Travel

Discover a magical white winter in Munich

The capital of Bavaria offers fun for all ages in the winter season

From December to February, the charming German city of Munich will be decked in snow and turned into a fun-filled magical winter wonderland with activities suitable for all ages.

The capital of Bavaria sparkles as a great year-end destination with fewer crowds, better hotel rates and its magical festive vibe.

Here are the top reasons to visit this holiday season, according to official travel guide Simply Munich.

Soak in the festivities at Christmas markets (Christkindlmarkt)

This is a deep-rooted tradition where locals and visitors gather to celebrate the Christmas season four weeks ahead of the holiday. The picturesque town is replete with the echoes of Christmas jingles, the sweet aroma of mulled wine is in the air and there is a lot of glitter and gold.

There are a range of Christmas markets to explore, from the classic and traditional to the quirky and unconventional.

Located in the heart of Munich's main square, the Traditional Bavarian Experience: Marienplatz Christmas Market (Nov 27 to Dec 24) features a towering Christmas tree with approximately 2,500 lights that glow against the neo-gothic town hall, where over a hundred stalls are lined across the streets selling traditional handmade crafts and delightful snacks.

At the Medieval Christmas Market: Mittelaltermarkt "Munich Advent Spectacle" (Nov 25 to Dec 23), be transported back in time to a world of knights, fair maidens, jugglers and angelic figures at Wittelsbacherplatz.

Ride the festive-themed tram (ChristkindlTram)

The old-style Christmas Tram is one of the best ways to see the rich Christmas decorations and also some of the city highlights at the same time.

The cosy joyous ride also includes mulled wine, children's punch, tasty delicacies and festive music onboard.

Taste seasonal specialities

Munich is filled with the tantalising aroma of roasted chestnuts and caramelised almonds, and some of the popular winter specialities includes Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), Maultaschen (large ravioli with different fillings), Kasespatzle (noodles topped with cheese and caramelised onions), Pfeffernusse (tiny spice cookies), Magenbrot (a sweet glazed biscuit similar to gingerbread cookie), Stollen (fruit bread) and Feuerzangenbowle (rum-soaked sugarloaf set on fire, dripping into mulled wine).

See Munich's winter wonderland from above

Catch a whimsical view of the entire city centre covered with a pristine dusting of snow over the old European architecture from St Peter's Church (Peterskirche) located right in the centre of Munich at Marienplatz. Climb the stairs up to the observation tower for the most beautiful view of the Alps in the background against the Munich skyline.

Another popular option is to take two lifts up the 85m-high tower of the neo-Gothic New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) which houses the famous Glockenspiel.

Visit enchanting castles and palaces

Suitable for all-year-round visits, The Residenz is the largest city palace in Germany and former royal palace to Bavaria's kings and dukes displaying stunning Renaissance interior, eminent royal collections and endless classical statues.

Another highlight is the Nymphenburg Palace (Schloss Nymphenburg), a Baroque palace which served as the main summer residences of former members of royalty.

Though the gardens are not open for viewing during winter, the canal in front of the palace freezes and transforms into a popular outdoor sports area for curling and skating.

A day trip to the spectacular Neuschwanstein Castle is also not to be missed. The 19th-century fairytale-like palace is perched on a steep hill and often named as one of the most beautiful castles.

Pick your favourite winter activity in the park

Appreciate the cold morning light and snow-covered meadows at the English Garden (Englischer Garten), one of world's largest urban public parks, which is blanketed in snow during winter.

Join the locals in sledding down the slopes or take a stroll to different parts of the garden such as the Japanese Teahouse, Greek love temple Monopteros and Chinese Tower.

Tobogganing starts on numerous hills in Munich such as in Luitpoldpark, Westpark and Olympic Park (Olympiapark) as soon as there is enough snow on the ground. These parks feature both broad and gentle slopes for the young and fast-moving steep slopes for adventure seekers.

TOURISM & TRAVEL