- 1 The Best Austrian Christmas Markets
- 2 Tips for Visiting the Christmas Markets in Austria
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Christmas markets are a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit. They offer unique shopping experiences, delicious food, and beautiful decorations.
Austria has a lot of beautiful cities to visit, and if you’re looking for some unique experiences within them this winter, then you should definitely consider visiting one of their famous holiday markets. They’re an Austrian tradition, held all around the country during December, and offer visitors an opportunity to enjoy traditional Austrian food and drink.
These are some of the best Austrian Christmas markets you need to visit this holiday season!
The Best Austrian Christmas Markets
|Christmas Market Name||City||Dates for 2021|
|Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt||Vienna, Austria||November 12th - December 26th, 2021|
|Marie-Theresien-Platz Christmas Village||Vienna, Austria||November 17th - December 26th, 2021|
|Christmas Market Schloß Schönbrunn||Vienna, Austria||November 20th - December 26th, 2021|
|Spittelberg Christmas Market||Vienna, Austria||November 12th - December 23rd, 2021|
|Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace||Vienna, Austria||November 19th - December 26th, 2021|
|Art Advent||Vienna, Austria||November 19th - December 23rd, 2021|
|Salzburg Christkindl Market||Salzburg, Austria||November 18th - December 26th, 2021|
|Advent Magic in Hellbrunn||Salzburg, Austria||November 18th - December 24th, 2021|
|Christmas Market on Mirabell Square||Salzburg, Austria||November 18th - December 24th, 2021|
- Location: Vienna, Austria
- Last Year’s Market Dates: November 12th – December 26th, 2021
If you are looking for a charming holiday market in Vienna, you should definitely visit the Christmas Market at Rathausplatz. Here you can expect the most beautiful fairy tale scenery and the atmosphere in front of City Hall is just incredible! Even the approach by tram along the Ringstraße is gorgeous, and you will be amazed by the shining sea of lights along the park.
At the entrance to the Christmas market on Rathausplatz, a large archway with Advent candles welcomes visitors and tourists who marvel at the countless Christmas tree baubles and the many lights.
Also beautiful is the huge real Christmas tree erected every year at the Rathausplatz, making this holiday market one of the most beautiful in Vienna. Another highlight is the giant ice skating rink, where young and old do their rounds. You don’t have to bring your own gear – you can rent ice skates on site!
Not far away, you will also find some great accommodations. A festive option is the Hotel Rathauspark Wien (Booking | Hotels | TripAdvisor,) a member of Radisson Individuals in the best location and with a delicious breakfast!
The Christmas market at Rathausplatz is best reached by streetcar 1 & 2 or subway U2 & U3.
Submitted by Martina from PlacesofJuma
- Location: Vienna, Austria
- Last Year’s Market Dates: November 17th – December 26th, 2021
Situated between two beautiful museums–the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Museum of Natural History–Vienna’s Christmas Village in Maria Theresien Square is delightful. Spend your day exploring inside the museums before heading outside to the Christmas Village after dark for the best atmosphere for your market trip in one of the best destinations for winter in Europe.
The Christmas Village wraps around the square’s beautiful fountains and greenery, with the statue of Empress Maria Theresa standing tall in the center, watching over the fun.
Here, you’ll find traditional food stall treats alongside unique artisan crafts and gift ideas for your loved ones. And if you’re visiting Vienna between Christmas and New Year’s, you can visit their New Year’s Market, occupying the same space.
- Location: Vienna, Austria
- Last Year’s Market Dates: November 20th – December 26th, 2021
The summer royal residence for the Habsburgs transforms into a winter wonderland during the Christmas season. As one of the best palaces in Europe, Schönbrunn Palace became the dynasty’s principal residence in Vienna, Austria, from the 18th century until the monarchy was abolished in 1918.
Although the grounds were first used for recreation and hunting, the current structure was built in the 1740s in the Baroque and Rococo styles for Empress Maria Theresa, who received the estate as a wedding present. The extensive gardens from the former lodge were adapted to fit the royal family.
Every year for the festive season, the front courtyard of the palace takes on new life as the Christmas Market. You’ll find a variety of handmade decorations and artisan works in glass, wood, and ceramics alongside the more traditional gifts and delicious treats. For more information, you can see the market map and list of creators attending this year’s market.
In front of the Christmas Tree, you also need to check out the Manger display made up of more than 250 handcrafted pieces created specifically for this market by carving expert Franz Oberschneider in 2012.
Need some gift-giving inspiration this holiday season? Check out my guides on the best travel essentials for women, travel gifts under $20, zero-waste travel essentials, and great gifts for friends going abroad!
- Location: Vienna, Austria
- Last Year’s Market Dates: November 12th – December 23rd, 2021
To get away from the hustle and bustle of Vienna’s biggest Christmas markets like Rathaus Christkindlmarkt and Marie-Theresien-Platz Christmas Village, head to the tiny yet adorable neighborhood of Spittelberg.
It only spreads over a few blocks, but it’s home to several cozy Viennese cafes, galleries, and shops, and it boasts a unique atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else in the Austrian capital.
When the holiday season begins, the streets of Spittelberg are decorated with plenty of lights and host one of the coziest Christmas markets in Austria. Vienna can get quite chilly in the winter, so it’s a huge bonus that this market opens in mid-November. Its stalls sell all kinds of items, from jewelry and artisanal soaps to chocolates and festive cupcakes.
Spittelberg is located right next to Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier, so after a few hours of hopping between the Leopold Museum, Mumok, and other art exhibitions, there’s nothing like wandering around the Christmas market’s stalls and enjoying a cup of mulled wine or hot cider.
You can get to the Spittelberg Christmas Market by taking the Volkstheater, which is the name of both a U-Bahn (line U3) and tram (line 49) station located only a minute walk away from Spittelberg.
