Munich’s Weihnachtsmärkte: Christmas has never felt so right!
by Heidi Obermeyer
It’s getting close enough to Christmas that I’ve decided I can finally say that I have a favorite Christmas market location. Since the start of this wondrous season, I’ve been to Berlin, Nürnburg, and Prague, and the truth is just too easy- the best Christmas-y city, hands-down, is Munich. I’m sitting here listening to this playlist from 8tracks, and not only am I in the perfect Christmas mood, I’m in it 5,000 miles away from the majority of my friends and family! That definitely says something about the Christmas spirit in this town.
Munich is big enough to have multiple, relatively distinct neighborhoods, and hence, multiple, relatively distinct Weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas markets). From Marienplatz to the Englischer Garten, there’s literally something for everyone. Not that many changes need to be made from the basic theme- who doesn’t want a place to get something nice to eat or drink while doing their holiday shopping?!
Your basic Christmas market includes food stands selling Wursts, sweets, Lebkuchen, and perhaps some kebabs of some kind. You then mix the food in with an equal amount of Glühwein stands and handicraft stalls and Voilá! A Christmas Market! It’s made even better by the general atmosphere of good will towards men, cheer, and, you know, great health in the new year and stuff. Whatever. Time for some Glühwein!
We’ll start off our Munich Weihnachtsmarkt tour in Marienplatz. Ahh! Christmas in the air! Glühwein, the Rathaus (always gorgeous) and a 4-story Christmas tree! Drink in that holiday air!
Most of the stuff available for sale at the Weihnachtsmärkte is really classic Christmas decorations, such as these wheat wreaths. Say that one five times fast!
Said classic Christmas decor also includes these fantastic wooden ornaments. This one is one of my favorites so far! I might have to splurge and get one at some point here. Only a week left to decide!
This Glühwein stand was made up to look like an elaborate candle holder. As the candles “burn” (in the real, smaller ones there’s real candles. If these ones were real they’d be more like torches. Giant, fiery torches. What a great combo with a large number of merrily drunk people!) the fans above catch the heat and the figures inside spin.
Now we’re over near Odeonsplatz at the medieval themed Christmas market. Yeah, you heard me right. It’s like a Christmas-themed renaissance fair, including a bunch of people dressed for the occasion. This woman’s pelt was quite classy. Fashion + Function.
Odeonsplatz also plays host to a Christmas tree market! Many Germans don’t set up their tree until the 24th, which is also when they celebrate and open gifts. I’m really looking forward to doing a really German Christmas with my family here.
Schwabing’s Weihnachtsmarkt was a little disappointing in my opinion. It was much more modern than the other’s I’ve visited around the city and I must say… why try to change a classic? Here’s a “modern” Glühwein stand. Nope. It’s just not the same! There were also lots of hippie-like craft stands that were very strangely reminiscent of Boulder. Creek fest, anyone?
And to end the tour, here’s me reflected in an ornament with the Rathaus in the background. Hope you guys didn’t get too tired with all that walking around! You were surprised by how close all the U-bahn stations are though, right? Me too, the first time.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed your Weihnachtsmärkte tour! I’m hoping to get to them again a few times this week before heading to Oberstaufen for Christmas. Hope everyone got home safely after finals at CU and I miss all you guys back home!