Graceful spires and grand palaces make Vienna the perfect fit for the festive season. As twinkling lights drape across the streets of the old town, the sparkling beauty of the Austrian capital makes it the ultimate Christmassy city. To accompany the seasonal splendour, Christmas markets appear almost everywhere in Vienna.
Yes, you’ve got can’t-miss markets that take place at key landmarks across the city, but there are also some hidden gems. For instance, you can stop by at a palace to pick up genuine artisanal wares, or perhaps visit a themed winter wonderland. Whichever way you look at it, Vienna is rich with festive delights. Now it’s simply up to you to decide which is your ideal Vienna Christmas market…
Viennese Dream Christmas Market
The Viennese Dream Christmas Market is the most famed and popular Vienna Christmas market, and with good reason. It boasts the iconic backdrop of the City Hall, casting a spire-shaped silhouette into the dusky evening sky. Arrive after sundown for the full effect, as the market is bathed in the amber glow of a towering Christmas tree and softly lit stalls. Along with the spectacular setting, you can look forward to live choir singing inside the City Hall and a range of festive gifts and delicacies spread across 145 stalls.
Christmas Village Belvedere Palace
Of all the things to do in Vienna, visiting palaces usually ranks quite highly on tourist’s lists. Well, the good news is, you can tick off two things at once if you make for the Christmas Village Belvedere Palace. There’s an exclusive selection of just 40 stalls, but you’ll still find local culinary delicacies and original craft wares on offer. The baroque façade of the palace makes it all the more magical, while you can also step inside to admire the decorative paintings and incredibly ornate designs of the state rooms.
Maria Theresien Platz Market
For an unforgettable slice of culture served up with your Christmas markets, you’ll have plenty to feast on here. The market is placed in the middle of the Natural History Museum Vienna and the Museum of Fine Arts, both renowned buildings with identical, grand façades facing each other. That way, you can admire the masterpieces by Raphael and Reubens (among many others) before taking in the beauty of the glowing stalls set around the square hedges and fountains. Along with the fine offerings of food and gifts, you’ll see the statue of Empress Maria Theresa forming the focal centrepiece of the market. As an added bonus, this market continues on to January, when it celebrates the arrival of the new year.
Schönbrunn Palace Christmas Market
Vienna Christmas markets are famed for the quality of their wares, but Schönbrunn Palace’s market really elevates this aspect to another level. The 80 artisan stalls here are carefully selected to ensure they meet the high standards of such a refined setting. And that’s not forgetting that backdrop. As you shop, the soft bronzed glow of the palace itself casts the stalls in a serene light, making your purchases seem all the more appealing! Similar to the Christmas Village Belvedere Palace market, it’s well worth perusing the palace afterwards, as its interior reveals yet more resplendent delights.
Christmas Village Former General Hospital
Fancy a more traditional, local atmosphere at a Vienna Christmas market? This is the prime choice. Also known as the Altes AKH Christmas market, it’s set a little outside of the centre of the city on the site of the former general hospital. Now part of the university campus, it’s an open, green space where you’ll see snow-capped wooden cabins and plenty of sparkling lights. Along with festive fare and gifts, the market has a separate plaza for enjoying warming food and drinks. Plus, there are carousels and a Ferris wheel for children too.
Christmas market at Spittelberg
This market has become another mainstay of the festive favourites to be found in Vienna. Rather than being based in a single square, the market at Spittelberg is spread across a series of shopping streets. There’s a slight difference in the stalls’ offerings here too, as you’ll find a stronger focus on fashion, arts and crafts than the other major markets in Vienna. On top of that, the choice of food is certain to please all palates, with plenty of organic and vegetarian choices.
Now we’ve given you an idea of just how Christmassy a city Vienna can be, it’s time to start planning your break! Visit Jet2CityBreaks to find out more about the ideal hotels that will place you closest to markets you want to discover.