Welcome to Vienna… in the magical season of the Christmas markets and the shopping mall for nostalgic Christmas presents! In my previous post I told you a bit about my favorite Christmas markets in Vienna, now I will tell you about the most famous and oldest Viennese Christmas markets!
Rathaus Christmas Market
Rathaus Christmas Market (open from 15 November – 26 December, opening hours: 10:00 – 21:30). How to get there: Metro line U2 (purple line), station: Rathaus.
The Rathaus is the largest and oldest Christmas market in Vienna. For this reason it is also one of the most crowded ones. However the tradition of the Christmas markets date back to the 18th century Vienna, however it only moved to the current location in 1975. Yearly it attracts around 3.6 million visitors!
The Rathaus Christmas market has around 150 stalls, so no worries, you will find for sure a present for anybody there! The market itself is quite a sight to see:
- The illuminated town hall (Rathaus) stays majestically in the back ground.
- And let’s not forget the ice skating park, the ‘Christmas Dream’, that is open until end of February and stretches out through the whole park, between trees and benches, making it the biggest skating park in Vienna
- The famous tree of hearts opens the gate to the famous Christmas market
- On the culinary front: traditional roast chestnut stalls and a host of booths selling everything from cream-filled pastries to ‘Bratwurst’ and ‘Käsekreiner’.
Stephanplatz Christmas Market
Stephansplatz Christmas Market (open from 15 November – 26 December, opening hours: 11:00 – 21:00). How to get there : Mero line U3 (orange line), station: Stephansplatz. would recommend you to visit it early evenings, during the weekdays. This way you should be able to avoid huge crowds.
The Stephansplatz Christmas market is in the heart of Vienna, next to the Stephansdom, the impressive Gothic cathedral. Back in the days, the place next to a church was used as a market place, especially if it was also a place of pilgrimage.
The stands are all wooden and topped by lights, with a backdrop of townhouses and other buildings from the time of Mozart, not to mention the magnificent cathedral lit up in Christmas colors. Here you find the ‘best of’ category of all the Christmas markets in Vienna. Although not a big market, it has a great collection of hand made decorations from wood or glass, ‘Lebkuchen’, snow globes and a lot of beautiful Christmas tree decorations as well as good food selection. Also, if you are in the area do not miss a trip to the Kartner Strasse, a big (and fancy) shopping street. As well as the Graben, which is known for the (expensive) shops. Even if its just for window shopping, it’s worth seeing.
Maria Theresia Christmas Market
Maria Theresia Christmas Market (open from 20 November – 6 January, opening hours: 11:00 – 21:00). How to get there: Metro U3 (orange line), station: Volkstheather
This Christmas market is portraited like a village. The magnificent buildings of the Museum of Art History and the Natural History Museum surround this well-attended Christmas market. In the center of the market you can see the huge Maria Theresa Monument among several stands which offer art work or punch in all variations. After the Christmas holidays Maria Theresia Christmas Market transforms into a New Year’s Eve Village.