The Christmas markets in Vienna are known to be some of the best in Europe, if not in the world.  

While Vienna is stunning anytime of the year, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the city becomes even more magical with lights, decorations and festive markets everywhere you look. 

The scent of freshly baked goods, mulled wine and roasted almonds fill the air. Even the Old City and shopping streets get decked out in beautiful lights that create an extra cheerful atmosphere throughout Vienna.

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With seven different Christmas Markets throughout the city, each with its own unique theme, there’s no better way to get into the spirit of Christmas than spending time in Vienna and its festive markets! 

Here’s your guide to the best Christmas markets in Vienna, including locations, dates and times, plus what to eat and drink, as well as other festive things to do in the city.

Best Christmas Markets in Vienna

  • Vienna Christkindlmarkt
  • Christmas Village at Maria Theresien Platz
  • Advent Market at Karlsplatz
  • Christmas Village at Stephansplatz 
  • Altwiener at Freyung
  • Weihnachtsmarkt am Hof 
  • K.U.K. Weihnachtsmarkt 
  • Belvedere Palace Christmas Village
  • Weihnachtsmarkt am Spittelberg
  • Altes AKH
  • Schönbrunn Palace Christmas Market
  • Genussmarkt bei der Opera
  • Winter Markt am Riesenradplatz

Map of the Christmas Markets in Vienna


Vienna Christkindlmarkt 

Vienna’s Christkindlmarkt is the largest and most recognizable of the markets in Vienna. 

Held in front of the Rathaus, or City Hall, with a large Christmas tree in the center, this market is truly impressive with thousands of lights and traditional wooden stalls selling decorations, food, drinks and gifts. 

red and green lighted arch with words wiener Christkindlmarkt, with a carousel underneath and the City Hall tower in the background

Browse the handicrafts and ornaments at the vendor stalls, sample some delicious food and warm up with a glass of warm mulled wine. 

Many of the stalls feature crafts made of glass or wood and are made by local Austrian artisans or those from nearby areas. 

In addition to the vendor stalls, there’s also an illuminated ice skating trail through City Hall Park, as well as plenty of light installations and a large tree of hearts.  

For kids, there’s a 2 level carousel and in the adjoining park, there’s a ferris wheel, reindeer train, nativity scene trail and a separate small skating rink. 

Where: Rathaus
Dates: November 11 – December 26, 2023
Opening Hours: 10 am – 9:30 pm. Closes at 6:30 pm on Dec 24, 25, 26

Christmas Village at Maria-Theresien-Platz

The Christmas Village at Maria Theresien Platz is another large market, located between two 19th century museums, the Natural History and Art History Museums.

It’s only a few blocks from the Rathaus but there’s a completely different feel to this market.

people walking in front of Christmas Markets stalls in front of museum in vienna that is lit up at night

Over 70 wooden stalls sell handmade Christmas decorations, handicrafts and souvenirs. And of course, there’s plenty of delicious food and warm drinks to sample. 

While it’s a great market to visit anytime of the day, it’s particularly impressive after the sun sets and the lit up museums provide a stunning backdrop.  

Where: Maria-Theresien-Platz
Dates: November 16 – December 26, 2023
Opening Hours: 11 am – 9 pm Sunday to Thursday; 11 am – 10 pm Friday and Saturday
Christmas Hours: 11 – 4 pm December 24; 11 – 7pm December 25 and 26 

Advent Market at Karlsplatz

Held in front of the impressive Karlskirche church, the Christmas Market at Karlsplatz is a bit smaller than the two other markets but it’s still well worth visiting.

strings of lights criss cross over the Christmas Market in front of Karlsriche church at Karlsplatz in Vienna

The actual name of the market is the Art Advent, and the market lives up to that name with plenty of arts and crafts to purchase. 

This market is unique though, as every stallholder must make their own products to sell, which guarantees you’ll find unique gifts. Browse a range of handicrafts from clothing to jewellery and ceramics to fine art. You might even find the artisans at work in their stall. 

There’s also plenty of food and drinks here, although it you won’t find the same food as in the larger markets. The food and drinks sold here are all organic, and you’ll find dishes varying from  zucchini noodles and buckwheat crepes, potato goulash and some decadent raclette. 

There’s also plenty for kids to do, from rides where they pedal their way around a track to workshops and a large open straw area for kids to play in. 

Where: Karlsplatz
Dates: November 18 – December 23, 2023
Opening Hours: 12 – 8 pm

Christmas Village at Stephansplatz 

Another larger market, the Christmas Village at Stephansplatz is right in the center of the city beside the impressive St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

Two rows of wooden huts are set in front of the Cathedral, which is illuminated at night.

st Stephens cathedral in vienna is lit up with red lights and the christmas market stalls with a Christmas tree is in front of the cathedral

Here you’ll find some ornaments and crafts as well as warm drinks and traditional snacks to fill you up. 

