A couple years ago, I took a three-week holiday through Europe with my mom. We circled Western Europe and toured 9 countries in total (10 if you count the Vatican), zipping across channels and cities and countrysides, starting in London and ending in Amsterdam. (Has anyone ever flown out of Amsterdam’s airport? I don’t think I’d ever gone through so many security checkpoints in my life.)
In the middle of it all, I landed in Germany. I spent an afternoon roaming the Munich farmers’ market, but to call Viktualienmarkt merely a “farmers’ market” is underrating it.
Viktualienmarkt is a daily open-air market and square in the heart of Munich’s old town. It spans 240,000 square feet with over 140 stalls and farm stands selling everything from freshly cut flowers to freshly butchered meat. Everything is fresh fresh fresh. For a farmers’ market fiend, a stop here is a vacation in itself.
I recently came across these pictures again and could feel the hustle and bustle of the market all over again. I actually got lost in it, literally, and had to find my way back to my meeting point through the kind Germans who tried to give me directions in sign language and Germanglish (yes, we managed to invent our own language over the course of our conversation).
Viktualienmarkt is a maze of market vendors and a central Biergarten. It is the beer garden to end all beer gardens, with seating for a thousand. If you’ve never been to a beer garden before (German-style beer gardens are popping up all over the US these days, especially at street fairs), think of it as a lively food court. They serve beer (of course) as well as Bavarian specialties like brats and kraut.
I actually brought over some cheese and fruit that I found from the surrounding vendors and sat down in the Biergarten, under the shade of hundred-year-old chestnut trees, to lazily enjoy the bier of the day.
Viktualienmarkt is the oldest farmers’ market in Munich, dating back to 1807. Its name is derived from the Latin victualia, or victuals, meaning food or provisions. The dizzying array of stalls is quite a feast for all the senses… the question to ask at this place would be, What can you not find here?
Bundles of brightly colored radish (I’m currently growing that black variety, Round Black Spanish radish)…
Beautiful fractals of Romanesco broccoli…
Lusciously ripe fruits and cases full of figs…
Garlic in braids and squash piled high…
Tomatoes, greens, beans, and things I’ve never seen before…
So many different kinds of mushrooms!
Meats and cheeses and crates of wine… (Isn’t my mom adorable? She is nearing 60 and still gets mistaken for my sister.)
Crafty little things for the home…
And idling in the aisles of these flower stands means you’ll come out smelling like a field of fragrant blumen.
My time in Munich was much too short (as was my time anywhere in Europe on that trip)… but it definitely gave me an idea of places to visit again in more depth! And, it’s sparked a desire to visit more amazing farmers’ markets around the world… one can dream!
zzlangerhansJuly 11, 2016 at 12:39 am
Thanks for posting. We will be in Munich in 10 days and starting off every day in this market.
Linda Ly of Garden BettyOctober 15, 2016 at 2:23 am
Lucky you! It’s such a fun place to stroll through.
Linda LyNovember 25, 2013 at 11:16 pm
theGardenBettyNovember 25, 2013 at 11:04 am
German market is a feast for all the senses. Viktualienmarkt: The Munich Farmers’ Market http://t.co/BHy4fC142r < TY for RT! @Angry_Saguaro
theGardenBettyNovember 24, 2013 at 9:02 pm
Munich’s oldest and grandest market in the heart of old town. Viktualienmarkt: The Munich Farmers’ Market http://t.co/pcRwDhqBlr #gardenchat
AparnaNovember 24, 2013 at 3:27 am
Thanks for sharing! Everything look amazing, especially the mushrooms!
theGardenBettyNovember 23, 2013 at 3:02 pm
I could (and did!) get lost in this dreamland for hours. Viktualienmarkt: The Munich Farmers’ Market http://t.co/6vfBHnW7c4 #gardenchat
theGardenBettyNovember 23, 2013 at 9:02 am
One of the highlights of my European holiday… Germany! Viktualienmarkt: The Munich Farmers’ Market http://t.co/J2M3JDZIzO #gardenchat
Georgette HowingtonNovember 22, 2013 at 11:08 pm
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Her Emerald ThumbNovember 22, 2013 at 6:20 pm
Wow, your pictures make me feel like I was there! Love your blog!
Her Emerald Thumb
theGardenBettyNovember 22, 2013 at 6:01 pm
Over 240,000 sq ft and 140 stalls in this open-air market! Viktualienmarkt: The Munich Farmers’ Market http://t.co/MnZGhQLqFX #gardenchat
JenniferNovember 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm
I grew up in Germany and miss the markets amongst other things.
Thank you for the pictures!
Chef James CanterNovember 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm
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Michael ClarkeNovember 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm
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Kerrie Ney HooverNovember 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm
There are some very good ones in the smaller cities, i find it fascinating how different the markets are in the different regions
Mount EdenNovember 22, 2013 at 12:46 pm
Great article, I can totally relate to it. My husband is from Germany so we go back there often and he has a brother that lives in Munich as well! All I have to say is the Markets in Germany (as well as other parts of Europe) are out of this world!!
Linda LyNovember 22, 2013 at 3:27 pm
I love visiting other countries’ farmers’ markets… all the things we find exotic are like apples and oranges to them. 🙂 It really gives you great perspective on the sheer variety of food that can be grown in this world.
Isis LoranNovember 22, 2013 at 12:32 pm
WOW! I think I would have stimulation overload. LOOK at all those fresh veggies!! I’m drooling over here. Great pictures and what an amazing experience.
theGardenBettyNovember 22, 2013 at 12:04 pm
This German market is quite the feast for all the senses. Viktualienmarkt: The Munich Farmers’ Market http://t.co/W9gctizXT0 #gardenchat
Kerrie Ney HooverNovember 22, 2013 at 11:08 am
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Kerrie Ney HooverNovember 22, 2013 at 9:26 am
I love the Munich farmers market. The choices and offerings are amazing!
Garden BettyNovember 22, 2013 at 2:48 pm
I want to go back… but I also want to see what other markets Germany (and the rest of Europe) has!
Randall S. WinklerNovember 22, 2013 at 8:56 am
It looks like a nice trip 🙂
Write SoonNovember 22, 2013 at 7:53 am
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Urban Gardeners RepublicNovember 22, 2013 at 7:08 am
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Evette Michaelis GarciaNovember 22, 2013 at 7:08 am
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BG_gardenNovember 22, 2013 at 6:01 am
Viktualienmarkt: The Munich Farmers’ Market:
A couple years ago, I took a three-week holiday through Europe w… http://t.co/sIQDRg2NHP
theGardenBettyNovember 22, 2013 at 6:00 am
Blogged on Garden Betty: Viktualienmarkt: The Munich Farmers’ Market http://t.co/t45O7b99gj