Greetings all from a family in Florida - my wife and I are taking our four kids (17, 15, 13, 6) to Munich in late November. Yes, the Christmas markets will be open! Anyway, wondering if anyone has a "must see" type suggestion for a quaint town or Christmas market we should experience beyond the Munich one at the Marienplatz? If you have a suggestion including the best way for a family of 6 to get there (our hotel is apparently near the Marienplatz) would also be much appreciated. Thank you so much!!
Consider the Augsburg or Regensburg Christmas markets. Both are accessible by train. Augsburg is only about half hour train ride away. Regensburg is farther. My son worked in Bavaria for a few years and these were his two favorites. I have been to the Salzburg Christmas market in late November and enjoyed that, it could be done as a daytrip by train but better to devote a few days to Salzburg itself. Garmisch Partenkirchen has a Christmas market and has lots of things to do that your kids might like. Reachable by train or bus.
I have not made it there yet, but Freising is on my visit list next time I am in Munich, especially at Christmas. It is reachable via the S-bahn and is in the vicinity of the airport. Check it out - lots of info on the web. Probably lots of info on this forum!
In Munich be sure to check out the smaller Christmas markets around town. There is a craft market in Schwabing, a medieval market on Wittelsbacher Platz and a community Christmas Market in Haidhausen (my favorite).
Agree with DJ that the one in Munich/Haidhausen (Weißenburger Platz near S-Bahn station Rosenheimer Platz) is great and mostly locals. Easy accsess with S-Bahn from Marienplatz.
But I like these ones as well:
English Garden/Chinese Tower during evening - make sure you walk through the park from Marienplatz when it's dark already. Do not forget to pay the Munich Eisbach Sufers (located at the edge of the English Garden) a visit before it is getting dark.
Tollwood Winter Festival at Theresienwiese - totaly different from any other and a must see. Easy to access with subway U5.
But not sure when they will open this year and if everything will be the same like in the past.
We lived in Augsburg for four years and loved that ancient city. We did the Christmas market every year.
We liked the Christmas market, but I can't see spending big bucks on air fare from the USA just to go to Christmas markets.
I agree about going to other markets other than the main one in Munich. Also, Freising is great. And from Munich it's easy to get to lots of places. Small towns and cities will have markets on weekends only or on specific weekends, while cities and touristy places will have daily markets.
Wolfgangsee and Salzburg in Austria would also not be far and are well worth it.
We going to the Christmas Markets again this year after our Covid break. It is one of our favorite times of the year to visit Germany as we like the weather and enjoy having the markets to brighten the long evenings. The Marienplatz Christkindlmarkt is very crowded in the evening. We were three adults and had trouble staying together in the surging throngs.
The Haidhausen community market does have a nice family feel to it.
In the same vein Landshut is a very attractive small town with an enjoyable local Christmas Market, beautiful old brick buildings and scenic river walks. I think best fits your description of a quaint town with a nice market. It can be reached by regional train in 50 minutes.
Schwabbing district of Munich (München) had a nice craft fair and a different feel. They had a reggae band the night that we visited it.
Regensburg is our favorite town in Germany (especially in Advent Season) but it is about 1.5 hours each way by regional express train. That could be either a treat or a trick for your family. Augsburg is only about 1/2 hour each way by train. Both towns have much to see as well as their markets. These are not quaint small towns but have an old town core that is easy to visit on foot.
We will finish our trip in Freising mentioned above. We enjoy this small town very much but the Christmas Market is tiny. I would go there for a walk up to the Domberg (Cathedral on the Hill), but the market might be disappointing.
The Landshut Christkindlmarkt should be open Thursday before the 1st Advent. Landshut is a nice town to visit. Make sure you walk the Altstadt and Neustadt roads too. They may have changed the location from Die Freyung to the Ringelstecherwiese due to Covid. Die Freyung was really nice in the old days. Under an hour train trip Hbf to Hbf. No telling how well lit German towns will be for Weihnacht this year, with energy savings in mind.
If you're a more visual person, here are a couple of videos from the Near from Home YouTube channel... done by an English/American couple (I think!) who live in Munich and do travel excursions from Munich (and within Munich).
The Big Three Markets in Munich: Altstadt market, Chinesischen Turm, Tollwood Winter Festival
Three Local Markets in Munich: Haidhausen Market, Schwabing Market, Medieval
Wow thanks for sharing. This is a perfect overview.
And true I'm meeting my coworkers at the Haidhausen market after work :-)
You're welcome! Glad you generally concur with the overview of the markets.
In the meantime I've watched some of their videos and of course do not agree on everything (which would be very strange by the way anyways). Well but when it comes to the favorite beer garden at Wiener Platz in Haidhausen (U5 Max-Weber-Platz) I agree again.
And everything he said about Haidhausen I agree as well. In fact I'm on vacation at the moment and I had my breakfast yesterday morning again at the Cafe Wiener Platz :-)
But comming back to the christmas markets. True the one in Schwabing at Münchner Freiheit is super interesting. I'm in Schwabing very seldom and therefore I forgot about it. The Mittelalter Market near Odeonsplatz is not my cup of tea (I do not like all that medieval stuff) but surly worth trying it out.
@Dave and @Mignon,
I used to live in Haidhausen so that market is my favorite!
"We liked the Christmas market, but I can't see spending big bucks on air fare from the USA just to go to Christmas markets."
That's what I'm doing and I can't wait! Although I am admittedly a big cheapskate, so it'll be the cheapest economy fare with no perks for me.
Ahhh and now you are coming back to Munich quite regularly I think - right?