Vienna’s Christmas markets get fuller and fuller with tourists every year, and while we’ve got nothing against all those bus tours following a guy poking a yellow umbrella in the air, it can sometimes steal some of the cinnamon from our Christmas spirit.
If you’ve also been thinking about enjoying your Punsch and Bauernkrapfen at a insider’s kinda’ market with a bit of space to move and with a local feel, we recommend you visit one of the following Christmas markets. Some of them may require an adventure (and a bit of time) to get to them, but Holy Santa are they peaceful and full of that traditional festive feeling that the markets of this city should buzz with.
Opening times 22 November – December 23 THU–SUN: 10am–8pm
The Blumengärten Hirschstetten Christmas market is a charming escape from the hustling and bustling ones in the city center. It’s also one of the few that can be found on the other side of the Danube river. In amongst the gardens where flowers crowd the place in summer, little stands crowd the place, selling the typical wares, drinks and Christmas market snacks (there’s also an awesome cheese stand selling…well, hundred of different cheeses). It’s a trek to get out here if you’re traveling by public transport, but the trip adds to the feeling like you’re escaping the city.
Also good to know… there’s some kind of display set up with Christmas motifs arranged around the place – great for the kids!
Opening times MON–FRI: 3pm–10pm SAT–SUN: 12pm–10pm Holidays: 12pm–10pm
One of the beautiful gems of the 18th district is the vast greenery of the Türkenschanzpark. At this time of year, amongst the trees in one of the corners of the park is a little Weihnachtsmarkt (a Christmas market) serving up all the things you’d expect to find at a Vienna Christmas market, including Punsch, Maroni, the Shhhh-peck and smelly cheese, and the usual woollen hats, scarves, and the Omas selling soaps or some kind of egg liquor. However, you’ll also find a few unique stands in the mix selling wares from Morocco or handmade jewellery. This market is especially good for some family fun, as it has a few rides, and plenty of space to let the little people run free.
Only popping up a couple of times a year in December, this is one special little local Christmas market. It’s got the small town atmosphere, the homemade mulled wine and tasty treats being served up and crafts made by locals in the area. This is an inside Christmas market, and it has an extensive program for the few weekends it’s open, including choirs singing their hearts out, opera singers doing likewise, and santa reading stories at 5pm everyday it’s open. Plus, all the proceeds go to a nearby hospital. It’s the kind of beloved market that’s been going on forever.
Opening times 29 November–23 December THU–FRI 3:30pm–9pm SAT 1pm–9pm SUN 1pm–8pm
The Christmas market setup in the scenic main square of Klosterneuburg is the definition of Christmas kitsch. It’s an idyllic Christmas market that will fill you with all those lovely warm and fuzzy feelings Austria’s brand of Christmas markets radiate. The stands here are selling all the treats that you expect at these markets, from roasted chestnuts to mulled wine and Punsch. While you’re out here, you can go for a wander around Klosterneuburg’s charming streets.
Also good to know… there’s an advent market running close by in what appears like it was the wine cellars attached to the church in Klosterneuberg. This setting makes this little market full of stalls selling craft by the locals worth visiting.
Opening times Nov. 10 – Dec. 23, 2018 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.