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December 2007

Christmas Markets

Some well-organized Münchner finish their seasonal shopping long before December, all in order to avoid the overcrowded Christmas markets. Perhaps they just don’t know what they’re missing. The markets appearing throughout the city cannot be summarized simply as rows of booths offering Glühwein, fried sausages and Christmas knickknacks. Each market has its individual flair. Here are a few options for exploring Munich’s Christmas markets:
The Christkindlmarkt on Marienplatz is the largest, most commercial and oldest of all the markets. Each Sunday during the market season, there will be free guided tours exploring the Christkindlmarkt’s historic roots back to 1642, starting at 4:30 pm from the tall Christmas tree in front of the City Hall. Located a block away from Marienplatz on the Rindermarkt is the Kripperlmarkt, which offers Germany’s largest selection of crèches. The Christkindlmarkt and the Kripperlmarkt will run from December 1 to 23, Monday through Friday, 10 am to 8:30 pm, Saturday, 9 am to 8:30 pm, and Sunday, 10 am to 7:30 pm. Alpine Advent music will ring daily at 5:30 pm from the balcony of City Hall.
The Christmas market at Sendlinger Tor is only a short walk from the city center. There, from November 30 to December 22, 40 exhibitors will display international goods, from Indian craftwork to Murano glassware. The wind ensemble “Munich Blind Musicians” will play four concerts of traditional Christmas music and jazz tunes. Mondays and Thursdays at 3 pm and 4 pm, a puppet theater will perform for children. The market at Sendlinger Tor will be open daily from 10:30 am to 9 pm. For more information, see
The Haidhauser Weihnachtsmarkt at Weissenburgerplatz is a good place to shop while mingling in the market’s local atmosphere. From December 1 to 24, the market will be open daily from 11 am to 8:30 pm, and until 9 pm on Fridays. On weekdays from 11 am to 3 pm, stands will offer “heavenly discounts” on goods. For more information, see
From December 1 to 23, the beer-benches surrounding the Chinesischer Turm will make way for Munich’s most romantic Christmas market. Remote from the chaos of the city center, the market offers everything from gastronomic specialties to fancy giftware. A wonderful highlight for children is the nostalgic wooden merry-go-round. The market’s opening hours are Monday through Friday, 12 pm to 8:30 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 11 am to 8:30 pm.
The Schwabinger Weihnachtsmarkt at Münchner Freiheit is also known as the artists’ market. From modern goldsmith artistry to local fashion design, the market represents Schwabing’s lively arts and crafts scene. Diverse offerings of music, kids’ activities and international food also set the Schwabinger Weihnachtsmarkt apart from the other markets. For a full listing of all events, see The market will be open from December 1 to 24, weekdays from 12 pm to 8:30 pm, and weekends from 11 am to 8:30 pm.
For something completely different, visit the medieval market on Wittelsbacherplatz, open November 29 to December 30, 11 am to 8 pm. Gothic stalls and Celtic arcades will replicate a medieval village. Flammbrot (a flat, hot bread with topping) and mead give a taste of ancient times, and on weekends, musicians, dancers, jesters and jugglers will revive the culture of the Middle Ages. For a schedule of performances, see <<<

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