Christmas Markets open up all over Vienna these days. It’s only mid November, but the average Austrian is already in desperate need of their fair share of hot Glühwein (mulled wine) and Punsch (punch). Going to work has finally a meaning again for exhausted office workers. They are looking forward to all the get-togethers to warm up over a hot beverage in cold, wet Vienna.

 

How to decide on a Christmas Market

There are booths where you can get mulled wine and punch all over Vienna. What is interesting though are the big, beautiful Christmas markets with lots of beautiful Christmas decorations. Decorations are different from what you might be used to from the United States or Asia. They are not as tacky, the style is rather minimalistic and mostly elegant.

Most Christmas Markets have a certain focus and try to differ at least a little from each other. Some mainly feature arts and crafts from local artists, others offer what tourists are looking for. To find the most suitable location for you, you either have to do a little research or just go look at them by yourself. Most of them are close to the city center and therefore in walking distance anyway. Therefore it is easy to visit a few in one evening.

 

Vienna’s biggest Christmas Markets

In the last ten years I was lucky to be able to visit all major markets in and around Vienna more than just once. I hope that my list with basic infos and my personal opinion will help you find your own favourite as well.

 

1. ART ADVENT Market at St. Charles Church

My favorite is the ART ADVENT market in front of St. Charles Church (Karlskirche). As the name indicates you will find a lot of arts and crafts under beautiful chains of lights which look like stars. Also there is a petting zoo in the empty well in the middle of the market. You can either bring your little ones along or watch the animals over a delicious cup of berry punch.

I love the location in front of the beautiful St. Charles church which gives off a romantic feeling. I also appreciate that so many small businesses sell organic and sustainable products. This also applies to food and drinks sold as well.

Season 2018: from November 23 to December 23
Location: Karlsplatz, closest station: U1/U2/U4 Karlsplatz
Official Website: https://divinaart.at/

 

2. Christmas Market on Spittelberg

Although the name might suggest that the market is located on a mountain (Berg means mountain in German), the Spittelberg is a district close to the Mariahilfer Strasse, one of Vienna’s main shopping streets, with cute back alleys and historic houses. The only thing that might remind you of a mountain is that it is located on a small hill.

The Christmas Market on Spittelberg focuses on art as well and they have a few booths with very interesting punch flavours as well. Because it is located in small alleys, you will be spared by Vienna’s icy cold wind, which is definitely a big plus (you will know what I mean if you have been to Vienna).

Season 2018: from November 15 to December 23
Location: Am Spittelberg, closest station: U3 Neubaugasse or U2/U3 Volkstheater and a few minute walk
Official Website: http://www.spittelberg.at/?de_wm_weihnachtsmarkt

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3. Winter Market at the MQ – MuseumsQuartier

The winter market at the MQ is probably the one with the least traditional Christmas-y flair, but also the one which opens up the earliest every year. The design and decorations are modern, just like the whole area is known for their modern art museums and galleries.

What i like most is that the booths are inside igloo shaped huts. Those come in extra handy when it is really cold or even raining or heavily snowing outside, but you still want to get your fair share of hot winter spiced beverages in the cold. Also, I really love the design of their mugs. There is also a warm toilet (50 Cents of charge) really close and there is an old photo booth at the MQ as well where you can get black and white photos of you and your friends taken.

Season 2018: from November 08 to December 23
Location: MuseumsQuartier MQ, closest station: between U2 MuseumsQuartier and U2/U3 Volkstheater
Official Website: www.mqw.at

 

4. Christmas Market in front of Schönbrunn Palace

Most worth to me visited is probably the Christmas market in front of the Schönbrunn Palace and its beautiful Christmas tree. Many booths offer Austrian traditional art as well as drinks and food. It is especially beautiful when it is snowing a little as it gives the whole atmosphere an extra special winter feeling.

What’s also noteworthy is that the market will stay open even after Christmas until Twelfth Day (Heilige Drei Könige) on January 6th. Until New Year sellers will offer lucky charms as well as other art until it closes in January.

Season 2018: from November 24 to January 06, 2019
Location: in front of Schönbrunn Palace, closest station: U4 Schönbrunn
Official Website: www.weihnachtsmarkt.co.at

 

5. Advent Market on Maria-Theresien Square

The Christmas market between Vienna’s big museums, the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Art History, is small and cosy and also known for its many artsy booths. You can also find special food there which you cannot find on other markets. I love the stunning setting between the two humongous historic buildings.

