Best Christmas Markets in Munich (2020 guide)

munich christmas markets

The most complete guide to the best Munich Christmas markets 2020 (including the best hotels to stay, market opening times, locations and a map).

munich christmas markets

The Christmas market in Munich is not only one of the best in Germany, but also one of the oldest. Dating from the 14th century, it’s a centuries-old tradition (and a really nice one)! Initially, it was known as Nikolausmarkt, then in the 19th century, renamed to Christkindlmarkt.

Visiting Munich for the first time?
Check out my guide on how to spend 2 days in Munich. It covers all the must-see attractions (plus the best places to eat).

Its location also changed several times during the centuries. However, since 1972, it occupies the central city square, Marienplatz, making it even more beautiful.

Besides the Christkindlmarkt on Marienplatz, you can find smaller ones all over the city. This guide covers the most popular and unique Christmas markets in the beautiful city of Munich.

Where is Munich Christmas market located

Munich is home to more than 10 markets and the main one is at Marienplatz. The rest (at least the most popular ones) are located within the Old Town, making them easy to reach in just a few minutes. Sometimes it’s even hard to distinguish one from another, as where one market ends, another begins.

For those who look for more markets (off the beaten path), you’ll find them outside the Old Town. If you want to explore them, I’d suggest you buy a Group Day Ticket. It’s valid for a group of 2 up to 5 persons, and it’s a real deal. 

You can find a handy map of all the markets at the end of the article.

And if you’re arriving from Munich airport, you’ll be surprised by a Christmas market in the middle of the airport!


The best Munich Christmas markets in 2020 are:

  • Christkindlmarkt Marienplatz
  • Christmas Village at the Munich Residenz
  • Medieval Christmas Market
  • Rindermarkt
  • Sendlinger Tor
  • Pink Christmas Market

munich christmas tree

When do Munich Christmas markets start

The main market at Marienplatz starts on 23 November and ends on Christmas Eve around noon. The smaller ones usually start a few days later and continue till 24 December.

Are Munich Christmas markets open on Sunday?
Yes, all of them are open on Sunday with standard working hours.

Is there any market after Christmas?
No, all of them close on 24 December. The only exception is the Fairytale Market that continues until 29 December. However, it’s not a traditional one, it’s more like a fair. 

Munich Christmas markets dates 2020
From 23 November 2020 to 24 December 2020
Daily from 12:00 PM to 08:00 PM (most of them)

For more details check each market’s opening times (below in the post).

The best hotels near Munich Christmas market

The best area to stay in Munich for the Christmas markets is in the Old Town, near Marienplatz. In this way, you’d be at a walking distance to 6 main markets. Avoid staying near the Central train station, the area is not nice.

My favourite place to stay in Munich is Mercure Hotel Altstadt. It’s the perfect base to explore the Christmas markets (in the historic centre, near the Marienplatz and the metro).

Find out more in my in-depth guide to where to stay in Munich.


Platzl Hotel – Best for couples

This boutique hotel next to Marienplatz, offers a great spa area and 16th-century restaurant. Awesome breakfast with local and international products.
Why book – ideal location for Christmas markets, breakfast includes fresh honeycomb and home-made pancakes


Hotel Torbräu – Best for families

This first-class hotel is right in the heart of the historic centre, at a walking distance to everything. Spacious and comfy rooms with a traditional ambience. Private parking and a restaurant on site.
Why book – great location for Christmas markets, sightseeing and transport links, spacious rooms


Bayerischer Hof – Luxury option

A luxurious, historic hotel, conveniently located close to everything. Bayerischer Hof features 5 gourmet restaurants, 6 bars, a beauty salon and spa with a rooftop pool. The perfect place for a special holiday in December!
Why book – ideal location for shopping and tourism, excellent spa with rooftop pool


Check out the best hotel deals (winter 2020)
Booking.com

Which is the best Christmas market in Munich

Christmas market at Marienplatz

Christmas market at Marienplatz

If you have time only for one, visit the Christmas market at Marienplatz (Münchner Christkindlmarkt in German). Marienplatz is the city’s main square and the most lively place, especially in December.

