Christmas Market Typology

And tomorrow Santa Claus will come

“Isn’t it lovely that children still believe in Father Christmas”, says the traditionalist “What would Advent be without a hot cup of caipirinha?”, enthuses the global citizen. “Where can I find a suit of armour before Christmas Eve?”, asks the knight. Munich has the perfect Christmas market for everyone.

Christmas Market at Marienplatz

What you will see: a 25-metre-tall Christmas tree with around 3,000 lights
What you should like: Christmas the way it was before Santa Claus delivered Coca Cola
What you will hear: “Es wird scho glei dumpa”, trumpeted from the town hall balcony
Who you will say cheers to: to the left, a tourist wearing a santa hat; to the right, a creepy horned mask from the traditional Krampuslauf (traditional parade)
What you will say cheers with: organic mulled wine
What you will eat: Bratwurst (fried sausage), Rauchzipferl (smoked sausage), giant bratwurst, farmer’s bratwurst, organic bratwurst, Schweinswürstel (pork sausages), Debreziner (seasoned pork sausages). In other words: sausages
What you will buy: a beeswax star or a bauble in the shape of a pretzel
A possible slogan: “Mia san schon ewig hier”, which roughly translates as “We have been here for ever” (since the 14th century!!)


Tollwood  Winter festival on the Theresienwiese

What you will see: blue, green, yellow, red, purple and brightly lit tents
What you should like: people
What you will hear: the soulful “Troubleshooters”, the swinging “Hot Cookies”, the poppy “Aggressive Swans” or the funky “Organ Explosion”
What you will say cheers with: pushchairs, it is quite crowded
What you will eat: vegan Spätzle (pasta) with seitan
And something sweet: crepes and hot chocolate with rum
What you will buy: sound bowls, anklets, items made from recycled electronics
What else you might see: druids serving wild boar sandwiches and magic potion
A possible slogan: “Mia san the world!” or “We are the world!”

Pink Christmas auf dem Stephansplatz

What you will see: pink-coloured, sparkling plastic trees
What you should like: pink, plastic, glitter
What you will hear: Whitney Houston and Zarah Leander
Who you will say cheers to: Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter at the opening; otherwise, big women with firm handshakes
What you will say cheers with: hot sangria. Cheers!
What you will eat: air and love
What you will buy: a merman with a red bow tie, sunglasses and a martini glass
What else you might see: Uschi Glas or Lilo Wanders
A possible slogan: “Mia san queer!” or “We are queer!”

Video: simply christmas market

Medieval Market at Wittelsbacherplatz

What you will see: a fire behind the memorial to Elector Maximilian I.
What you should like: jugglers, heralds, stilt-walkers and fire
What you will hear: minnesong, court dance and table music, and oriental sounds from the bagpipe
Who you will say cheers to: people with drinking horns from 'Die kleyne Kraemerey' (medieval shop)
What you will say cheers with: mead for three florins fifty
What you will eat: suckling pig from the spit from Erwin, sausages grilled on a beechwood fire from Alexander and smoked fish from Erich
What you will buy: the long-awaited knight’s armour
What else you might see: nightwatchman Jochen von Myrus with a lantern, announcing last orders
A possible slogan: “Wohlan, mia san wohlgestalt!”, which roughly translates as “Well, we are well-rounded!”


Christmas Market at Chinesischer Turm

What you will see: the 25-metre pagoda tower, lit up like a festive pyramid
What you should like: seclusion
What you will hear: Christmas fairy tales read by the old lady at the story stall
Who you will say cheers to: parents with non-alcoholic children’s punch (they have to drive)
What you will say cheers with: curling stones – on two 18-metre-long curling lanes
What you will eat: chips!
What you will buy: small wooden toys that children have painted with the old man in the craft stall ... No Maximilian, no Lego!
What else you might see: carriages, horses, horse-drawn carriages
A possible slogan: “Mia san family!” or “We are family!” (german)


Schwabinger Christmas Market

What you will see: light columns and fairy lanterns
What you should like: (Munich) artistic freedom
What you will hear: the musical accompaniment (guitar and singing) in the Kunstzelt (arts tent) at the opening
Who you will say cheers to: sorry, we are too busy watching the colours change
What you will say cheers with: ginger mulled wine, hot spritz cocktails, Caribbean punch
What you will eat: Tuscan pasta con variazioni, Sicilian sausages, Argentinian steak burgers
And something sweet: two cappuccinos, please!
What you will buy: art
What else you might see: art
A possible slogan: “Mia san einzigARTig!” or “We are unique!”



Text: Nansen & Piccard; Photos: Christian Kasper


The City of Munich is also affected by the nationwide measures to contain the coronavirus. Hotels and accommodation establishments, indoor and outdoor gastronomy and shops are open. But there are some restrictions. All other important information about the coronavirus and your stay in Munich can be found here.

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