Colorful booths line the cobblestone streets, the scent of lavender and curried meats fill the air, locals and tourists indulge their appetites with food from the many vendors situated around a small garden with picnic tables. Lebkuchenherz, or gingerbread hearts, hang from the sides of tents and add a dose of heritage and tradition to the longstanding market. Stand owners parade around and restock while a passerby tries the samples sitting out front. You can hear church bells from across the way and the sound of lighthearted conversation carries throughout the maze of stands and picnic tables.Why It’s Newsworthy: The Viktualienmarkt sits right in the heart of Munich and is packed with classic German food, local flavor, and a familial atmosphere. If you are looking for a place filled with local charm and a blast of the past the Viktualienmarkt is an area you want to explore.
Tourism, Locals, and the Market
The Official Website of Munich notes the market is a common site for tourists to visit. The Viktualienmarkt provides locals with a fresh place to shop, making it a cultural gem accessible to Munich’s travelers. According to the German National Tourist Board, Germany has become one of the more popular destinations in Europe since 2014, in fact, the GNTB states, “Germany can obtain 121.5 million overnight stays from abroad by 2030 through successful marketing.” Even though tourists populate the surrounding area, locals like Teja Ebel still enjoy trips to the market.
Teja Ebel, a 21-year-old from Munich, Germany, enjoys coming to the market weekly for the fresh vegetables, cheeses, and meats. She also enjoys grabbing a bite to eat with her friends in the garden.
Pleasure, Allure of Having a Local Market
There are several markets located not far from the Marienplatz in Munich, Ebel says that the Viktualienmarkt remains her favorite due to its variety of products and its proximity to her apartment and university.
Convenience remains a key factor for Ebel when it comes to visiting the tourist-filled market. The Viktualienmarkt is open every day of the week until eight in the evening, allowing many of the locals to shop fresh more often. Ebel enjoys having a market that is open throughout the week and says that many of the other markets around Munich are either just open on the weekends or once a week.
Vendors may market their fresh fruits and produce to their local customers, but the location of the Viktualienmarkt makes it a popular spot for tourists of Munich. The Viktualienmarkt, surrounded by souvenir shops, St. Peter’s Church and the entrance to Marienplatz, is a diverse meeting place between tourists and locals. Teja Ebel does not mind the heavy influx of tourists within the Viktualienmarkt. In fact, she mentions that they hardly ever bother her. When she has friends visit her, she often brings them to the market to show them that personal touch of local life.
A Tourist’s Perspective
Evelyn Riddell, a 20-year-old from Toronto, Canada traveling with her mother, says this is her second time visiting the market since arriving in Munich. Riddell says she looks for her favorites at the market like “…beers and food if I’m walking around, if this was where I lived it would be fresh produce.” One of Evelyn Riddell’s favorite aspects of the market is the central beer garden fitted with rows of tables and seating for more than six-hundred people. The communal tables make it easy for her to speak with locals and tourists allowing her to interact with different people from different walks of life.
The historical background of the Viktualienmarkt draws tourists in, along with the marketplace atmosphere the Marienplatz hosts throughout the year. However, unlike the seasonal markets that take place during the year, such as the Christkindlmarkt, the Viktualienmarkt is open all year and changes its products to suit the season.
Chloe Slafka is a fourth-year majoring in Entertainment and Media Studies in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.