Vienna is stunning every season, thanks to its imperial charm and stunning architecture. However, if you want to experience a truly magical setting, go to the city in the winter.
Many Christmas markets (known as Weihnachtsmärkte) spring up all over the city from the end of November to the beginning of December. The most beautiful squares are transformed into fairytale Christmas villages. Stalls are brimming with delectable treats and handcrafted items. The aroma of mulled wine and gingerbread fills the air; all you need to stay warm in the freezing weather is a mug of wine.
Vienna’s Christmas markets are a centuries-old tradition, and Albert I of Germany granted the city the right to hold a December market in 1298. New ones have appeared over the years, transforming the city into a magical place during the Christmas season.
In Vienna, there are 12 major Christmas markets. The majority are in the Old Town or along the grand boulevard Ringstrasse. As a result, you can easily walk around them.
You’ll have to take public transportation to get to the ones at the Prater and Schönbrunn Palace.
The best Christmas markets in Vienna 2021
- Christmas World at Vienna City Hall
- Stephansplatz Christmas Market
- Belvedere Palace Christmas Village
- Art Advent Karlsplatz
- Maria-Theresien Platz Christmas Village
- Schönbrunn Palace Christmas Market
- Am Hof Advent Market
- Old Viennese Christmas Market
- Christmas Village Altes AKH
- Christmas Market Spittelberg
- Winter Market Riesenradplatz
- Winter at Museumsquartier (MQ)
It isn’t easy to visit all 12 Vienna Christmas markets. However, don’t miss the six listed below if you want to catch a quick glimpse of Vienna during the holidays.
Christmas World at the City Hall
Although there are many fantastic Christmas villages, one stands out in every way. At the City Hall, it’s Christmas World (Wiener Weihnachtstraum) (Rathaus). This is the largest, most beautiful, and most popular. So make it the first item on your list. However, expect to see many people, especially in the evenings.
The beautifully lit-up Rathaus and the massive Christmas tree create a magical atmosphere. More than 150 stalls sell delectable foods, hot beverages, and lovely decorations. In addition, the 3,000 m2 ice rink with Christmas music in the background provides a one-of-a-kind ice-skating experience.
This is the place to go if you’re looking for delectable seasonal treats, and it offers the most traditional Viennese cuisine
Christmas Market Stephansplatz
This market, located at the foot of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the city’s heart, is difficult to miss. More than 40 stalls offer high-quality Austrian products. A massive Christmas tree gleams against the dramatic backdrop of the illuminated cathedral.
The Christmas Market at Stephansplatz is ideal for a drink and people-watching, and it’s not as crowded as the Rathaus one, and it also has a wide selection of mulled wine and punch.
Christmas Village Belvedere Palace
This Weihnachtsdorf, located away from the hustle and bustle of the Historical Centre, provides one-of-a-kind handicrafts and culinary delights. One of the most romantic markets, with the impressive Baroque backdrop of Belvedere Palace. It’s the ideal place to enjoy a warm beverage with your loved one.
Art Advent Karlsplatz
With a petting zoo and craft tents, this is Vienna’s best Christmas market for children. A spiderweb of fairy lights illuminates the beautiful Baroque Karlskirche, creating a truly festive atmosphere. The pond in front of the church has dried up and is full of hay, and there are adorable sheep and pigs to pet.
If you’re looking for organic food and handicrafts made by local artists, Art Advent Karlsplatz is the place to be.
Christmas Village Maria-Theresien Platz
It is situated between the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Art, both impressive structures. It’s one of the largest Christmas markets, with over 70 booths. If you’re looking for unique gift ideas or want to sample some culinary delights, this is the place to go. Furthermore, it is open for a more extended period than most. On December 27, it transforms into a New Year’s Village.
Christmas Market Schönbrunn Palace
The city centre the Christmas market at Schönbrunn Palace is well worth a visit. Furthermore, if this is your first visit to Vienna, you must take a tour of the imperial palace. If possible, go to the market in the evening when everything is illuminated, and the atmosphere is truly magical.
It is also open after Christmas as the Christmas Village Maria-Theresien Platz.
More Xmas markets in Vienna
If you have more time or are looking for markets off the beaten path, these are worth a look. They are smaller and provide a different experience than the famous Christmas villages.
Am Hof Advent Market
This is the place to go if you’re looking for high-quality artisan gifts. At Am Hof Advent Market, you’ll find delicate jewellery, ceramics, leather goods, and other handcrafted items. It has a wide selection of ham, sausages, baked potatoes, and waffles for food.
Old Viennese Christmas Market
Altwiener market, located on a picturesque square, is just a short distance from Am Hof Advent Market. Indeed, this is one of Vienna’s oldest and most authentic Christmas markets, and it dates back to the 18th century and retains its traditional feel. So, if you’re looking for a more authentic experience, Altwiener Markt should be on your list.
Christmas Village Altes AKH
This market is great for families because it has a children’s railway, an old-fashioned carousel, and two curling lines. The local craftsmen are another highlight of Weihnachtsdorf Altes AKH. They come from all over Vienna to show off their talents, including candle making, sewing bags, and many other things.
Christmas Market Spittelberg
The Weihnachtsmarkt am Spittelberg is located in Neubau, an artsy district. It is spread across three tiny cobblestoned streets in a charming neighbourhood filled with Biedermeier townhouses. The festively decorated Schrankgasse, Spittelberggasse, and Gutenberggasse are ideal for a romantic stroll. Over 100 stalls sell unique handmade seasonal gifts and delectable foods. It’s also a famous market among locals.
Winter Market Riesenradplatz
The Winter Market Riesenradplatz is most likely the best place for children, and it’s in the Prater, a massive amusement park known for its Giant Ferris Wheel. So, if you want to have some fun, in addition to this is the place to go for traditional mulled wine and delectable foods. Furthermore, it is still open in the first week of January.
Winter at Museumsquartier (MQ)
Winter at Museumsquartier is a hip way to enjoy the Advent season. It’s the city’s most unique market, with magical LED projections, DJ beats, and hot punch bars. So gather your friends and a mug of Glühwein for an alternative Christmas in Vienna.