Vienna Christmas Markets: Comprehensive Guide
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


As the year winds down and the first snowflakes begin to fall, Vienna, Austria transforms into a magical winter wonderland. The city brims with the spirit of the festive season, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the heart of its bustling Christmas markets. This guide will take you on a journey through the enchanting world of Christmas markets in Vienna, offering you an insider's look into the best of what these markets have to offer.

Vienna Christmas Market Overview

Vienna has a rich tradition of Christmas markets, known locally as 'Christkindlmarkt'. These markets spring up across the city from mid-November, turning Vienna into a festive hub of twinkling lights, warm glühwein (mulled wine), and artisanal crafts. Let's explore the highlights of these vibrant markets:

  • Rathausplatz Christmas Market: As one of the most popular Christmas markets in Vienna, Rathausplatz is a must-visit. It's known for its impressive Christmas tree, adorned with thousands of sparkling lights, and a wide range of stalls offering everything from handcrafted gifts to delicious festive treats.
  • Vienna Christmas World on Rathausplatz: Going a step beyond the regular market, this attraction adds a layer of winter magic with its ice rink and fairy tale displays. It's a hit with families and those young at heart.
  • Belvedere Palace Christmas Market: Imagine shopping for Christmas gifts with the baroque Belvedere Palace as your backdrop. This market is a haven for art enthusiasts, with a wide range of art and craft stalls set amidst the palace's grandeur.
  • Schönbrunn Palace Christmas Market: This market is famous for its traditional Austrian craftsmanship. From glass ornaments to wooden toys, each stall is a treasure trove of unique finds.

But that's not all. Vienna's Christmas markets cater to every taste and interest. Whether it's the charming market on Stephansplatz or the cozy atmosphere of the Spittelberg Christmas Market, each offers a unique experience. As you venture further into the heart of Vienna, you'll find more hidden gems, like the Christmas Market on Maria Theresa Square, the Christmas Village on the University of Vienna Campus, and the Winter Market on Rindermarkt.

So, whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned local, the Christmas markets in Vienna offer an unbeatable blend of tradition, culture, and festive cheer. Ready to dive in? Let's go!

Rathausplatz Christmas Market

Imagine a place where the air is filled with the sweet aroma of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine. A place where the glow of thousands of twinkling lights plays on the faces of people, young and old, as they explore a maze of stalls packed with unique treasures. This is the Rathausplatz Christmas Market, one of the most famous Christmas markets in Vienna.

Set in the heart of Vienna, right in front of the City Hall — a striking neo-gothic building — the Rathausplatz Christmas Market truly embodies the spirit of the festive season. It's a place where tradition and enjoyment meet, offering a unique holiday experience that's hard to match.

What makes the Rathausplatz market stand out? Here are a few highlights:

  • The Christmas Tree: It's hard to miss the massive Christmas tree that lights up Rathausplatz. Adorned with countless lights, it serves as a beacon for holiday cheer, drawing in visitors from near and far.
  • The Stalls: With over 150 stalls, the market offers something for everyone. Here, you can find everything from traditional Austrian handicrafts, unique Christmas decorations, to delicious festive food and drinks.
  • The Atmosphere: There's something magical about the Rathausplatz market. Maybe it's the music, the laughter, the sense of community, or simply the joy of the holiday season. Whatever it is, it's sure to leave you with lasting memories.

So, if you're planning a visit to the Christmas markets in Vienna, make sure to put Rathausplatz on your list. It's more than just a market — it's an experience that encapsulates the very essence of a Viennese Christmas.

Vienna Christmas World on Rathausplatz

Just when you thought Rathausplatz couldn't get any more festive, let me introduce you to another exciting feature: the Vienna Christmas World on Rathausplatz. If you thought the Christmas markets in Vienna were enchanting, wait till you step into this holiday wonderland!

So, what sets the Vienna Christmas World apart? Well, it's not just a market, it's an entire festive world that transforms Rathausplatz into a haven for holiday lovers. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Ice Skating Rink: In the center of it all is a huge ice skating rink. It's not just for professional skaters — beginners and kids can also join in the fun. And if you're not in the mood to skate, you can always enjoy watching others glide on the ice with a cup of hot chocolate in hand.
  • Christmas Tree Trail: This is a unique feature that you won't find in many Christmas markets in Vienna, or anywhere else for that matter. It's a trail lined with beautifully decorated trees, each one shining brighter than the last. Walking down this trail feels like stepping into a fairy tale.
  • Children's World: The Vienna Christmas World truly has something for everyone, including the little ones. In the Children's World, kids can enjoy fun activities like cookie baking and candle making, under the watchful eyes of professional supervisors.

