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The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich, Germany

May 11, 2024

Discover the ultimate Christmas Market travel guide for Munich, Germany in this post filled with helpful tips and must-see sights for a magical holiday experience!

If you are a lover of all things Christmas, you will most certainly want to add the Christmas markets in Munich, Germany to your bucket list!

Experience the enchantment of a winter wonderland as you step into the festive atmosphere of Munich during the Christmas market season.

In a rush?

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

The Little Details

How to Get to Munich

Begin your festive adventure in Munich, Germany, by catching a direct flight from many major US cities to Munich International Airport (MUC).

San Diego International Airport has two nonstop flights to Europe daily – one is with British Airways to London and the other is with Lufthansa to Munich.

So visiting the Christmas markets in Munich is a pretty simple route for us ;). It is between an 11-12 hour flight and in recent years, we have decided traveling in premium economy or business class is worth the cost to us because of the increased comfort experience.

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

One travel hack I have learned about in the last year is called the ‘cash upgrade’. This is often offered after purchasing your ticket in a lower class to then be offered a seat in the next airplane class.

For example – if I purchase a premium economy ticket on Lufthansa to Munich, after a few days if I go to my itinerary on the Lufthansa website and click the option to upgrade, I almost always have the option to upgrade to business class for a much lower rate than had I just purchased a business class ticket to start ;).

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

If you are already in continental Europe, getting to Munich via train is another easy option. Book direct on the Deutsch-bahn website here.

We used rail to travel from Munich to Nuremberg for the second stop on our Germany Christmas market vacation in December 2023.

How to Get Around Munich

Munich, Germany is a very walkable city. All of the main sights to see are located within a five mile radius.

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

However, if you decide not to walk anyplace, Uber is available in the city as well as an extensive bus, tram, and U-Bahn (subway) system. We did not use any method besides walking though ;).

How Many Days You Need in Munich

Having visited Europe often in the last decade, I have realized that the first stop on any itinerary needs to allow for the time change adjustment – ie jet lag.

That said, I try to never have any plans for the first full day on a trip so that we can catch up on sleep.

I have noticed too – you really don’t remember much of what you do on the first day of a trip with such a big time change (Munich is 9 hours later than San Diego) so not putting anything big on the plans makes a huge difference.

Since our flight arrived into Munich around 1pm local time, we were able to wander the area around our hotel to stretch our legs and grab some dinner before heading to bed.

Then we spent two full days exploring Munich plus an additional day to do a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle (more on that later) for a total of 3 days and 4 nights in Munich.

We felt this was the perfect amount of time to see all the major sights plus each of the Christmas markets at a nice easy pace.

Money and Plugs in Germany

In Germany, the currency used is the Euro (€), making it easy for you to shop and enjoy the festive delights of Munich’s Christmas markets.

I have noticed however that a handful of stalls at the markets are cash only (very very few but nonetheless – there are some!). So having about 200 Euros in cash on a trip is helpful for those instances.

You will find the best exchange rate if you strictly use a BANK ATM – not an exchange stand or a freestanding ATM.

I have also recently learned that when using your credit card and given the option to pay in local currency or your home currency – always choose local currency. This allows for your own bank to use the current exchange rate (so I am told anyway).

One more money tip while traveling abroad – be sure you have a credit card that does not charge foreign exchange fees because those can really add up ;0.

Germany uses the type f plug adapter – you can find the ones I use here.

Best Places to Stay in Munich

When visiting Munich for their Christmas markets – it really is all about location, location, location for where you stay. The sun is only out from about 9am-5pm and the markets stay open until around 8:30pm.

Therefore – be sure to stay within walking distance of Munich’s Old Town in order to fully appreciate and enjoy the festiveness of being in Germany during one of the best times of the year to visit ;).

The three properties listed below would be my suggestions for best places to stay while visiting Munich for their Christmas markets (as well as being the nicest 😉).

Rosewood Munich

The brand new Rosewood Munich provides the epitome of luxury and elegance in this Bavarian city.

Spanning two iconic buildings, the property is housed within the former Bavarian State Bank headquarters and the adjacent Palais Neuhaus-Preysing, originally an aristocratic residence.

We stayed here four nights in December 2023 shortly after the hotel opened and were treated to a lovely and relaxing stay.

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets
The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets
The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

Hotel Bayerischer Hof

Hotel Bayerischer Hof is a luxurious retreat nestled in the heart of the city, blending timeless elegance with modern comforts for an unforgettable stay.

