Every year from mid November to the end of December Vienna transforms into a winter wonderland with twinkling lights and Christmas markets that welcome people from near and far. What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than visiting the magical Christmas markets of this beautiful city. I have listed my 8 favourite Viennese markets.
1. Art Advent Christmas Market on Karlsplatz
Resselpark, Karlsplatz, 1040 Vienna
November 23 to December 23
12 to 8 pm
This Christmas market is a favourite of many people (especially among children). You’ll find a petting zoo, a carousel, a straw covered playing area and many different food and shopping stalls. I recommend to try Schilcher Glühwein (a mulled wine from Styria), poppy or nut noodles (Mohnnudeln) and freshly roasted chestnuts.
2. Schönbrunn Christmas Market
Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Vienna
November 24 to December 26
10 am to 9 pm
Closes earlier on December 24th (4 pm) and 25th/26th (6 pm)
What makes this Christmas market so special is its location directly in front of the majestic Schönbrunn Palace, the historical summer residence of the former Habsburg dynasty. This market is one of the biggest and offers a lot of typical Austrian foods for all to try, like Kaiserschmarrn (sugared pancakes with raisins and sauce), Käsespätzle (egg noodles with cheese) and all kinds of dumplings (Knödel) such as Grammel/Selchfleischknödel (potato dumplings with meat) and my favourite ones: Nougatknödel/Erdbeerknödel, which are sweet dumplings filled with fruits and/or chocolate, usually served with sugared crumbs. Visiting this Christmas market is a great opportunity to try some traditional Austrian dishes and even learn more about Vienna’s history.
3. Rathausplatz Christmas Market
Rathausplatz, 1010 Vienna
November 16 to December 26
10 am to 9.30 pm (Sun to Thurs)
10 am to 10 pm (Fri, Sat)
10 am to 6 pm (Dec 24)
11 am to 9.30 pm (Dec 25/26)
This Christmas market is the most famous one (especially among tourists) and for a good reason; it is one of the biggest ones in Europe. Every corner is decorated with glimmering lights, you can go ice skating, listen to a live orchestra performing Christmas songs and stroll along many food and shopping stalls filled with all kinds of Christmas treats. Make sure to try the mini donuts, pretzels, raclette, punch with fresh berries and my all time favourite: roasted almonds.
4. Spittelberg Christmas Market
Spittelberggasse, 1070 Vienna
November 15 to December 23
2 pm to 9 pm (Mon-Thurs)
2 pm to 9.30 pm (Fri)
10 am to 9.30 pm (Sat)
10 am to 9 pm (Sun and public holidays)
This Christmas market is spread along three of Vienna’s most beautiful narrow streets and is one of the local favourites. It is less touristy than most of the other markets and there are lots of different things to discover on a stroll through these alleys, like a “ugly” Christmas jumper stall and the best Kartoffelpuffers (potato pancakes) in Vienna.
5. Maria Theresa Square Christmas Village
Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1070 Vienna
November 21 ro December 26
Sunday- Thursday 11 am – 9.00 pm
Friday, Saturday 11 am – 10 pm
24 Dec. 2018: 11 am – 4 pm
25 – 26 Dec. 2018: 11 am – 7.00 pm
This Christmas market is very close to the one at Spittelberg, meaning you can easily combine a visit to both of them. Walk through the cheerful Christmas village between Vienna’s two biggest museums. All the Christmas markets have cute mugs, but this one has probably the cutest one of all. Just like every other market, you will have to pay for it upfront but you will either get your deposit back when you return your (hopefully) empty mug or you can decide to hang on to it and take it back home as a Christmassy souvenir.
6. Christmas Market Am Hof
Am Hof, 1010 Vienna
November 16 to December 23
11 am to 9 pm (Mon-Thurs)
10 am to 9 pm (Fri-Sun and on December 8)
Food stalls are open until 10 pm
This Christmas Market is sponsored by a local radio station, meaning it’s the place to go when you want to listen to your all time favourite Christmas songs as you enjoy mulled wine with friends and family. Here, you will find one of the best Langos in town, Ofenkartofel (baked potato) and the ever amazing Baumkuchen (tree ring cake).
7. Old Viennese Christmas Market
Altwiener Christkindlmarkt, Freyung, 1010 Vienna
November 17 to December 23
10 am to 9 pm
Only a short walk away from the Christmas market am Hof is one of the smallest hidden gems of Vienna, it is one of the most traditional markets around. A lovely and charming atmosphere welcomes you in the “Altwiener Christkindlmarkt” and offers food and handicraft stalls. If you are still hungry don’t miss out on the delicious tree ring cake and chocolate covered by strawberries.
8. Altes AKH Christmas market
University Campus – Courtyard 1, Alserstraße 4, 1090 Vienna
November 17 to December 23
2 pm to 10 pm (Mon, Tues)
11 am to 10 pm (Weds
2 pm to 11 pm (Thurs, Fri)
11 am to 11 pm (Sat)
11 am to 9 pm (Sun)
The last Christmas market that I am going to mention (even though there are many, many more) is the one at the Altes AKH (the old general hospital). It’s set up in the old courtyard of the university campus completely sheltered from the busy streets and loud traffic. It has lovely Christmas mugs and a delicious variety of punch. It’s also one of the favourite ones of the locals since it also houses some popular pubs.
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