Are you considering visiting Munich in winter?
We visited back in the 80s and fell in love with the vibrant Christmas Markets, the people, the architecture and the local German cuisine. There were so many things to do in Munich. We huddled in cafes and bars enjoying hot sweet and spicy Gluhwein whilst it snowed outside. It was such a magical experience.
You can’t beat Christmas shopping in Munich at the markets. We would say that Munich is one of the best cities in Europe to visit at any time of the year.
(Editor Update 2021)
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Casey LaClair our guest writer has rekindled our love for Munich and has bought this city alive in his article and shared with us Munich ‘must-sees’.
Germany has many phenomenal cities that are drenched in rich culture and amazing sites. In fact, the entire Bavaria area is a magical adventure waiting to be explored, and Munich is a perfect piece of that Bavarian pie. Add in a soft blanket of snow to the city’s rooftops and parks, Munich begins to resemble a Christmas snow globe full of magic and wonder.
Getting to & around Munich
I had the luxury of being able to drive most places in Germany since I lived there, but not everyone has the same situation. There were times I had to fly into Munich and that is what I would recommend to most people. The Munich airport is incredibly easy to navigate, and most flights are cheap to get there as it’s a major city and airport hub.
If you’re looking for a budget option and are already in Europe, then Eurail has a stop in Munich and offers relatively affordable deals.
You can purchase your Eurail pass here
Once you arrive in Munich, a lot of getting around is easy with their U-Bahn (subway/metro system), S-Bahn, or trams. If there are out of the way spots you need to get to, a taxi can be taken. But, public transportation in Munich reaches the most notable places you may want to see during your visit.
Need a transfer from Munich Airport to your hotel? Click here for more information.
Bus Travel in Munich
For the latest bus schedules to Munich from cities all over Europe and the latest ticket prices click here.
What to do in Munich in the Winter
Now that we know how to get around Munich, what is there to do?
Munich offers some great historical sites and fun things to do year-round, but it becomes a winter wonderland when the snow starts to fall. So, let’s get to it, these are the best things to do in Munich during the winter!
Take advantage of the wide range of benefits that CityTourCard Munich has to offer. Make the most out of your trip to Munich with free travel on public transport, plus many discounts and souvenirs at selected partners. More information click here
Christmas Markets – #1 Munich Winter Activity
If you’re searching for something to do in any German town during the winter, a Christmas Market is almost guaranteed to be on the list. German culture is notorious for having phenomenal Christmas Markets and fests, but the fests are for later in the year. Right now, it’s time to partake in merrymaking and delicious treats that only come around once a year!
While all Christmas Markets in Germany have something special, the one in Munich has an interesting feel like no other. Situated in the centre of Munich at St. Mary’s Square, the market is filled with lights and trees that light up the whole area! Add in the older style of German architecture, Christmas snacks, and warm glühwein, the Munich Christmas Market is something you’ll never want to leave.
Ice Skating in Munich
Bad balance or not, ice skating is always a good time! This is an especially good activity if it’s for a date or if you’re travelling with family. Thankfully, there are no shortages of places to ice skate in Munich during the winter, making it easy to add it into your itinerary.
While there are a few choices, if you can make it, I suggest the Olympia Park. They have normal skating and classes if you want to learn how to skate like the pros, or at least get the balancing act down. If you don’t plan on making a trip near it, the city centre has a skating rink from November to January. This is a great break from touring the city centre as most visitors find themselves there anyway.
The Christmas Tram in Munich
The Munich Christmas Tram runs daily during the winter months of November and December. Take a festive ride through Munich and get in some sightseeing from the comfort of a warm tram decorated in all manners of garlands and festive makings. The tram ride will take roughly 35 minutes to do a trip around the city, so it doesn’t take a lot out of your day but does add a lot of value to it!
Whether you’re just looking for something to do with friends or have kids that are looking for some fun in Munich, sledding is a perfect activity! There are public hills all around Munich that are great for sledding, but there are some spots where it’s more common.