Photos courtesy of Hotel Bayerischer Hof Instagram

Platzl Hotel

Nestled in the heart of Munich’s festive charm, the Platzl Hotel offers a cozy haven just steps away from the enchanting Christmas markets, blending Bavarian hospitality with modern comforts.

Photos courtesy of Platzl Hotel Instagram

Best Places to Eat in Munich

I always like to check out where TimeOut Magazine recommends in a city I am visiting.

But since we were visiting for the Christmas markets – the two places mentioned below are the only restaurants we actually sat down and had a meal at for our 3 day visit.

Schneider Bräuhaus

Where else in the world is wheat beer and white sausage for breakfast perfectly acceptable but in Germany?

My suggestion is to skip the touristy and extremely overcrowded Hofbrauhaus and head here instead.

Actually – I take that back – WALK through the extremely crowded (all tourists) Hofbrauhaus to see it and take a photo or two AND THEN eat at Schneider Brauhaus for a more authentic German atmosphere in a historic inn.

Odds are – there will be a table or two filled with members of a German oompah band that will provide music at some point or another during your meal here ;).

Their famous weisswurst is only available until 12 noon every day so be sure to get here (and be seated!) before then.

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets
The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

Augustiner am Dom

One of the best places in Old Town for a typical Bavarian meal – you will love the ambience and the festiveness in this popular spot. In summer it has one of the best outdoor beer gardens in town.

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

The Christmas Markets (obviously!)

Odds are you are reading this blog post because you are planning a trip to Munich for their Christmas markets (like we were!).

Thus the majority of our food intake was potato pancakes, sausages, and mulled wine at the various markets around town…

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets
The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets
The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets
The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

Top Things to See and Do in Munich

Munich Residenz

The Munich Residenz Museum allows you to walk the opulent halls where Bavarian monarchs and kings from German history have also walked and see treasures from years past.

While it is an option to purchase tickets for both the Residence museum and the Treasury, we opted to only visit the Residence during our visit.

Tickets are only available at the ticket booth and in December 2023 the cost was only 10 Euro per person but well worth at least an hour of your time while in Munich.

Plus it’s a beautiful place to get in from the cold for a bit ;).

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

Marienplatz and the Glockenspiel

Marienplatz in Munich is the bustling heart of the city with historic architecture and is where the main Christmas market is located from the end of November until December 24.

The Glockenspiel centrally located in the Marienplatz is a large mechanical clock adorned with colorful figurines that come to life to enact stories of Munich history at 11am and 12noon every day in December.

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets
The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

St Peter’s Church

St. Peter’s Church, one of the oldest churches in Munich, adds a touch of historical charm to any Christmas market visit in the Bavarian capital.

For just 5 Euro (paid at the church), you can climb the 306 steps for what is claimed to be one of the best views of Munich.

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets
The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

Frauenkirche

With its stunning Gothic architectural silhouette, Frauenkirche, Munich’s iconic cathedral, towers over the Marienplatz Christmas market, providing an iconic backdrop for all your photos ;).

There is also a tower you can visit in this church as well (buy tickets in the church gift shop). There will be 89 spiral staircase steps that lead you to a 4 person elevator that will bring you to the top. We did not do this activity so I cannot speak to if it is worth it ;0.

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

Watch Surfers at Eisbach River

The unique sight of surfers braving the chilly waters of the Eisbach River even in the midst of winter is one that will entertain you for a bit!

Use this link to find it on my Google Map ;).

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

Walk through Tucher Park

If you end up walking to Eisbach River to watch the surfers, make sure to take a stroll through Tucher Park and get some hot chocolate (or a cocktail!) at the bar just a short walk from the surfers ;).

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets
The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

Coming from Old Town, you will walk right past many Bavarian government buildings located in Hofgarten mentioned below.

Viktualienmarkt

Viktualienmarkt, located in the heart of Munich, is a bustling open-air market offering a delightful array of local produce, artisanal goods, and traditional Bavarian treats, making it a festive destination during the Christmas season.

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets
The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

St Johannes Nepomuk Church (Asamkirche)

St. Johannes Nepomuk Church is a serene escape from the bustling city streets of Munich offering a moment of quiet reflection amidst the festive chaos.

Its Baroque architecture and tranquil atmosphere can be found right in the middle of a major shopping street in Munich, Sendlinger Strasse which makes it easy enough for a quick stop.