Stephansplatz is in the center of Old Vienna, on the main shopping street and steps from the Graben, where you’ll find plenty of hanging light decorations (see below for more info), which is sure to get you in the festive mood. 

Where: Stephansplatz
Dates: November 11 – December 23, 2023
Opening Hours: 11 am – 9 pm
Christmas Hours: 11 – 4 pm December 24; 11 – 7pm December 25 and 26 

Altwiener at Freyung

Also in the center of Vienna, the Altwiener Christkindlmarkt on the Freyung is a smaller market.

But don’t let the size deter you, as it’s still a great market to visit. The smaller size makes it feel more authentic and here you’ll find excellent art, unique handicrafts and delicious food.  

The Freyung is a particularly beautiful setting for a Christmas Market – the square is surrounded by medieval churches, Baroque townhouses and 18th century buildings.

people walk through the wooden stalls at the Christmas Market in vienna. a sign overhead reads altwiener Christkindlmarkt and is framed with green garland and lights
Altweiner Christmas Market traditional advent fair and the oldest market in Wien Austria

It’s also located right across from an organic farmer’s market where you’ll find specialties from all over Austria, inlcuding some interesting cheeses.

Where: Freyung
Dates: November 18 – December 23, 2023
Opening Hours: 10 am – 9 pm

Weihnachtsmarkt Am Hof

The Am Hof Christmas Market is just steps from Freyung, and has been a traditional marketplace since the 13th century.

Located in a cobbled square surrounded by historic buildings, including where Mozart first performed in Vienna, this market with its’ stunning backdrop is fantastic to visit day or night.  

people walking in front of wooden stalls at the Christmas Market in vienna. a sign overhead says weihnachtsmarkt am hot

With a focus on arts and crafts, the Am Hof market is a great place to find some unique souvenirs or gifts. Stained glass, wood carvings and even some interesting clocks are among the handicrafts here. 

You’ll also find more traditional Christmas market items, such as ceramics, jewellry, hats and jams. 

And of course, there’s food and drink.  From the traditional sausages and langos to raclette and roasted nuts, there’s plenty of choice.

And then there’s the champagne bar! You won’t have your drinks served in the Christmas market mug, but in a real champagne flute! 

Where: Am Hof
Dates: November 11 – December 23, 2023
Opening Hours: 11 am – 9 pm Monday to Thursday; 10 am to 9 pm Friday to Sunday

K.U.K. Weihnachtsmarkt

The K.U.K Weihnachtsmarkt is one of the smaller Christmas markets in Vienna, but it’s definitely one worth visiting!

It’s name K.U.K. is short for kaiserlich und königlich, which in English means imperial and royal, and that’s what this market embodies.

Located at Michaelerplatz at one end of the Hofburg Palace, this market has unique white booths, rather than the traditional wooden huts of other Christmas markets in Vienna. 

the Hapsburg palace is lit up with a Christmas Market in front. stalls are white and there is a horse and carriage driving along the street in between the market stalls and the palace

Framed by historical buildings, this market sits at the crossroads of what used to be Roman trade routes, but now you’ll just find horse-drawn carriages parked here. 

It’s a good spot to stop for a quick stroll through, before continuing on to one of the larger markets nearby. 

Where: Michaelerplatz
Dates: November 11 – December 26, 2023
Opening Hours: 10 am – 8 pm 
Christmas Hours: 10 am – 5 pm December 24

Belvedere Palace

The Belvedere Palace Christmas Market is a bit further away from the city center, but it is still worth visiting.

Situated in front of the imposing baroque palace and gardens, this market is easily one of the most scenic Christmas Markets in Vienna!

While the palace itself provides a great backdrop, viewing the market from across the small lake in front of the palace is an unforgettable experience. 

belvedere palace in vienna with Christmas market stalls in front of the palace. swirled lights overtop of each stall are lit up as it turns dusk

And as it’s not in the city centre, this market is less crowded, making the experience more relaxed. 

You’ll find the typical Christmas market fare here, with stalls selling glass ornaments, jewellery and other handmade gifts alongside traditional fare such as sausages and roasted nuts. Pick up a glass of mulled wine or other warm beverage and browse the stalls for unique items. 

There isn’t much in the way of rides and activities for kids, but the open area around the stalls and spacious garden grounds make it an excellent market to explore with kids. 

Where: Belvedere Palace
Dates: November 18 – December 26, 2023
Opening Hours: 11 am – 9 pm Monday to Friday; 10am – 9pm Saturday and Sunday.  
Christmas Hours: 11 am – 4 pm December 24; 11 am – 7 pm December 25 and 26

Weihnachtsmarkt am Spittelberg 

Winding through the narrow streets and 19th-century alleys, the Spittelberg market is different than the other Vienna Christmas Markets. Instead of being held on an open square, this market is spread over 3 alleys: Schrankgasse, Spittelberggasse and Gutenberggasse. 

