Vienna is transformed into a magical winter wonderland with its festive lights and decorations as Winter approaches. One of the most cherished traditions in this enchanting capital are the Vienna Christmas markets, known locally as “Weihnachtsmärkte.” These markets bring families, friends, and visitors together to celebrate the spirit of the season in style.
We’ll take you on a journey to explore Vienna’s most popular Christmas markets, highlighting their unique offerings and fascinating histories. Each market, from the famous Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt in the heart of the city to the charming Spittelberg Markt hidden away in the narrow streets, offers a variety of treats and treasures. Immerse yourself in this festive city’s holiday atmosphere.
The Top Vienna Christmas Markets
Vienna is one the most beautiful cities on the planet, and its The best Christmas markets in Europe. This section will introduce you some of our favorites Vienna Christmas Markets. Each one offers a unique, festive atmosphere.
This article focuses on the Viennese markets we visited personally. These charming Christmas markets all have free entry.
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Also known by the name Viennese Dream Holiday Market Christkindlmarkt The oldest and most famous Vienna Christmas Market, which has been held since 1294. The huge Vienna Christmas Market is held in front of the City Hall. Rathausplatz.
The Christkindlmarkt is a place where visitors can enjoy a variety of entertainment and stalls. The market is known as a family-friendly place with many attractions for children.
There’s a large ferris wheel, and an illuminated walking trail with numerous nativity scenes. We couldn’t resist the heart shaped mugs, which you can buy from a stall near the famous Heart Tree.
Visitors gather to share special moments and love. This is a unique display that reflects the spirit of the holiday season.
The Viennese market is open every day from 10am until 10pm. The toilets are available in the market, as well underground at the Ringstrasse.
- Ice-skating: There’s a large ice-skating rink that offers fun for people of all ages.
- Heart Tree: This tree is decorated with many red illuminated hearts.
- Children’s workshops: Kids can learn how to make Christmas decorations and sing advent carols in the children’s hut.
2. Maria Theresien Holiday Market
With a prime location on Maria-Theresien-Platz next to the Kunsthistorische Museum (Art Museum) and Naturhistorisches (Natural History Museum), this is another popular Viennese Christmas market.
Elegantly decorated stalls sell ornaments, gifts and other festive items around the Maria-Theresa Memorial Statue from the 19th Century.
- Local products include a wide range of Austrian gourmet foods such as Wiener Schnitzel, apfelstrudel and more.
- The public conveniences are located fairly close to the Naturhistorisches – make sure to bring 0,50 euros to use them.
- Open 11am-10pm Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. 11am-9pm Thursdays.
3. Art Advent Christmas Market
The ART ADVENT (also known as Karlsplatz Christmas Market. It is set amidst the beautiful backdrop of the baroque-style St. Charles’ Church (Karlskirche).
This market offers a wide range of handmade, unique products. It is the perfect place to purchase a special present for family members and friends. The traditional wooden fairground is perfect for children and families.
Public conveniences are conveniently located within the market. The sustainable Christmas market operates daily between 12am and 8pm.
- Artisanal Products: Local artisans and craftspeople display their work. You can purchase them to give your gifts a personalized touch.
- Food and drink: Enjoy delicious local treats like Glühwein, a warm, spiced wine, and roasted chestnuts.
- Children’s activities: from writing workshops to candle making and story telling.
4. Belvedere Christmas Market
The Belvedere Palace is located in front of this magnificent building. Belvedere Christmas Market is one of the most picturesque locations to experience Vienna’s festive atmosphere. This market on Prinz Eugen-Straße is slightly smaller than some others, offering a more intimate and romantic setting.
Buy a traditional snow globe from one of the stands – they originated in Vienna! After perusing the stalls head to Café Goldegg on Argentinierstraße. Opened in 1910, this traditional Viennese café is popular with locals. Both the beef goulash and the wienerschnitzel are delicious.
- Discover the unique gifts available at the artisanal stands.
- Scenery: The beautiful palace is a great place to take photos, and create lasting memories.
- The opening hours are 11am-9pm on Monday through Friday and 10am-9pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
5. Schonbrunn Palace
Schonbrunn Palace provides a beautiful backdrop for the Viennese holiday market. It takes about 30 minutes from Vienna’s city centre to reach this beautiful Christmas market.
As you walk through Parade Court, you’ll come across a large Christmas tree and a handcrafted nativity scene with over 250 figurines. The tree is decorated with ornaments and twinkling fairylights to create a shimmering, eye-catching display.
The Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market will be open daily from 10am until 9pm, up to 4 January. Toilets are available to the left of the entrance gates for 0,50 euros.
- Browse the artisanal booths to find unique and beautifully crafted presents for your family members. We picked up several papier-mâché tree ornaments here.
- Scenery: The beautiful palace is a great place to take photos, and create lasting memories.
- By pedalling, you can set the Court Carousel into motion!
6. Am Hof Advent Market
Am Hof, located in the 1st District of Vienna’s centre, is a popular destination for locals during the Christmas season. Am Hof can be quite crowded. We suggest going early – the market opens from 10am to 9pm from Friday to Sunday and runs until 23 December.
