Munich’s Non-traditional Christmas Markets

By |2017-11-04T22:26:41+00:00December 10th, 2016|Europe, Germany, Munich, Recent Post|34 Comments

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Wind nips at rosy noses, peaking over woolen scarves. They surface just long enough for thirsty shoppers to sip hearty Glühwein, steaming from adorable mugs. The soft snow lands on the glowing thatched roofs of the merry venders. Everyone is smiling and laughing as they meander among the Munich Christmas markets. A warm feeling of happiness, or as the Germans say – Gemütlichkeit, spreads through the market. Deep down, the anticipation of Christmas day is bubbling. It is undeniable that Munich Christmas markets are the best place in the world to experience this warm feeling of good tidings and cheer.

Munich Christmas Markets

Traditional Christmas markets are the heart and soul of the German Christmas season. However, with over 12 markets to explore, Munich offers a wide array of unique Christmas markets that are unlike anywhere else in the world! The traditional over-crowded markets can quickly get old, often selling the exact same cheaply made trinkets vender after vender. If you stray a bit from the beaten path you will find charming markets that are sustainable, hosting a wide array of handcrafted and high-quality gifts from around the world, medieval period vendors and even a fabulous pink LBGTQI friendly market, complete with drag shows!

Non-traditional Munich Christmas Markets

Tollwood Winter Festival

Munich Christmas Market Tollwood 1

The centerpiece for this Munich Christmas market isn’t your conventional Christmas tree. A huge tree-shaped tower of recycled bicycles lights up the market as you meander the vendors. The tree is powered by human energy, so festival-goers pedal as fast as they can to light up the night. You may have guessed, this is the sustainable and somewhat hippy Christmas market. Every year the Tollwood Winter Festival highlights a different environmental or social issue and combines it with the cheer of the holidays. The theme of 2016 was sustainable mobility, so there was plenty of art involving bikes, old tires and repurposed junk cars. The sustainable art isn’t the only highlight as you’ll find a forest beer garden, handmade crafts from locals and global vendors, a vegan food court, a music tent and yes, even your beloved Glühwein. This festival is located in the Oktoberfest beer grounds, so it’s HUGE and full of unique things you won’t find in any other market in the world!

Theresienwiese, 80336 München
Tollwood Winter Festival

Munich’s Medieval Christmas Market

Munich Christmas Market Medieval 1

Grab your period garb and get ready to drink flaming Glühwein out of a hand cast goblet! This is one of Munich’s smaller markets, but every vendor – food and gifts fit the medieval theme, making it a jovial experience for everyone. Make your first stop the Feuerezangen Bowle (flaming Glühwein) where you will sip warm mulled wine out of a unique goblet. Don’t freak out over the price, as more than 10 euros is the “pfand” or return price for the goblet. Traditional oil-burning torches provide a warm ambiance for the market. The shops are unlike any other Munich Christmas market and you’ll find vintage swords, armor, hand sewn cloaks and leather masquerade masks. The food is all cooked on open iron oven grills adding to the authenticity. I found it hard not to wander around in absolute awe of the intricate details in this market.

Munich Christmas Market Medieval

Munich Christmas Market Medieval 1

Munich Christmas Market Medieval

Wittelsbacherpl., 80333 München

Schwabing Munich Christmas Market

Munich Christmas Market

Located in the hip university district, this market is similar to Tollwood, except this Munich Christmas market focus on the crafty artists. Charming lanterns hang above your head and you meander the local and global artist’s work. Don’t miss the Art Tent which features large art pieces that make amazing gifts for the crafty person on your list that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

Münchner Freiheit, Marktleitung Bude 502 (Nina Thorp), 80802 München
12-8:30pm most days in December

Pink Munich Christmas Market

Munich Christmas Market Pink

Everyone belongs at Munich’s only LBGTQI friendly market. The Pink market is nestled in the heart of the LBGTQI district Glockenback, so even after you explore the market you’ll be right at home among like-minded people. The theme is pink, so be ready to be dazzled by glittering pink lights, flashy drag shows, hip DJs and cabarets. This market is small, but it is not short on love and cheer.

Thalkirchner Str. 11, 80337 München
Pink Christmas Market
Sat-Sun: 12-10pm Mon-Fri: 4pm-10pm

Unique Christmas Markets in Munich 1

Don’t get stuck in a rut this holiday season and make sure you get out and explore these non-traditional Munich Christmas Markets. Make sure to share this post with any friends or family heading to Germany this holiday season! Fröhliche Weihnachten!

Check out other amazing holiday and winter travel ideas in our travel blogger link up party featuring holiday travel ideas from around the world!Winter Wonderland Travel

Travel Bloggers Link-up Party

34 Comments

  1. Flo @ Yoga, Wine & Travel 2016-12-10 at 11:09 am - Reply

    I need to go to the medieval-themed market and drink hot mulled wine out of a goblet! One of these days I am going to make it to Munich, I swear! I have yet to make it to a European Christmas market and would love to experience it one day.

  2. Hannah 2016-12-10 at 11:54 am - Reply

    I love all of these! One day when I eventually make it to Munich these will be on my list!

  3. Cliodhna Ryan 2016-12-10 at 11:57 am - Reply

    They all sound great! I need to get to Germany next Christmas. We’ve just started doing the Christmas market thing in Ireland but I still don’t feel like it’s the real deal!

  4. Milijana 2016-12-10 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Great post, Susanna! I like the idea of non-traditional Xmas markets. Now I just need to hop on the first plane to Munich!