And while the narrow streets mean it may get busy, it also lends a more local and intimate feel to the market. 

Each of the wooden stalls is unique, in contrast to other Christmas markets where the stalls all feature the same design. Aside from the variety of stall designs, you’ll also find a variety of goods to purchase here. from hand-blown glass to leather goods.

And of course, there’s plenty of food and drink, including large roasted hams, and arancini (stuffed Italian rice balls). 

Where: Schrankgasse, Spittelberggasse and Gutenberggasse
Dates: November 11- December 23, 2022
Opening Hours: 2 – 9 pm Monday to Thursday; 2 – 9:30pm Friday; 10 am – 9:30 Saturday; 10 am – 9pm Sunday

Altes AKH 

Not a popular Christmas Market with tourists, the Altes AKH Christmas Market is just outside the city center and is more popular with locals.

It’s also known as Weihnachtsdorf Campus Universität Wien, as it’s held on the grounds of the former general hospital. 

It’s a great market to visit with kids though, with rides and entertainment, including ponies and a Christmas train. Plus there’s an adjoining playground, so when the little ones get tired of browsing the market stalls, there’s plenty for them to do. 

This is also known to be one of the better markets for food and drink, with plenty of options from traditional favourites to other regional Austrian specialities.

Where: Spielplatz im Campus der Universität Wien
Dates: November 11 – December 23, 2023
Opening Hours: 2 – 10 pm Monday to Wednesday; 2 – 11 pm Thursday and Friday, 11 – 11 Saturday and 11 am – 8 pm Sunday

Schloss Schönbrunn Christmas Market 

The Schloss Schönbrunn Christmas market may be a bit out of the way for some, but with its gorgeous location in front of the Hapsburg Palace, it’s worth the effort to get there. 

With the stunning backdrop and without the hustle and bustle of the city, this is easily one of the most impressive markets in Vienna. 

Photo courtesty of Wikimedia

Over 75 booths form a circle in front of the Palace, along with the giant Christmas tree and a stage where open-air concerts are performed throughout the season. 

Whether you’re shopping for unique gifts, or just looking around, you’re sure to find some unqiue items here as there are plenty of arts and crafts to choose from. 

And the Schönbrunn Palace is one of the best Vienna Christmas Markets to visit with kids. In addition to the Christmas market, there’s plenty of things on the palace grounds to keep kids entertained.

The Children’s Museum at the Palace is a great museum to explore with kids, dress up in period clothes and learn about life during the time of the Hapsburgs.

Also on the palace grounds, you’ll find the Vienna Zoo –  one of the oldest zoos in the world! 

Where: Schönbrunn Palace
Dates: November 19 – December 26, 2023
Opening Hours: 10 am – 9 pm 
Christmas Hours: 10 am – 4 pm December 24; 11 am – 6 pm December 25 and 26.

Genussmarkt bei der Oper 

This small market is near the State Opera House, and while it may be small, it’s known for offering Austrian and Italian specialties.

A big bonus is, this market is covered, so regardless of the weather, you can still enjoy browsing and strolling through the market. 

Where: Mahlerstrasse 2
Dates: November 11 – December 31, 2023
Opening Hours: 11 am – 9 pm 
Christmas Hours: Closed December 24, open December 31 until 2 am


Other Markets in Vienna

Another market in Vienna that’s worth mentioning is the Wintermarkt, held at the Riesenradplatz where you’ll find Vienna’s iconic ferris wheel. 

Aside from riding the giant ferris wheel, you’ll also find plenty of other rides at the amusement park, as well as free live music on the big stage and Madame Tussad’s wax museum. 

There are plenty of traditional Austrian treats and drinks available to enjoy, 

Where: Riesenradplatz
Dates: November 19, 2023 to January 8, 2024
Opening Hours: 12 – 10 pm Monday to Thursday; 11 am – 10 pm Friday to Sunday
Christmas Hours: 11 am – 5 pm December 24; open until 2 am on December 31


What to Buy at the Markets

The Christmas Markets in Vienna are a great opportunity to pick up some traditional and locally made decorations, ornaments, and souvenirs.

Look for handcrafted wooden toys, candles and lights, glass ornaments, and wood-carved nativity scenes or figures.

You’ll also find hats, scarves and warm mitts, perfect to keep you warm while you’re in Vienna.

Handcrafted items include leather, wood, glass and pottery, as well we locally made jams, honey, schnapps – all perfect gifts! 


Food and Drinks at the Markets

The Vienna Christmas markets are a foodie’s paradise, with plenty of baked goods, grilled foods and warm drinks. 

