Wondering what to see and do in Munich? The answer is a stroll through the Viktualienmarkt. This vibrant market should be at the top of your list. It is the most popular meeting place in the capital of Bavaria and one of the busiest stops for tourists and locals.
This large space, located in the old town of Munich, has been in operation for more than two centuries and houses hundreds of stands with locally grown food, through its crafts, hotels, florists, juices and of course the main protagonists of the place: the breweries. In this post you will learn the best way to visit it, tips, schedule ... a guide to enter the Viktualienmarkt through the front door.
Secure your guided tour + tasting at the Viktualienmarkt
This guided tour will allow you to get to know the highlights among the more than 100 stalls on the Viktualienmarkt, while tasting seasonal delicacies and learning about the history of the place.
What does the tour offer you? The company of an expert who will accompany you from the Old Town through the surroundings of the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, Munich Stadtmuseum to the end of the Viktualienmarkt.
While walking and enjoying the best of German food, you will hear the history of the place in detail. For now, I will tell you that its current name is the result of the Latinization of the German titles that were born in the 19th century. The curiosities of the place you can learn during the tour when you taste exotic fruits, a selection of cheeses, sweets and sausages.
Recommended if... you are interested in tasting the best seasonal tapas as the Germans do, being guided by a local expert who shares interesting details about the gastronomy and the place. The duration of the tour is about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
How much do tickets to the Viktualienmarkt cost?
In this market you pay only for the drinks and products purchased, the entrance is free. The recommendation, however, is to take a guided tour, have you seen the dimensions of the place?
It is half the size of a soccer field, all full of fixed and itinerant stalls with seasonal variations. Although you can visit on your own, the ideal -at least the first time you visit- is to have a local expert guide you.
Is it possible to visit the Viktualienmarkt with children?
Yes, of course you can include this tour among the activities to do in Munich with children. However, because of the long walks and the few attractions for children, the walk through this market is usually recommended for adults.
What are the opening hours of the Viktualienmarkt?
You can visit the Viktualienmarkt:
- Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
- Saturdays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
- Closedon Sundays.
Despite the official opening hours, on Mondays some of the stands are closed. If you want to see the place in all its splendor, I recommend a visit between Tuesday and Saturday.
How much time do you need to visit the Viktualienmarkt?
Normally, it takes 2 to 3 hours to visit the Viktualienmarkt when you have an expert to guide the way. However, to shop to your heart's content you will need half a day.
Remember that there are more than a hundred stands of souvenir stores, florists, delicatessens, taverns, fishmongers and food places waiting for you. It depends on your available time, but I recommend that you reserve half a day of your vacation in Munich to visit this market.
Best time to visit the Viktualienmarkt
Although this is a permanent open-air market, there is always a better time to approach the Viktualienmarkt.
Beers from the six Munich companies are served in shifts at this market. Considering that this is one of the most sought-after products in the area, the mild temperature and the festive atmosphere, the best time to visit the Viktualienmarkt is October.
Along the market you will find the 6 most popular breweries in Munich. In fact, the presence of the central monument, the Maypole, also known as Maibaum or Maypole, is due to a donation made by the Bavarian breweries.
Along with booking your tickets for the Oktoberfest in Munich, it is ideal that you write down a visit to the Viktualienmarkt among your things to see and do in autumn in the Germanic country. After all, the official event takes place just a couple of streets away from the market.
Best time to visit the Viktualienmarkt
Let's be honest, in this market you find everything, but most visitors come for 3 reasons:
- The freshness of the food. Fruits, vegetables and greens are grown in local fields and go straight to the market.
- The food places. With such good raw materials, it is not surprising to get good dishes, and let's not forget the importance of Munich's culinary tradition, which says "present! In the heart of the Old Town and concentrated in the Viktualienmarkt.
- Last but not least, beer. Yes, it is easy to get breweries in Germanic land, but knowing that you have 6 breweries, the best in the area in one place, is an attraction.
With these focal points, it's no wonder that the best time to visit the Viktualienmarkt is between 2-3pm, when lunch beckons.
How to get to the Viktualienmarkt
This market is located at Viktualienmarkt 3 . From the central station you can go:
- Walking: it will take you 6-7 minutes along Prielmayerstraße.
- By public transport: you can choose between S-Bahn lines 1-8, U3 or U6 or bus 52 to Marienplatz. Once you reach the square, you only have to walk 3 blocks to the market, just behind St. Peter's Church.
- By car: it will take you about 9 minutes and via Prälat-Zistl-Straße 3 you can park 24 hours at Parkgarage Schrannenhalle.
Another option: the Hop On - Hop Off Bus
As in almost all European cities, you can take the tourist bus and visit the Viktualienmarkt and many other places of interest in the city -I advise you to choose one that combines the Marienplatz and Olympiapark, it is one of the most beautiful areas of the city-.
The best tourist buses in Munich offer this route and prices start at 18 €, not negligible.
What you will find at the Viktualienmarkt
Located in the heart of the Old Town, the Viktualienmarkt tour offers an immersive experience of German culture.
It opened its doors in 1807 as a farmers' market and has evolved to become part of the city's cultural heritage, a must-see among the best food and beer tours in Munich.
At the Viktualienmarkt you'll find everything you can dream of and more of Bavaria's own traditions. You could say that there are three spaces that delimit the almost 20,000 m2 of the market:
- The market stalls. There are about 140 stands arranged with souvenirs, ice cream, bread, wine, fruit, vegetables, spices, delicatessen, good cuts of meat perfect to accompany the German star: beer, which brings us to the second point.
- The food and drink places. Whether you are looking for a tavern or street food stalls, the market has everything at your fingertips. Here you can treat yourself to a full feast at affordable prices. There are many food stalls, cafes, bars and restaurants, hotels and hostels. The Viktualienmarkt doesn't miss a thing.
- Sites of historical interest. After more than 200 years of existence, German traditions have a stamp on some of the city's highlights. And in the middle of this market, several of them come together, such as the observation tower in St. Peter's Church or the Munich City Hall. This is a colorful space with curiosities in every corner.
What you should not miss at the Viktualienmarkt
For its size and history, the Viktualienmarkt should be a must-see on your travel itinerary. And among its cultural contribution you should not miss:
The famous Maypole or Maypole is the focal point of the market and as such, you will find it in the center of its facilities. The Maypole -common in the Celtic culture- represents the communion of the trades that are part of the traditions of a town or municipality.
Among the figures that decorate it are craftsmen, tavern keepers, street vendors, fairs, dancers, singers and even the two patron saints of beer: St. Boniface and St. Florian.
The history of the city is represented in the 36 meters high emblematic work.
Monuments to the legends of Munich
The local Germans have built a set of fountains with statues to commemorate popular singers and comedians, such as Roider Jackl, Weiss Ferdl, Elisa Aulinger, Liesl Karlstadt and Karl Valentin among others.
The Catholic church Heiliggeistkirche(Heilig Geist) is a Gothic church dating from the 14th century, when it was incorporated into the Hospice of the Holy Spirit. Later, around the 17th century, the architect Cosmas Damian Asam designed its remodeling and it would not be the last time. The damage caused by the wars led to the remodeling of the temple in 1991.
The result is an exquisite work worthy of admiration, which is why it is part of the best World War II tours in Munich.
The 5 special events at the Viktualienmarkt
The parties never stop at this market, and while you're sure to find more events, this quintet is special:
This market does not escape the winter closure. Specifically on Shrove Tuesday, the ladies of the stalls come together to present their dances and animations to infect the public with the energy of the season. The event is known as the market women's dance or Tanz der Marktweiber.
The event - according to German authorities - attracts some 10,000 people annually. Arrive early and secure your place at the venue if you want to enjoy the best views.
The beginning of spring marks the start of the asparagus season in Munich and the celebration is a big one.
In addition to electing an asparagus queen and the whole event organized by the City Hall, at the Viktualienmarkt the specialists of this vegetable offer tips, recommendations and exquisite preparations with the German asparagus in white or green.
One of the must-sees of the Viktualienmarkt are the fountains in honor of various artists representative of the Bavarian capital. On the first Friday of August, the fountains are decorated with vibrant multicolored flowers and the City Hall organizes street theater performances and free shows. Find out all the details of this event and join the summer party.
Every year millions of visitors gather at Theresienwiese to celebrate the Oktoberfest and a few streets away you will find the Viktualienmarkt, where the party also takes shape. The breweries located in the Old Town host special events to continue the city's atmosphere.
In 2021, for example, the Munich Brewery Association presented its tankard of the year alongside its kegs of the coveted brew while the brewery teams danced to the tune of the Munich Kindl Viktoria Ostler.
Winter Magic is the name given to the special season in December and if you are in search of what to see and do in Munich at Christmas, the Viktualienmarkt enters the most comprehensive flea markets.
In addition to the hundred or so stands, from mid-November until the first week of January there are 15 to 20 special spaces with ornaments, trees, seasonal delicacies, wine, gingerbread and handicrafts.
Even just to walk around, this market is worth a stroll. Make a note of this activity to do in Munich in winter, you might find St. Nicholas on a street corner.
Tips for visiting the Viktualienmarkt
Transportation. I recommend that you make your visit on foot. Public transportation is just a few blocks away at Marienplatz square, a space flanked by St. Peter's Church, the Munich Stadtmuseum -please stop by, it's a delight of a space-, the MUCA (Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art) and other sights such as the Sendlinger Tower. The walk is pleasant and will allow you to get to know the city.
Buy your CityTourCard Munich. Especially if you follow my advice and get around by public transport. In addition, the card offers special discounts at some sights like the Nymphenburg Palace and if you are accompanied, the discounts are increased.
Clothing. Choose comfortable attire, especially if you are visiting Munich in summer. Ideally, keep an eye on the weather conditions, which brings us to the next recommendation.
Check the weather forecast. It sounds obvious but sometimes we overlook it, keep an eye on the weather news.
Sign up for a tour. Vacations are wonderful but time is limited, if you want to know a perfect itinerary to make the best use of your time and cover activities for example, what to see and do in Munich in two days: the best thing to do is to have an expert guide advise you.