If you planned on going ice skating at Olympia Park, then you’ll find that one of the hills is just a short walk from the park. All hills beside the one near Olympia can be found by following signs/directions for Schlittenberg (sled hill/slope).
Hey Minga Winter Tour Munich
Take a tour through Munich in a cosy atmosphere and drinking warm mulled wine! The Hey Minga Tour takes about two and a half hours, while driving you through multiple districts in Munich. It’s a perfect tour to learn about the city in a comfortable setting and hopefully Munich is covered in fresh snow when you go.
As a heads up, you can do this and the Christmas tram. However, if you’re only going to choose one, I recommend Hey Minga if you’re interested in truly learning about Munich and the Christmas tram for some premium relaxation.
Krampus Run Munich
Most of us know Christmas as Santa Claus delivering presents to good children and coal to bad. The Krampus is another Christmas story popularized in Germany, where instead of delivering coal to naughty children, the Krampus punishes bad children in a much harsher manner.
The Krampus run takes past depictions of what this creature looked like, and people dress up in elaborate costumes to parade about the town. The Krampus run usually takes place on the 8th of December through the Munich Christmas market. If you were planning on going to the market, this would be the best day to go!
Curling Outdoors in Munich
Not the most thrilling sport to watch, but curling is surprisingly fun to play, and what better place to try it than in front of Schloss Nymphenburg in Munich. Every year, the canal out front becomes iced over where separate lanes are created for different matches. The best part is anyone can play regardless of skill level!
Snow-covered Munich is a winter wonderland that should be experienced by anyone that can make the trip. Warm Glühwein, cosy Christmas tours, and beautiful lighting all make for a magical time that won’t soon be forgotten.
I do highly recommend learning some of the common German phrases before visiting. Most people you come across will speak English, so don’t feel discouraged about exploring the city. But it does help to know a few common greetings and words for navigating around.
If you’re looking for more things to do in Germany during the winter, then check out Garmisch-Partenkirchen and make a trip up Zugspitze Germany’s tallest mountain!
FAQ’s About Germany
What is the currency used in Germany?
Euros are the only currency accepted in Germany.
Is Germany safe to visit?
Germany is one of the safest countries to travel in and violent crime rates are incredibly low.
How cold is Germany in the winter?
German temperatures will get below freezing (32F), hence the common snowing. That is also the average temperature during the day in winter.
Do I need a visa to visit Germany?
If you’re a member of the EU or a U.S. citizen, you don’t need a visa to visit Germany. U.S. citizens are allowed 90 days in the country for tourism before a visa is required.
What is the voltage in Germany?
230v is the voltage in Germany.
Are VAT refunds available for purchases made in Germany?
VAT refunds are available for certain purchases in Germany, as long as they meet the criteria for more information click here.
Casey LaClair is a 27-year-old travel enthusiast. Having a career in Satellite Communications and pursuing a degree in Computer Science, most of his time is spent hunkered over a keyboard. This love of technology, mixed with a desire to travel, led him to create Viraflare to spread his joy of travel and help others find their way on the road. He’s travelled through the United States, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and even the Arctic Circle. But, that’s just the beginning, as there is always an adventure to be found and somewhere new to explore.
Where To Stay in Munich
Arthotel Munich at Paul -Heyse-Str 10 – an art deco-styled hotel in the heart of Munich with funky artwork and a good breakfast available to their guests all in a central location.
Hotel Laimer Hof at Laimerstrasse 40. A historical villa built in 1886 which is located close to the Nymphenburg Palace. You can visit the centre of the city by subway which takes about 20 minutes. Europe’s largest beer garden Koniglicher Hirschgarten is 5 minutes away.
Hotel Metropol located in the heart of Munich at Mitterestrasse 7 is perfect for sightseeing. Each room comes with its own private balcony.
For more hotel options in Munich close to the city centre:
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