It’s the most wonderful time of the year, especially when you can spend it in a city that is known for its elegant and festive Christmas markets. The biggest one is located in front of the Town Hall and attracts approximately 3.5 million visitors a year. However, there are various smaller, less tacky and less touristy markets, which I’m going to introduce to you.
No. 5: Belvedere
The Belvedere market is part of the Christmas Villages (5 Christmas markets located in Vienna and Lower Austria). I really like this market, because of its great location right in front of Belvedere Palace. The 40 stalls offer a variety of crafts and fine arts and it is definitely a good place to get your Christmas shopping done. If you don’t know what to buy, try these cute little gingerbread Santas, I’m sure everyone at home is going to love them.
Opening times: daily
Directions: Take the U1 to Südtirolerplatz/Hauptbahnhof and then tram 18 or 0 to Quartier Belvedere (you can also walk from Hauptbahnhof, it’s only 1 stop)
No. 4: Karlsplatz
If you’re travelling with children, the Christmas Market at Karlsplatz is something you don’t want to miss. Usually, there is a pond in the middle of the square. However, in winter it is emptied and filled with hay for children to play in. There is even a small petting zoo. My favourite part is the very unique carousel (parents have to ride a bike to make it spin).
Opening times: daily from 12am to 8pm
Directions: Take the U1/U2/U4 to Karlsplatz
No. 3: Museumsquartier
Well, technically this is not a Christmas market. However, it’s a great place for younger people to hang out, enjoy some Glühwein and listen to alternative music. It’s quite an artsy place and definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is worth a visit, especially if you are planning to visit one of the museums there.
Opening times: Mo-Fr from 4pm to 11pm, Sa&Su from 2pm to 11pm
Directions: Take the U2 to Museumsquartier
Website: weihnachtsquartier.at (German)
No. 2: Am Hof
This is is one of the hidden gems: a small Christmas Market close to Stephansplatz. Am Hof is one of the oldest and largest squares in Vienna. The market does not only offer top-quality ceramics and great artwork, but also the best Punsch you can find. Look out for the Manifaktur and order a Zirbenpunsch – I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Opening times: daily from 10am to 10pm
Directions: If you’re at Stephansplatz, walk down Goldschmiedgasse until you get to the St. Peter’s church. Stay right until you’re in Milchgasse and then follow this street for about 200m.
Website: weihnachtsmarkt-hof.at (German)
No. 1: Spittelberg
Spittelberg is definitely my favourite Christmas market, because of its unique and vibrant atmosphere. It is not as central as most other Christmas markets, but definitely worth a visit, if you’re looking for something different and less traditional. The area is known for its cobble stone streets, galleries, craft shops and alternative restaurants. Even vegans can grab a bite to eat at the “simply raw bakery”stall.
Opening times: daily from 10am to 9.30pm
Directions: Take the U2 or U3 to Volkstheater, walk up the Burggasse until you get to the Spittelberggasse on the left.
Anna is about to graduate and is planning to dedicate her life to travelling the world and exploring as many countries and cultures as she can. Her website will be released in January 2016.