Featuring more than 150 wooden stalls, this is the largest market in the city. And the backdrop is more than perfect – an impressive Gothic Town Hall, festively illuminated in the evenings. A huge Christmas tree, decorated with 3,000 sparkling lights, creates a fairytale ambience.

The wooden huts offer all kinds of Christmas sweet treats, delightful snacks and handmade crafts. This is the place to try Lebkuchen (traditional German gingerbread), as here you’ll find an enormous variety. Then get a glass of mulled wine and enjoy the magical atmosphere.

If you look for unique Christmas ornaments, you’ll find them here.

As you can imagine, because of being so popular, this is also the most touristy and crowded market. So get there early, around 5-6 PM, before getting really busy. Plus, if you go early, you can enjoy some Advent music (played daily at 5:30 PM from the balcony of the Town Hall).

And if you venture into the courtyard of the Town Hall, you’ll find a Christmas Post office. From here, you can send a letter (stamped with the original “Christkindl” stamp) to your friends and family. The post office is open daily (27 November – 15 December) from 12:00 PM to 06:00 PM.

Münchner Christkindlmarkt Opening times
From 23 November 2020 to 24 December 2020
Address: Marienplatz and Kaufingerstraße, 80331 München

Top 5 Christmas markets in Munich 2020

This is my top 5 list of the best Christmas markets in Munich. I’d recommend you to visit all of them, as each is unique and worth the time. All markets are conveniently located within the Old Town.

Christmas Village at the Munich Residenz

Christmas Village Munich Residenz

Nothing can be more magical than a Christmas village, set in a courtyard of a palace. Weihnachtsdorf im Kaiserhof der Residenz (in German) is a small market, featuring a cosy Alpine atmosphere.

The wooden stalls are stocked with local artisan products and authentic Bavarian Christmas tree decorations. There is even a special kids section with animated life-size stuffed animals telling stories!

And while you’re in the area, don’t miss to tour the palace itself. This former royal palace is the largest city palace in Germany. You’ll need at least 3-4 hours to see it all.

Weihnachtsdorf im Kaiserhof der Residenz Opening times
From 21 November to 22 December
(please note that the dates for 2020 are yet to be announced)
Address: Courtyard, Residenzstrasse 1 (right next to Odeonsplatz)
dasweihnachtsdorf.de

Medieval Christmas Market

Mittelaltermarkt

Mittelaltermarkt (in German) is the place to go if you look for an authentic experience. It recreates the atmosphere of a real German market from the Middles Ages.

In the hand-carved wooden stalls you’ll find merchants in medieval costumes selling quality craft products, jewellery, ceramics, clothing, etc. All from the medieval period.

This is where you’ll find the best mulled wine in all of Munich. It is made following an ancient recipe, boiled in a cauldron. You can find it under the name of Würzwein (spiced wine) or Drachenglut (dragon’s blood). Served in clay goblets, it really adds to the medieval atmosphere.

And my last tip is to try the food in any case! The sausages and bread are roasted on open beechwood fires, making them more than delicious.

Mittelaltermarkt Opening times
From 25 November to 23 December
(please note that the dates for 2020 are yet to be announced)
Address: Wittelsbacherplatz, 80333 München 
mittelaltermarkt-muenchen.de

Rindermarkt Christmas market

Rindermarkt

This little market is just a few minutes away from the Marienplatz. A gigantic Christmas Pyramid and star-shaped twinkle lights create a cosy atmosphere.

And while the Christkindlmarkt at Marienplatz is great to taste some sweet delights, this is the place for savoury options. The crowds are thinner and you can actually find a spot to enjoy your meal. This is almost impossible in the main market. Don’t miss the sandwiches with flame-roasted salmon.

Sternenplatzl am Rindermarkt Opening times
From 23 November to 24 December
(please note that the dates for 2020 are yet to be announced)
Address: Rindermarkt 7, 80331 München

Sendlinger Tor Christmas Market

Christkindlmarkt am Sendlinger Tor

This market is held at one of the few remaining gates from the medieval city walls. Although traditionally decorated in Bavarian style, it will surprise you with goods from all over the world.

