Your Ultimate Vienna Christmas market guide: 7 of the best

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Your Ultimate Vienna Christmas market guide: 7 of the best

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 7 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!

(© Header image via Art Advent Karlsplatz)


© Reinhard Podolsky

© Reinhard Podolsky

Weihnachtsmarkt am Spittelberg

Nov. 16 – Dec. 23 2023
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.

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!

Weihnachtsdorf Altes AKH

Nov. 10 – Dec. 23, 2023
MON–WED: 2pm–10pm
THU–FRI: 2pm–11pm
SAT: 11am–11pm
SUN: 11am–8pm

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.

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).

© via Art Advent Karlsplatz

Adventmarkt am Karlsplatz

Nov. 24 – Dec. 23, 2023
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.

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

Nov. 17 – Dec. 23, 2023
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.

Winter im MuseumsQuartier

Nov. 10 – Dec. 23, 2023
MON–FRI: 4pm–11pm
SAT, SUN & public holidays: 2pm–11pm

Why is it a favourite?

Winter im 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.

Haas & Haas Winter in the City

Nov 4 – Dec 31, 2023
MON–THU: 4pm–8pm
FRI–SUN: 2pm–8pm
closed on Dec 24

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.

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

Nov. 30 – Dec. 3, 2023
THU: 1pm–10pm
FRI–SUN: 9am–10pm

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 2023 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.

You have to pay an entrance fee to get into the market. But the entrance is free for those dressed in historical costumes. 

You should also: bring your kids to see Nikolo and Krampus. The children’s program starts at 2pm and ends at 6pm on Saturday and Sunday

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