The Vienna Christmas World on Rathausplatz is more than just an extension of the market — it's a complete festive experience that perfectly complements the magic of the Christmas markets in Vienna. So, are you ready to step into this holiday wonderland?

Belvedere Palace Christmas Market

Imagine twinkling lights, the aroma of mulled wine in the air, and a magnificent baroque palace as your backdrop. Sound too good to be true? Well, at the Belvedere Palace Christmas Market, it's all part of the package. This is one of the most stunning Christmas markets in Vienna, and it's easy to see why.

Strolling through this market, you might feel like you've stepped back in time. The majestic Belvedere Palace provides a historical ambiance that blends perfectly with the festive cheer. Here's what you can look forward to:

  • Artisan Crafts: The market stalls are filled with unique, handcrafted items that you won't find in your average store. It's the perfect place to pick up some unique Christmas gifts.
  • Delicious Food: Of course, it wouldn't be a Viennese Christmas market without mouthwatering food. From hearty sausages to sweet pastries, there's plenty to delight your taste buds.
  • Stunning Scenery: The Belvedere Palace isn't just a backdrop — it's part of the experience. The palace grounds are open to visitors, so you can combine your market visit with a tour of this historic site.

So, if you're ready for a Christmas market experience that's a feast for all your senses, make sure the Belvedere Palace Christmas Market is on your Vienna itinerary. It's not just a market, it's a piece of Viennese history that comes alive during the holiday season.

Schönbrunn Palace Christmas Market

Next up in our journey through Christmas markets in Vienna is the Schönbrunn Palace Market. Can you picture a grand imperial summer residence, bathed in the glow of holiday lights, surrounded by bustling market stalls? That's the spectacle that awaits you at the Schönbrunn Palace Christmas Market.

Let's take a closer look at what makes this market so special:

  • Historical Charm: The Schönbrunn Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and during the Christmas season, it transforms into an enchanting winter wonderland. The palace serves as a splendid backdrop, adding a royal touch to your Christmas market experience.
  • Advent Concerts: Music is a big part of the holiday season, and the Schönbrunn Palace Market embraces this tradition. Every day, choirs from around the world perform on the market stage, filling the air with festive tunes.
  • Delightful Treats: Indulge in the taste of Christmas with traditional Austrian pastries, chestnuts and warming punch. The food stalls at this market are sure to satisfy your holiday cravings.

So, are you ready to experience the royal side of Vienna's Christmas markets? The Schönbrunn Palace Market is a holiday treasure that you won't want to miss. With its historical setting, festive music, and traditional treats, it's a Christmas market that truly captures the spirit of Vienna.

Christmas Market on Stephansplatz

Now, let's head to the heart of Vienna — Stephansplatz. This square, nestled right next to the stunning St. Stephen's Cathedral, hosts one of the most centrally located Christmas markets in Vienna.

Here's why the Christmas Market on Stephansplatz is worth a visit:

  • Central Location: Situated in the middle of Vienna, the Christmas Market on Stephansplatz is easily accessible. It's a perfect spot to begin or end your Christmas market tour.
  • St. Stephen's Cathedral: The towering gothic structure adds an air of magnificence to the market. The cathedral's bells chime in the background, adding a special touch to your Christmas shopping.
  • Unique Gifts: The market is renowned for its high-quality Austrian handicrafts. From handmade Christmas decorations to exquisite jewelry, you can find unique gifts for your loved ones here.

So, why not add a dash of history and culture to your Christmas market adventure? The Christmas Market on Stephansplatz is a perfect blend of tradition and location, making it a must-visit destination during the festive season in Vienna.

Spittelberg Christmas Market

Next up on our tour of Christmas markets in Vienna, we venture to the charming Spittelberg district. With its narrow cobblestone lanes and quaint Biedermeier houses, Spittelberg Christmas Market provides a distinctly nostalgic atmosphere.

What makes the Spittelberg Christmas Market special? Let's find out:

  • Historic Setting: The market is set in the narrow, winding streets of Spittelberg, surrounded by beautifully preserved Biedermeier houses. This creates a uniquely intimate and historic atmosphere for your festive shopping.
  • Artisan Crafts: This market is famous for its artisan crafts. You can find everything from handmade ceramics and glassware to unique textiles and jewelry. Perfect for those who appreciate quality and craftsmanship.
  • Diverse Cuisine: Spittelberg Christmas Market is also known for its wide array of culinary delights. From traditional Austrian dishes like Bratwurst and Glühwein to international foods, there's something to satisfy every palate.

