The city of Vienna with its imperial charm and stunning architecture, is magnificent in any season. But if you’re looking for a truly magical setting, visit the city in winter. Because as Advent approaches Christmas markets in Vienna are decked out like a ball-laden fir tree.
From the end of November onwards, numerous Christmas markets (known as Weihnachtsmärkte) spring up all over the city. The prettiest squares are transformed into fairytale Christmas villages. The smell of mulled wine and gingerbread wafts through the air. And all you need is a glass of wine to keep you warm in the freezing cold.
The Christmas market in Vienna is a centuries-old tradition. The first one was held in 1298. Over the years, new Christmas markets have sprung up, making the city a magical place during the Christmas season.
There are 12 main Christmas markets in Vienna. Most are located in the Old Town or along the main Ringstrasse boulevard. So you can easily explore them on foot.
However, to get to the Prater and Schönbrunn Palace, you’ll need to use public transport.
Christmas markets in Vienna dates
Most open in mid-November and run until 23 December. Some are also open on Christmas Day. To ensure that all the markets are open when you visit, plan your trip after 20 November.
Only the markets at the Prater, Maria-Theresien-Platz and Schönbrunn Palace continue for a week after the New Year.
The Vienna Christmas Market dates 2023
From 11 November to 23 December
Every day from 11am to 9pm
24 and 25 December – only markets at Rathausplatz, Stephansplatz, Belvedere Palace, Maria-Theresien-Platz, Schönbrunn Palace and the Prater
26 – 31 December – Schönbrunn Palace and the Prater
Between New Year’s Day and 4 January – Schönbrunn Palace and the Prater
If you are interested in a particular market, please check its exact opening hours (see further down the article).
Best Christmas markets in Vienna
Rathausplatz Christmas market
- Location: Rathausplatz square, 1010 Vienna
- Dates: From 19 November to 26 December
- Opening: Every day from 10am to 10pm, 24 December – until 7pm
Although there are many beautiful Christmas villages, one market wins hands down. It’s the Viennese Christmas Dream on Rathausplatz (Wiener Weihnachtstraum). It’s the biggest, the most beautiful and the most popular. So make sure it’s on your list (but be prepared for crowds).
The beautiful illuminated Rathaus and giant Christmas tree create a unique atmosphere. Over 150 stalls offer culinary treats, hot drinks and Christmas tree decorations. Visitors can glide around in the open air on a 3,000 m² ice rink to the sound of Christmas carols.
This is the place to go for traditional Christmas treats. By the way, it is also typical to try “lángos”, a recipe originating in Hungary but very popular in Austria. It basically consists of a dough similar to pizza dough but fried. It can be eaten as it is, with cheese on top, etc. They are sticky but once you get the hang of them they are quite good.
Stephansplatz Christmas market
- Address: Stephansplatz 2, 1010 Vienna, Austria
- Dates: From 18 November to 26 December
Every day from 11am to 9pm
24 December – 11am to 4pm
25 and 26 December – 11am to 7pm
It’s hard to miss this market, located at the foot of St Stephen’s Cathedral, right in the heart of the city. The 40 stalls offer top-quality Austrian products.
The Christmas market on Stephansplatz is the perfect place to have a drink and people-watch. It’s not as crowded as the one at Rathausplatz. What’s more, the stalls offer a wide variety of mulled wine and punch.
Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace
- Address Prinz Eugen-Strasse 27, 1030 Vienna
- Dates: From 17 November to 31 December
Monday – Friday 11 am- 9 pm
Saturday, Sunday, public holiday 10 am- 9 pm
24 December: 11 am – 4pm
26 – 30 December: 11 am – 7 pm
31 December: 11 am – 6 pm
A magical Christmas village also awaits you in the park of Belvedere Palace. Set away from the hustle and bustle of the historic centre, this market offers handicrafts and culinary delights. It’s one of the most romantic Christmas villages, thanks to the impressive baroque decor of the Belvedere Palace.
This market is a great place to enjoy a warm drink with your loved one. The many stalls offer handicrafts and children have fun on the nostalgic carousel. And of course there’s also mulled wine, punch and various sweet and savoury delicacies. But attention to all dog owners: Dogs are not allowed in the entire area.
Art Advent – Art & craft at Karlsplatz
- Address: Karlsplatz, 1040 Vienna, Austria
- Dates: From 18 November to 23 December
- Opening: Every day from 12pm to 8pm
Featuring a small zoo (with sheep and pigs) and craft workshops, Art Advent Karlsplatz is an ideal place for children. The magnificent Saint-Charles church and the trees decorated with garlands of lights create a festive atmosphere.
