Every year Christmas enthusiasts from around the world head to one of the many cozy Christmas markets in Germany… . I have to admit that so far, I’ve only been to one. But it was a good one: the Munster Christmas Market.
The Munster Christmas Market: 5-in-1
I’d been to Münster before, but that was in summer, so before I left I quickly googled “weather Munster”. Since Munster lies to the east, I feared that it would be somewhat colder. I was happily surprised to find that this wasn’t the case, temperatures would even rise up to 13 degrees!
Not exactly Christmas temperatures, but the shivery type that I am, I didn’t mind.
After check-in, I met with the Belgian Greet who was waiting for me in the hotel lobby. She works as a guide for the city of Munster and would visit the Munster Christmas markets with me.
All the Christmas markets? Yes, because the Munster Christmas market or the “Weinachtsmarkt” actually consists of five different Christmas markets that are spread throughout the city center. Each of these Christmas markets has different stalls so that they each have their own character. The different Christmas markets are:
- de Aegidii Christmas market
- de Rathaus Christmas market
- de Lamberti Christmas market
- de Kiepenkerl Christmas market
- Giebelhüüskes Christmas market
That last one was my favorite!
The Christmas market in Munster includes around 300 stalls in total, which sell all kinds of sweets and snacks such as Glühwein, bratwurst, pancakes and caramelized nuts. Those nuts, Greet told me, are typical for this time of year. So I had to buy some, right?
I chose the caramelized almonds and they were both delicious and significantly bad for your teeth.
Something I hadn’t heard of before were the Reibekuchen, fried potato slices that are served with some applesauce.
I’ll try those next time. What I did have, was some Glühwein.
I actually seldom drink alcohol, but I just couldn’t leave my first Christmas market in Germany without having tried the signature drink. I’ll have to admit that it was quite strong for me. What I did like though, was the cool cup it was served in.
None of the stalls that serve drinks in Munster use plastic or cardboard cups, instead, customers pay a €2 deposit, for which you get a cool cup in return. When you choose to return your empty cup, you get your deposit back. However, the cups do make for a nice souvenir. Some people visit the Munster Christmas market yearly and end up with a nice collection.
Besides drink and food stalls, there are stands that sell Christmas decorations and seasonal items as well. Think wreaths, warm socks, and candles. Want to do some Christmas shopping in Munster? This is the place to do it. Or you can choose to go to the shopping streets after having visited the Christmas market.
When I was there, the Munster Christmas market was officially opened with a small event on the square by the Lamberti Church (which I climbed on my last trip!). I attended and although I didn’t understand much of what they were singing, I enjoyed the performance of 6-Zylinder, a German A-Cappella band.
More importantly, however, was the tree that was located behind the stage. Each year another tree, that was granted by the citizens, is placed there. This tree does not resemble your typical Christmas tree, it only has a few lights.
Greet explained to me that it is the dream of a lot of families to one day have their tree up there by the Lamberti church. Apparently, it is considered a true honor.
There’s a funny story behind the tree of 2016, Greet told it to me and I now want to share it with you. Apparently, the owner planted the tree after their son was born with the aim of using its branches to make a wreath for this son’s wedding (that type of wedding wreath is common in the area of Munster).
However, this son kept getting older without finding himself a girlfriend so the parents decided to offer the tree to the city of Munster. Chance would have it that shortly after this decision, the son found a girl whom he is now married to.
Another Christmas tradition in Munster is that of the advent wreaths that are hung underneath the arches of the buildings on the Prinzipalmarkt. This tradition goes back to a protestant priest that once made a giant wreath for children, with a candle for each day of the advent. This made it easier for them to count down to Christmas.
Such a big wreath with all those candles was quite expensive, however. For this reason, the wreaths today have a candle for every advent week, instead of every day.
You can now find those wreaths in Catholic churches in the city as well, by the way.
About the Munster Christmas market 2018
Münster Christmas market dates:
November 26 – December 23, 2018
The Lamberti and Giebelhüüskes market already end on December 22.
Münster Christmas market opening hours:
Sunday to Thursday: 11 am – 8 pm
Friday and Saturday: 11 am – 9 pm
There are plenty of stands selling typical Christmas market food for the hungry, but if you want to have a nice sit-down meal, there is plenty of choice for that as well.
Münster Christmas market plan
2018 market plan to be announced.
Münster Christmas market 2018 events
- November 26, 5 p.m.: atmospheric opening with live music on the corner of Prinzipalmarkt/St. Lamberti Kirche
- December 9, 4.30 p.m. – 5.30 p.m.: Advent carols sing-along on the Prinzipalmarkt
Where to stay in Munster
I stayed at the Mauritzhof Hotel for one night. The hotel is located right at the edge of the city center, a 10-minute walk from the Prinzipalmarkt. It was hotel was fully renovated in 2015.
My room had a warm interior with a wide double bed, a bathroom – including a large walk-in shower – and perfectly working WiFi. In the morning I enjoyed the breakfast buffet.
How to get to Munster
On my different trips to Munster, I’ve both driven and taken the train into Munster train station. If you are traveling by car and want to park in Munster, you’ll want to park your car in one of the covered and guarded parking grounds. I left my car at the Alter Steinweg Parking, with a maximum tariff of €15 for 24 hours.
You can also easily travel to Munster by train – the city center is a 5-minute walk from the train station – and there are also a number of bus companies who organize trips to the Munster Christmas market.
If you’re traveling by plane, you can fly to Dusseldorf Airport and then take the train from there. Another option would be Amsterdam Schiphol.
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Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you book anything through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me cover costs. Munster Marketing invited me to come and experience the Munster Christmas market. I voluntarily tasted the Glühwein and share my honest personal opinion with you, as always.