Yes! It’s this time of the year again! I love everything about Christmas, who is with me? This festive atmosphere, beautiful decorations, Christmas markets, and last but not least, Christmas jumpers! The more trashy the better of course. When it comes to Christmas markets, Vienna is absolutely the right place to go and you will find there a great variety of markets for any taste. To read about other must visit places in Vienna go here.
Which Christmas market to choose?
There is more than 15 Christmas markets in Vienna and the number is changing basically every year depending on the local permissions given. The full list of all the markets you can always find here. Markets are officially open from mid November till Christmas, with a few exceptions of places that are open only in December. Each of them is unique in its own way and for sure, you will find something that suits you the best. Or you can do like I do – try to visit as many of them as possible :) All the markets are worth exploring but to make your life easier, you can follow the list of my top favorites. Each of them is unique for a different reason.
Rathaus Weihnachtsmarkt, as the most famous market in Vienna is opening the Christmas Markets guide. Obligatory to visit especially, if it’s your first time at Vienna’s Christmas markets. Because of its fame it is also the most touristic one, but do not let this to discourage you. Absolutely stunning Rathaus overlooking the market is something truly beautiful and lighting decorations are the most spectacular in the whole Vienna. This market is quite big with lots of wine and food stands so even with crowds of people attending the market, you will be able to feel this festive Christmas atmosphere. You can find there also an ice skating area open through the whole market time. Really cool way of spending some time for both, adults and kids.
Bio Weihnachtsmarkt am Karlsplatz
Next on my Christmas Markets list is Bio Weihnachtsmarkt am Karlsplatz. Perfect if you are looking for a place focused on ecological approach offering more local atmosphere, or if you have small kids that you would like to take with you to the market. There is a special kids-friendly zone with lots of interesting animations and entertainments for kids. They will not have a minute to get bored. This market is also known for the best food from proven, ecological resources. Believe me, you can be truly surprised that market’s food can be that good and made with a such a focus on quality. The idea behind this market is to move from commercial goods and cheap junk, towards quality regional products and I really love this approach. Karlsplatz Weihnachtsmarkt offers also life music and and concerts of choirs.
Weihnachtsmarkt am Spittelberg
Weihnachtsmarkt am Spittelberg is my favorite Christmas Market in Vienna. Small, cosy, with easygoing atmosphere and the best mulled wine out of all the markets. It’s located in the small street between living quarters what makes it even more intimate. This market is the best place to buy great quality, unique handmade goods. You can find there a variety of sellers producing their own pottery, knitwear, jewelry or christmas decorations. My husband got me there really beautiful handmade leather bag :) You can enjoy tasty mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and other local treats while browsing the wide choice of original christmas gifts. The only disadvantage is that because of the closeness to the living area, this markets closes already at 9 pm.
Weihnachtsmarkt in der Remise
Weihnachtsmarkt in der Remise is a unique market placed in the old tram depot and railway museum. You can enjoy christmas atmosphere among old trams! If you are into winter sports, you might want to try Eisstock curling range. The price is € 18.00 for 30 minutes. When planning to visit this market you have to choose well the date of your visit as its opening hours and days are very limited. This year the market is open only from 30th of November until 16th of December. Admission to the Christmas Market is free and one hall of the tram museum is also open free of charge. To visit the full exhibition, general fees apply.
Weihnachtsmarkt am Hof
And last on my list is Weihnachtsmarkt am Hof located right in the center of Vienna, very close to the best exclusive shopping area in town. It’s the place where Viennese are heading to after christmas gifts chopping to enjoy mulled wine or some nice snacks like roasted cheese. I love this one as it offers really enjoyable champagne bar selling bubbles by glass. What a perfect way to celebrate Christmas, right?
What to drink and eat?
Well, there is no Christmas market without glühwein of course! Glühwein (glow-wine or mulled wine) is usually prepared from red wine, heated and spiced with cinnamon sticks, star aniseed, citrus, sugar and vanilla pods. Christmas markets in Vienna offer also mulled wine based on white wine, a variety of traditional Austrian schnapps, rum tea, hot beer and even hot aperol spritz. I did not try the last one as hot aperol seems to be really strange idea for me ;)
When it comes to food, try mohnnudeln. Super delicious and also super caloric, but who cares, right? t’s a kind of thick noodles made of a potato and served with melted butter, ground poppy seeds, and sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. There is also a salty version of this dish served with cabbage. I am addicted to both!! My other favourite is langos, which is a kind of salty donut. It originates from Hungary but is fully adapted as delicious market food in Vienna.
What to bring home?
Things you should consider buying at Christmas markets:
- Sweets – everything looks so delicious and is beautifully decorated what makes it a perfect Christmas gift.
- Handscafted pieces – pottery, knitwear, jewelry, decorative candles or even bags. Search for some nice handmade pieces, they can make a perfect gift too.
- Christmas baubles and other decorations – so beautiful and you can really find amazing handmade pieces. Just be picky because you can also find some “made in China” pieces.
- Glühwein cup – every market has his own style cup that the glühwein and other beverages are served in. For 3 -5 euro only you can take your Christmas market souvenir home
How to get there?
Vienna has really good flight connections with most of the European cities. Check Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Wizzair or Easyjet. You can also take a flight to Bratislava, which is only 1h drive from Vienna. The is a frequent bus connection right from the Bratislava airport and train connection from Bratislava center with two trains per hour. You can find train time schedule here
I hope you are already enjoying the Christmas atmosphere. In between the Christmas preparations just don’t forget to find some time for yourself, to realize, how beautiful life is, not only when we are traveling to beautiful destinations :).
Merry Christmas to you and your beloved ones!