After strolling around the market on Maria-Theresien-Platz, it is only a three minute walk to the winter market at MuseumsQuartier where you can warm yourself in one of the cute igloos.

Season 2018: from November 21 to December 26
Location: between Natural History Museum and Museum of Art History, closest station: between U2 MuseumsQuartier and U2/U3 Volkstheater
Official Website:  www.weihnachtsmarkt.at

 

6. Christmas Market in front of St. Stephen’s Cathedral

After the Christmas market in front of the city hall (Rathaus), the one in front of St. Stephen’s Cathedral is probably the second most famous one here in Vienna. Just like the one at the city hall, it is also touristy and a little overpriced. Nonetheless the setting in front of the impressive cathedral is worth a brief visit. Sometimes the cathedral is colorfully illuminated, which looks pretty.

Season 2018: from November 16 to December 26
Location: around the St. Stephen’s Cathedral, closest station: U1/U3 Stephansplatz
Official Website: www.weihnachtsmarkt.at

 

7. Christmas Village in the Former General Hospital (Altes AKH Weihnachtsdorf)

That certain Christmas Market is located in the Former General Hospital which is now a campus for the University of Vienna for 20 years already. Therefore, if you go there on a weekday, you will see lots of students who meet for a drink after mentally exhausting lessons to fuel up for the next day.

Next to the booths there is also a small ice skating rink as well as a small ferry’s wheel. At least on the ice skating rink you can work out a little to lose a few pounds after drinking too much Glühwein.

Season 2018: from November 17 to December 23
Location: Altes AKH Campus of the University of Vienna, Former General Hospital in Vienna’s 9th district, closest station: U2 Schottentor or U6 Alser Straße, and a 10 minutes walk
Official Website: https://www.weihnachtsmarkt.at/en/altes-akh/the-market/information/

 

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8. Advent Market Am Hof

Located between the Freyung and the Graben, Vienna’s most expensive shopping street, you can find another cute little Advent market. To live up to its location in the first district, it is a little bit more fancy and expensive. It is still worth to take a look as you might find things you cannot find at other markets.

Season 2018: from November 16 to December 23
Location: Am Hof in Vienna’s 1st district, closest station: U2 Schottentor, U3 Herrengasse or U1/U3 Stephansplatz
Official Website: www.weihnachtsmarkt-hof.at

 

9. Belvedere Palace Christmas Village

As on almost all Christmas Markets in Vienna, the location makes a lot of the magic. What else can be more romantic than sipping on a mug with mulled wine than doing so in front of a beautiful baroque palace? There are not many places around the world where you can do so.

Season 2018: from November 23 to December 26
Location: in front of Belvedere Palace, Main gate at Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, closest station: U1 Taubstummengasse or U1 Hauptbahnhof
Official Website: www.weihnachtsmarkt.at

 

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10. Vienna Christmas Dream in front of the City Hall

The Vienna Christmas Dream (Wiener Weihnachtstraum) at the Christmas market in front of the cityhall (Rathaus) is the classic and also the biggest one in Vienna. If you are looking for an overview of what you might find on a Christmas market here in Austria, this one is definitely a good point to start your research from.

Worth mentioning is also the big ice skating rink, Vienna Ice Dream, around the market. The Little Ice Dream, a small version, already starts from November 16 while the big one is only open from January 18, 2019.

Season 2018: 16.11. – 26.12.2018
Location: in front of the City Hall (Rathaus), closest station: U2 Rathaus or tram no. 1, 71, D, station Rathausplatz/Burgtheater
Official Website: www.wienerweihnachtstraum.at

 

Mister Wong’s christmasy insider-Tipps

  • Really, first of all, dress really warm. Do not forget your woolen socks, scarf, cap and gloves. You need to be prepared well to be able to stand outside in the cold for some time to drink a mug or two of Glühwein.
  • You will get mugs with cute designs which will differ at every Christmas market. Also you will have to pay a deposit for it. So when you want to drink a punch, it will be around 4 Euro for the drink itself plus 3 Euro deposit for the mug. If you want your deposit back after you finished your drink, you have to return the cup at any booth of the same market. If you want to keep the mug as a souvenir, no problem, this is what you paid the deposit for. Whatever you do, just do not forget to return them if you want your deposit back.
  • Find more markets and more information on the website of the Official Austria Tourism Info, which is available in many different languages.

 

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