Munich's Best Christmas Markets

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There’s snow on the mountains in many parts of British Columbia, and thoughts are starting to turn to Christmas. Where better to get into the Christmas spirit than in the traditional Christmas markets in Germany? Today we’re joined by Bavarian guide Simone, who regularly delights travelers with her fun and insightful tours of Munich. In November and December, Simone offers a special Christmas Market tour. Here's what she has to say on the subject of Christmastime in Germany.

What images come to your mind if you talk about December in Germany? Snow covered mountain tops. Giant Christmas trees alight. Traditional Christmas markets?

Munich alone has more than a dozen different markets: from the main market on Marienplatz with a Christmas crib market to the medieval market where artists in historical costumes perform dances and merchants sell delicious food or crafted goods. Then there are the different markets in Munich's boroughs such as Schwabing or Haidhausen and one in the famous landscape park, the Englischer Garten with the "Chinese tower": in summer a favorite Biergarten, at Christmas time it hosts a tiny market with merry-go-rounds, Blasmusik and traditional food such as Bratwürste (fried sausages) and Glühwein (mulled wine). Or would you rather go to the Blutenburger Weihnacht in a castle from the 15th century or the "market for the senses" on Prater-Island located in the river Isar? Even at the airport you can stroll around the decorated stalls and go ice-skating!

Besides all these Munich markets there is of course the world famous Nuremberg Christkindlesmarket with 180 booths all decorated with real fir branches and red-and-white cloth. Don't miss the goodies such as spicy gingerbread or fruit loaves, traditional toys or Christmas tree ornaments, candles, and the "Plum people" - little figures made of prunes.

Almost every town or village in Bavaria features its own market. Picturesque towns such as Garmisch-Patenkirchen, Oberammergau, Wasserburg or Bad Tölz provide the perfect background for Christmas flair. Stroll around ancient market squares, stop for a hot cup of steaming coffee, taste a slice of Stollen (rich yeast cake with loads of candied fruits), buy some gifts, have a Bratwurst and some Glühwein. There is no better way to get into a festive spirit!

Some of these markets are open only for a few days or on weekends, some for the entire four weeks of Advent. Most open Friday, November 24 this year and last until Christmas Eve. So if you happen to be in Germany during that time, make sure to visit at least one of them!

Thank you for getting us in the Christmas spirit, Simone! If anyone is heading to Germany, and specifically Munich during the holiday season, consider getting in touch with Simone to help you discover Munich and the surrounding area with a friendly local guide.
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