The 12 Fairytale Christmas Markets in Vienna

Vienna Christmas markets

Vienna Christmas markets – a detailed guide to all top markets, when they start and where to find them.

Vienna Christmas markets

With its imperial charm and stunning architecture, Vienna is beautiful in every season. Yet, if you look for a truly magical setting, visit the city in the winter.

From the end of November, countless Christmas markets pop up all over the city. The prettiest squares are turned into fairytale Christmas villages. Stalls are stuffed with mouth-watering treats and handcrafted goods. The aroma of mulled wine and gingerbread wafts through the air. And all you need is just a mug of wine to warm yourself in the freezing cold.

The Christmas markets in Vienna are a centuries-old tradition. In 1298 Albert I of Germany granted the privilege of holding a December market to the city. During the years new ones appeared turning the city into a magical place during Christmas time.

Where are the Christmas Markets in Vienna

There are 12 main Christmas markets in Vienna. Most of them are located in the Old Town or along the grand boulevard Ringstrasse. Thus you can easily tour them by foot. However to get to the ones at the Prater and Schönbrunn Palace you’ll need to use the public transport.

Find a detailed map of all the markets here.

When do Christmas markets start in Vienna

Most of them start in the middle of November and continue till Christmas day. However, there are few that are open in the days before the New Year. And only the Winter Market Riesenradplatz at Rathaus continues a week after the New Year.

Hotels near Vienna Christmas markets

Mid-range – Schlosshotel Römischer Kaiser
Lovely hotel at a walking distance of many of the Christmas villages.
9.0/10 Rating – See hotel images and 1,340+ guest reviews


Luxury option – Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof
This 5-star boutique hotel is less than 300m away from the main market at Rathaus.
9.0/10 Rating – See hotel images and 3,060+ guest reviews


Apartment – High Street Suites
Located right in the heart of the Old Town, these apartments are less than 500m away from many of the markets.
9.6/10 Rating – See apartment images and 200+ guest reviews


Find out more great hotels in my article Where to stay in Vienna.

Which is the best Christmas market in Vienna

Christmas World Rathaus

Although there are many awesome Christmas villages, one wins hand down in every aspect. It’s the Christmas World (Wiener Weihnachtstraum) at the City Hall (Rathaus). This is the biggest, the prettiest and the most popular one. So make sure it’s the number one on your list. Yet, be prepared for a lot of crowds, especially in the evenings.

The beautiful Rathaus all lit up and the giant Christmas tree create a magical atmosphere. More than 150 stalls offer tempting foods, warm drinks and beautiful decorations. Plus, the 3,000 m² ice rink with Christmas music in the background ensures a unique ice-skating experience.

If you look for mouth-watering seasonal treats, this is the place to go. It has the biggest range of traditional Viennese foods.

Opening times
From 17 November to 26 December 2018
Open daily from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM

 ice rink Rathaus

Christmas World Rathaus

Top Christmas markets in Vienna 2018

It’s hard to visit all the 12 Vienna Christmas markets. Not that I didn’t try of course. However, if you want a quick glimpse of Vienna at Christmas time don’t miss these 5 below. You can also take a guided walking tour of some of the traditional Christmas villages.

Christmas Market Stephansplatz

Christmas Market Stephansplatz

Located at the foot of St. Stephen’s Cathedral right in the heart of the city, this market is hard to miss. More than 40 stalls offer high-quality products from all over Austria. A giant Christmas tree sparkles against the dramatic backdrop of the lit up cathedral.

The Christmas Market at Stephansplatz is the best place for a drink and people watching. It’s not so crowded as the one at the Rathaus. Plus, it offers a great variety of mulled wine and punch.

Opening times
From 17 November to 26 December 2018
Daily from 11:00 AM to 09:00 PM

Christmas Village Belvedere Palace (Weihnachtsdorf)

Christmas Village Belvedere Palace

Located off the hustle and bustle of the Historic Centre, it features original handicrafts and culinary delights. With the impressive Baroque backdrop of Belvedere Palace, this is one of the most romantic markets. It’s the perfect stop for a warm drink with your loved one.

Opening times
From 23 November to 26 December 2018
Daily from 10:00 AM to 09:00 PM

Art Advent Karlsplatz

Art Advent Karlsplatz

Featuring a petting zoo and craft tents, Art Advent Karlsplatz is the best Christmas market in Vienna for kids. The gorgeous Baroque Karlskirche all lit-up with a spiderweb of fairy lights provides a truly festive atmosphere. The pond in front of the church is dried and filled with hay and there are some pretty cute sheep and pigs you can pet.

Art Advent Karlsplatz is the place to go if you also look for organic food and handicrafts made by local artists.

Opening times
From 23 November to 23 December 2018
Daily from 12:00 PM to 09:00 PM

Christmas Village Maria-Theresien Platz (Weihnachtsdorf Maria-Theresien Platz)

Christmas Village Maria-Theresien Platz

It is located between the impressive twin buildings of the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Art. With its more than 70 booths, it’s one of the largest Christmas markets. It’s the ideal place if you look for original gift ideas or to taste some culinary delights. Plus, it is open longer than most. On 27 December it turns into a New Year’s Village.

Opening times
From 21 November to 31 December 2018
Daily from 11:00 AM to 09:00 PM

Christmas Market Schönbrunn Palace

Christmas Market Schönbrunn Palace

Although it’s situated out of the city centre, the Christmas market at Schönbrunn Palace totally worths a visit. Moreover, if this is your first time in Vienna, a tour of the imperial palace is a must. If you have the chance visit the market in the evening when everything is illuminated and the atmosphere is truly magical.