Some local specialities to try:

  • stollen: a cross between fruit bread and fruit cake
  • lebkuchen: a type of hard gingerbread formed in various shapes and decorated with icing
  • weihnachtskekse: christmas biscuits
  • spekulatius: a spiced biscuit
  • knödeln: boiled dumplings
  • krapfen: sugared donuts
  • bratwurst: German sausage
  • currywurst: sausage, usually cut and topped with curried ketchup and fries
  • wiener schnitzel!

And of course, there’s roasted chestnuts and plenty of mulled wine as well as other hot drinks available. 


Highlights for Kids

  • Christkindl Market at Rathausplatz has rides, decorations and light illuminations in the adjacent park, a lighted ice skating trail and a nativity scene trail
  • Schonbrönn Palace has a Children’s Museum and the Vienna Zoo
  • Wintermarkt at Riesenradplatz has Vienna’s iconic giant ferris wheel, a winter train and plenty of other rides
  • Altes AKH has plenty of rides and an adjoining playground for kids

Christmas Decorations in Vienna

Besides the festive markets, Vienna is also known for its unique Christmas decorations. Throughout the city, you’ll find plenty of charming decorations that add to the holiday cheer. 

Many of these are located around the main pedestrian shopping streets in Vienna’s centre.

See the giant chandeliers hanging over Graben and the big red bow over the Popp & Kretschmer Department Store, then head towards the Opera House along Karntner Strasse where you’ll see hanging chains of lights.

light illuminations in the shape of chandeliers hang over the Graben in Vienna. five chandeliers can be seen as the street curves around

Or head the other way on Rotenturmstrasse where you’ll find giant red balls hanging over the street in a more modern style. 

And for more light illuminations, be sure to visit the Rathauspark where you’ll walk under canopies of lights, past lighted ornaments and the famous tree of hearts. 

Christmas Traditions in Vienna

In addition to it’s well-known Christmas Markets, Vienna also has some interesting Christmas traditions.

Christmas Celebrations

The big celebration in on December 24, Christmas Eve, rather than Christmas Day, as in other countries.

Sometime in afternoon of 24th, someone distracts the kids while parents decorate the tree.

When the tree is decorated, a bell is rung to announce that Christkind, the traditional gift bringer, has been.

This giftbringer is more like a fairytale creature than Santa Claus, and is most often portrayed as an infant or an angel with golden wings.

Kids will then open the presents, and in the late afternoon or early evening, families gather for carol singing and a big meal. Christmas Day is spent visiting family or relaxing. 

Krampus

Another interesting tradition in Austria is that of Krampus.

This centuries-old figure is half-man, half-goat, who scares children who have misbehaved.

Now, he has become a traditional part of the Christmas season, appearing with St.Nicholas, sort as Santa’s side kick, or evil twin. 

In some towns, on the evening of December 5th, people dressed as Krampus parade through the streets, and it’s become one of Europe’s most spirited festivals. 


Where to Stay for the Vienna Christmas Markets

As many of the Christmas Markets in Vienna are located in the center of the city, it makes sense to stay in the Innere Stadt, the area within Ring Road. However, keep in mind that accommodations here will be pricier than in other areas of Vienna.

Vienna has an excellent transportation system, with underground lines and trams connecting virtually every part of the city. You can buy multi-day tickets, making it easy to get around the city.

We stayed at KH Opera Apartments, directly across from Karlsplatz – in fact, we had a view of the market from our apartment!

The apartment was clean and comfortable, with one bedroom, a bathroom and a separate living area. There was also a kitchenette, where we could cook our own meals.

The apartments are in an old building, with huge ceilings and large windows, adding to the sense of elegance that you expect to see in Vienna.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Hotels.com | Expedia

The second time we visited Vienna for the Christmas Markets, we stayed at the A&O hostel, which was only a block from the train station and easy walking distance to Belvedere Palace.

The hostel had a fantastic breakfast and we stayed in a family room, which, while basic, was all that we needed since we spent most of the day out exploring Vienna.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Hotels.com | Expedia


Helpful German Phrases to Know

Frohe Weihnacten – Merry Christmas
Alles Gute im neuen Jahr – Happy New Year
Bitte (“bi tuh”) – Please
Danke (“dan kuh”) – Thanks
Danke schön (“dan kuh shone) – Thanks very much 


Final Thoughts: Vienna Christmas Markets

The Vienna Christmas markets weren’t originally on our plans but turned out to be one of our favourite places to experience the Christmas Markets.

They are truly a magical experience, and one that should not be missed!

Enjoy the festive decorations, sip on some hot gluhwein, sample traditional Austrian dishes and treats, and experience the festive spirit of Christmas in one of the world’s most beautiful cities. 

Happy Holidays!

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