You’ll see a whole lot of shopping going on in Munich. A seemingly endless network of shopping streets rays out from Marienplatz and wide, pedestrian-only Kaufingerstrasse and Neuhauser Strasse. You can find anything you want here, but it’s unlikely that you’ll find any bargains. What you will find is high-quality, for this is a shopping society that does not spend its money on junk.
The best streets for elegant boutiques and specialty shops are Briennerstrasse, Maximilianstrasse (which also has the leading art galleries), Maffeistrasse, and Theatinerstrasse. On these streets, all the top European couturiers and Germany’s and Munich’s own designers have shops: Jil Sander, Joop, Bogner, Max Dietl, Rudolph Moshammer, et cetera. Antiques devotees with deep pockets find what they want on Ottostrasse. The biggest concentration of shops selling secondhand goods is on Westenriederstrasse, between the Viktualienmarkt and Isartor. The streets radiating out from the Gärtnerplatz roundabout contain a mix of chain stores and trendy independent boutiques.
When you’re shopping, remember that you will almost always pay more for items imported from the U.S., and less for items made or manufactured in Germany and the European Union.
Christmas Market in Marienplatz
Beer-drinkers in Munich have their festival, called Oktoberfest. And holiday shoppers have theirs, called the Christkindlmarkt, or Christmas Market. From late November through December, Marienplatz, the main square of the inner city, overflows with stalls selling toys, tree ornaments, handicrafts, and a mouthwatering array of traditional snacks and sweets, including gingerbread, sugarcoated almonds, fruitcakes, smoked meats, and piping hot Glühwein, a spiced red wine. Even if you don’t plan to buy anything, the atmosphere itself is guaranteed to put you in a festive mood.
Lederhosen & Dirndls
In the run-up to and during Oktoberfest, it seems like there are more people wearing Lederhosen and Dirndls than regular clothes, as if a large proportion of the city—both locals and visitors—have been cast as extras in a period film. Heading to the Oktoberfest in normal street clothes is completely acceptable, but to embrace it fully, pick up some traditional threads and do as the locals do.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.