Have I mentioned that I think there’s no place more magical during Christmas time than Vienna? It’s the smell and the lights, the cold, crisp air. It’s the frozen fingers, red noses and scarves tied snuggly around your neck. It’s the myriad of Christmas markets on every major street and square. It’s little stands selling roasted chestnuts and roast potatoes. It’s meeting your friends over a mug of hot punch, warming your fingers, and then strolling past the stands giggling over all of the kitschy Christmas ornaments.
So far I’ve been to two Christmas markets and loved them both. If you’re in Vienna during Christmas time I can recommend the “Weihnachtsdörfer“. There are four of them: one is located on the uni campus (Altes AKH) and another one is stunningly situated between the big museums (Museum of Art History and Museum of Natural History). Then there’s one in front of Belvedere Palace and the last one is in Schloss Hof (this is a palace outside of Vienna. Said to be gorgeous, though I have never been to that Christmas market yet.).
If you’re looking for the ultimate Christmas experience there’s the obvious choice of the famous “Christkindlmarkt” in front of the City Hall. This is one of the biggest (if not the biggest one in Vienna) and offers a lot of different things to do, eat, drink and see. The City Hall serves as a gorgeous backdrop, but the park surrounding it is not to be dismissed, either. Stunning lights all around.
Another one of my favourites is situated in front of the Karlskirche. I went there last year (and cannot wait to go back there this year!) they have cute little stands selling handmade jewelry, and a live Christmas crèche.
Last but not least there’s the Christmas market in front of Schönbrunn Castle. Another quite obvious choice as the location is utterly enchanting. No matter if you want to drink mulled wine or taste your way through the multitude of different punch varieties. If you want some jacket potatoes or roasted almonds. There’s something for everyone.
These are some of the bigger markets but always look out for the smaller ones as well (Spittelberg, for example, is quite cute!).
The food and drinks are mostly the same everywhere; it’s the location that makes it to a unique experience. I’ve mentioned before that there are a lot of Christmas markets – luckily, there’s more than enough time to visit at least some of them :)