Whether classically located on Rathausplatz or tucked away in Dornbach - a visit to Vienna's diverse Christmas markets, some with breathtaking backdrops, is a must when getting in the mood for the festive season!
In the run-up to Christmas, Austria's capital is known for its numerous atmospheric Christmas markets. The range of Advent markets in Vienna extends from week-long Christkindl markets to art and flea markets lasting one or more days to smaller festivities and events lasting only a few hours.
Depending on the focus of the Christmas markets, Christmas crafts or culinary specialties from the region can be purchased at the numerous stalls. Usually Christmas tree decorations, handmade decorative items, scented candles, smoked goods, Christmas gifts, souvenirs, gingerbread, honey, breads, tea, mulled wine and punch are offered.
In addition to the Christmas products, Vienna's Christmas markets offer Advent magic at its best with impressive lighting and background music and put their visitors in a relaxed Christmas mood, usually against the magnificent backdrop of famous Viennese sights.
Table of contents
Vienna Christmas Market on Rathausplatz
At the Christkindlmarkt in front of the imposing Vienna City Hall, the almost 150 picturesque wooden stalls of Vienna's small traders have exerted a magical attraction on locals and tourists for centuries. The Christmas market on Rathausplatz attracts 3 million visitors every year, about 500,000 of whom come from abroad.
The irresistible scent of candied nuts and punch in the atmospheric lighting against the fantastic backdrop of the Christmas-decorated town hall is also hard to resist.
Christmas Market Schönbrunn Palace
The Christmas market in front of the dreamlike backdrop of Schönbrunn Palace is one of the most international Advent villages in Vienna, as the 80 exhibitors also travel to Vienna from Austria's neighbouring countries.
In the magical glow of the oversized Schönbrunn Christmas tree, visitors stroll between elaborately designed stalls with homemade baked goods and original gift ideas ranging from handmade soaps to self-painted Christmas tree decorations.
A special highlight is the nativity scene carved by Franz Oberschneider with over 200 lovingly crafted figures. Every year, over a million visitors are enchanted by the exclusive mix of Christmas spirit and royal splendour.
Tip: The Christmas market leads directly into the New Year's market on 27 December, which attracts visitors with lucky charms for the new year and jazz concerts until 1 January.
Christmas market between the museums
Since 2005, the Advent market on Maria-Theresien-Platz has been one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Vienna due to its unbeatable setting between the Hofburg, Ringstraße and the Museum of Art and Natural History.
Gospel choirs and tower brass provide festive background music while visitors take a look at the lovingly designed gift ideas from the stalls or enjoy a creamy-sweet Mozart punch. Similar to Schönbrunn Palace, the Christmas market at Maria-Theresien-Platz also turns into a New Year's market, which is open until 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve.
Christmas Village Old AKH
Behind the inconspicuous walls of the Old General Hospital on Alser Straße lies the secluded park of the former hospital, which is transformed into a fairytale place of Christmas during Advent. Well-known to the Viennese, the Christmas village is still considered an insider tip by tourists.
Stalls set up with loving attention to detail sell Christmas biscuits, candied fruit, mulled wine and tea and make many a Christmas wish come true with noble and original ideas. If your toes and fingers are already so cold that no amount of hot punch could warm them up again, numerous pubs in the area invite you to warm up and enjoy.
Christmas Market on St. Stephen's Square
The Advent market in the heart of Vienna presents itself in front of the magnificent backdrop of St. Stephen's Cathedral, both in the form of the dignified huts and the high-quality range of goods, small and elegant, and is certainly one of the most contemplative Christmas markets in Vienna.
Christmas Village in front of Belvedere Palace
Like the Christmas market on Stephansplatz, the Christmas village at Belvedere Palace is characterised by exclusivity and high-quality products. Since 2003, 40 noble stalls have been enchanting their visitors with a splendid glow of lights and opulent baroque. This is the place to be if you are looking for unusual Christmas gifts and tasty specialities from Viennese cuisine.
International gospel choirs and Advent songs accompany the lovingly decorated stalls with atmospheric music and transform the forecourt of the castle into a Christmas oasis.
PICTURES: Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace in Vienna
Advent and arts and crafts market at Karlsplatz
The atmospheric Advent market in front of St. Charles Church attracts visitors not only with Christmas goods but also with stylish arts and crafts of all kinds. Numerous all-round events round off the cultural offerings.
Almost daily live concerts, an attractive children's programme and hot attractions such as the over 2-metre-high fire bird on the Art Island, fire artists and jugglers, as well as light figures and fire creatures on stilts turn Karlsplatz into a blazing focal point during Viennese Advent.
Spittelberg Christmas Market
The Spittelberg Christmas Market in the narrow streets of a Viennese Biedermeier suburb has always been one of the most beautiful Advent markets in Vienna and is visited by over 500,000 people every year. More than one hundred stalls offer arts and crafts, culinary delights and warming punch in the romantic streets.
Old Viennese Christmas Market on the Freyung
Since 1987, the Friends of the Altwiener Christkindlmarkt have been inviting visitors to a contemplative get-together every year at the noble address of Vienna's Freyung. The small but fine Advent market in the middle of Vienna's first district offers demonstrations by artisans on the weekends and boasts the longest nativity scene in the world.
Framed by numerous palaces, the Schottenstift and the BA-CA Art Forum, the Altwiener Christkindlmarkt offers a dreamlike setting to get in the mood for the upcoming Christmas holidays.
Tip: Just two streets away is Am Hof, another Advent market surrounded by impressive buildings from a wide variety of eras.
Winter market at the Riesenradplatz (Prater)
Vienna 's Prater also participates in the city's Christkindlzauber, albeit less contemplatively, but with bangs and trumpets. Under the motto "The Prater rocks", the square in front of the famous Ferris wheel invites you to live concerts ranging from soul and pop to gospel. In addition, there is punch and culinary Viennese delicacies to be enjoyed under a wonderfully illuminated Christmas tree.
Insider tip for Advent magic in Vienna
In addition to the widely known Advent markets in Vienna, there are also some small ones to discover, which are particularly atmospheric due to their quiet atmosphere without tourist crowds.
These include the Dornbacher Advent Market at Dornbacher Straße 100, which takes place in lovingly decorated premises and presents home-made goods with free admission. It is only open on two weekends in Advent and also entices with stories for children read by Father Christmas and festive Advent singing.