Munich for X-Mas - Dead or Alive?

Old Nov 18th, 2007, 05:55 PM
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Munich for X-Mas - Dead or Alive?

Contemplating trip to Munich 23-27 December but now a little worried. Would welcome any perspective on just how "dead" the city really is at that time -- is everything (shops, restaurants, etc) closed tight? Or is it possible to get a feel for the city? Thank you.
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Old Nov 18th, 2007, 09:56 PM
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I haven't been to Munich, but my boyfriend lived there for several years, and he says that Christmas time is lovely there. The Christmas markets are nice. Enjoy! I think you can also make day trips to the castles, etc.
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Old Nov 19th, 2007, 12:18 AM
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The Christmas markets don't take place during the holidays, they all terminate either in Dec 23 or Dec 24 around noon (I hope someone here has precise information about the Munich one), so you'll have to hurry.

Shops close on Dec 24 in the early afternoon and reopen in the morning of Dec 27.

Don't expect too many restaurants to be open, especially on Dec 24 - on Christmas Eve you'll have a tough time finding something to eat if your hotel doesn't offer a holiday package. Pubs may reopen later in the evening.
On Dec 25 and 26, more restaurants will be open, but many offer special menus that require reservation.

Expect several sights to be closed during the holidays - check individually. Your chances will be best on Dec 26.

It's Advent, the four weeks before Christmas, that's wonderful in Germany. The Christmas holidays (Dec 24-26) are rather quiet and dull. Christmas is a quiet family holiday over here, no party time.
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Old Nov 19th, 2007, 01:43 AM
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In addition to what quokka said:

The church services on Dec 24 are usually a very nice (midnight mass in the main cathedral, or the English language services)

The major museums and attractions in Munich (i.e. the Pinakotheken art museums, the Residence and Nymphenburg castle) are closed Dec 24 and 25, but open on Dec 26.

I usually do day trips into the front range of the Alps with Bayerische Oberland railways on Dec 25. You can do long or short hikes from one stop to the other, like a round course around Schliersee (lake) or in the Bayrischzell area.
Since the Bavarian oberland is 1,000ft higher than Munich, you often find a winter wonderland there even when Munich does not have much snow. Yet, no promises on weather.

Also day trips to Salzburg or Augsburg are possible for little money (€27 for up to 5 people), and you don't necessarily need to shop at these locations to have a good time or to experience the atmosphere.

Several restaurants in Munich offer only special Christmas lunch or dinner on Dec 25. But you also find other options since not all restaurants follow that scheme. But you cannot expect to find a place in that fancy restaurant you picked from a travel guide, as those place probably will be a problem without reservations.

So your itinerary could be like this:

Dec 23: arrive/shop/last chance to find all Christmas markets in town open!
Dec 24: shop & church, (only Christmas market at Marienplatz still open)
Dec 25: day trip to the countryside
Dec 26: culture (museums etc)
Dec 27: shop/leave
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 07:16 PM
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