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The Insider’s Ultimate Vienna Christmas Markets Guide 2022

Last Updated on 21st November 2022 by Sophie Nadeau

From riding on the oldest Ferris Wheel in the world still in operation to perusing the market stalls for the perfect Christmas gift, Vienna is a veritable winter paradise with enough to keep even the most intrepid explorers occupied over the course of several days. Here’s everything you need to know before visiting the Vienna Christmas Markets.

Vienna Christmas Market dates 2022: various depending on the Christmas Market/ 11th November 2022 – 4th January 2023

If you’re looking to enjoy the Christmas Markets together with a local guide, then you might consider booking a guided tour like this one. Highlights include sweet and salty tastings, mulled wine/ punch tasting, and expert information from a local guide. Check prices and availability here.

vienna christmas market

Is Vienna a good winter destination?

Vienna is a popular year ’round destination thanks to its musical legacy (both Beethoven and Mozart lived in the Austrian capital), wealth of beautiful architecture, and many delightful cafés. The most famous coffee house in town is undoubtedly Café Frauenhuber which is the oldest café in the Austrian capital and was even once frequented by Beethoven!

The city truly comes to life during the winter season, when a blanket of snow often dusts the city and there is no better time to cosy up in a coffee shop or don a warm winter scarf and heat up with a piping hot mug of Glühwein at the Christmas Markets.

Locations of the Vienna Christmas Markets

Before visiting Vienna, one of the most important things to note is that there are actually several spots across the city where Christmas Markets are held. Therefore you should factor in walking time between the Christmas Market areas when planning your Christmas Market itinerary.

Am Hof Christmas Market

2022 Christmas Market dates: November 11th – December 23rd

Though this Christmas Market isn’t as old as some of the other Christmas Markets in Vienna, the illustrious Am Hof square does boast a long history of being associated with markets! After all, it was here where a wine market was held in the Middle Ages (as early as the 14th-century).

Today, the Am Hof Market boasts over 70 stalls selling everything from local food and drink (including spiced wine) to stands selling small goods such as Christmas ornaments, lights, and clothing essentials.

Christkindlmarkt

2022 Christmas Market dates: November 19th – December 26th

The most famous of all the Christmas Markets in Vienna is Christkindlmarkt which is held right in front of the Rathaus city hall. Though once one of the more ‘tacky’ markets, a focus on sustainability has turned things around for this Christmas Market.

As of 2022, stalls wanting to sell goods at the market are required to meet sustainability criteria. Food stalls include the classics such as roasted chestnuts, hot wine, and giant pretzels. A nearby park hosts the Advent of Surprises, including the iconic Tree of Hearts light display.

vienna christmas market

Belvedere Christmas Market

2022 Christmas Market dates: November 18th – December 26th

One of the more off the beaten path market locations, making it less touristic than some of the other markets in Vienna, is Belvedere. The market is set against the backdrop of the illustrious Upper Belvedere Palace, which dates all the way back to the early 18th-century.

Schönbrunn

2022 Christmas Market dates: November 19th – December 26th

If you make it your mission to just frequent a handful of the Vienna Christmas Markets, then you should undoubtedly endeavour to visit that which takes place in front of the The Hofburg Palace. Come nightfall, the entire area is bathed in a golden glow, including the 13th-century Hofburg Palace itself.

This Christmas Market boasts around 75 booths selling handmade arts and crafts, as well as delicious food and drink. Other highlights of this Viennese delight is a giant Christmas Tree, a 250 piece Nativity set and a performance stage where live performances take place across the festive season.

One peculiarity about this market is that it also continues right up until into the New Year as a New Year’s Market before it finally closes on the 4th January 2023.

Karlsplatz Christmas market 

2022 Christmas Market dates: November 18th – December 23rd

One of the most popular Christmas Markets in Vienna is held in Karlsplatz, in the shadow of the Karlskirche, a Baroque 18th-century church which you have to pay to enter but whose jewelled delights more than merit the entrance fee.

The Christmas Market itself is a vast sprawling affair on the south side of the city and what is particularly special about this event is that the Christmas Market food on offer is some of the best in all of Vienna, including mulled wine, Punsch and several quintessentially Austrian foods.

The stalls are focused on Arts and Crafts (the formal name of the fair is Art Advent), with many of the items for sale being handcrafted souvenirs such as Christmas ornaments, jewellery, household goods, and clothing. In fact, one of the requirements to run a stall at this market is that the applicant must have made the good themselves.

Karlsplatz Christmas market

Spittelberg

2022 Christmas Market dates: November 11th – December 23rd

Nestled in the 7th district of Vienna, Spittelberg Market is not held in one large square but is instead a sprawling collection set out over the various streets and lanes which cut their way through the area. This is one of the biggest Christmas Markets in Vienna and has well over 120 stands selling everything from fun gifts to delicious foods.

Stephansplatz Christmas Market

2022 Christmas Market dates: November 11th – December 26th

As its name would suggest, the Stephansplatz Christmas market is held at Stephansplatz and is one of the newer Christmas Markets in Vienna. Basking in the glow of the illuminated St Stephen’s Cathedral (a grand Gothic building dating back to the 12th-century), there are around 40 stalls selling various gifts, souvenirs, and foodie items.

Altes AKH Christmas market

2022 Christmas Market dates: November 11th – December 23rd

Those who fancy a Vienna Christmas Market with more of a local feel can head to the Altes AKH Christmas market. The unique aspect of this Christmas Market is that it is actually held in the grounds of a former hospital.