You can even find glass from Murano, Indian handicrafts and cribs from Peru! A perfect place if you’re looking for a non-traditional gift.

Christkindlmarkt am Sendlinger Tor Opening times
From 23 November to 22 December
(please note that dates for 2020 are yet to be announced)
Address: Sendlinger-Tor-Platz 12, 80331 München
sendlinger-tor.com

Pink Christmas Market

Pink Christmas Market

For an alternative vibe, visit the Pink market. As its name suggests, it is decorated in 50 shades of pink and purple. A real pink fairytale!

It’s a small, but unique place and there is nothing traditional in it. The Pink Christmas market is organized by the LGBT community of the city, but welcomes all visitors.

Evenings are very lively, full of drag queen shows and cabaret performances. Enjoy a glass of mulled wine, while you’re looking for quirky gifts under the pink lights.

Pink Christmas Market Opening times
From 25 November to 22 December
(please note that the dates for 2020 are yet to be announced)
Address: Stephansplatz, 80337 München 
pink-christmas.de

More Munich Christmas markets

If you look for less touristy and off the beaten markets, check out below. Located outside the Old Town, they have a more local feeling.

Neuhauser Christmas market

Neuhauser Weihnachtsmarkt

This is a great stop on your way back to the city centre after a visit to Nymphenburg Palace. Located on Rotkreuzplatz, just outside the metro station, this small picturesque market is not to be missed.

The wooden huts are fully stocked with music boxes, glass artworks, wood carvings and semi-precious stones. A live music every day after 5:30 PM adds to the festive atmosphere.

Neuhauser Weihnachtsmarkt Opening hours
From 28 November to 23 December
(please note that the dates for 2020 are yet to be announced)
Address: Rotkreuzplatz 2, 80634 Munich
weihnachtsmarkt-muenchen-neuhausen.de

Chinese Tower Christmas market

The English Garden is one of the city’s largest parks. In the summer months, the place is popular for its huge beer garden, located at the bottom of the Chinese Tower.

However, every Advent season, the English Garden gets a new life. The area is transformed into winter fairytale, featuring nostalgic carousel and curling rings. There are even horse-drawn carriage rides (starting point at the Chinese Tower)!

Weihnachtsmarkt am Chinesischen Turm Opening hours
From 28 November to 23 December
From Monday to Friday – 12:00 PM to 08:30 PM
Saturdays and Sundays – 11:00 AM to 08:30 PM
(please note that the dates for 2020 are yet to be announced)
Address: Englischer Garten 3, 80538 München
weihnachtsmarkt-chinaturm.de

Haidhausen Christmas Market

christmas decorations

Located at Weißenburger Platz in the French quarter, this small market features an intimate and relaxed atmosphere. The beautiful square is transformed into a magical fairytale with hundreds of sparkling lights. Balloon artists and puppet shows are there to entertain the little ones!

Don’t miss to try the Christmator, a beer brewed specially for Haidhauser Weihnachtsmarkt!

Haidhauser Weihnachtsmarkt Opening hours
From 26 November to 24 December
Daily from 11:00 AM to 08:30 PM
On Christmas Eve – 10:00 AM to 02:00 PM
(please note that the dates for 2020 are yet to be announced)
Address: Weißenburger Platz, 81667 München
haidhauser-weihnachtsmarkt.de

The Fairytale Market

Tired from all the traditional Christmas markets in Munich? Then this one is for you. The atmosphere is less Christmas with an alternative vibe and looks more like a typical fair.

The booths offer a wide range of international culinary options, including vegan doner, exotic Indian meals and of course the classic Bratwurst.

And the best part – it’s open on Christmas day!

Märchenbazar Opening hours
From 28 November to 29 December
Daily from 04:00 PM to 11:00 PM (closed on Christmas Eve)
(please note that the dates for 2020 are yet to be announced)
Address: Leonrodplatz, Dachauer Straße 114, 80337 München

Schwabing Christmas Market

Schwabinger Weihnachtsmarkt is a must for every art lover. It features dozens of artists from all over Germany. Take your time and enjoy the art tents, abstract sculptures and various performances.