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets
The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

Sendlinger Tor and Strasse

Sendlinger Tor is a historic city gate in Munich, serving as a picturesque entrance to one of the city’s smaller Christmas markets.

The gate is one of three remaining Gothic town gates from the medieval period of Munich’s history.

Sendlinger Strasse is located on the Old Town side of the gate with many shops to stroll through – but my favorite is the Haribo gummy bear shop!!

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets
The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

Odeonsplatz

Marking the start of the popular Ludwigstrasse, Odeonsplatz is known as one of Munich’s most beautiful squares.

With the bright yellow facade of Theaterinkirche and the Munich Residenz mentioned above located in this square – it will be one you can’t miss even if you try ;).

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

Hofgarten

Offering a picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll amidst historic and important Bavarian buildings, Hofgarten is a must stop – even in the cold of winter – and was honestly one of my favorite places in Munich (besides the markets of course!).

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets
The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

With multiple markets around the city, the two most popular markets are located in Marienplatz at Munich Residenz.

Something to take note of is WHEN the markets open as we discovered last year that many do not open until the first weekend of Advent.

In 2024, the Marienplatz Christkindlmarkt will be open on Monday November 25th until Christmas Day.

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets
The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

Located in the courtyard of the Royal Palace, this was the first German Christmas market we ever visited AND IT SNOWED so of course it will hold a special place in our hearts ❤️.

One thing to note though, this small Christmas market can get crowded in the evenings and is also closed on Dead Sunday, a German religious holiday honoring the deceased on the last Sunday of the church year before Advent starts.

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets
The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets
The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

Located in the previously mentioned open air food market, this much smaller Christmas market is fun to wander through and of course – sample the Gluhwein – a Christmas market must do!!

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

A Flytographer Photo Shoot

I mean – really – if you know me at all – you know this is a MUST DO for us when we travel.

But it is ESPECIALLY romantic when you do a photo shoot in one of the most Christmasy places in the world :).

You can save $25 on your first photo shoot with code ‘PASHAISHOME’ here.

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets
The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets
The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

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Our Germany Itinerary Day to Day Overview

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

DAY 1 | Leave for Munich from San Diego on Lufthansa nonstop

DAY 2 | Arrival in Munich at 1pm local time, check in to Rosewood Munich, eat dinner at Residenz Christmas Village

DAY 3 | Munich: Marienplatz, lunch at Schneider Brauhaus, walk to Eisbach River to watch surfers, Tucher Park, tour Residenz Palace Museum, dinner at Augustiner am Dom

DAY 4 | Munich: Flytographer photo shoot, Glockenspiel show, Sendlinger Tor, Asamkirche, St Peter’s Church, Viktualienmarkt, dinner at Marienplatz Christkindlmarkt

DAY 5 | Day trip from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle and Fussen

DAY 6 | Travel via train to Nuremberg (1 hour)

DAY 7 | Nuremberg

DAY 8 | Day trip from Nuremberg to Rothenburg ob der Tauber

DAY 9 | Nuremberg

DAY 10 | Bonus day in Nuremberg due to blizzard closing Munich airport

DAY 11 | Fly home to San Diego from Munich

What to Wear in Munich in December

Because the majority of your time will be spent outdoors and often times in the evening once the sun goes down and it is much colder, I would suggest a warm coat, hats, scarves, mittens, etc!

I bought this red coat that I felt so festive in when I wore it however on the days that dipped below 30° – I was definitely in my warmer parka ;).

This cheery red windowpane scarf was a favorite too – especially since my cold weather accessories are really all that can be seen in any photos we took ;0.

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

I hope this travel guide for Munich Germany Christmas markets has gotten you excited for your own German Christmas market vacation ;).

Visiting Munich’s winter wonderland allows you to the experience the enchanting charm at its vibrant Christmas markets, brimming with festive delights and Bavarian hospitality.

Did you find this post useful? Pin it to your boards – just click the Pin button in the upper right corner!

The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets
The Ultimate Christmas Market Travel Guide for Munich Germany | What to see and do in Munich at Christmas | Where to stay in Munich | Where to eat in Munich | Everything you need to know to visit the Munich Christmas Markets

Oh Christmas isn’t just a day,

It’s a frame of mind.

~ Miracle on 34th Street

Don’t miss any of my tips, inspiration, or stories by following me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

As always, I love hearing from you!!

I make every effort to reply to every comment below. But if for some reason I missed it – please feel free to contact me here.

Have a wonderful day my friend! I hope something makes you smile today ;).

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