Your Ultimate Vienna Christmas market guide: 8 of the best

November 14, 2017

Guide to
Your Ultimate Vienna
Christmas market guide:
8 of the best

November 14, 2017

Vienna Würstelstand's says

The sweet smell of Glühwein, the roasting chestnuts, the craft stands selling beeswax candles and wooden toys – it all makes you want to hug a Krampus.

Here are 8 of the best Christkindlmärkte (Christmas markets) where to get your fix of festive cheer this year in Vienna. Plus, check out the handy market map we’ve made for you below!

 

Weihnachtsmarkt am Spittelberg

Where: Spittelberggasse / Schrankgasse / Gutenberggasse, 1070 

Opening times
Nov. 16 – Dec. 23, 2017
MON–THU: 2pm–9pm
FRI: 2pm–9:30pm
SAT: 10am–9:30pm
SUN & public holidays: 10am–9:00pm

Why is it a favourite?
Set within the narrow cobblestone lanes of the Spittelberg neighbourhood, below the short, sweet houses, this market really does give us a furry, warm feeling inside. Christmas markets don’t get more charming than this. The craft stands are mostly occupied by local artisans here, which is a fresh change to the made-in-China craft found at many Christmas markets around Vienna.

The best Glühwein or Punsch?
‘African Roots Punsch’ (made up of passionfruit, ginger, chili) in the bar/gallery Melete on Spittelberggasse.

Be sure to try: The delicious Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes) with extra garlic. The stand can be found on Spittelberggasse in the courtyard filled with Christmas stands.

Adventgenussmarkt bei der Oper

Where: Mahlerstraße, 1010

Opening times
Nov. 17 – Dec. 31, 2017
Daily: 11am–9pm
closed on Dec. 24
open on Dec. 31 until 12am

Why is it a favourite?
This market is a collection of tiny little huts lined up, one after the other, each boasting their own gourmet specialty. Even though this market is situated in the middle of the city, meaning it gets its fair share of tourist traffic, there’s something special and very authentic about it. This is about the only Christmas market that can make the claim to fame to be a gourmet Christmas market, with all of the curated collection of stands only selling artisan regional products. It’s also a good spot to escape to when the weather is sour as it’s under cover.

The best Glühwein or Punsch?
At the Haas & Haas stand you’ll find some of the most original (and homemade) Punsch and Glühwein in town.

You should also: Spend some time at the stand selling wine at cellar door prices (an average of 8–10 € a bottle!)

Weihnachtsdorf Altes AKH

Where: Altes AKH, Universitätscampus Hof 1, 1090

Opening times
Nov. 18 – Dec. 23, 2017
MON–FRI: 3pm–10pm
SAT & public holidays: 12pm–10pm
SUN: 12pm–9pm

Why is it a favourite?
With lights strung from tree to tree in the vast courtyard of the university campus, this Christmas market almost makes you feel like you’re in the middle of a forest. It’s also one of the most children-friendly markets, with a bunch of rides and a small ferris wheel, which adds to the ambience. The wooden huts are mostly filled with the stuff you’ll find at most markets, however the magic of fairy lights in the trees can’t be beaten.

The best Glühwein or Punsch?
In the two stands under the large wooden shelter across from the Universitätsbräuhaus. If you can’t find it, just ask somebody where you can find Elvis the donkey.

You should also: Visit Elvis the donkey who sings if you sing him a song. He’s been there at the Altes AKH Christmas market for many years (the Christmas spirit would have us believe it’s the same donkey every year).

Adventmarkt am Karlsplatz

Where: Resselpark am Karlsplatz, 1010 

Opening times
Nov. 17 – Dec. 23, 2017
Daily: 12pm–8pm

Why is it a favourite?
The Art Advent Market at Karlsplatz stands out from the crowd of Christmas markets that encircle the ring of the old city. While it’s still got the crafts stands selling beeswax candles and carved wooden angels, it possesses its own oddball flavour, like the carousel cobbled together with recycled scrap material and powered by bicycle power, the llama rides, the old guy in the bowler hat playing on his musical box. All craft found here is handmade locally. There is also a large focus on organic products here, including an organic Glühwein and Punsch stand. The market frames the man-made pond which has been emptied of water, and filled with children playing in piles of hay and flying around in four-wheeled bikes. It is a family affair early in the evening. This is all the while under the holy glow of the towering Karlskirche and a spiderweb of fairy lights. This one is a favourite for many.

The best Glühwein or Punsch?
Try the Thai Punsch at Jörgs Hütte (last stand on the right of the Karlskirche) or head to the stand named ‘Zum Franz’ which is directly in front of the kids playground in the middle, facing the church. The Birne-Vanilla Punsch here is delicious.

