5 Best Christmas Markets in Vienna, Austria

It's that time of the year again, time for decoration on trees with colorful lights, time for gifts and sharing, time to build a snowman, spreading love and joy all around, it's time for Christmas again. So here is for you the ultimate guide for the best Christmas Markets in Vienna in Austria.

Christmas Markets in Europe and Vienna is an age old tradition, dating back to 1298, when the city had its first December market or so called Krippenmarkt.

Since then a lot has changed but the festive spirit of Christmas remained the same. As you walk through the streets of Vienna, a sense of cosiness oozes not only from it's classy cafes but heartwarming aromas of roasted chestnuts, delicious scent of cinnamon and punch, emanating from dozens of Christmas markets around the city. Frankly speaking, if you can't get into the spirit of Christmas in Vienna, you probably never will.

Best Christmas Markets Vienna, Austria

In this article you will get to know everything about the best Christmas Markets of Vienna.

1. Christmas World at Rathaus

This is the biggest, the prettiest and probably the most popular Christmas market of Vienna. Everything Christmasy you could imagine, you will find it here. From a giant Christmas tree to 3,000 m² ice rink, from international choir singing carols to over 150 stalls selling all kinds of traditional Viennese Christmas treats and warming drinks, Christmas World on Rathausplatz is true Christmas fairyland.

The unique backdrop of gorgeous city hall gives this market a charm of its own, and the delicious aromas are sure to lull all visitors into the seasonal joy.

If you are a couple who enjoys dancing and you do not mind dressing up in black tie and evening gown (these can also be rented, but it is smarter to have one on hand before you leave for your trip), attend a Viennese ball during the season between Christmas and Ash Wednesday. There are also a handful of summer balls like the Concordia Ball (held at the Rathaus), the Fete Imperiale (held at the Spanish Riding School) as well as others.

It is an experience you will never forget. Check the Viennese Ball Calendar at least six months before heading out, make your choice(s), and also check on-line for tickets around the same time. You can also check YouTube to actually watch parts of the different balls that were filmed by attendees, etc.

There are rooms for different types or styles of dancing, not just the Viennese Waltz, and it is primarily to live music provided by orchestras, big bands, combos, etc. and the best part about the whole thing is that it lasts until dawn. Be sure to participate in the Fledermaus Quadrille (usually danced at midnight) and the Galopp which immediately follows.

You can find tutorials for dancing FQ on YouTube. You might need to purchase tickets for your Sitzplatz (your place to sit between dancing) on such an extended evening.

Location: 1010 Wien, Rathausplatz

Christmas market hours: Daily from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, 24th December – only until 07:00 PM

Dates: 15 November to 24 December

2. Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace

Set away from the hustle bustle of historic centre, against the baroque backdrop of Vienna‘s most beautiful and significant sights, Belvedere Palace is another must visit Christmas market. Although market itself isn’t very big, but it features original handicrafts and culinary delights. With imperial vibe, this is definitely the most romantic markets. Don’t forget to try potato with melted raclette, served with pickles. Delicious !

You can also explore this beautiful baroque building and Belvedere Gallery from inside.

Location: Prinz Eugen-Strasse 27, 1030 Wien, Austria

Christmas market hours: Daily from 11:00 AM to 09:00 PM

24th December – from 11:00 AM to 04:00 PM, From 25th to 30th December – 11:00 AM to 07:00 PM

Dates: From 22 November to 31 December

3. Art Advent at Karlsplatz

If you are traveling with kids and like artistic souvenirs, this is the market you should go. The beautiful baroque Karlsplatz is all lit up with decorative strings of fairy lights, giving festive vibe all around. The pond in front of the church is dried up and is filled with hay, many cute pigs and sheep are here for you to pet.

Moreover, there are live acts such as fire dances, street theater and a fashion event. All food offered here are organically certified. If you wander around the little surrounding streets, you will find tons of local food to try. I recommend Raclette Brot (bread with warm cheese) and of course Schilcher Glühwein (mulled wine). So so good.

Wiener schnitzel is known EVERYWHERE, there is no restaurant that doesn’t have it. It’s pork, dipped in mashed eggs and then bread crumbs, fried and served with a salad and some potatoes or fries and the Dessert is Sachertorte. In Vienna there even is a Hotel named after it were you can get the best Sachertorte in the whole world. This dessert is also served everywhere in Austria. It’s a chocolate cake served with some whipped cream.

Other popular desserts in Vienna and Austria are Apfelstrudlel, it’s an apple pie but rolled up. If this is not served then your not in Austria. It’s served with apple sauce or vanilla sauce. And Kaiserschmarren. It’s a fluffy pancake but split into pieces and baked with raisins if you want to. It’s also served with applesauce or vanilla sauce.

Marillenknöddel are also very popular in Vienna and Austria. It’s basically a dumpling but filled with apricots. Germknöddel are also like dumplings but not covered in bread crumbs. And in the inside there’s chocolate or jam. The outside is sprinkled with what they call „Mohn“. It’s also served with vanilla sauce.

Viennas signature sweets are the Mozart-Kugeln, these are little chocolate balls filled with nougat and marzipan. You can get it in every supermarket in Austria but in Vienna there’s a huge shop only selling these. And a snack that is very very common are brezels. They come in small, big, sweet, salty and sometimes even spicy. It’s a baked pastry made from dough that is very commonly shaped into a knot.

