Christmas markets are a long-standing tradition in Europe and there is no better place to get into the Christmas spirit than a Weihnachtsmarkt. The smell of Glühwein (mulled wine), grilled sausages, melted cheese, roasted almonds and fresh pastries under the twinkling lights, makes you feel like you’re on the set of a Hallmark Christmas movie.
I have been living in Munich for a year and a half now and the Christmas markets have been one of the highlights of my experience on this side of the pond. Every year around the end of November, the city becomes the most festive place I have ever seen. Every square in the city is decorated into a beautiful Christmas market. The traditional Munich Weihnachtsmarkt features stalls full of handmade crafts, homemade treats, the most delicious original bavarian food, intricate woodwork, captivating glass art and all the lace you can imagine. You can spend hours strolling through the different squares looking at all the amazing artwork and trying all the sweet and salty goods.
However, there isn’t just one type of Christmas market in Munich. Apart from the traditional German Weihnachtsmarkt, you have medieval markets and multicultural markets with flavours from around the world. Each unique market transports you to a magical place. The biggest market in Munich is called the Tollwood Festival. This Weihnachtsmarkt takes place on the grounds of the famous Oktoberfest, so you can imagine how extravagant it is. There are giant tents with food and drinks from around the world as well as many different craft booths with handmade goods from Africa, Norway and everywhere in between. Its music, lights, entertainment and stunning art displays are a must-see while in the city.
If you ever happen to be at a German Weihnachtsmarkt, here are some things you need to try: Feuerzagenbowle (mulled wine with a rum-soaked sugar cube set on fire), Glühwein (traditional mulled wine and you can keep the mug as a souvenir for a small price), German wursts in bun, roasted and candied nut, waffles, chocolate-covered fruit, and chimney cakes.
Without fail, the Christmas markets are open at the end of November every afternoon through the evening leading up to Christmas. Taking in the festive sights and smells all while surrounded by some of the most historic buildings in the world, is such a special experience. I can without a doubt recommend putting “Visit a European Christmas market” on your bucket list.
Check out photos from a German Christmas market: