CHINESISCHER TURM WEIHNACHTSMARKT – A CHRISTMAS MARKET AT MUNICH’S CHINESE TOWER:
The Chinesischer Turm Weihnachtsmarkt (Chinese Tower Christmas Market) is an unusual name for a German Christmas Market and it is so called because in the middle of the market grounds stands a giant Chinese pagoda. The 25-metre high wooden Chinese Tower is one of the attractions in Munich’s famous Englischer Garten (English Garden) and, except for the Christmas season, it is also the venue of one of the largest beer gardens in the city, with a capacity of 7,000 seats.
The Chinesischer Turm Weihnachtsmarkt is not a scheduled visit on our German Christmas Market tour, but we’re glad to find it as, apart from the park, there is nothing else to see or do in the vicinity of the Hilton Munich Park Hotel where we’re staying.
Popular with Locals
Although the Chinese Tower Christmas Market is not well-known to international visitors, it is very popular with locals and we arrive at the market to see streams of cars queueing to get into the carpark. It is quite a busy market and being Sunday, families come to have their lunch here, catch up with friends and relatives and to do some last minute Christmas shopping.
From the activities available, it’s obvious that the Chinesischer Turm Weihnachtsmarkt is family-oriented. In Grandma’s cozy Story Barn, kids can gather to hear grandma tell local Christmas fables. The little wool-covered sled-like chairs in this Story Barn are adorable!
Grandpa has a barn as well and he no doubt tells more adventure-oriented stories. In another bigger hut, children can learn how to make their Christmas woodcrafts under the guidance of the resident carpenter.
With the kids being entertained, the grown-ups are free to gather for their Sunday lunch and socialize. Like most Christmas markets, there are many food stalls offering bratwurst, hamburgers, pretzels, chocolates, cookies, etc.
Santa Claus also makes an appearance later and distributes little gifts to children who have been good.
Eating and Drinking
By late afternoon it is already getting dark and time to have a snack. There’s not much for people like us who don’t eat meat, but we finally manage to find a stall selling a pizza-type bread and we order the mozzarella and tomato slice to share. It is delicious and so we go back for another slice and some glühwein from a neighbouring stall.
Christmas Market Shopping
After our sustenance we walk around the market, checking out the various stands. At one of the woodcraft stalls, Tony is attracted to a wood carving of a photographer and he takes a liking to it. This stall sells German incense smokers (Räuchermännchen), a traditional decoration that Germans have in their homes at Christmas time. We spend some time here admiring the well-made Räuchermännchen and chatting to Peter the owner. They also have nice papercuts and other Christmas decorations and we end up doing some Christmas shopping here.
Having satisfied ourselves with food and Christmas shopping, we retreat to our hotel. The Chinesischer Turm Weihnachtsmarkt is a smaller and more intimate Christmas market and its setting in the English Garden, next to the Chinese Tower, makes it unique.
Chinesischer Turm Weihnachtsmarkt
How to Get There:
By Bus – Nos. 54 and 154 from Giselastrasse U-bahn station or Ostbahnhof
By Tram – Tram 18 from Munich Hauptbahnhof
Map of Munich