Dec
06

Hidden Christmas markets of Vienna

December 06, 2019
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Kirstie Hall
Kirstie Hall is the writer and photographer behind hallaroundtheworld.com. Originally from North Carolina, she has lived on three different continents, travelled to over 30 countries, and is now based in Malmo, Sweden.

If you’re planning a visit to Vienna during the holidays, chances are that popular Christmas festivities like the markets at Rathausplatz and Schönbrunn Palace are already high on your list. Don’t let the crowds deter you from paying them a visit. These bustling “touristy” hot spots are local favorites, too, but they are far from the only festive happenings in this magical winter wonderland.

Here are four other must-see Christkindlmarkts markets that are a bit more off the beaten tourist track… plus the festive treats and yuletide beverages you’ll have to taste for yourself!

Christmas village at Belvedere Palace

Find artisan made Christmas tree decorations at the Christmas Village at the grand Belvedere Palace. | Photo by Vienna Urban Adventures

Once the home to a Prince, this beautiful Baroque Palace now houses a permanent art collection, and, during the holidays, is the site of one of Vienna’s cutest and coziest Christmas markets.

With less than half a dozen holiday huts lined up in front of the palace, the festivities here are much smaller and quieter than those at Schönbrunn Palace and Rathausplatz. It is a must for those looking for a place to shop for handcrafted holiday gifts without all the hustle and bustle… or the lineups.

Locals know tip: Be sure to explore the palace grounds! If you head to the opposite side of the lake, you’ll get an epic view of the palace and all the holiday lights.

The Christmas Village at Belvedere is open from November 22nd until December 31st.

Art Advent – Karlsplatz

One of the many Christmas trinkets you can pick up at Art Advent. | Photo by Vienna Urban Adventures

With the beautiful baroque Church of Saint Charles Borromeo church in the background, and twinkly lights draping over the square, this is an unbeatable location for a holiday market. The classic simplicity is breathtaking.

Known for its extensive collection of arts and crafts, the Art Advent at Karlsplatz is the best place for holiday shoppers to find unique, locally crafted souveniers and gifts. Believe it or not, it is also a great place to enjoy some healthy Christmast treats. All of the food products for sale are certified organic!

This advent celebration takes place from November 22nd until December 23rd.

 

Winter in the MQ

Winter in the Museums Quartier is more of a winter party spot than a Christmas market. There’s lots of Glühwein, but that’s just about the only “traditional” Christmas-y thing you’ll find at this funky holiday market.

Instead of the usual souveniers and gifts, at the Museums Quartier you will find a DJ spinning upbeat tunes in the middle of the square, remote control car races, and even a space to join in on a friendly game of curling.

Too cold for curling? Warm up in one of the futuristic ‘ice pavilions’ instead. These colorfully illuminated igloos are basically little pop up bars, where I guarantee you will find more flavors of punschthan you can wrap your head around.

The holiday shindig at the MQ is open from November 7th until December 23rd.

Spittelberg Christmas Market

Spittelberg market. | Photo by Vienna Tourist Board

Head to the arty district of Neubau and enjoy a charming holiday market amidst the area’s picture-perfect Biedermeier houses.

Once a popular spot for buying seasonal hand crafted gifts, the Christmas market at Spittelberg is now known for its large variety of food and drink offerings. Grab a mulled wine or a bite to eat at one of the many outdoor stands, or duck into one of the cozy bars and restaurants lining Spittelberg’s narrow cobblestone streets.

The Spittelberg Christmas Market is open from November 14th until December 23rd.

Festive Eats and Drinks

mulled wine copenhagen
A cup of warming Viennese glühwein. | Photo by Urban Adventures

There is a LOT to eat and drink around Vienna’s Christmas markets. Our favorites were Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), delicious Heisse Bauernkrapfen (Hot farmer’s donut), and, of course, the holiday classic Maroni (hot roasted chesnuts).

Warm up with a cup of lumumba (Austrain style hot chocolate… complete with whipped cream, cinnamon, and rum), red of white glühwein (mulled wine), or a piping hot weihnachtspunsch (Christmas punch).

Wondering why the holiday beverages are so pricey? Well, they’re not actually as expensive as they seem. The cost of each drink includes a deposit for the mug it’s served up in! Each Christmas market has their own unique mug designs every year. Return it to get your deposit back, or keep it as a souvenir!

The cute mugs aren’t the only thing that make the Christkindlmarkt celebrations in Vienna special. The markets themselves are each so unique! Whether you’re roaming grand palace grounds, cozy side streets, the museum quarters, or strolling through the ever-popular City Hall Square, there are a wide variety of quirky squares, fun festivities, and delicious foods and drinks to enjoy around the city.

Want to learn more about the medieval origins of Vienna’s holiday traditions? Explore the city’s merriest markets with a local guide by your side on the Christmas Markets of Vienna Punch and Gingerbread tour. Frohe Weihnachten (Merry Christmas)!

Vienna Christmas Markets

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