All the food on site is certified organic – from crêpes and galettes to roasted almonds, wood-fired flatbreads and, of course, punch and mulled wine. As every year, the fountain in front of the Karlskirche is dry during the cold season and is transformed during the Christkindlmarkt into a straw landscape where children can romp around.
Christmas Village at Maria-Theresien-Platz
- Address: Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Vienna, Austria
- Dates: From 18 November to 6 January
Every day from 11am to 9pm
24 December – until 4pm
25 December – 6 January – until 7pm
31 December – until 6pm
The Christmas Village is located between the impressive buildings of the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Fine Arts. It’s one of Vienna’s biggest Christmas markets. More than 70 stalls offer original gift ideas and culinary delights. On 27 December, the Christmas village is transformed into a New Year’s Eve village.
Schönbrunn Christmas Market
- Address: Schönbrunn Palace, 1130 Vienna, Austria
- Dates: From 18 November to 4 January
Every day from 10am to 9pm
24 December – until 4pm
25-26 December – until 6pm
The Schönbrunn Palace Culture and Christmas Market is one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Vienna and attracts numerous visitors from Austria and abroad every year with Advent concerts, delicious delicacies, traditional arts and crafts and a colourful children’s programme.
With around 80 exhibitors from all the provinces and neighbouring countries, it offers a colourful Christmas world with numerous gift ideas, delicious delicacies and hot punch.
It is transformed into a New Year’s market after Christmas.
Am Hof Christmas Market
- Address: Am Hof, 1010 Vienna, Austria
- Dates: From 10 November to 23 December
Monday to Thursday 11 am to 9 pm
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, public holiday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Gastronomy until 10 pm
Similar to the Altwiener Christkindlmarkt, the Christmas market at the Wiener Hof also follows old paths, as the square Am Hof was already the centre of Vienna’s city centre in the 12th century and was also used for market activities after the official business was transferred to the Hofburg.
This tradition was revived by setting up an Advent market Am Hof, which opened its doors for the first time in 2002. The association “Kunst + Handwerk vom Künstler” (Art + Crafts from the Artist) was responsible for this and therefore the focus at this Advent market is also on more artificial goods. About 75 huts are available to buy the products of various crafts or simply to make an overview whether there might be a gift for Christmas Eve among them.
Freyung Christmas market (Altwiener Christkindlmarkt)
- Address: Freyung square, 1010 Vienna, Austria
- Dates: From 17 November to 23 December
- Opening: Every day from 10am to 9pm
This market is hidden away in a picturesque little square. It is the oldest and most authentic Christmas market in Vienna. It has existed since the 18th century and still retains its traditional appearance.
Most of the products on offer come from small workshops, kitchens or bakeries, made by jewellery designers or artisans, soap boilers and wood carvers, distilled from fruits, collected by bees, shaped from clay …You won’t find any kitsch or commercialism in here.
Of course, the culinary delights are not neglected either, whereby the same applies: class before quantity …
Christmas Village in the former AKH
- Address: Alserstrasse/Spitalgasse, Hof 1, 1090 Vienna
- Dates: From 10 November to 23 December
- Opening: Every day from 12pm to 10pm
With a cosy atmosphere and surrounded by the walls of the old medical university, you will forget that you are in the centre of the city. In former AKH Christmas market, you will be offered Christmas goods and ideas for gifts from all Austrian provinces.
Spittelberg Christmas Market
- Address: Spittelberggasse, Schrankgasse, Gutenberggasse, 1070 Vienna
- Dates: From 16 November to 23 December
Monday-Friday – 2pm-9pm
Saturday and Sunday – 10am to 9pm
The market stretches along three small cobbled streets in the historic Biedermeier district. These idyllic alleyways are the perfect setting for a romantic stroll.
More than 100 stalls offer original Christmas gifts and delicious food. What’s more, it’s one of the most popular markets among the locals.
Winter market at Riesenradplatz
- Address: Prater park, 1020 Vienna
- Dates: From 18 November to 9 January
Monday-Friday – 2pm to 9pm
Saturday and Sunday – 11am to 9pm
24 December – 10am to 5pm
31 December – 12pm to 2am
“The Prater rocks” is the motto of the winter market at Riesenradplatz, the Christmas market in Vienna’s Prater.
From 18 November, there will once again be mulled wine, punch and, among other things, live music from Wednesday to Sunday, a total of 37 concerts as part of the entertainment programme under the Ferris wheel at the Christmas market in the Vienna Prater.