Schwabinger Weihnachtsmarkt Opening hours
From 29 November 2020 to 24 December 2020
From Monday to Friday – 12:00 PM to 08:30 PM
Saturdays and Sundays – 11:00 AM to 08:30 PM
24th December – 11:00 AM to 02:00 PM
Address: Münchner Freiheit, 80802 München
schwabingerweihnachtsmarkt.de

christmas stalls

Munich Christmas market food

One of the best parts of visiting any market is trying the food and especially local specialities. So, here are the top 8 Christmas markets foods that you have to try in Munich.

Feuerzangenbowle

Let’s start with the drinks. I guess you’re probably already familiar with the popular drink called Glühwein. It’s mulled wine with spices. Usually, you can add a shot of rum or amaretto to make it stronger.

However, here in Bavaria, besides the standard version, you can find the so-called Feuerzangenbowle. It’s a mulled wine, topped with a sugar cube soaked in rum and then lit on fire.

My tip: Try the Glühwein (known as Dragenblut) with a shot of amaretto at the Medieval Christmas Market.

Feuerzangenbowle

Wurst

You’re in Germany, so you will be surrounded by the sausages in all kinds and sizes. Don’t judge by their size and look for the smallest ones. They are called Nürnberger Rostbratwursts and they are super tasty! Usually served in groups of 3 in a bun, it’s the perfect addition to a glass of Glühwein.

My tip: Taste the Nürnberger Rostbratwursts at the Medieval Christmas Market (again).

Flame roasted salmon

This flame-roasted salmon was one of the best I’ve tried in my life. Garnished with cabbage salad and served in a bun, it is to die for!

My tip: You’ll find these salmon hamburgers at Rindermarkt market.

Flame roasted salmon

Elisenlebkuchen

If you like gingerbread, you’ll fall in love with the Elisenlebkuchen. These soft round gingerbread cookies are baked on top of a thin wafer paper and topped with chocolate or icing. And they contain little to no flour!

My tip: Buy some from the Christkindlmarkt on Marienplatz. Here you’ll find the widest variety.

Elisenlebkuchen

Stollen

It’s a sweet bread with a filling of dried fruits, nuts, poppyseeds and marzipan. Yummy! It’s one of my favourite Christmas treats.

Where to find it? Again, Marienplatz is the place to go.

Stollen

Kokosmakronen

This is coconut macaroon (cookie), a must-eat if you like coconuts. Usually, you’ll find them at the stalls that sell Elisenlebkuchen.

Schneebälle

It’s a shortcrust pastry shaped like a snowball, covered in chocolate and nuts.

Schneebälle

Marzipan

Marzipan is primarily made of sugar and ground almonds. You’ll find it everywhere, cut into thin coloured slices, each individually packed.

Marzipan

What to do in Munich in December

Wintertollwood Festival

If you ever wanted to go to Oktoberfest, Wintertollwood Festival is your chance. Held on the same grounds as the famous festival, Wintertollwood can be described as its smaller brother. It’s like a Christmas themed Octoberfest.

The festival takes place from 26 November and ends with a New Year’s Eve party. On 24 December the festival grounds are closed.

You’ll find goods and foods from all over the world. Live stage performances ensure a good mood throughout the whole evening.

Location: Theresienwiese, 80336 München
tollwood.de

Drink a glass of Feuerzangenbowle

Although you can try this legendary drink at every market, I’d suggest you going to Isartor gate. Here you’ll find booths specialized in preparing the queen of the winter drinks, Feuerzangenbowle. You can even buy Feuerzangenbowle bottles to take back home.

Opening hours
From 23 November 2020 to 6 January 2021
Daily – from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM
24 December – from 11:00 AM to 02:00 PM
New Year’s Eve – from 11:00 AM – open end
Address: Tal 50, 80331 München
muenchner-feuerzangenbowle.de

Feuerzangenbowle

Take the Christmas tram

If it’s too cold outside, take the Christmas tram and enjoy a ride around the city while drinking some Glühwein.

You can take the tram from Sendlinger Tor (the journey lasts about 35min). The trams run on the hour and a half-hour from 3 PM to 7:30 PM. During the weekends – from 11:30 AM (more info here).

