Friday, November 21, 2014

Viktualienmarkt: a day at the Munich Farmers Market

maypole at Viktualienmarkt
When my family and I visited Munich for Oktoberfest, we spent two of our days doing "non-Oktoberfest" activities: visiting Füssen and the Neuschwanstein Castle, and spending the day at Viktualienmarkt: a German farmers market!

Viktualienmarkt is located just a few hundred meters from Marienplatz, the central square of Munich. Originally, the market was located in Marienplatz until 1807, when King Maximilian I determined the market was too large and moved it to the present location. Over the years, numerous buildings have been added, including a butcher's hall, fish hall, and many stands for bakeries, cheese shops, and sausage shops. In the picture above, you can see the Maypole located in Viktualienmarkt. In the old days when the market was first formed, water played an important role to the market square as seven brooks flowed across the square. The Maypole shows various figurines that display the trades and crafts of this part in Munich. Maypoles date from the ages of overall illiteracy and used to signal a village or a market to traveling salesmen or craftsmen. Maypoles are most common in Celtic and Germanic countries and throughout Bavaria, as well as parts of England.

If you are looking to spend a relaxing day in Munich, I would definitely check out Viktualienmarkt. We roamed the various shops, and left the day with full stomachs and much less empty wallets. Viktualienmarkt has many cheese shops, sausage shops, bakeries, flower stands, tourist trinkets, fresh produce shops, spice stands, and many more. Currently, the market takes up a space of over 22,000 square feet with over 140 stalls and shops.

Viktualienmarkt cheese shops
some of the delicious cheeses at Viktualienmarkt
Viktualienmarkt cheese shop
more amazing cheese!
My favorite shops at Viktualienmarkt were the delicious cheese shops. Each of the cheese shops had hundreds upon hundreds of different cheese flavors, soft and hard, to purchase. Of course, before purchasing, the vendors will certainly let you try out a few flavors! I loved to try new varieties of cheese while shopping about the market. Tourist tip: go to Viktualienmarkt with an empty stomach! You'll be able to sample many different foods, and if you are still hungry there are fresh meals available.

flowers at Viktualienmarkt
gorgeous fresh flowers!
Of course, being a farmers market, there are tons of fresh flower shops and stands! These stands all had stunning flower arrangements, and definitely hosted the biggest roses I have ever seen. If we had not been leaving the next day I would have certainly purchased some fresh flowers to brighten up our hotel room!

Throughout the market, we kept seeing these strange 'flower' plants…they looked like mini pumpkins on the leaves, but they were actually hollow on the inside! Would have loved to bring home one of these.

produce at Viktualienmarkt
fresh produce
Of course, being a farmers market, there was tons of fresh produce all throughout the market! It was refreshing to see some business people and natives of Munich shopping the market, likely getting their meals for lunch or dinner all planned out!

wood carvings at Viktualienmarkt
cute little wood squirrel guy!
 Throughout Viktualienmarkt, there were also tons of great wood carvings/projects and trinkets for around the home. I thought the above guy was pretty darn cute! While I didn't purchase him to take home, I did find a great looking heart sign that says 'willkommen' to hang in our apartment here. The rest of my family all bought a similar sign as well!

olives at farmers market
some of the different olives!
 While I'm not an olive person, I was astonished at how many different olives one of the stands had. There had to be around 100 different types of olives- regular, stuffed, you name it!- to try out and purchase.
spices at farmers market
some of the spice varieties!
The spice selection at Viktualienmarkt also surprised me. There were hundreds, if not thousands, of different spices to purchase. I ended up getting a yellow curry to take home to Nick- reminds us of our honeymoon in Thailand!

Overall, Viktualienmarkt was a great-and free!- way to spend a day in Munich. One of my favorite things to do while traveling has been to check out various farmers markets or other markets and see what they have to offer. Thus far, I've been to the markets in the US, Sweden, Germany, France, Denmark and Thailand, and each has been impressive! Viktualienmarkt impressed me based off the sheer size of the market, as well as how many great things they had both for native Germans and for tourists looking for souvenirs.

No Comments Yet, Leave Yours!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog! I truly appreciate and will take the time to respond to each of your comments. Please, do not post links unassociated with my content as they will be deleted.