A guide through the Viennese jungle of advent markets



Nowhere is the madness of the Christmas season celebrated so lovingly as on the Viennese markets. The season starts from mid-November and lasts until Christmas - in some cases even a little longer. Candy floss and wooden toys, glittering Christmas decorations, hand-knitted hats, designer jewellery, candles and sausages - the markets are full of contrasts. They are loud and colourful and then, when the children's choir beings to sings, suddenly quite festive and calm.

Whether Rathausplatz, Karlskirche or Schönbrunn is the best Christmas market in Vienna – this is a debate which has been raging for decades. Because each of the Vienna markets has its own character and its own group of fans and no two are alike. If you want to have a say, you will just have to test the all! Please note: most of the markets close at 8pm.

The Christmas market classics

The choice of Christmas market is extremely difficult but one of THE most classic is undisputedly the one on Vienna’s Rathausplatz, right next to Hotel Rathauspark Wien. One thing they must all offer: a good atmosphere, mulled wine and punch, good food and sweets, lots of stalls selling handicrafts and music. 

The classical advent markets

Punch, handicrafts and seasonal spirit

Eating, drinking, browsing through the handicraft stalls: these are the most important components of a Viennese Christmas market experience!

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Advent for the whole family

Visiting an advent market with children is almost as beautiful as Christmas. But not every market is the right one. Little kids, who are not quite into handmade paper and ceramic jewellery, are best off at one of the colourful, family-friendly Christmas paradises. There the little ones have plenty to look at and the grown-ups can enjoy hearty Austrian dumplings and delicious mulled wine in peace.

The best family Christmas markets

A Christmas experience for young and old

The kids can’t complain here: no matter whether pony riding, ice skating or a ride on the mini wheeled train, there is plenty for families to do!

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Designer advent markets

For many visitors, the hustle and bustle around the sweet punch stands and the Christmas music is too much as early as the end of November. But for these rebels there is an alternative: the Viennese designer scene is also well underway in the pre-Christmas season. Markets such as the Edelstoff and WeihnachtsQuartier are trendy, funny and incredibly innovative, showing with great products, what the Viennese creative scene has to offer.

Designer advent markets

Cool atmosphere and hip handicrafts

Enough of sweet and sticky punch and advent kitsch? The independent designer scene in Vienna makes use of the Christmas season to stage a brilliant show in pop-up style.

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hotels: Hotel Savoyen Vienna, Hotel Schloss Wilhelminenberg, Hotel Rathauspark Wien, Parkhotel Schönbrunn


Mei Lie Tjia

At the age of five Mei Lie Tja emigrated with her parents from Shanghai to Vienna. Since then she has been both fascinated and obsessed by Vienna. Mei  loves photo safaris in the chic, bohemian districts, discovering new cafés (espresso with lots of sugar) and writing short stories about magical Vienna.  Since she has become the mother of two children, she no longer has so much time for that – has however discovered a new side of Vienna. One which also has lots of surprises in store for families.

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