Visit the most famous brewery in Munich

If you’re tired of drinking wine, or it’s just not your thing, take a walking beer tour. Discover the city’s legendary beer-making history while visiting several beer halls, including the world-famous Hofbräuhaus.

munich at christmas

Enjoy a concert at Munich Residenz

Enjoy a classical concert in the Hofkapelle at Munich Residenz, where Mozart himself used to play. The concert program includes masterpieces by Bach, Vivaldi, Handel and Mozart.

You can book tickets for the concert here.

Visit Neuschwanstein Castle

No trip to Munich is complete without seeing Neuschwanstein Castle. It’s one of the most famous castles not only in Germany but in all of Europe.

Getting there is a little tricky, especially in the winter. So, I’d recommend you taking this day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle. It’s excellently organized (plus, the tour also includes the Linderhof Castle).

More popular tours

How to get to Munich Christmas markets

By train

The Munich Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) is less than 500m away from the Old Town. Check timetables and book tickets online at Deutsche Bahn official site.

By air

Munich Airport (MUC) is located about 30km away from the city. The easiest way to get to the city centre is by booking a private transfer directly to your hotel. I love Welcome Pickups because they are always on time and very helpful.

Another option is by train. The S-Bahn lines (S1 and S8) connect the airport to the city centre at 10-minute intervals. The journey is approximately 35min.

For the best flight deals check out Lufthansa official site (it’s the largest German airline).

The low-cost airlines, Wizzair and Ryanair, fly to Memmingen Airport, known as Allgäu Airport Memmingen (FMM). From there you can take the Allgäu Airport Express to Munich (journey time about 1h20min). Another option is FlixBus (same journey time, cheaper in most cases).

Munich Christmas markets map

To help you navigate, I made this map with all the markets. You can use it during your trip, you only need internet access.

The popular markets are marked in dark red, the rest – in light red.

The best Christmas market near Munich

Nuremberg Christmas market

Nuremberg Christmas market

Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt is one of the most famous and oldest in Germany. It’s a must-see if you’re in the area.

Find everything you need to know in my guide to the best Nuremberg Christmas markets (including opening times, locations and must-eat food).

You can do it on a day trip from Munich. There are regular trains and the journey is about 1h.

Yet, if you aren’t short on time, I’d recommend you spend at least 1 night in Nuremberg. There is a lot to see!

Dachau Christmas market

Dachau Christkindlmarkt

Dachau is infamous with its concentration camp. However, a lesser-known fact is that there is a Christmas market and a palace in the city! As the concentration camp is situated far from the city centre, most of the tourists never even bother to go there.

You’ll find Dachau Christkindlmarkt in front of the Town Hall. It is small, cosy and it features the largest advent calendar in all of Bavaria! So, if you’re visiting the concentration camp, take your time and make your way to the lovely Old Town of Dachau.

Dachau Christkindlmarkt Opening hours
From 29 November to 23 December
(please note that the dates for 2020 are yet to be announced)
From Monday to Friday – 03:00 PM – 08:30 PM
Saturday and Sunday – 12:00 PM – 08:30 PM
Address: Konrad-Adenauer-Straße 2, 85221, Dachau
christkindlmarkt-dachau.de

Munich Airport Christmas market

Munich Airport Christmas market

If you’re arriving by air, you’ll be put in a holiday mood as soon as you get off of your plane. And the reason for this is that there is a Christmas market at the airport! Not every airport can boast with such a thing.

The Wintermarkt features a pine forest with a big ice-rink and over 40 stands. It’s perfect for a glass of mulled wine before your flight back home.

Weihnachts- und Wintermarkt Opening hours
From 13 November 2020 to 30 December 2020
Daily – from 11:00 AM to 09:00 PM
24 December – until 05:00 PM
Address: MAC-Forum, Terminalstraße Mitte 18, 85356 München-Flughafen
munich-airport.com


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About the author
Avatar Milena Yordanova
I'm a travel blogger based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Travelling has always been my passion and I love to discover new places and cultures. I want to show you how easy it is to organize your vacation all by yourself.

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