You should also: take the chance to put your kid in a bird’s cage on the recycled Lost and Found carousel by Mowetz & Co. Also, be sure to stuff your face with one of the sweet (with berry marmalade) or savoury (with sauerkraut) Krapfen at a stand located in the middle somewhere (you’ll find it – just follow the kids).

Weihnachtsdorf Schloss Belvedere

Where: in the gardens of Schloss Belvedere, Prinz-Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 

Opening times
Nov. 24 – Dec. 26, 2017
MON–FRI: 11am–9pm
SAT–SUN: 10am–9pm
Dec. 24: 10am–3pm
Dec. 25 & 26: 10am–7pm

Why is it a favourite?
Gently put, the view that awaits you when you stumble along the way towards the Belvedere is fuckin’ glorious. It’s on the kitschier side, especially because the historical scenery mixes with the wooden stands of various handicrafts. Sure, it’s a Christmas market aimed at tourists, but after the third Glühwein, you will whole-heartedly join in singing “Last Christmas” – we know how it goes. The prices are a bit higher than elsewhere, but the Punsch is worth it.

The best Glühwein or Punsch?
There are a lot of different sorts here, but we especially liked the “Biedermeierpunsch with cinnamon rum”. Very rummy, very yummy.

Watch out for: buses, taxis and other cars during the long walk between the newly-built Vienna main station and Schloss Belvedere. There are roundabout 532 zebra crossings to overcome until you can have your first mug of Punsch.

Winter im MQ

Where: Museumsplatz 1, 1070

Opening times
Nov. 9 – Dec. 23, 2017
MON–FRI: 4pm–11pm
SAT, SUN & public holidays: 2pm–11pm

Why is it a favourite?
Winter in MQ is looking quite a bit different this year, with the Glühwein and Punsch bars that fill the courtyard now being a collection of jagged geometric…coloured cube things lit up by LED lights. With the impressive visual light projections on the Leopold museum etc. matching the sharp shapes of the so-called MQbis, the whole space looks like one big piece of artwork itself. Trading in Christmas kitsch for impressive light installations and a DJ spinning funky beats, this is a unique one on this list. While many would claim this can’t be categorised as a Christmas market, this young and fesch answer to the traditional Christmas market makes meeting friends over a hot Glühwein socially acceptable for those who have a cool image to maintain. While there are no wooden hut stands selling crafts, there is a racing track for remote control cars and on every Thursday visitors can play micro-extreme bowling (which is a mix of bowling, billiards and golf).

The best Glühwein or Punsch?
Give the Ingwer Glühmost a try at the Glacis Beisl igloo. We did… several times.

You should also: Grab one of the homemade Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes) at the Glacis Beisl stand, or a cinnamon waffle at the MQ Daily stand.

Haas & Haas Winter in the City

Where: Stephansplatz 4, 1010

Opening times
Nov. 10 – Dec. 23, 2017
Daily: 4pm–8pm

Why is it a favourite?
Just off of the tourist-catering Christmas markets surrounding Stephansdom where pullovers from Peru are sold, there’s an inconspicuous tunnel entrance to a hidden treasure of a Christmas market run by the Viennese institution and temple of tea, Haas & Haas. Just follow the charming tunes coming from the tunnel and you’ll find your way to an intimate inner courtyard of the tea house, full of the atmosphere that makes Christmas in this city charming, and people huddled around a couple of standing grills where sausages and a pot of Gulasch are being cooked up for the guests.

The best Glühwein or Punsch?
Both the Punsch and the Glühwein are like no other here, and their secret is that they are both prepared, by hand, with quality ingredients as opposed to the common sugar bomb in a cup found at most Christmas markets. Both the fruit and Jamaican rum Punsch are made with the quality teas stocked in the Haas & Haas tea store.

You should also: buy yourself some of the ready-made skewers, like the plum wrapped in crispy bacon, or sausages – to grill over the coal-fired grills. This makes for a very special experience that is unique to the Haas & Haas Wintergarten.

“Weihnachtszauber” Schloss Wilhelminenberg

Where: Savoyenstraße 2 , 1160

Opening times
November 17–December 23
MON–THU 4pm–9pm
FRI 3pm–9pm
SAT & SUN 11am–9pm

Why is it a favourite?
This Christmas market requires a winding trip in a bus up a hill to the regal hotel with a view in the 16th district, the Wilhelminenberg. In front of the hotel, with the magnificent view of the city surrounding it, it a tiny little Christmas market with a few stands and an ice skating rink. If you’re struggling to conjure the Christmas spirit, you should definetely head here. You’ll be singing Christmas carols all the way home.

The best Glühwein or Punsch?
There’s only a few stands to choose from at this little treasure, and both are kind of serve up stock standard Glühwein and Punsch

You should also: if you plan ahead, you can have dinner in the romantic restaurant, Villa Aurora which is just up the road.

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