Submitted by Or from My Path in the World
- Location: Vienna, Austria
- Last Year’s Market Dates: November 19th – December 26th, 2021
Yet another Christmas market in Vienna with an unrivaled backdrop is the Belvedere Christmas Market. The market is found right outside Belvedere Upper Palace, one of the country’s most attractive Baroque palaces.
This small Christmas market is rather laid back. There’s a decent mix of stalls, with plenty of space to enjoy them. Due to the setting, this market destination is particularly romantic. After warming your belly with hot snacks and Glühwein, take a walk around Belvedere Lake to admire the stunning views looking back at the palace and Christmas market. It is incredibly stunning in the evening when the lights of the palace and market reflect on the lake.
Next, explore the expansive gardens around Belvedere Palace; according to this list of facts about Vienna, Prince Eugene, who constructed the palace and gardens, was a keen gardener and zoologist and even used to keep a lion there.
Before leaving, you absolutely can’t miss stepping into the Upper Belvedere Art Gallery. Among many incredible works of art, the gallery houses Klimt’s The Kiss, the most famous painting in Vienna.
To complete your romantic Belvedere Christmas experience, stay at the honeymoon-worthy Adina Apartment Hotel (Booking | Hotels | TripAdvisor) just south of Belvedere lake. The heated indoor pool is the perfect winter escape.
Submitted by Nick Kembel from Fun World Facts
- Location: Vienna, Austria
- Last Year’s Market Dates: November 19th – December 23rd, 2021
Art Advent on Karlsplatz, also known as the Karlsplatz Christmas Market, is one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in the Austrian capital. The market takes place in Karlsplatz, a lovely square dominated by Karlskirche, Vienna’s most stunning baroque church. The church towers over the market, and is incredibly gorgeous when lit up in the evening, with the strands of lights hung between the market stalls further adding to the ambiance.
As the name suggests, the emphasis of this art market is on arts and crafts, most of which are handmade. Expect gorgeous Christmas decorations, handsome home décor, and more. The market also stands out as being especially suitable for kids, with rides for toddlers, a pen filled with farm animals at the center, and a large playground right next to the market. If you’re visiting Vienna with kids, then Karlsplatz Christmas Market should definitely top your list.
Karlsplatz is a major transportation hub, at the intersection of three metro lines and the tram, so it is really easy to get to from anywhere in the entire city using public transportation. But for a real splurge at Christmastime, the fabulous Hotel Imperial (Booking | Hotels | TripAdvisor,) one of the most opulent hotels in the city, is only a few minutes away from the market on foot.
Submitted by Nick Kembel from Spiritual Travels
- Location: Salzburg, Austria
- Last Year’s Market Dates: November 18th – December 26th, 2021
The Salzburg Christmas Market is held annually on the Cathedral and Residence Square in the Old Town of Salzburg as early as the 15th century, making it one of the oldest in the world.
The Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the traditional market stalls give the Christkindlmarkt an extraordinary atmosphere. The market is held every year from mid-November to December 26th and offers a lot for all ages. There is a nativity scene exhibition in the Residenzhof, a choir singing in front of the Salzburg Cathedral several times a week, and an ice rink for skating right in the city center.
Pro Tip: If you’re visiting Salzburg during the holidays, you should also make sure to visit the Advent Magic at Hellbrunn in the Hellbrunn Palace’s courtyard and the Christmas Market on Mirabell Square near Mirabell Palace. You can take a look at my guide to 2 days in Salzburg if you need help planning your trip!
You should try one of the many delicacies at the numerous food stalls. An incredibly delicious Austrian treat is the fruit bread, called Kletzenbrot. There are all kinds of stuff to buy at the market, but especially the handmade and hand-painted ornaments for Christmas tree decorations are a real eye-catcher. If you want to stay for a few days, book your Airbnb or hotel early, as they get booked up months in advance. Also, always be careful at such markets, especially in crowds, since there can be pickpockets.
Submitted by Victoria from Guide Your Travel
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Tips for Visiting the Christmas Markets in Austria
Plan out your trip in advance
The markets in Austria open throughout November, but many of them close right at Christmas–usually between December 23rd – 26th. While some open back up after the 25th through New Year’s, it’s not a guarantee. Check out the table I made above to find out this year’s schedule for all of the markets mentioned in this list!
Book your accommodations in advance
Due to high demand, an important thing to do before traveling is to make your hotel reservations the moment you decide you’re visiting one of these beautiful holiday villages in Austria. I recommend looking at Booking, Hotels, and TripAdvisor to find the best rates on hotels and apartment stays throughout the year, especially during the Christmas season. While weekends are often booked out months in advance, if you have some flexibility, you should be able to arrange a weekday room closer to your travel dates.
Prepare for the crowds
If these picturesque cities are packed throughout the year, they are even more so in winter, when tourists worldwide travel to participate in the holiday merriment. Allow yourself more time than you think you’ll need to get somewhere. Citymapper is my favorite metro app that will give you estimated real-time transit information for major destinations all over the world, from Vienna to New York City.
Winter in Austria is particularly cold. The daily temperature averages a high of 37°F/3°C and a low of 28°F/-2°C–not to mention the wind chill and possible snow. As the temperature fluctuates, it’s an excellent idea to dress in layers.
If you’re planning to be on your feet all day outside, travel essentials like waterproof boots and thick socks are a must–walking around with cold, wet feet will ruin your trip. Gloves, a hat, and a scarf are also needed. And always keep an eye on the city’s weather forecast as you pack for your trip, and try to plan ahead of time!
You’ll find the Yuletide vibe weaving its way through historic buildings and city squares, all celebrating this holiday season at these Austrian Christmas markets! Which one are you most excited to visit?