A Very German Christmas in Munich

The last time I was in Munich was while I was studying abroad in the Netherlands 10 years ago, and at the time Jacob and I could only really afford about two beers from the famous beer halls there. But oh, what memories! From the Marienplatz (main square) to the Englisher Garden to the lederhosen and bretzels, Munich had always left a grand impression on me, and I couldn't wait to get back a decade later!   It's easy to completely absorb the city's numerous sparkly Christmas markets, but the festivities can be seen and smelt all around town.  Although the colder weather this time meant no soaking up the rays and brews in the hundreds of beer gardens around town, Munich is still a lovely place (I'm convinced) all year round!  

Perhaps there's no place more lovely for gastronomic wandering in the city than through the Viktualienmarkt, an outdoor, cobblestoned maze of stalls selling exotic fruits, imported wines, artisan cheeses, honey, truffels, and the like. With gourmet prices to match, it's really more of a browsing and strolling experience for me than anything else, but it's definitely tempting and tantalizing:
 Munich really does know how to bring out the warm-fuzzies of the holiday season:
I'm especially a fan of all of the fabulous window displays to drool over:

One of the first things for many peoples' visit to Munich (and all of Germany, for that matter) are the beer halls! First up, the Augustiner Brewery, which was established in 1328 (!!!) making it Munich's oldest still-independent brewery! We'll drink to that impressive longevity (and it's incredible apple strudel with vanilla custard)!
And of course, no trip to Munich is complete without a stop by the world-famous Hofbrauhaus, whether you've been there before or not! This quintessential Bavarian beer hall was founded in 1589 by the Duke of Bavaria and has quite the history (including being around the block from Mozart's old residence, as well as hosting some of the Nazi party meetings which resulted in the creation of Germany's National Socialist Program...check out its fascinating history here).

You can't hear polka music and watch dirndl-clad ladies peddling pretzels in photos! That's what this video is for:

For one whole day during our last visit to Munich, we had snow...
...but then it completely melted...
...leaving some a little confused on how to dress for Christmas Eve tree-gathering:
Speaking of Christmas Eve, loading up on some lebkuchen (gingerbread) from the markets...
...is the perfect accompaniment to a Very German Christmas indeed:
Of course, if you're in need of another place to drink in the holiday cheer, head over to the Weiss Brewery, where there are sure to be plenty of others in the Bavarian Christmas spirit as well:

It was such an awesome experience getting to know this city a little better, and especially at Christmastime, where the hot, mulled wine and gingerbread helped (a little) to make up a bit for the lack of inviting beer gardens!