As the Christmas Village Maria-Theresien Platz, it also stays open after Christmas.

Opening times
From 19 November to 31 December 2018
Daily from 10:00 AM to 09:00 PM

Christmas Market Schönbrunn Palace

More Vienna Christmas markets

If you have more time left or you are just looking for markets off the beaten path, try these ones. They are smaller and offer an alternative experience in comparison to the popular Christmas villages.

Am Hof Advent Market

Am Hof Advent Market

If you look for quality artisan gifts, this is the place to go. At Am Hof Advent Market you’ll find delicate jewellery, ceramics, leather items and many other handmade goods. As it comes to food, it offers a great variety of ham, sausages, baked potatoes and waffles.

Opening times
From 17 November to 23 December 2018
Daily from 11:00 AM to 09:00 PM

Old Viennese Christmas Market (Altwiener markt)

Old Viennese Christmas Market

Located on a picturesque square, it’s just a stone’s throw away from Am Hof Advent Market. In fact, this is one of the oldest and most authentic Christmas markets in Vienna. It dates back to the 18th century and it still keeps this traditional feel. So if you look for a more authentic experience, add Altwiener markt to your list.

Opening times
From 17 November to 23 December 2018
Daily from 10:00 AM to 09:00 PM

Christmas Village Altes AKH (Weihnachtsdorf Altes AKH)

Christmas Village Altes AKH

Featuring a children’s railway, an old-fashioned carousel and two curling lines, this market is great for families. Another of the highlights of Weihnachtsdorf Altes AKH are the local craftsmen. They gather from all around Vienna to demonstrate their skills such as candle making, sewing bags and many more.

Opening times
From 17 November to 23 December 2018
Daily from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Christmas Market Spittelberg (Weihnachtsmarkt am Spittelberg)

Christmas Market Spittelberg

Weihnachtsmarkt am Spittelberg is located in the artsy district of Neubau. It spreads over three tiny cobblestoned streets in a charming area full of Biedermeier townhouses. The festively decorated Schrankgasse, Spittelberggasse and Gutenberggasse are the perfect setting for a romantic walk.

More than 100 stalls offer amazing handmade seasonal gifts and delicious foods. It’s one of the most popular markets among the locals, too.

Opening times
From 16 November to 23 December 2018
Daily from 02:00 PM to 09:00 PM

Winter Market Riesenradplatz

Winter Market Riesenradplatz is probably the best place for kids. It’s located in the Prater, a huge amusement park famous for its Giant Ferris Wheel. So if you look for a little fun along the traditional mulled wine and tasty foods, this is the place to go. Plus, it’s still open in the first week of January.

Opening times
From 17 November 2018 to 6 January 2019
Daily from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Winter at Museumsquartier (MQ)

Winter at Museumsquartier

To enjoy the Advent season in a more hip way, visit the Winter at Museumsquartier. Magical LED projections, DJ beats, hot punch bars – it’s the most unique market in the city. So grab your friends and a mug of Glühwein and enjoy alternative Vienna at Christmas time.

Opening times
From 17 November to 23 December 2018
Daily from 04:00 PM to 11:00 PM

Vienna Christmas market food

Vienna Christmas market food

There are plenty of mouth-watering foods to try at the markets. Unfortunately, I managed to taste only a few of them. But hey, at least I have a good reason to come back.

Mulled wine (Glühwein) and punch
Glühwein is a traditional must-try drink. Every market offers different kinds of mulled wine, some better than others. It comes in a decorated mug for which you have to pay a deposit. You’ll get the deposit back once you return the mug.

Every market features its own design and usually, the best mugs are at Am Hof Advent Market. So if you want to take a mug as a souvenir, better check several places and then decide.

Mulled wine at Rathaus

Bratwurst
Bratwurst is a must eat in Vienna. It’s a delicious type of sausage usually served in a bun with mustard and ketchup. The Bratwurst is a great option for a quick lunch or even dinner.

Brezel
Brioche dough that comes with different fillings – apples, marzipan, walnuts, etc. And it’s huge. I had difficulties eating one all by myself, even when I had it instead of a lunch.

Nusstangerl
It’s another heavenly pastry – a glazed dough with hazelnuts.

Mohnzelten
Mohnzelten is my favourite one. It’s a soft dough stuffed with poppy seed filling. So, if you’re a fan of poppy seed like me, don’t miss this pastry.

Lebkuchen
A traditional gingerbread cookie, that can be found in all kinds of sizes.

Lebkuchen

Maroni
Delicious sweet chestnuts roasted over open fires.

Krapfen
It’s a soft doughnut filled with nougat, vanilla or chocolate cream.

More things to do in Vienna in December

Take a Christmas vintage photo tour with a Polaroid camera.

Attend a concert of Wien Mozart Orchestra in period costumes at the Golden Hall.

Discover the highlights of Vienna with this guided walking tour.

Further reading for your trip

Find self-guided walking tours and historical insights in DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Vienna.

Don’t miss to see some of the best concerts in Vienna, especially at Christmas time.

Find out how to plan your time in the city in What to do in Vienna in 3 days.

If you’re planning to rent a car, compare the car rental prices in Europe.

What is the best Christmas market in Vienna for you?
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About the author
Avatar Milena Yordanova
I'm a travel blogger based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Travelling has always been my passion and I love to discover new places and cultures. I want to show you how easy it is to organize your vacation all by yourself.

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