The character of the Christmas Market
Advent spirit in the hustle & bustle of the city centre
Thanks to its centre location on Marienplatz and surrounded by numerous shops, the Munich Christmas Market is very popular and always filled with visitors - whether for a culinary delicacy during their lunch break, a shopping trip or a tourist attraction. And this is exactly what makes the market so special.
Tradition and handicrafts
Over a surface area of 20,000 square metres, the booths and craft stalls from numerous vendors stretch out from Marienplatz to the tower of the old town hall (Altes Rathaus), its inner courtyard (Prunkhof), along Kaufingerstraße and Neuhauserstraße to the Richard-Strauss-Brunnen and from Weinstraße to the Sternenplatzl at Rindermarkt.
The Christmas Market still retains its traditional Bavarian character, showing a variety of handmade items: The assortment ranges from ancient German Christmas decorations such as hand painted glass baubles, sheepskin jackets, nostalgic paper pictures and Third World Fair trade goods. The market vendors offer fresh chestnuts, “snowballs”, stollen and fruit cake, and brew their own berry mulled wine and herb liqueurs. Even the smallest “Zwetschgenmandl” (“plum-almonds” - figures made of dried fruit and nuts) are lovingly handmade.
Mulled wine and Advent music
Baked apples, gingerbread and more: There’s a range of culinary delicacies at the Christmas Market. Daily from 10am, the 160+ booths are open for visitors at the Munich Christmas Market. During the evening you can listen to Advent music in the evening, a glass of mulled wine in your hand - and really get into the mood for Christmas! The biggest attraction - literally - of the Christmas Market is the magnificent Christmas tree in front of the new town hall (Neues Rathaus): Around 2,500 candles lend the entire square a delightful Advent ambience. This year the large silver fir tree comes from the district of Weiler-Simmerberg-Ellhofen in the Allgäu.
A draw for both locals and tourists
Senior Mayor Dieter Reiter emphasises: “The offer is just as attractive for Munich residents as for tourists. There’s hardly a more atmospheric way to spend the pre-Christmas period in the heart of the city.”
The Department for Employment and the Economy (Referat für Arbeit und Wirtschaft or RAW) of the state capital of Munich is the organiser of the Munich Christmas Market. Its director, Josef Schmid explains: “Our Christmas Market is one of the largest and most well-known Christmas Markets in Germany. During the pre-Christmas period it contributes significantly to the appeal of Munich to visitors both in Germany and from abroad. But it is also a popular meeting place for Munich residents - to take a stroll, buy Christmas presents and simply to enjoy. It is important for us as event organisers that it remains such a good tradition,” emphasises Schmid.
The history of the market
The roots of this traditional market date back to the 14th century. However, it has been located on Marienplatz only since 1972. From then on, the Munich Christmas Market took its place at the centre of the metropolis on the river Isar. Today it is an essential element during Advent in Munich.