Market 2023 starts on 27th November and ends on 24th December 2023.
Munich Christmas Market is located on Marienplatz. However, there are at least 8 Christmas markets in Munich that are worth visiting.
The Christmas market in Munich opens at 10am daily and closes at 9pm daily, except Sundays when it closes at 8pm and on Christmas Eve when it closes at 2pm.
The Christmas market in Munich closes at 9pm daily, except Sundays when it closes at 8pm and on Christmas Eve when it closes at 2pm.
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Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Munich, Germany. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.