Making the most of Vienna’s Christmas markets: Travel Weekly

long happiness

long happiness

My first visit to Vienna was when I was a university student living in Paris many moons ago. It was the Christmas season, and the landscape on the way to Austria was blanketed in snow as our train rattled through the blinding white toward the city’s central train station.

For first impressions, that’s as good as it gets.

Fast-forward to a Danube cruise shortly before the pandemic lockdowns, where I found myself talking to a group of women who told me they had been doing pretty much the same trip together for years.

The tie? The Christmas markets in Vienna, they said, raving about the atmosphere, the culinary delights and the famous glass tree decorations, just for starters.

For those of us who have missed that post-pandemic return to normalcy (markets were closed in 2020 and travel restrictions were still in place last year), this year is likely to draw big crowds.

Usually from late November to December 24, visitors can wander through some 20 markets, each with its own personality and backdrop, some located in city squares, some on cobblestone back streets, and some even in city parks.

One of my favorites, though not the biggest, is Christmas Village on Stephansplatz, an especially charming square located just outside St. Stephen’s Cathedral, where more than 40 stalls offer a heady dose of charm in a manageable size.

Or go all out and head to the Christmas market at Rathausplatz, which has over 100 stalls to choose from and adds entertainment to the shopping and dining raffles that Christmas markets usually offer. A good option for families, the Rathausplatz market features a carousel and ice skating rink in the adjacent Rathauspark, which is illuminated at night and offers skate rentals.

See also  Ethiopian Airlines to resume flights to Tigray region

Another attraction for children is the Christmas Village on the campus of the University of Vienna, which even has a children’s train and a carousel.

Although craftsmanship abounds in every market, Art Advent on Karlsplatz offers a mix of traditional and contemporary handmade souvenirs, all created with an emphasis on sustainability, as well as certified organic food and drinks.

Vienna has a lot for architecture buffs to love, and browsing the Christmas markets is one way to combine sightseeing with seasonal activities.

For a slice of imperial charm the city is known, for example the markets in front of Schonbrunn Palace and Belvedere Palace offer plenty of Baroque grandeur. 2023 marks the Belvedere’s 300th anniversary, and the celebration will kick off this December with special exhibits. In addition to its grand exterior, the Belvedere is home to three museums, one of which, Belvedere 21, focuses on contemporary art.

In short, the Christmas market scene in Vienna is not a case of see-one-see-all, and visitors who want to be strategic about which markets they visit can make use of a digital city guide tailored specifically to the season. . The guide is available for iOS and Android.

Leave a Comment