- The foodie’s focus: Have a drink at the Champagne Bar, or try a potato-pancake at another stand.
- Cute souvenirs! This year’s ceramic mugs are among the most stylish available at the Am Hof Advent Market.
- You can visit some of the miniature shops!
7. Old Viennese Market for Christmas
Also known by Freyung You can also call it Altwiener ChristkindlmarktThis traditional Viennese marketplace focuses on fine food and craft items. It’s located a few minutes walk from Am Hof Advent Market, so you can easily combine the two in one visit.
It can get crowded in this picturesque market at certain times. So, if you’re looking to shop with ease, go early. This market is open every day from 10am until 9pm, up to 23 December. There are no public toilets at this market – head to the ones near Am Hof instead.
- Farmer’s market: a good variety of spice cakes, meats and cheeses.
- Historic surroundings: flanked with the 12th century Scottish Church.
- Nativity Scene: 150-foot long mural painted behind the stalls.
8. Spittelberg Christmas Market
Spittelberg in Vienna has a special Christmas atmosphere. The narrow streets lined with cobblestones are filled with bars and trendy shops.
We recommend that you book a reservation at TIAN Bistro for dinner. Tian, located at Schrankgasse 4 in Berlin, specializes sustainable vegetarian and vegan food.
We have never had better plant based food! Founders Christian Halper and Paul Ivić have created an incredible Sharing Chef’s Garden A tasting menu featuring rare and organic vegetables. The philosophy of using the whole vegetable is important, from roots to leaves.
Enjoy a selection of natural wines chosen by André Drechsel and Nico Hammerl, awarded Sommelier Team of the Year 2023 by Gault& Millau. TIAN also have a Michelin starred vegetarian restaurant in the centre of Vienna – TIAN Wien at Himmelpfortgasse 23.
Spittelberg Christmas Market will be open between 2pm and 9pm from Mondays to Thursdays, 2pm until 9.30pm Fridays, from 10am to 9.30pm Saturdays, and from 10am to 9pm Sundays.
- Eco-friendly market focuses on fair trade, organic and locally produced products.
- Most of the buildings date from 1815-1848 and are built in the Biedermeier Style.
- Interesting souvenirs: LED wax lights, unique piggy banks, hand-knitted merino clothing.
Other Viennese Holiday Markets
There are several other Christmas markets in Vienna, which we either didn’t get time to visit on this occasion or visited briefly. They include:
- University Campus (Altes AKH – hugely popular with locals, due to its focus on food and covered seating. This is a good place to go when it’s really cold! Open on Fridays from 2pm to 11pm, Saturdays 11am to 11pm and Sundays 11am to 8pm.
- Prater (Winter Market Riesenradplatz) – features live music, a ferris wheel and flying chair ride and is open from 12 noon to 10 pm on Fridays and 11 am to 10 pm from Saturday to Sunday.
- Advent Im Gartenpalais Liechtenstein – a smaller market in a picturesque setting, open from 4 to 9 pm on Fridays and from 11 am to 9 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Hirschstetten Advent Market – located in the beautiful Botanical Gardens in the 22nd District, and open from 10 am to 8 pm.
- Michaelerplatz (K.U.K. Weihnachtsmarkt) – a small market located on the edge of the Hofburg Palace, open from 10 am to 8 pm.
- Stephansplatz Christmas Market – next to St Stephen’s Cathedral, with around 40 stalls and open from 11am to 9pm.
- Advent Delights Market (Mahlerstrasse) – not taking place this year due to renovation work, but will reopen in 2024.
Vienna Festive Atmosphere, Decorations and Atmosphere
You will immediately notice the festive atmosphere of the Vienna Christmas Markets and the stunning decorations. The Christmas markets are decorated with stunning lights that illuminate the streets, adding a beautiful glow to Vienna.
Vienna Christmas Markets are known for their unique atmosphere, spectacular decorations and dazzling displays. They are a must visit destination during the holiday period.
Vienna’s Christmas Lights is one of the most beautiful places to enjoy the lights. MuseumsQuartier. This Viennese cultural center, which spans 90000m2, is beautifully lit for Winter im MQ. Visit Museumsplatz on Fridays between 4-11pm or Saturdays and Sundays from 2-11pm to see the facades of illuminated buildings.
You can also book tickets to Austria’s largest garden of lights, Illumina. The event takes place in Laxenburg Palace Park between 24 November 2023 and 11 February 2024. The park is located 35 minutes away from the centre of Vienna. Those without a vehicle can purchase shuttle bus tickets.
Enjoying the Viennese Weihnachtsmarkt through its culinary experience
You will find a variety of tasty food at the Vienna Christmas Markets. The market stalls feature traditional Austrian foods, which will be sure to delight your taste buds.
Popular snacks available at the market include potato spirals. This tasty snack is served on a stick of thinly-sliced and seasoned potatoes. Additionally, you shouldn’t miss the chance to savor the sweet and aromatic gingerbread cookies. These traditional treats can be found in many shapes and sizes. They are usually decorated with festive decorations and icing.
