The bustling Viktualienmarkt, Munich's best outdoor market, is located in the heart of the city’s Altstadt (old town) and is a must-see site and an attraction for locals and tourists.
History of Munich's Viktualienmarkt
This market predates its current location. The market began in the city's main square, Marienplatz, but quickly outgrew the space. King Maximilian I decreed that it be moved to this nearby square in 1807, making it the oldest farmers market in Munich.
Its name is derived from the Latin word victualia, which means "groceries".
It has been expanded several times since the move and spans an impressive 22,000 m2 (240,000 sq ft). There is now a butchers' hall, bakery, fruit vendors and a fish hall.
During World War II, the market was severely damaged and the city wasn't sure if it would rebuild. A push from the public with a considerable amount of donations saved the site and added elements like a memorial fountain.
On November 6, 1975 the area was designated a pedestrian zone, making it an ideal meeting point and people watching spot.
What to Get at the Munich Viktualienmarkt
The Viktualienmarkt is Munich’s premier place to shop for fresh produce, dairy, bread and Bavarian specialties. Locals, tourists, and the city’s top chefs come here to fill their baskets with everything from fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood, to pastries, honey, spices, flowers and fresh squeezed juices.
Browsing the Viktualienmarkt is a feast for all senses. Six days a week you can sample from more than 140 booths and farm stands which are decorated with garlands of sausages, mountains of vegetables, and pyramids of fruits. New York Times writer Mimi Sheraton wrote in her piece "Meals Worth a Flight",
Being crazy about hot dogs, I cherish the varieties — steamed weisswurst, grilled bratwurst and meaty bauernwurst, the slim, smoky Polnischers and the paprika-sparked Debreziners — that can be sampled at stalls and in stubes surrounding those markets. There one can intake all of a day’s calories at a breakfast of potato soup and the glistening, warm, gently steamed liver pâté loaf that is leberkäse (unappealingly translated as liver cheese), offset by sweet and grainy Bavarian mustard.
Beer Garden at Viktualienmarkt
In the heart of the Viktualienmarkt, you will find a beer garden. Shaded by hundred-year old chestnut trees, this is a wonderful place to take a break from shopping and to watch the bustling market scene around you.
The beer garden, which sits over 600 people, features some of the best Munich breweries. About every six weeks a different beer is offered from one of the legendary breweries like Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Löwenbräu, Hofbräu, Paulaner and Spaten. Order a standard .5, or go for the big guy, a full liter called a Mass. The beer garden is also open during winter, now selling Glühwein in addition to beer.
Also try the hearty Bavarian specialties, like Schweinshaxe (roasted pork knuckle) with sauerkraut and dumplings, warm potato salad, or a simple Brotzeit platter with cold cuts and homemade artisan cheese.
You can also bring your own food.
Weihnachtsmarkt at Munich's Viktualienmarkt
Visitor Info: November 17th - January 1; 14:00 - 23:00; closed December 24th - 26th
Other Events Held at Munich's Viktualienmarkt
The market is an important setting for many other events throughout the year. Bavaria's schedule is full of folk festivals like Brewers' Day, as well as being the opening site for Spargel (white asparagus) season, summer festival as well as the dance of the market women on Weiberfastnacht.
Viktualienmarkt Visitor Info
Mo - Sat, 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Summer, Mo - Sat, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Winter, Mo - Sat, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Viktualienmarkt Address: Viktualienmarkt, 80331 Munich
Getting There: All S-Bahn lines or U3 and U6 to "Marienplatz"
Nearby Munich Attractions:
- The historic main square, Marienplatz, with its Glockenspiel and the Munich City Hall
- Plus the Top Ten Attractions in Munich