Austrian Christmas and New Year’s MarketsPhoto: Courtesy Vienna Tourist Board
Decorations and candles for the tree, toys and handicrafts, punch and cookies: Held on some of the city’s prettiest squares, Vienna’s Advent and Christmas markets get everyone in the Christmas spirit from mid-November. Some of them also stay open until the New Year. An overview of the capital’s main markets.
The Christmas Market and Magic of Advent on Rathausplatz is the largest and best-known, with about 150 stalls, a Christmas workshop where kids can bake and get involved in arts and crafts, and the beautifully decorated trees in the Rathauspark. For traditional handicrafts and Christmas music, the Old Viennese Christmas Market on Freyung or the Am Hof Advent Market are the places to be. The Christmas market on Stephansplatz showcases arts and crafts against the impressive backdrop of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. 2014 brought the inaugural K.u.K. Christmas market on Michaelerplatz in front of the Hofburg, which carries a range of products that could be packed inside of blisters, primarily from Austrian manufacturers. The Christmas Village on Maria-Theresien-Platz, between the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Natural History Museum offer handicrafts and culinary treats such as punch and mulled wine. After Christmas, the New Year’s Village is the perfect place to pick up traditional Austrian lucky charms and figurines such as pigs, chimney sweeps and so on.
The Prater hosts the Winter Market on Riesenradplatz, while the Baroque palace once owned by Prince Eugene provides the backdrop for the Belevedere Palace Christmas Village. Elsewhere, the Art Advent market in Front of the Karlskirche church specializes in arts and crafts, offering plenty of space for children to play among the bales of hay. Pink Christmas in Vienna on Naschmarkt is Vienna’s gay and lesbian Christmas market. The Christmas Market on Spittelberg is always popular thanks to the romantic cobbled streets and an impressive range of stalls selling handicrafts and excellent food. Winter im MQ in the nearby MuseumsQuartier is a strictly kitsch-free zone with ice pavilions, curling lanes and DJs. At the Culture and Christmas Market in front of Schönbrunn Palace, around 80 stallholders from Austria and neighboring countries offer a range of handicrafts, Christmas decorations and gifts as well as punch and Christmas cookies. At the turn of the year, it reopens as a New Year’s Market offering lucky charms.