Christkindlmarkt and Kripperlmarkt in Munich

Categories: Family and Kids, Shopping, Entertainment

Christmas cookies: Eggnog Cookie, Candy Cane Cookie, Snowman Cookie, Vanilla Santa, Shortbread Wreath, Pfeffernüsse, Cherry Snowflake and Holiday Pretzel
Christmas cookies: Eggnog Cookie, Candy Cane Cookie, Snowman Cookie, Vanilla Santa, Shortbread Wreath, Pfeffernüsse, Cherry Snowflake and Holiday Pretzel

[ source: Wikipedia]

It's when it gets dark and the snow on the roofs starts to glow, illuminated by countless lights, when the Christkindlmarkt, at the Marienplatz in Munich (Munich vacation rentals | Munich travel guide), is most beautiful. Every year local and foreign visitors are fascinated by the charm of the oldest Christmas market in Bavaria's capital city. A visit to the Christkindlmarkt is a unique experience for all senses and beside the shopping for your own Christmas decorations and presents for your loved ones, it is a delightful culinary treat. While you are there, continue your walk to the nearby Kripperlmarkt, or crib-market. It might well be the biggest market in Germany and is also regarded as a paradise for experts.

The roots of the Munich Christkindlmarkt reach back to the 14th century and for the following centuries it was called Nikolai-market, reminding of St. Nicholas. It was installed for the public to buy the supplies for the long winter season and only later became part of the Christmas traditions. At the beginning of the 19th century, under the growing influence of the Protestant church, and much later then in cities like Nuremberg (Nuremberg vacation rentals | Nuremberg travel guide) or Strasbourg, St. Nicholas was no longer regarded as the bringer of gifts but the Christ child. So the name of the market was changed accordingly to Christkindlmarkt. In 1972 it was moved to the Marienplatz, in the heart of Munich and is a landmark in the Advent season with up to 3 million visitors per year.

A nearly 30 meter high Christmas tree is part of the tradition and every year a different municipality donates the tree, which is then transported to Munich. The wife of King Ludwig I was the first to bring a decorated Christmas tree to their Munich residence in 1830. The type of the goods on offer is pretty much the same as 200 years ago. Woodcraft from Oberammergau (Oberammergau vacation rentals | Oberammergau travel guide), Südtirol and the Erzgebirge, glitter balls and many more decoration items in all shapes and colors are available.

Around the Christmas tree over 150 dens await you with delicacies for your eyes and palate. Accompanied by a daily changing, traditional musical program enjoy local specialties like spice nuts, Pfeffernüsse, candid apples; roasted almonds and chest nuts, Maroni; Bavarian herbage candy, Kräuterguadln, or maybe you are tempted by the flavor of fresh roasted sausages which come in a wide variety. Soon you will feel warm when you drink a hot spiced wine or another hot served specialty called mead, Met. It is also called honey wine and basically a mixture of fermented honey and water. There are a lot of local differences though, various condiments and fruits or juices, mostly apples, are added instead of water and the average alcohol content can vary between 11-16 % Vol.

Another part of Munich's history is the Kripperlmarkt, which is held since the middle of the 18th century. Nowadays it is located at the Rindermarkt, a smaller city square near the Christkindlmarkt. On your way you will be guided by sparkling stars and fairy lights. At the Kripperlmarkt you will find everything that is needed for a real crib. A lantern for the barn, ox and donkey or the gifts of the three Magi. This is the place to look for another little treasure to take home for your own nativity scene. Premium woodcraft figurines and those made of unbreakable plastic decorate huge oriental cribs as well as smaller or tiny crib versions of the Alp region. By the way, in case you still feel cold while walking around the Kripperlmarkt, now and there is the moment to try a local Feuerzangenbowle.

Tip: Every year the MVG, Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft, sends its Christkindl Tram on tour through the city. On board you will be served with gingerbread, hot spiced wine and contemplative music while seeing some of the cultural highlights of Munich. Enjoy this 30 minutes rest after which, you should be ready to discover more Christmas markets in Munich.

About this Article

Monika Petra

This travel guide has been written by Monika Petra.

In her own words: When children are born they receive certain gifts to put them to good use or not. In my cradle there must have been at least music and the curiosity for the world we live in. Luckily I could combine those gifts eventually. My live as a jazz vocalist guided me to see and experience many places in Germany and far beyond. As in my music I like to dive in the historical background of given facts, simply to understand the present. During my travel, my circles got wider and wider and since many years I am now living in Thailand, very interesting to say the least. I grew up in Paderborn, lived and studied Jazz in Cologne's Musikhochschule and worked a while in Bayreuth and Kulmbach. My travels throughout Germany took me to all major cities and small towns. It was the people and local differences, be it language, food, traditions and customs, which made it a lot of fun. When finally the wall came down, I was one of those in Berlin posing on the rests of it for the camera. Off course I took the first opportunity to rediscover the new but old states of Germany and finally understood the impact the wall had on all Germans and in regards to the worst part in German history. Being a German living abroad, I discovered in years what I value most about Germany. Rest assured it is a country of rich cultural background still alive today. I visit my home country regularly and stay in touch with my friends, even those back from school. Another thing I always felt passionate about is writing and sharing my experience and thoughts. The internet provides us all with a great opportunity to connect, tell stories, read and learn from others and grow as a global community.

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Location, Map, and Driving Directions

Location: Marienplatz 8, 80331 München, Germany

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Christmas markets in Munich

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