About a year ago, I dedicated a post to Naschmarkt, Vienna’s largest outdoor market.
In the comments section, a fellow blogger told me Vienna’s market reminded her of the Viktualienmarkt in Munich. I paid a lot of attention to that tip. Don’t ask me how (I cannot even pronounce that word) but I made a mental note. I had to visit one day. After all, I am a market freak.
The dreamed trip to Munich came quicker than expected. Yes, the market kept coming to mind once I set foot at the train station. After a short stop at the hotel, we started walking towards Old Town.
After taking a glimpse of Marienplatz and Alter Peter, we continued moving towards our objective. A few seconds later, we started to see one beautiful stall after another. It was way better than what we expected!
My husband told me: “You always find the best places!” I accepted the compliment without telling him I had some help with this one (wink, wink).
“Viktualien” is a Latin word that means food. Therefore, the entire term indicates this is a food market. Simple, right?
The market origins date back to the early 1800s when the space used to store cereals in Marienplatz became too small. King Maximilian I ordered the relocation of a certain area. With time, the market expanded and gained notoriety.
The area suffered extensive damage after World War II. After a revitalization sponsored by the government and the help of citizens, Viktualienmarkt reopened in 2005.
If you are visiting Munich, make sure to spend some time at the market.
8 Reasons to Visit Viktualienmarkt – Munich Best Market
Located in Old Town
If you stop by Munich, I am pretty sure you are going to visit top attractions such as Marienplatz, Alter Peter, and the two town halls. Well, the Viktualienmarkt is steps away from these places and spaces.
What is more, you can see some of them from the market grounds (so, you have a different photographic angle). Other ornate buildings can be seen in the surroundings too.
Open Air and Green
Covered markets with their low lights, cramped stalls, and sharp smells have a certain appeal. Nevertheless, there is something enchanting about a market where you can browse freely without feeling encapsulated.
And, there are trees and plenty of benches to sit down. I am not sure I have seen the market – park – garden concept before. You can get whatever you want and have a picnic right there. Or, if your feet are aching after walking 10 miles, you have a place to sit down and relax.
This market covers an area of 244,000 sq ft or 22,000 m2. That means you may not need to turn into a canned sardine to buy something. I am not exaggerating. Have you been to markets with super narrow halls or alleys? I have and it is not fun.
In this market, there is space between halls. I would describe it as a little village where you can walk from one small house to another one. I am sure there are times when this market is bursting with people but in most cases, you should have enough wiggle room.
Plenty of food and vegetables
Ok, I have given you some good information about the market but we are about to get to the best things it has to offer. Get prepared for this, the market has more than 140 stalls offering fruits, vegetables, juices, spices and so on.
Stalls sell plenty of berries, peaches, and bananas. But, it is not only about the products we are accustomed to seeing. I saw carob, mangosteens, and jackfruit. I was very impressed by the variety I got to witness. The place gives you the opportunity for some adventurous eating.
Also, it is nice to see what it is in season. White asparaguses were all over the place when we visited. We had the opportunity to try the delicious morsels covered in béchamel sauce. They tasted glorious!
Local and Regional Products
There are tons of fresh produce on the market but artisan products rule too. To me, places, where you can experience local delicacies, are a must. There are stalls selling cheese, olives, vegetable spreads, honey, dried fruits, wine, sausages, oil, vinegar, mustard, bread and much more.
Many vendors offer samples. This provides visitors an excellent opportunity to taste before committing to buy. Also, it is a good way to start a chat with the sellers. They may give you interesting information about how they create their products.
Inside the market, you are going to find stores and restaurants. I told you the place feels like a village. You can get everything from Biergarten fare to international options (quiches, pizza, taco salads, soups, etc.). And, yes, sausages are sold in practically every corner.
Edibles are the market forte. That is not something I have to say. It is expected. The great thing is that there are certain stalls which sell pretty home and bath goods. Those trying to find goods to take back home may score a nice deal in here (and get something locally made).
This is a fun place!
If I have not given you enough reasons, well, let’s just say this market is tons of fun! You can eat drink, sit, relax and chat with locals. And, you can do that pretty much all day and then part of the night too. Tell me if this doesn’t feel like heaven!
- The market is open Monday through Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. but most stall close around 6:00 p.m.
- Go early to avoid crowds
- Take cash since many vendors do not accept electronic forms of payment
- There are ATM machines in Marienplatz
- Show respect when taking photos of the stalls. If you see “no photos” signs, please respect that. When in doubt, ask
- Use good judgment when sampling products
- Do not touch fresh product or goods
- Don’t make the same mistake we made. If you are thinking about getting some non-perishables, get them at the moment. We wanted to buy several things and left it for later since we didn’t want to carry the things around. Well, we didn’t have time for later
Other Markets in Europe
- Mercado San Miguel– Madrid
- La Boqueria– Barcelona
- Mercat Central– Valencia
- Naschmarkt– Vienna
- Great Market Hall – Budapest
Day Trip from Munich
- Beautiful Neuschwanstein – The castle that inspired Walt Disney
Have you visited or would like to visit the Viktualienmarkt? Let me know in the comments section below.
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