In Austria Brezel's are covered in pretty much any nuts you like. There are also pizza Brezel's. Brezel's Are also used as a Sandwich do you can put anything you like in it. You can even make it into a hamburger. And not to forget the little Brezel’s. They sometimes even come with other little snacks. But these little Brezel’s are called Soletti in Austria.

Frittaten Suppe is a noodle soup but instead of noodles use sliced pancake stripes. It’s served in very restaurant in Austria. A cookie that is served everywhere in Austria when it is winter is Vanillekipferl. They are crescent formed biscuits and have the flavor of almonds and hazelnuts. Plus they are sprinkled with sugar.

And when there are festivals you will see these ginger bread cookies everywhere. They are ginger bread cookies in form of hearts and decorated with sugar writings and forms. They mostly have compliments written on them so you can give them to somebody as a present. The strings are there so you can wear it as a necklace.

Another not so known dish is Krautfleckerl/Schinkenfleckerl. It’s basically noodles mixed with ham. Another delicious dessert that every Austrian knows is Germknödlel. It’s a dumpling but with the bread crumbs. It’s huge! In the inside there is chocolate or jam. And the dumpling itself is sprinkled with sugar and a nut called Mohn. It’s normally served in vanilla sauce.

Kaspressknödel is a soup were they mush dumpling bread and cheese together and put it in soup. Leberkäse Semmel is corned beef, pork and bacon but into one slice and its put between two buns. Brettljause is in every Austrian restaurant. It a big plate filled with dozen of thing you can put on your bread. Austrians Love dumplings. It’s mashed and seasoned pork inside of a dumpling.

Käsekrainer are sausages but filled with cheese and sometimes rolled up in bacon. Faschierte Laibchen is a combination of ground beef and ground pork, milk soaked bread, eggs, fried onions, fired garlic, bread crumbs, spices and many other seasonings. It’s normally served with mashed potatoes. Punschkrapfen is a small cake that is strongly flavored with rum and coated in pink icing and on top there is a little cherry.

Linzer Augen are basically just like empire biscuits but in an other form. You can find Schaumbecher in pretty much every bakery or festivals. It’s basically a cone and some whipped cream drop in chocolate. PEZ is a very simple hard Candy and it comes in many MANY flavors and colors. Some sweet some spicy and some even fuzz in your mouth.

A very underrated and less known sweet is Katzenzungen, which means Cat tongue. It’s basically just chocolate but it should represent the form of a cat tongue.

Location: Karlsplatz, 1040 Wien, Austria

Christmas market hours: Daily from 12:00 PM to 09:00 PM

Dates: From 22 November to 23 December

4. Christmas Village at Maria-Theresien Platz

Located between the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Art is another cozy christmas market. There are over 70 booths offering traditional handicrafts and vast array of culinary delights. I recommend having soup served in a bread bowl. Trust me you can’t afford to miss it !

Apart from being one of the biggest, this market is also open for the longest. After the 27th of December, it turns into a New Years Village.

Location: Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Wien, Austria

Christmas market hours: Daily from 11:00 AM to 09:00 PM

24th December – till 04:00 PM, From 25th December to 6th January – till 07:00 PM

Dates: From 20 November to 6 January

5. Christmas Market at Schönbrunn Palace

One of the best places to visit in Vienna are the Schonbrunn Palace which is major tourist attraction to visit. Large number of tourist from all over the wold visit this place to experience the beauty of Palace and it’s Privy Garden. Enchanted with imperial background, this Christmas market is truly magical. Although it’s located away from the main centre, it’s totally worth it.

Not only popular among tourists, it is ranked among one of the best Christmas markets of Vienna. The market offers traditional handicrafts, hand-made Christmas decorations, Christmas concerts and an extensive children's program, including Christmas workshop. It also scores high on live music. The great thing is that is is open even after Christmas.

So if you are staying in Vienna for New Years or after, you can still enjoy festive vibe. If you are visiting Vienna for the first time, a tour of the Schönbrunn Palace is a must.

Location: Schönbrunn Palace, 1130 Wien, Austria

Christmas market hours: Daily from 10:00 AM to 09:00 PM, 24th December – till 04:00 PM, From 25th December to 5th January – till 06:00 PM

Dates: From 23 November to 5 January

Looking for more fun things to do in Vienna during Christmas? Why not enjoy an atmospheric ride in the heart of Vienna on a Christmas cruise with food and drinks on board. Or experience a classical evening with Christmas and New Year's Concert in St. Peter's Church. Enjoy a delicious 3-course meal at a restaurant in the Schönbrunn area while listening to music by Mozart and Strauss.

Obligatory amongst the accompaniments are chive sauce (Schnittlauchsauce) made with chives and cream, and horseradish mixed with apple in a kind of purée. In Austria, this is known as Apfelkren, using a word for horseradish of Slavic origin (cf. Polish chrzan; Czech křen etc.) that is well-known internationally through being used in Yiddish also.

The standard German word for horseradish - Meerrettich - is not much used in Austria. Other accompaniments to Tafelspitz, made with potatoes or root-vegetables, are quite common as well, but Schnittlauchsauce and Apfelkren are considered more or less obligatory, without which the dish cannot be legitimately served as Tafelspitz. Tafelspitz is considered a classic dish of Austrian cuisine, specifically that of the capital, Vienna.

Have a beautiful time in Vienna! Here's to a wonderful Holiday season and a Happy New Year!

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