  5. Faith Coates 2016-12-10 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    Now this was cool – I love reading about the alternative markets. I have been so disappointed in London with the absolute crap they try to sell you in places like Winter Wonderland – shockingly bad tat.

    • Wandering Chocobo
      Wandering Chocobo 2016-12-14 at 9:25 pm - Reply

      Some of the things they sell is absolutely terrible. It surprises me every time!

  6. Jessica C 2016-12-10 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Awesome! Sounds similar to markets we went to last year. We loved the Medieval market too…something feels so right when it’s Christmas and Medieval. I don’t know why, but it was awesome!

    • Wandering Chocobo
      Wandering Chocobo 2016-12-14 at 9:26 pm - Reply

      It was one of the best ones for sure. There’s something special about pretending to be in a different time than you really are!

  7. Megan Indoe 2016-12-14 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    I keep seeing all these traditional European Christmas markets and they are all making me so envious! I want to visit them all. Little did I know there are non traditional markets now too?! Haha, this looks so awesome! I love the bicycle theme and everything you’ve shared in the pictures! It almost looks more like a music festival or something rather than a Christmas market! Thanks for sharing, I seriously am so happy to have learned about this!

    • Wandering Chocobo
      Wandering Chocobo 2016-12-14 at 9:27 pm - Reply

      Awe, thank you for stopping by and reading! I’m glad you learned about some of the unique markets and hope you can make it down here soon.

  8. Noemi of Pinay Flying High 2016-12-14 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    I love Christmas markets and I know that Germany has the best ones. I think they will start this trend as well of the unique markets. I love the pink one, it looks so pretty. 🙂

    • Wandering Chocobo
      Wandering Chocobo 2016-12-14 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      I love that it’s LBGTQI friendly as well! It does seem Munich is setting the trend for some new markets. I hope it continues.

  9. Elaine J Masters 2016-12-14 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    So very cool! Wish I were in Munich to visit these. Great pictures.

  10. Katy 2016-12-14 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    Love it! Especially the recycled bike Christmas tree. Germany does do Christmas markets the best and I love this new spin on and old tradition. Hope I can visit them one day

  11. Claire 2016-12-14 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    As much as I love traditional christmas markets, gluwein and of course bratwurst, it’s great to know there are some alternatives in Munich! Tollwood would be my favourite I think- amid all the consumerism perhaps we need a reminder to recycle and re-use what we can!

  12. Candy 2016-12-14 at 10:53 pm - Reply

    Christmas in Munich looks like so much fun. I would love to visit the Medieval Christmas Market. I might even dress up for it 🙂 And sipping on warm mulled wine out of a unique goblet is something I must do one day!

  13. Lydia@LifeUntraveled 2016-12-15 at 2:08 am - Reply

    I’m astounded at all the Christmas markets in Europe – I mean Munich alone has a total of 12! Absolutely loving the recycled bicycle Christmas tree – such ingenuity and creativity!

  14. Jo 2016-12-15 at 7:09 am - Reply

    These Christmas markets look so much fun. Did you visit all 12? I love the pink one SO much. I agree it is a bit non traditional but they still look warm and cheerful in any case 🙂

    • Wandering Chocobo
      Wandering Chocobo 2016-12-15 at 12:46 pm - Reply

      I went to about 10 of them! The best part about Munich is even walking to go shopping, school or dinner I had to pass through a market or two. They all have great locations!

  15. That centerpiece at Tollwood Winter Festival is SO SO cool! I actually love that you featured the non-traditional markets…i’ve been seeing the same ones pop up over and over again lately. I really need to make sure I’m in Germany for the holidays next year!

    • Wandering Chocobo
      Wandering Chocobo 2016-12-15 at 12:47 pm - Reply

      Thank you!! The centerpiece was amazing. I loved hopping on a bike and peddling and watching the tree grow brighter and brighter! I hope you make it next year!

  16. Anna 2016-12-15 at 9:03 am - Reply

    I’m so gutted I won’t make it to Germany before Christmas this year because I’d love to visit these markets! It’s nice that you mention lesser-known ones. My favourite one from the list is Medieval Christmas Market, I just can’t say no to flaming Glühwein in a goblet 😀

    • Wandering Chocobo
      Wandering Chocobo 2016-12-15 at 12:47 pm - Reply

      I couldn’t say not either, and helped myself to quite a lot haha. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’re able to visit them soon!

  17. Sridhar @InterludJourney 2016-12-15 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    So gorgeous, hopefully one day I will be able to make my way to these places. Love the list of the things and non traditional places you mentioned. Would be able to make some day when in Munich.

  18. Ivy 2016-12-15 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    I love that tree made out of recycled bikes! I think my favourite one would be the Medieval one, how cna you say no to the goblet of fire haha. And jeez that’s incredible they have SO MANY markets in Munich. There’s a only one not so great one in Vancouver lol we need to get on it!

    • Wandering Chocobo
      Wandering Chocobo 2016-12-25 at 11:05 pm - Reply

      It’s crazy how many there are in Munich! I have a friend working over at the Van City one and it looks ok, but you need to make it over to Germany to really enjoy it all.

  19. Emily 2016-12-23 at 10:00 am - Reply

    What a fun post! I’m a sucker for Christmas markets as is; add in some swords, a goblet, and tree made out of bicycles, and I am THERE.

  20. Faith Coates 2017-11-05 at 10:23 am - Reply

    These are my kind of markets loved this. I have been to far too many disappointing markets in the UK and these certainly sound like they won’t disappoint.

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