One of the highlights of the winter market is undoubtedly the Perchtenlauf on 3 December. Starting at 5 p.m., where more than 180 of these eerily beautiful journeymen will make their appearance.
Weißgerber Advent Market
- Location: 1030 Vienna, Kolonitzplatz
- Date: 26 November – 23 December
- Opening hours: Mon – Sat 5 p.m. – 9 pm, Sun/holiday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
The Weißgerber Advent Market takes place every year from the end of November or beginning of December until Christmas Eve on Kolonitzplatz in the north of the 3rd district of Wien-Landstraße. It is organised by the parish of St. Othmar Unter den Weißgerbern with the aim of supporting social projects.
This event is an opportunity to get out of the way if the hustle and bustle of the big Advent events in the city centre, such as the Christkindlmarkt on Rathausplatz, become too much and you want to get in the mood for Christmas in a calmer way.
At the Weißgerber Advent Market you can look around for handicraft products, there are jewellery, pictures and other goods that could be considered as gifts for Christmas or that you can use yourself as decoration. Various materials will be used, from wood to clay or even wool. Warm drinks and culinary delights will also be on offer.
Advent Market at the Liechtenstein Garden Palace
- Location: Gartenpalais Liechtenstein | Fürstengasse 1, 1090 Vienna
- Dates: 17.11. – 23.12
- Opening hours:
Monday – Thursday: 14:00 – 21:00
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, public holiday: 11:00 to 21:00
Since 2021, there has been a new market in Vienna: around the Liechtenstein Garden Palace!
The garden palace of the princely Liechtenstein family in Vienna’s 9th district offers a unique setting for a very special kind of Christmas magic. For the very first time in 2021, the courtyard in front of the princely garden palace and part of the park behind it have been transformed into a Christmas magic land. Through the magnificent entrance gate at Fürstengasse 1, the world opened up to our contemplative Advent market.
The scent of punch & mulled wine, Feuerzangenbowle, Baumkuchen and roasted almonds wafts through the park again from 17.11. Around 25 exhibitors invite you to stroll, walk and enjoy their handicrafts, traditional items, jewellery and all kinds of lovely things in lovingly decorated huts. Ideal for buying your first Christmas presents. Food and drink huts provide visitors with local delicacies and winter drinks. A highlight for the little ones is the historic horse carousel by Ringelspiel Freddy.
What to do in Vienna at Christmas?
Christmas concert at St Peter’s Church
If you love classical music, don’t miss the concert by the Vienna Classical Ensemble in St Peter’s Church. Enjoy an evening filled with interpretations of works by Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and many others.
Visit Europe’s largest urban spa
Winter is the best time to relax at the spa. Therme Wien has 26 naturally heated pools and 24 saunas and steam rooms. What’s more, there’s a restaurant and even a library!
The Therme Wien is very easy to get to by public transport (just 15 minutes on the U1 underground line).
The Strudel Show
Don’t miss the Apfelstrudel Show when you visit the Schönbrunn Palace Christmas Market. Find out how the traditional Viennese Apfelstrudel is made in the courtyard bakery.
Vienna Christmas Market – food
Mulled wine and punch (Glühwein): a traditional Christmas drink. Each market offers different types of mulled wine and punch, some better than others. The drink is served in a decorated mug for which you have to pay a deposit. But you can get the deposit back when you return the mug. Each Christmas market has its own design (the most beautiful mugs are at the Am Hof Christmas Market).
Bratwurst: Bratwurst is a grilled sausage (and served in a bun with mustard and ketchup). It’s a great option for a quick lunch or even dinner.
Pretzel: The pretzel is a pastry made from brioche dough. It comes in many variations – with apples, marzipan, nuts and so on.
Nusstangerl: This is another delicious pastry – a hazelnut brioche.
Mohnzelten: This is my favourite pastry! Mohnzelten is a soft pastry with a sweet poppy seed filling.
Lebkuchen: Lebkuchen is a traditional gingerbread biscuit.
Maroni: Maroni are delicious chestnuts roasted over a wood fire.
Krapfen: This is a doughnut filled with chocolate or custard.
Winter is one of the best times to travel, and if it can be to a cold destination, watching it snow from the window of a nice flat, with a cup of Christmas tea in my hand, listening to the murmur of a choir singing carols around a beautifully decorated tree, well, all the better. Austria and especially Vienna capital is a perfect place to feel the magic of Christmas. Like a dream come true!