Your Ultimate Vienna Christmas market guide: 8 of the best

Your Ultimate Vienna Christmas market guide: 8 of the best

November 11, 2019

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

November 11, 2019

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. 14 – Dec. 23, 2019
MON–THU: 2pm–9pm
FRI: 2pm–9:30pm
SAT: 10am–9:30pm
SUN & public holidays: 10am–9pm

Why is it a favourite?
Set within the narrow cobblestone lanes of the Spittelberg neighbourhood, and below its 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. You’ll, of course, find that here, too, but less of it.

The best Glühwein or Punsch?
The new stand from the Filmhaus cinema, selling up creative organic Glühwein & Punsch creations. It’s their first year at the market, and we’re damn excited they’ve turned up this year. The stand serves up Punsch flavours, like orange with basil, and genuine organic Bosna hot dogs. We won’t miss the pink neon sign reading, Heisse Wein.

Be sure to try: The delicious garlicky and salty Erdapfelpuffer (potato pancakes), with extra garlic. The stand can be found on Spittelberggasse in the courtyard filled with Christmas stands and it’s legendary!

Advent Genussmarkt bei der Oper

Where: Mahlerstraße, 1010

Opening times
Nov. 15 – Dec. 31, 2019
Daily: 11am–9pm
closed on Dec. 24
open on Dec. 31 until 2am

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. 15 – Dec. 23, 2019
MON–WED: 2pm–10pm
THU–FRI: 2pm–11pm
SAT: 11am–11pm
SUN: 11am–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. 22 – Dec. 23, 2019
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 craft stands selling beeswax candles and carved wooden angels, it possesses its own oddball flavour, like the carousel cobbled together with recycled scrap material that’s powered by a bicycle, 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. 22 – Dec. 26, 2019
MON–FRI: 11am–9pm
SAT–SUN: 10am–9pm
Dec 24: 11am–4pm
Dec. 25 & 26: 11am–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 backdrop of the palace can’t be beaten, and we like the nice touch of the sustainable and upcycled Christmas tree this year, made out of old wooden sleighs.

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.

Winter im MQ

Where: Museumsplatz 1, 1070

Opening times
Nov. 7 – Dec. 23, 2019
MON–FRI: 4pm–11pm
SAT, SUN & public holidays: 1pm–11pm

Why is it a favourite?
Winter in MQ is the cool kid of Christmas markets. Well, it’s not even really a market, but we’re going to include it in this list, anyway. The Glühwein and Punsch bars that fill the courtyard are 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.

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

Haas & Haas Winter in the City

Where: Stephansplatz 4, 1010

Opening times
Nov. 8 – Dec. 23, 2019
MON–FRI: 4pm–8pm
SAT & SUN: 2pm–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 tables with fire billowing out. They have some food here, like stuff you can grill yourself, and spareribs, however the homemade Punsch is the best reason to be here.

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.

Mittelalterlicher Adventmarkt – Medieval Christmas market

Where: Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Arsenal Objekt 1, 1030

Opening times
Nov. 28 – Dec. 1, 1019
THU: 1pm–10pm
FRI–SAT: 10am–10pm
SUN: 10am–8pm

Why is it a favourite?
The Heeresgeschichtliches Museum Wien (Military Museum) is playing host to one of the coolest Christmas markets happening in Vienna. A 4-day medieval-themed Christmas market stands far apart from the other markets in this list. There are little stalls selling metal -work and wood-work creations made by the stand owners (who tend to really take the Medieval thing seriously, dressing up like they’ve just landed in 2019 from that era), while there are all kinds of live music, jugglers and jesters, market criers, fencing duals and other shows to entertain the crowds.

Then there’s the food inspired from Medieval times being prepared and served up. Another distinguishing factor is the delicious winter Punsch, Glühwein (mulled wine) and other hot drinks to warm you up, that are made fresh by the stand owners, as opposed to being mass-produced like the Punsch at many of the other markets. 

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