There are many wonderful destinations in Austria but Vienna, the capital city, is one of the best known. It lies in the eastern part of the country along the Danube River.
As the former home of Mozart, Beethoven and Freud, it has a rich intellectual and performing arts community. It is home to magical palaces including Schonbrunn and the Habsburgs’ summer resident. It also has a MuseumQuartier district that encompasses several buildings that show contemporary and historic works.
Vienna is great to visit any time of year, but it really lights up during Christmastime. This is largely due to its many Christmas markets. They illuminate the city with a sense of magic. Here are some you won’t want to miss out on.
Viennese Dream Christmas Market
This market takes place on the square in front of City Hall. The building makes a unique backdrop for the festivities. Delicious aromas of the various foods being sold fill the air.
While there are stalls erected outside on the square, you can also enter the building to find a ground floor that’s dedicated to children. Young ones can participate in workshops to learn how to make candles and cookies. There are also free choir performances on the weekends.
The Viennese Dream Market is one of the biggest and busiest in the city. It includes around 150 stalls and an adjacent park that is full of lights, surprises and the much-anticipated Tree of Heart display.
The center of the market features the Rathaus Christmas tree that sparkles with 2000 LED lights. The tree is traditionally gifted to Vienna by a neighboring Austrian province.
Fairground rides flank either side of the park and include a Ferris wheel, a nativity scene, a reindeer train, carousels and more. There is also a fairy tale like ice skating rink.
Christmas Village Belvedere Palace
This market has a magical atmosphere thanks to it being set up in front of the Baroque inspired Belvedere Palace. It includes over 40 festively decorated stalls that sell handcrafted goods, Christmas decorations, ethnic delicacies and more. Little ones will enjoy riding on the small carousel or the reindeer train.
The market runs from mid-November to late December.
Christmas Village on Maria Theresian Square
The Christmas Village on Maria Theresian Square is sandwiched between two impressive grand museums and sits amongst tastefully lit topiaries and fountains. It offers a terrific selection of arts, crafts and ethnic delicacies.
The market is situated between the city’s Art History Museum and Natural History Museum so you can take in culture as you browse around. At its center sits beautifully lit fountains, a topiary and a centerpiece monument of Empress Maria Theresa which dates back to 1888.
The market opens in mid-November and runs through late December.
Christmas Village in the Former General Hospital
A general hospital might not seem like the ideal setting for a Christmas market, but the Venetians manage to do it up right. The late 17th century facility once offered rehabilitation for wounded soldiers in the Ottoman Empire wars. Nowadays, the buildings are part of the University of Vienna.
The market is especially terrific for children as it features a carousel, a Christmas train and a playground. There is also a life size Maltese nativity scene. Visitors can escape the cold in its many indoor restaurants and outdoor firepits.
Christmas Market at Schonbrunn Palace
The Christmas Market at Schonbrunn Palace runs from late November to early January. It is full of decorated huts that stand against the backdrop of the majestic palace. It’s a terrific place to find glass and wood goods, toys, ceramics, handicrafts and culinary items like pancakes with raisins, sweet chestnuts and gingerbread.
At the end of the year, the Christmas market transforms to become the New Year’s Market Schlob Schonbrunn offering themed gift items and live jazz bands.
Christmas Market at Spitteberg
The Spittelberg Christmas market features stalls located through the area’s narrow streets. The neighborhood has recently been renovated and rejuvenated and now features a thriving collection of shops, bars and restaurants. Many of the surrounding buildings date back to the early 1800’s providing a backdrop of wonderful historic architecture.
The market has a cozy and eclectic feel due to the crammed in layout and the fact that each stall is uniquely designed. It is a great place to find arts and crafts items and food and drink.
Winter Market on Riesenradplatz
This wintermarket takes place at the famous Prater garden and boasts the motto, Prater rocks! It features a Thursday, Friday, Saturday live music program that includes genres ranging from pop to soul. You can also enjoy the puppet show, the winter circus, the Dogem cars riding around and the chair-o-planes that will be riding high.
Guests can meet stars at Vienna’s Madame Tussauds, experience a 5D cinema Great Wall of China presentation, soar over the rooftops of Vienna in the Venna Flight flight simulator and take a romantic ride on the Ferris wheel. There are also plenty of stalls serving delicious food and drink items.
The market runs from late November to early January.
Annual Altweiner Christmas Market
The Alt Weiner Christmas Market offers terrific artisan items and festive treats like mulled wine, hot chestnuts and more. It includes a cultural program that takes place on the market square stage. The organization supports different local charities each year.
This year it will be giving donations to the Austrian Lung Union that can be made through the purchase of hot chocolate, sparkling wines and Christmas treats.
Vienna is a magical place to visit, and it will be especially lovely when Christmas markets are erected for the holiday season. Which of these will you be getting to during your trip?
Immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of Vienna’s Christmas markets and discover a selection of charming places to stay near the main market, ensuring a memorable and convenient holiday experience.
- Hotel Am Konzerthaus Vienna by MGallery: Located just a short walk from the main Christmas market, this elegant hotel offers comfortable rooms and a stylish ambiance.
- Hotel Sacher Wien: A luxurious hotel situated near the Christmas market, known for its historic charm and world-famous Sacher Torte.
- Hotel Imperial, a Luxury Collection Hotel: Experience grandeur at this iconic hotel, ideally located near the Christmas market and renowned for its opulent interiors.
- The Guesthouse Vienna: A boutique hotel with a central location, offering modern and stylish accommodations close to the heart of the Christmas market.
- Hotel Bristol, a Luxury Collection Hotel: Enjoy a sophisticated stay at this historic hotel, conveniently positioned near the Christmas market and offering impeccable service.
- Hotel Altstadt Vienna: An artsy boutique hotel with a trendy vibe, located within walking distance of the Christmas market and surrounded by charming cafes and shops.
- Austria Trend Hotel Europa Wien: A modern hotel just steps away from the Christmas market, offering contemporary rooms and excellent amenities.
- Hotel Topazz: This design hotel, located near the Christmas market, combines avant-garde architecture with comfort and convenience.
- Hotel Sans Souci Wien: A boutique hotel with a prime location near the Christmas market, known for its elegant design and exceptional service.
- Boutique Hotel am Stephansplatz: Stay in the heart of the city, within close proximity to the Christmas market, at this charming boutique hotel with comfortable rooms and a rooftop terrace.