Visiting Germany and it’s Christmas Markets has been on my to do list for as long as I can remember.
The German’s started many traditions we know today, such as having Christmas trees and advent calendars, so it would make sense to think their Christmas Market’s are bigger and better too.
So last week, I headed off to Munich to see if Germany really does do Christmas better than anywhere else.
The Medieval One
The first Christmas Market I paid a visit to in Munich, was the Medieval Market. It’s a small set of stalls that won’t take you long to look around, but it’s certainly unique! The gifts you can buy here are more natural products, such as gemstone jewellery, hand crafted objects, honeys and fabric notepads. The food and drink is not dissimilar to many other markets but has plenty of the famous Feuerzangenbowle (Fire Bowl) drinks in clay cups. As well as the stalls themselves, there’s a stage for traditional Medieval music and actors dressed up. A nice change from the more typical markets.
A heady mix of mulled wine, rum and sugar, that’s subsequently set on fire. If you’re in need of being warmed up, this drink will certainly hit the spot.
I tried several of these doughy, sugary treats in Munich, but the best was from the Medieval Market. Large enough to share or just a cheap option if you’re hungry.
The Christkindlmarkt is the biggest Christmas Market in Munich and in the central area of Marienplatz, making this one by far the most popular.
There’s an amazing selection of food and drink, traditional gifts of gingerbread, handmade Christmas decorations made from wood, straw and glass, as well as many other hand crafted gifts. I spent many an hour walking back and forth down this market, to see if I missed anything. See below for some of my picks from the Christkindlmarkt.
Chocolate Covered Marshmallows
Many variations of chocolate covered marshmallows, some with waffle pieces and many others with flavoured marshmallow inside. All temptingly yummy.
Hand Crafted Christmas Decorations
A Christmas tree decoration, made of a straw-like material. Many other delicate decorations are made from fine wood and glass. The Christkindlmarkt is the best for decorations for the home and tree.
One of the most popular gifts you can buy at the markets. This market has every size and design of gingerbread you could ask for. A great gift for old and young, I made sure to stock up on these Christmas themed gingerbreads.
Residenz Christmas Market
This market is in the courtyard of Residenz Royal Palace, providing a wonderful setting for this market. What’s good about Residenz is that it has gifts you can’t find at the bigger Christkindlmarkt. I bought sweet smelling bath bombs, honey scented candles and it sells eggnog! Despite eggnog supposedly being popular at German Christmas Markets, Residenz was the only place I saw it being sold.
Below is a photo of just some of the stalls at Residenz, as well as the Christmas Pyramid which is often seen at German Christmas Markets.
Honey Scented Candles
Both the Medieval and Residenz Markets, sell a vast selectioms of beautifully scented candles. From large angel candles that can be a table centre piece to cutesy teddy bear candles, these make great gifts.
German eggnog’s that bit different, it’s creamier and stronger than elsewhere. Eierspunsch is served warm with lashings of cream, however, one of these creamy drinks is enough as it’s very sweet.
This market also has the added bonus of wooden stalls featuring nativity scenes and traditional German tales, such as Little Red Riding Hood (pictured below). Children will also love the singing reindeer and Santa’s sleigh to sit in.
So do the German’s do Christmas better than elsewhere? I’ve seen many Christmas Markets, but the ones in Munich have so far been my favourite. If you want good quality food and drink, quirky Christmas gifts and to come away feeling immersed in Christmas spirit, Munich’s the place for you.