German Language Blog

Festive Germany: Munich’s Marienplatz in December Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Culture, Holidays, Traditions

Happy December! December is the month that Germany comes alive with Weihnachtsmarkten, Glühwein, and festive spirit. Exactly one year ago, I took my husband to see München for the first time. I thought this would be the perfect time to show you the cosy, Christmassy atmosphere that you can find in Marienplatz – the centre of München. So I hope you’ll enjoy some of my own photos from December last year.

It is in Marienplatz that you’ll find the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) and the Christkindlmarkt– one of München’s many Christmas markets! Upon arriving in München, we left our bags at my sister’s place and headed straight for Marienplatz to soak up the festive atmosphere.

Outside the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) there was a huge Weihnachtsbaum (Christmas tree) decorated from top to bottom in sparkling lights – 2,500 of them, apparently! This tree is here every year and is a beautiful centrepiece for Marienplatz.

We went to drink some Glühwein (mulled wine), because Glühwein tastes best when drank in Germany, at Christmas time! There are numerous stalls in Marienplatz selling Glühwein. If you don’t drink alcohol, there is an alcohol-free alternative called Kinderpunsch (‘children’s punch’), a hot, spiced apple drink which is also very tasty.

When you buy your Glühwein, it is served to you in a festive mug, which you pay extra for (I think I paid 3 Euros or so last time). When you return the mug, you get this extra money back. This is both an incentive to return the mug, and it prevents the vendors from having to use paper/cardboard cups. A plus for the environment!

Glühwein warming your hands and heart, you can huddle around one of the fairy-lit tables and chat away to your heart’s content. This sort of scenario is what the word Gemütlichkeit was made for!

Other things to see, buy and do in and around Marienplatz in December:

Quite frankly, chatting and drinking Glühwein in Marienplatz is enough to keep me happy. However, there are plenty of other things to see, buy and do in Marienplatz in December! Here are a few of them.

Other stalls at the Christkindlmarkt sell Christmas decorations (including traditional ones, such as religious figurines, cribs and mangers – but if you’re looking for more of this, head to the Kripperlmarkt on Neuhausser Straße, just a short walk away from Marienplatz!); handmade crafts, including jewellery and wooden toys; roasted nuts; candles and lights; Lebkuchen (gingerbread) hearts, houses and other treats; hot food such as Bratwurst and Knödel; and more!

There is live music every evening at 5.30pm, performed from the balcony of the Rathaus. The music played varies between traditional Bavarian music (bayerische Musik), Christmas music (Weihnachtsmusik) and carol singing (Weihnachtslieder).

If you fancy going Schlittschuhlaufen (ice skating), there’s a rink in Karlsplatz Stachus, which is a short walk from Marienplatz. This is called Münchener Eiszauber (“Munich Ice Magic”) and is München’s largest open-air ice rink, open from late November until early January. If you don’t want to take part, then you’ll be pleased to know there are food & drink stalls at Münchener Eiszauber, too, and a rustic, seated area from which you can watch the skaters. Click here to go to the Münchener Eiszauber website (in German).

München is a magical place at Weihnachten, and what I’ve written about here is only a small part of it. There are many more Christmas markets and Christmas events across the city to enjoy.



Tags: , , , ,
Keep learning German with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Constanze

Servus! I'm Constanze and I live in the UK. I'm half English and half German, and have been writing about German language and culture on this blog since 2014. I am also a fitness instructor & personal trainer.


  1. jai vee:

    my bucket list.. My best friend if from cologne (Köln) Love to visit sometime…

  2. Allan Mahnke:

    I can’t even let my brain think about Glühwein in paper…or worse.

    Tomorrow we begin the annual Stollen marathon. We make 3 or 4 batches of 4 loaves each. Oddly enough, although we are all supposed to be nostalgic about the way our Grandparents did things, I can’t. I’m sorry, Omma, but the Stollen was awful. I come from poor folks, so they did what they could with what they had, which included some of the nastiest candied fruit ever made…and burnt raisins. We have since learned that it need not be that way and so we look forward to it every year!

    • Constanze:

      @Allan Mahnke Hahhaha, to be honest Allan, I don’t like Stollen, either! But I’m not one for fruit cakes in general. I don’t even like Christmas Pudding. Hope you have a good time, anyway, with your Stollen marathon!

  3. Allan Mahnke:

    Our Stollen is a little unconventional. We use only almonds, sour cherries, and raisins. In the center we put marzipan and a layer of chocolate ganache. If we have time to make candied orange peel, we use a little of that. We are at 8 loaves and counting.