The Tollwood festival is an event that happens twice a year: they have a summer and a winter festival. Since we are soon approaching the winter version, I’ll just focus on it for now, but you can expect a blog post on the summer version a few weeks before it comes to Munich next June.
What exactly is it and should you go? That’s a hard one to answer as I have mixed feelings about it.
One of my first experiences in Munich was going to the winter Tollwood festival and I remember having a wonderful time. Looking back, it was a lot of luck that we had such a good time on that day…but a lot of things when touring Europe are just plain luck.
The winter Tollwood festival is hard to describe to tourists. It’s not a Christmas market, but vaguely similar. It’s not a prissy exclusive thing, but vaguely similar. It’s certainly directed straight at locals and not tourists. How I’ve described it to people over the years depends on my mood, but usually goes something along the lines of an “upscale hippie new age Christmas market with a food court, sometimes local bands, but mostly German entertainment in big tents on the Oktoberfest grounds.”
Is it worth your time? I think most likely it is worth your time as long as you have at least 3 days in Munich. It would certainly not be a high priority of mine to see the Tollwood, but if you’ve done the Christmas markets and you’ve done the beer halls then why not try something completely different?
The festival starts on November 24th and continues until New Year’s Eve. However, for the market aspect, I recommend getting there before December 23rd, as that’s the last day of the full Tollwood experience.