Courtesy Munich AirportTraveling over the holidays isn’t exactly an experience that fills you with Christmas joy. Between crowded TSA lines and flight delays, it can turn anyone into a bit of a Scrooge.
But Munich Airport in Germany makes holiday air travel a festive celebration, thanks to its annual Christmas and Winter Market.
Courtesy Munich AirportNow in its 19th year, the event takes place in a covered outdoor space between the airport’s terminals called the MAC Forum. Since it’s located outside of security checkpoints, you don’t need an airline ticket to enjoy its many attractions. The most obvious one is the 50-foot-tall Christmas tree that towers over the space, decorated with 5,000 lights.
Courtesy Munich AirportIn addition to that, 450 smaller decorated trees stand around the market. There are more than 45 stands that sell handmade crafts, drinks (mulled wine is the choice beverage), and food like gingerbread and sausage.
Courtesy Munich AirportVisitors can ice skate at the airport’s 6,000-square-foot rink to live music played by local jazz, rock, or pop musicians—more than 20 bands and singers perform daily. A second ice rink (yes, there are two) is reserved for Eisstockschießen, a traditional Bavarian ice sport that’s similar to curling. Competitors need to slide ice blocks across the rink in hopes of hitting a target or traveling the furthest.
If you’re lucky enough to be flying in or out of this winter wonderland of an airport (it’s open through December 30), we’re extremely jealous. For everyone else, you’re going to need these holiday travel tips that every smart traveler should memorize.