The Munich Christmas Market "Münchner Christkindlmarkt" takes place from November 27 to December 24, 2023 at Marienplatz. Here you can find out what makes the Christmas market so special, what activities and events are on offer and why you should definitely visit.
Münchner Christkindlmarkt – the original
The roots of the Christkindlmarkt are said to date back to the 14th century - to the so-called St. Nicholas markets. The first documented mention of a so-called „Nikolaidult” takes us back to 1642 in Kaufingerstraße near the Schöner Turm.
In the course of the Enlightenment, the “Nikolaimarkt” was renamed “Christmarkt” in 1806 and - after several changes of location - found its permanent place in the heart of the city in 1972 as the „Münchner Christkindlmarkt”.
When the 25-metre-high Christmas tree with 3000 candles shines in all its glory, the mulled wine wafts its scent and angel hair glitters, pre-Christmas magic fills the centrepiece of the state capital Munich.
On St. Peter‘s, only a few steps away from Marienplatz, is probably Germany’s largest Kripperlmarkt. Here you can find everything you need for a genuine nativity set-up – from the stable lantern to the chaff for the ox and donkey to the gifts of the Magi. Nativity scenes have a long tradition in Munich. In 1757, the first Kripperlmarkt was held from 1st Advent until Epiphany.
The Kripperlmarkt comprises ten stalls offering exclusively things to do with the Nativity: nativity scenes, figurines and accessories. Almost every Standl, as the stalls are called in Munich, has a unique item on offer: From large oriental nativity scenes to alpine mini versions.
The special offer
- Nativity stables partly from own production according to old family tradition and handed down models, but also own creations in alpine, Bavarian and oriental style
- Nativity figurines, for example, from selected carvers from the South Tyrolean Val Gardena: made of maple, oak, lime or Swiss stone pine wood in oriental or alpine/peasant style, nativity figures clothed in fabric or clad in painted material (heads, hands and feet carved in wood and painted, torso in moveable material), alternatively figures for self-dressing, wool sheep and handmade „Marolin” nativity figures (papier-mâché) from Thuringia
- Large assortment of angels, e.g., putti, angel heads,standing angels and Gloria angels
- Wooden figures such as Madonnas, patron saints, Magi and profane figures, crosses with the body of Christ, as well as annual figures for nativity scene collectors
- Nativity accessories, self-manufactured and handmade, such as wells, bonfires, wood stakes, miniature vessels made of metal, wood or clay, shepherd‘s carts, rakes,pitchforks and other agricultural implements
- Electrical items for nativity sets (lanterns, plugs, cables, light bulbs and transformers), as well as spare parts, also for USA-compatible nativity-scene lighting
- Decorative items made of natural materials such as moss, lichen, bark, straw, hay, sand etc.
- Repairs, restorations and special productions tailor-made to the customers’ wishes
- Advice, partly also in foreign languages (E, F, ES, I)
Oh, how joyfully... Advent music live from the Town Hall balcony
Live Bavarian Stubenmusic (traditional folk music), wind ensembles, singers and choirs set the mood for the Advent season from the Town Hall balcony, starting at 5.30 pm from Sunday to Thursday. The Christmas sounds make you pause for half an hour to absorb the special magic of this season. Traditionally, the Grünwalder Turmbläser play at the end of the market on Dec. 24 at 12 noon.
Traditional Krampus run
The 500-year-old tradition of the Krampus run dates back to the Christian mythological characters of Bishop Nicholas and his companion Krampus. During the walk across Munich‘s Christkindlmarkt, the archaic figures of Munich‘s first Krampus group „Sparifankerl Pass” make a surprise appearance.
Date: December 10, 2023, 3 - 5 pm
“Carols under the Christmas Tree” A sing-along experience!
The musicians Traudi Siferlinger and Monika Drasch, both well-known from radio and television, and Johann Zeller on accordion invite visitors to the Munich Christkindlmarkt to sing along to Advent and Christmas carols amidst the lively crowd. Special service for people with disabilities: barrierfree access, texts in large print and Braille, sign language translation and induction loops for the hearing impaired. Guide dogs are allowed.
Dates: Wednesdays, 29.11., 6.12., 13.12. an 20.12
Crafting and tinkering for Christmas on a grand scale: In the Heavenly Workshop in the Rathausturm (Town Hall tower), children aged 6-12 can make candles, Christmas cards and much more. Shiny robes and angel wings are provided for the kids to dress up like real angels.
Meeting point: Town Hall gate at Fischbrunnen (fountain).The heavenly workshop is located in the Ratstrinkstube (councillors’ tavern) in the Town Hall. Limited number of participants. Information at: www.kindermuseum-muenchen.de
Dates: Every Wednesday, Nov. 29, Dec. 6, Dec. 13, Dec. 20. at 16.30, duration: each approx. 30 min
Meeting Kasperl Zettl
Kasperl from the puppet theatre comes to Münchner Christkindlmarkt! With his imaginative stories, puppeteer Nikolaus Zettl whisks children and adults away to his magical puppet world.
Meeting point: Passage to the inner courtyard of the Town Hall (Prunkhof), Weinstraße entrance
Dates: Sundays, 3.12., 10.12. and 17.12. 2 and 3 p.m, duration 20 minutes each.
Guided Christmas Tours
Twinkling Lights and Christmas Magic – Heavenly Tours through Munich
Get in the mood for Christmas in the contemplative atmosphere of fragrant almonds and sparkling lights on this tour of the Old Town.
This tour starts with an ascent to the viewing platform of the Rathausturm. From here, you have a magnificent view of the blaze of lights at the foot of the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall). The Christmas walk then takes you right into the heart of Munich, to Marienplatz, which is dressed up festively for its guests.
Our guides will not only tell you interesting facts about the past and present of the Christkindlmarkt, but will also introduce you to Christmas customs. The tour ends with two special treats!
- Bookings for 2023 at: www.simply-munich.com/xmas or at the tourist information office (Marienplatz & central station)
All info at a glance
Dates: Saturdays, 2.12., 9.12., 16.12., 23.12., 4 p.m.
Meeting point: to the left of the Nativity scene in the courtyard of the New Town Hall (entrance below the Glockenspiel)
Booking: einfach-muenchen.de/xmas or at the Tourist Information Offices in the Town Hall and at the Central Station
Group bookings at email@example.com
Festive church services
No matter how cold and dark it is outside: Candlelight and festive sounds will warm the churchgoers’ hearts. Festive Christmas services, children‘s Christmas masses and nativity plays await you.
The Packerlbus - parcel bus - of the Munich Transport and Tariff Association (MVV) offers storage space for shopping.
It is located next to Deutsches Jagd- und Fischereimuseum (German Hunting and Fishing Museum), corner of Augustinerstraße and Kaufingerstraße.
Opening hours (2023)
- Mon.-Sat. 10 am – 9 pm
- Sun. 10 am – 8 pm
- Dec. 24. 10 am – 2 pm
Event organiser and management
- Capital City of Munich
Office for Labour and Economic Affairs
Herzog-Wilhelm-St.15, 80331 Munich
Tel. Market Management: 0049 (0)89 233 - 82805
How to get there
Arrival by public transport. There are no parking facilities around Marienplatz. Please use public transport.
Christkindlmarkt barrier free
- More information: www.muenchen-tourismus-barrierefrei.de/en
Tourist Information and Service
- München Tourismus (Munich tourism office),
Tourism information office at Central Station, Luisen St. 1
Tourism information office at Neues Rathaus, Marienplatz
Tel.: 0049 (0)89 233 - 96 500 (Mon.- Fri.)