So, if you're looking for a Christmas market in Vienna that offers a cozy atmosphere, unique gifts, and a wide range of food options, the Spittelberg Christmas Market should definitely be on your list!

Christmas Market on Maria Theresa Square

Let's now whisk ourselves away to the heart of Vienna, Maria Theresa Square. This spot is home to one of Vienna's most enchanting Christmas markets. The square, named after the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions, Maria Theresa, is surrounded by two of Vienna's major museums — the Natural History Museum and the Art History Museum. These grand museums provide a majestic backdrop for the Christmas market, making it a sight to behold.

But what makes the Christmas Market on Maria Theresa Square a must-visit? Let's have a look:

  • Unbelievable Scenery: Imagine this — a spacious square, beautifully lit, with the aroma of mulled wine in the air, and two grand museums towering over you. This sets the stage for a Christmas market experience you won't forget.
  • Gift Galore: With over 70 stalls filled to the brim with Christmas decorations, artisan crafts, and unique gifts, you're bound to find something special for everyone on your list.
  • Festive Foods: Food is a big part of the holiday season, and this market doesn't disappoint. From delicious gingerbread cookies to hearty Austrian sausages, the food stalls here offer a variety of tasty treats to keep you fueled as you explore.

There you have it. If you're searching for Christmas markets in Vienna that combine culture, history, shopping, and gastronomy, the Christmas Market on Maria Theresa Square has got you covered. It truly is a winter wonderland in the heart of Vienna!

Christmas Village on University of Vienna Campus

Now, let's move on to a younger, more vibrant setting — the Christmas Village on the University of Vienna Campus. Nestled in the famous university's courtyard, this Christmas market brings a unique charm to the festive season. This is not your typical Christmas market; it's a village bustling with youthful energy!

So, what makes the Christmas Village on University of Vienna Campus stand out from other Christmas markets in Vienna? Let's find out:

  • Student Vibes: There's something special about being surrounded by centuries-old academic buildings while you sip on hot cider. The youthful and lively atmosphere of a university campus adds an exciting twist to the traditional Christmas market experience.
  • Exquisite Crafts: This market is a haven for those who appreciate handcrafted items. From intricate glass ornaments to hand-knitted scarves, the stalls here are full of unique treasures crafted by talented artisans.
  • International Flavors: Given that the University of Vienna boasts students from all around the world, it's no surprise that the food stalls here offer a wide variety of international cuisine. You can enjoy German pretzels, Italian panettone, or even American hot dogs in this little Christmas village.

In conclusion, the Christmas Village on University of Vienna Campus offers a fresh and youthful take on the traditional Christmas market. Its unique setting and international flair make it an exciting stop on your tour of Christmas markets in Vienna. So why not add a dash of academic charm to your Christmas market adventure?

Winter Market on Rindermarkt

As we continue our journey through the festive world of Christmas markets in Vienna, our next stop is none other than the Winter Market on Rindermarkt. This market is a hidden gem located in one of Vienna's oldest districts, and it offers a unique experience for those looking to explore the less touristy side of Vienna's Christmas festivities.

Curious about what makes the Winter Market on Rindermarkt so special? Here are some highlights:

  • Historic Setting: The Rindermarkt square is steeped in history, providing a remarkable backdrop to the festive market. The market stalls nestled between historic buildings offer a unique contrast of old and new that you won't find in many other Christmas markets in Vienna.
  • Artisan Goods: The Winter Market on Rindermarkt is known for its high-quality artisan goods. It’s the perfect place to find one-of-a-kind gifts, from handmade jewelry to bespoke leather goods. If you're a fan of unique crafts, this market is a must-visit.
  • Cozy Atmosphere: Despite its location in the heart of the city, the Winter Market on Rindermarkt has a remarkably cozy and intimate feel. The warm glow of the market stalls, combined with the smell of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine, makes it an ideal spot for a relaxed evening stroll.

In short, the Winter Market on Rindermarkt is a treasure trove of unique gifts and a cozy spot for a winter evening. It may not be as well-known as some of the other Christmas markets in Vienna, but it exudes a charm that's worth discovering. So, are you ready to explore this hidden gem?

For those of you who may be inspired by the enchanting atmosphere of the Vienna Christmas Markets and want to explore your creative side, check out 'Classical Painting in the Modern Day' workshop by Eric Drummond. The workshop will help you learn classical painting techniques and apply them to your modern-day creations, making your art stand out and shine like the magical Christmas lights!