Vienna Christmas Markets to Get Visitors in the Yuletide Spirit:
The first Christmas markets in Vienna were held more than seven centuries ago when in 1296 Emperor Albrecht I granted Viennese traders and shopkeepers the privilege of holding a December market for the city’s population. Christkindlmarkt in those early days took place around Christmas and New year’s Eve and were not the extended events that they are today.
Vienna’s largest Christkindlmarkt only settled in its City Hall Square in 1975. Each year The Magic of Advent, as the Christmas market is known, transforms City Hall Square into a winter wonderland.
The Neo-Gothic City Hall provides a fitting backdrop for the countless stands offering snacks, handicrafts, Christmas tree decorations and gifts.
And when you’ve had one too many Christmas treats, take a romantic stroll in the neighbouring Rathauspark. The trees in the Rathauspark are covered with decorations and sparkling lights which form a sea of stars as night falls. Families come here to listen to the ‘Talking Tree’ whilst lovers meet beneath the ‘Heart Tree’.
Other Christmas Markets
- The Christmas Village on Maria-Theresien-Platz – the square between the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Natural History Museum – is full of stalls laden with attractive handcrafted wares.
- Attractive gifts and traditional cribs can be found on the traditional Altwiener Christkindlmarkt (Old Viennese Christmas Market) in the Freyung district in the old town.
- The romantic Culture and Christmas Market in front of Schönbrunn Palace stands out with a huge selection of traditional handmade tree decorations.
- The Christmas market in front of the Belvedere Palace also has an imperial backdrop.
Some 2012 Christmas Market Dates
Vienna Christmas Market (Nov 17 – Dec 24, 2012)
City Hall Square, 1st district
Christmas Village (Nov 21 – Dec 26, 2012)
Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1st district
Altwiener Christkindlmarkt (Old Viennese Christmas Market) (Nov 23 – Dec 23, 2012)
Freyung, 1st district
Culture and Christmas Market (Nov 24 – Dec 26, 2012)
Schönbrunn Palace, 13th district
Christmas Market – Belvedere (Nov 23 – Dec 23, 2012)
Belvedere Palace, 4th district