It seems like all anyone can talk about this time of year is the German Christmas market scene. And yes, that’s what I’m about to do, too. German Christmas markets are seemingly everywhere – more popular now than ugly sweater parties and elves on shelves. But, like, where do you even start? How do you know which ones are the best? And don’t you want to visit one that’s totally unique? Well, lemme help ya there.
THE MUNICH AIRPORT CHRISTMAS MARKET
Having just opened for its 20th holiday season, the Munich airport Christmas market is one that stands out among the hundreds of others. It’s an absolute winter wonderland that’s easily accessible from anywhere in the world, being that it’s in an airport and all. (Just tell your kids you’re flying them to the North Pole—they’ll never know the difference. “Yes, the North Pole has beer, shut up.”) Not convinced because I am, after all, talking about an airport? Check it:
01 | 40+ VENDOR STALLS
It wouldn’t be much of a market without stalls, now would it? And it wouldn’t be much of a Christmas market if those stalls weren’t selling local handicrafts, roasted almonds, bratwurst, gifts galore, and, of course, glühwein. So it’s a good thing they are. All 40+ of them.
02 | A TRUE WINTER WONDERLAND
Stroll into the Munich airport Christmas market and its 500 real pine trees and you’ll be like, “Toto, we ain’t in the airport anymore, right?” You will fir sure question how many drinks you had on the plane that landed you in a totally spruced-up Santaland, complete with its natural pine forest whose centrepiece is a 50-foot-tall tree covered in over 5,000 lights and 3,000 decorative bulbs. I told you this place was lit.
03 | TIME FOR A REIN-BEER
No? How about Brew-dolph? I’ve got a hundred of these. Located right there in the center of the airport and just next to the Munich airport Christmas market is Airbräu, the world’s only full-scale airport brewery and beer garden. All of their beers are made right there on-site and all have adorable air travel-related names. They offer many styles of beer including their winter seasonal: Krampus, the robust, dark winter beer because, after all, it is the most wonderful time for a beer!
04 | MULTIPLE ICE RINKS
The Munich airport Christmas market boasts not one, but two separate ice rinks. One is free to the public (minus a small skate-rental fee so bring your own if you’ve got ‘em!) and offered for general ice skating and merriment. The other is exclusively devoted to the traditional Bavarian sport of Eisstockschießen – the German take on curling. This place is snow joke.
05 | LIVE MUSIC & ACTIVITIES
For the duration of the Munich airport Christmas market, on all day except Mondays, there is a line-up of local jazz and rock artists that goes from 6 – 8 pm. On Thursdays, the ice skating rink will feature a DJ. Where all my jingle ladies at?
There is also an entire program of activities for the children to enjoy while you’re over there knocking back a litre of Krampus. These include magic shows, gingerbread decorating, and, obviously, SANTA APPEARANCES!
06 | OPEN AND FREE FOR EVERYONE
Because it’s located outside the gate area and security screenings, the Munich airport Christmas market is open and available to everyone, not just air travellers. The airport is easily accessible via the S-Bahn train network and, for those of you driving your own sleighs, the airport offers free parking for 5 hours in the P20 lot.
07 | THE PERFECT HOLIDAY LAYOVER
Air travel can really suck, especially during the busy, pushy, cranky holiday season but the Munich airport Christmas market will help you forget about all that. A few hours here is the perfect way to spend a long, holiday layover and a great chance to pick up all the gifts you haven’t yet.
The Munich airport Christmas market is open daily from 11 am – 9 pm (on Fridays and Saturday the food vendors close at 10 pm) and closes for the year on December 26th. Yule be sorry if you miss it!