wintermarket in munich airport
Credit: Munich Airport

Most people dread getting stuck at the airport on a holiday, but from now until December 27, travelers may want to schedule a layover at Munich Airport. On November 21st, the airport unveiled its 17th annual winter market featuring 400 Christmas trees, ice-skating, holiday vendors, and, of course, a visit from Santa himself.

In addition to the shops that usually line the airport's terminals, the winter market features an open-air Christmas market with 46 stands, including plenty of opportunities for present shopping, which is great news if you need to pick up a last minute gift in transit. The stalls also offer seasonal treats that make up a traditional European Christmas spread, like mulled wine, sweet roasted almonds, sausages, and gingerbread.

The centerpiece of the market is the skating rink where children can take lessons or watch Germany's top figure skaters show off their smoothest moves. For an even more unique cultural experience, check out an exhibition of Bavaria's unique version of curling on the adjacent ice rink.

The winter market features a program of fun seasonal events for anyone with some time to kill before a flight. Activities include live music, magic shows, making Advent wreaths, an appearance by Santa Claus on St. Nicholas Day, and a chance to make Christmas wish lists before the Christ Child himself visits the airport.

In addition to the seasonal festivities, the airport is also offering a treat sure to thrill any aviation fans—50-minute tours of the runways, fire stations, cargo terminal, and maintenance hangars that make up Munich's so-called airport city.