Though it’s not as touristy, it’s no more than a fifteen minute walk from the city centre to reach this offbeat Vienna market. The market is also referred to as Weihnachtsdorf Campus Universität Wien and the main reason to head there is the food, particularly all of the regional cuisine on offer!

If you’re not feeling hungry during your visit, then you can alternatively buy products from one of the artisanal stalls (think hams, cheeses, jams). This shouldn’t necessarily be the first on your list of Vienna Christmas Markets but is a cool one to check out if you’ve already been to the main sites!

Michaelerplatz Christmas Market

2022 Christmas Market dates: November 16th – December 26th

Yet another Christmas Market which is a little less frequented is the Michaelerplatz Christmas market. There are under two dozen stands, though this area of Vienna does boast its very own set of Roman ruins from back in the time where the city was known as Vindobona.

This Christmas Market is officially known as the  k.u.k. Weihnachtsmarkt, which stands for kaiserlich und königlich (imperial and royal in English). This market is located really close to the Am Hof Market, making them easy to see together in one evening.

Weihnachtsdorf on Maria-Theresien-Platz

2022 Christmas Market dates: November 11th – December 26th

Nestled between the Kunsthistorisches Museum (art museum) and Naturhistorisches Museum (Natural History Museum), this Christmas Market is held in one of the best spots in Vienna. Over 70 stalls fill the spaces between historic fountains and carefully manicured topiary bushes. The entire area is lit up with twinkling lights, meaning that it is best seen in the evening.

Other Christmas things to do in Vienna

Classical Concert at St. Stephen’s Cathedral

One of the most famous ecclesiastical buildings in Vienna is undoubtedly St Stephen’s Cathedral, which dates back to the Middle Ages. Take in the Gothic ambiance of the building while enjoying recitals of Mozart, Bach, and other festive favourites. Check prices and availability here.

3-Hour Christmas Tour by Segway

If you prefer to get around the city on wheels as opposed to on your feet, then this is the experience to book. Over the course of several hours, you’ll see the Altwiener Christkindlmarkt at Rathausplatz, the Christmas market at Karlsplatz, and admire the Christmas lights strung up around the city. Check prices and availability here.

Christmas Concert at Capuchin Church

Special festive themed performances are by the Emperor Quartet Vienna within the Capuchin Church. This special space is run by the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin and highlights of the church itself include beautiful frescoes and the famous Imperial Crypt. Check prices and availability here.

Christmas Concert and Dinner in the Kursalon

For an extra special dinner with your loved ones, consider attending this Christmas Concert. As well as waltzes and operettas by Johann Strauss and Mozart, there is the chance to eat a 4-course meal with the theme of “Imperial Vienna” at the “Das Johann” restaurant. Check prices and availability here.

Christmas & New Year’s Concert in St. Peter’s Church

The glorious St Peter’s Church is nestled in the Innerstadt area of Vienna and is a beautiful example of a Baroque Roman Catholic church. This special winter concert features interpretations of works by famous composers. Check prices and availability here.

Things to know before visiting the Vienna Christmas Markets

Hot wine (vin chaud/ mulled wine) is served in Christmas Market mugs, which you’ll have to pay an initial deposit for. The deposit is typically between 5 and 8 euros, though you’ll be able to get this back if you return your mug to the vendor at the end of your visit. Alternatively, you can keep the mug as a fun souvenir of your trip!

What to pack for the Vienna Markets

Though English is fairly widely spoken, particularly by those working in the tourism industry, it’s only polite to learn a few words of the local language, in this case German.

Bring along a simple German phrasebook like this one to help you get by. It’s also a good idea to bring along a universal travel adapter like this one so that you can keep your electronics charged wherever you go!

When visiting the Vienna markets, be sure to bring along a comfortable pair of walking shoes (heels are pretty but don’t mix well with cobbled lanes), not to mention a warm jacket to combat the cold. I personally love this coat as it’s ever so warm and vegan!

Last but not least, when it comes to Christmas Markets throughout Europe, cash is king! Though more and more market stalls are beginning to accept bank cards as a form of payment, this is not the norm and so ensure that you bring along enough cash (in this case, Euro) to enable you to purchase all the gifts, souvenirs, and foodie goods that your heart so desires.

Christmas Market Foods

Hands down, one of the most important aspects of Vienna Christmas Markets is the food aspect, and there’s certainly a lot to choose from! If there’s one thing Christmas markets across Europe are known for, it’s the delectable smorgasbord of treats on offer, of both the sweet and savoury variety.

So if you’re looking for even more drool worthy foodie inspiration, be sure to check out our Christmas market food guide, as much of the food listed can be found at the Vienna Christmas market!

vienna christmas market

Where to stay in Vienna

Thanks to its status as a major European capital city, there’s no shortage of places to stay in Vienna. Between historic locations which will suit history buffs to budget offerings for those who want to save on accommodation, here are some of the best places to stay in Vienna based on web-reviews and location:

Budget: This no frills hostel offers mixed and single gender dorms in a cosy setting. Private rooms are also available for an extra fee. There’s also Wi-Fi and a bar onsite. Check prices and availability here.

Mid-range: This four-star hotel has a fitness centre and is located just a 2-minute walk from the nearest U-Bahn stop, making it a great base from which to explore the rest of the city. Check prices and availability here.

Luxury: Between the pool, spa, and plush decor of the rooms, you’ll find it hard to pull yourself away from this luxurious hotel to actually go and explore the city. Other amenities include a breakfast buffet and front desk. Check prices and availability here.

vienna christmas market

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