Munich residents like to toast the new year with a Feuerzangenbowle (hot drink). Otherwise, January – in keeping with the good intentions – will be one thing above all: very sporty!
Lumagica, the fairytale forest of lights, has already opened its doors at Cavalluna Park Munich since the end of October 2023. More than 300 handmade, luminous objects and installations await visitors on a 1.5-kilometre-long circular path. Immerse yourself in abstract elements and interactive light productions that invite you to linger and participate. In the Cavalluna-Park, the theme of the horse takes centre stage and is staged in a fascinating way.
Lumagica Munich, 26 October 2023 with a few interruptions until 28 January 2024, Cavalluna Park Munich
It is the last one in the city to be tasted again: The Christmas market “Münchner Feuerzangenbowle“ at the Isartor traditionally lasts until January. At the charmingly illuminated Isartor, bright light from the flames shoots into the night sky above a bowling kettle, it steams and smells – a particularly cosy atmosphere. At the Feuerzangenbowle, also called “Krambamboli“, a sugar loaf soaked in rum burns, caramelises and drips into the hot red wine underneath. In an open-air exhibition in the historical setting, visitors can also learn interesting facts about current events. For example, pictures and texts on the history of immigration to Munich are projected onto the inner walls of the Isartor to show how positive cultural exchange has been and still is for the city.
Münchner Feuerzangenbowle, November 27, 2023 to January 7, 2024, Isartor
During the spectacular show “No Limits“ in the Olympiahalle (Olympic Hall), the world's best skaters will show impressive formations and stunts on the ice, which will take the visitors' breath away. A magical event with rousing music and a big light and laser show.
Holiday on Ice, January 4 to 7, 2024, Olympiahalle Munich
The show palace is transformed into a wintry wonderland in which the boy Robert must reclaim his imagination on an adventurous journey. Of course, he has energetic and funny companions at his side: fairies, wizards and villains or majestic horses, sweet ponies and speedy trick riders. Music, stage design, colourful costumes, fire effects, stunts and a western number round off the programme.
Cavalluna WinterWünscheLand, December 26, 2023 to January 06, 2024, Showpalast Munich in Fröttmaning
The air vibrates in New York's Upper West Side: rival street gangs, passionate rhythms, a fatal enmity and, in the middle of it all, the very great love that fights to overcome all obstacles – and tragically fails. Be thrilled once again by the rousing new production of West Side Story, which takes the immortal musical classic into a new age.
West Side Story, January 4 to 14, 2024, Deutsches Theater
Wesslinger See is the smallest lake in the Fünfseenland (Five Lakes' District) to the south of Munich. It is often sarcastically referred to as the “Wesslinger Badewanne” (Wesslinger Bathtub). Because it has no streams running in or out of it, it is usually the first lake in the region to freeze over. This tends to coincide perfectly with the new year, which has resulted in a wonderful tradition. On New Year’s Eve, the locals take their first steps onto the lake to set off fireworks before returning with their ice skates the next morning.
The jetty next to the kiosk is the best place to access the ice. The popular small fast-food stand is open in good weather over the winter, supplying skaters with hot punch and sausages. From Marienplatz, Wessling is around 35 minutes away on the S-Bahn (suburban railway). It's then just a short walk from the station to the banks of the lake. If you’re worried about the strength of the ice, stick close to the banks where it tends to be thicker and less likely to break. The rescue organisation Deutsche Lebensrettungsgesellschaft recommends staying off the ice unless it is over 15 centimetres thick.
As soon as the Nymphenburger Kanal freezes over (normally in January), it's time for one of Munich’s favourite winter sports to make its comeback: Bavarian curling (also known as ice stock sport). It doesn't take long to learn the rules; they are pretty similar to bowls. A target known as the Daube is placed on the ice. Each player then launches their ice stock. Simply swing it back gently, take a step forwards and let go. The player whose stock finishes closest to the target wins. Ideally, you should aim to shoot your opponents’ stocks out of the way.
Pitches, including the target and ice stocks, are available to rent right next to the canal. Mulled wine stands are on hand to help you get your eye in. Tip: The thickness of the Nymphenburg ice can vary; the shallow waters in the circular royal gardens freeze quicker than the slightly deeper canal. Services, such as the skating club (on +49 (0) 89 50 93 36), provide updates on the conditions of the ice.
When Jack Frost is tapping on the windows, there is nothing better than warming up with a nice hot bowl of soup. One of the best spots for soup is Münchner Suppenküche at Viktualienmarkt. Its menu includes a number of traditional dishes from the Alpine region, such as Leberknödelsuppe (liver dumpling soup), Saueres Lüngerl mit Semmelknödeln (lights with dumplings) or Viennese goulash soup. Vegetarian options are also available. Fresh bread is served as an accompaniment.
Alternatively, pay a visit to Gusto between Arnulfstrasse and Rotkreuzplatz in western Munich. The menu changes on a daily basis. If you're a fan of tomato soup, then we recommend the Bloody Mary with celery, coriander and cinnamon. For perhaps the most creative take on soup in the city then why not visit Urban Soup at Rumfordstrasse 7. Try the Butternut Roasted Chicken, for example, a blend of pumpkin, coconut, parsley and chicken, or the Himalayan Dhal with cumin, fennel, paprika, leeks, red lentils and chilli. Guten Appetit!
When the snow falls in Munich, it's time for a winter walk. We present the nicest routes, from the Englischer Garten (park) to the Isar – and at the same time the appropriate refreshment to warm up culinarily.
A detailed calendar of events can be found here.
Also interesting: What exactly goes inside a museum once the doors have closed, the halls are plunged into darkness and the final visitors have headed home? Our author spent a night in the Museum Fünf Kontinente: Alone with the voodoo masks.