Of course, your exploration of the markets’ culinary delights would not be complete without sipping on some Hot punch. This fragrant and warm beverage is typically made from spices and fruit. It provides comforting warmth, and helps to add to the festive spirit. As well as hot punch, there are many food stands that offer hot chocolate or mulled wines to keep you warm.
You can find a wide variety of food at the Vienna Christmas Markets.
- Schnitzel: The classic Austrian dish of fried and breaded meat served with potato salad, french fries or potato salad.
- Bratwursts, Sausages and Other Meats: You can enjoy these in different flavors such as spicy or cheese-filled. They are also great in sandwiches.
- Kaiserschmarrn: Warm, sweet pancakes with fruit compote and powdered sugar.
- Raclette: A delicious treat is melted cheese spread over boiled potatoes with pickles, onions and other condiments.
While exploring the food stalls on the Vienna Christmas markets you will discover a variety of other culinary delights and temptations. This will make your experience a memorable one.
Enjoying Activities and Entertainment
Live Music Experiences
Live music is one of the most memorable experiences you can have at the Vienna Christmas Markets. We were delighted to be able to enjoy a Christmas concert that was mesmerizing and put us into the holiday spirit. The markets are filled with talented musicians, choirs, and other performers who create a festive atmosphere by their melodic songs.
The Vienna Christmas markets offer a wide range of outdoor activities suitable for people of all ages. The Rathausplatz ice skating rink or curling in MuseumsQuartier, for example, are two activities that you should not miss. At the Prater’s Christmas market, you can enjoy a wide range of fairground rides.
During the Christmas season, Vienna’s historic sites and cultural venues provide the perfect backdrop for enjoying the holiday spirit. While exploring the city’s unique markets, don’t forget to immerse yourself in these remarkable landmarks and treasures.
We recommend that you visit the Kunsthistorisches Museum The Museum of Art History and the Museum of Natural History. These two premier museums, situated opposite each other at Maria-Theresien-Platz, are home to a vast collection of artworks, artifacts, and natural wonders.
What to do in Vienna
A visit to Vienna is not complete without staying at the historic Hotel BristolThe hotel is located on Kaerntner Ring 1 This hotel of international standards is situated directly opposite the Vienna State OperaThe combines the elegance and comfort of old-fashioned luxury with state-ofthe-art facilities.
Since 1892, the Hotel Bristol has retained many of its original Art Deco features. It also has an elegant lounge and bar. The Hotel Bristol is a part of The Luxury Collection by Marriott Bonvoy, it’s a stone’s throw from here to the city centre.
We stayed at the Chinoiserie Opera SuiteIt is a spacious room with a stunning view of the Opera House. Two beautiful marble bathrooms are available, as well as an oval salon with antique chinaware. Breakfast was delicious at the hotel. We had omelettes, poached egg cooked to our specifications.
Travel and Transport Information
Austrian Airlines flew us to Vienna, but other airlines also fly into Vienna International Airport. The CAT (City Airport Train), which takes only 16 minutes to reach Wien Mitte, was our next option. Our Vienna City Card covered the cost of our ticket.
As you explore Vienna’s Christmas markets, it’s essential to know how to navigate the city and get around efficiently. Luckily, Vienna’s public transport system is well-designed and easy to use, making it simple to visit many of the magical markets during your stay.
A short walk will usually be enough to get you into the Christmas spirit at most of the city center markets. Vienna’s city center is pedestrian-friendly and perfect for a leisurely stroll with a warm beverage in hand.
It is important to note that the word “you” means “you”. Public transport system In Vienna, there are buses, trams and U-Bahn lines that can be used to reach markets outside the city centre. Thanks to Vienna’s extensive transport network, you can easily access all markets, even those positioned on the outskirts of the city.
Here’s a quick guide to the different transport options:
- Metro (U-Bahn): It is the fastest and most convenient way to get around in the city. The service runs from 5:00am to 12:30am on weekdays, and 24 hours a day on weekends. Tickets can be bought at the station, or via the Wiener Linien mobile app.
- Trams: The tram is a reliable and comfortable means of transport in Vienna. The trams run on over 30 lines and can take us to many of the Christmas markets around Vienna. Trams run from 5:00 am to midnight. Some lines offer night service.
- Buses: The buses are a complement to the trams and metros, providing connections between less central areas. The majority of buses operate between 5:00am and midnight. However, there are night buses as well.
These ticket options are available for public transport:
- Single ticket: €2.40
- 24-hour ticket: €8.00
- 48-hour ticket: €14.10
- 72-hour ticket: €17.10
- Weekly pass: €17.10 (valid from Monday to the following Monday at 9:00 am)
In summary, navigating Vienna during the Christmas market season is a breeze, thanks to the city’s efficient public transport system and pedestrian-friendly city center. Dress warmly to enjoy the sights and sounds of Vienna during the holidays.
Vienna’s Christmas Markets: Final Thoughts
Vienna’s Christmas markets turn the city into an enchanting Winter wonderland complete with ice skating rinks and snow-covered paths, as well as warming treats. Every step you make, the Christmas spirit will come alive.
Our visit to the Vienna Christmas markets was an unforgettable one. You can experience the magical holiday atmosphere by exploring the Vienna Christmas markets.
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