The Christmas markets in Vienna, Austria, are among the very best in Europe. Against the backdrop of majestic palaces and churches or even set in city parks, they showcase the lights, culinary treats, and artistic treasures of the holiday season.
There are so many outstanding Vienna Christmas markets that it’s hard to know where to start if you’re visiting during the holiday season. From the historic center to neighborhoods on the outskirts, each market offers something worth seeing.
Unlike some big cities like Prague where markets are similar across locations, the ones in Vienna can differ significantly, which is a treat for market lovers and shoppers. We have visited each of the ones listed here, highlighting what sets them apart so you can determine which ones best fit your interests and itinerary.
They generally open in mid-November and run until just before Christmas, though some last longer and transform into New Years markets. We have included the current dates where available or the previous year’s dates since they are often consistent from year to year.
Read on to see which beautiful advent markets to add to your list.
Viennese Dream Market (Rathausplatz)
The most popular market in the city—and probably the prettiest—is undoubtedly the Viennese Dream Christmas market that spreads out around the Rathaus (City Hall). It’s packed with lots of different things to see and is set against the 150-year-old ornate town hall that looks like it’s made of light at night.
If this is your first stop, it’s a great place to get acquainted with some of the foods that are staples at the markets throughout the city. You’ll find plenty of bratwurst, fries, and schnitzel plus lebkuchen (gingerbread), and kaiserschmarrn—a torn up pancake topped with powdered sugar and fruit compote.
Drink stands here are plentiful, so there is lots of gluhwein (mulled wine) and hot chocolate available. Don’t miss the unexpected drinks like mulled gin, apfelpunsch (apple punch) made with apple brandy, and kirschpunsch (cherry punch) made with cherry brandy. If you’re ever uncertain about the ingredients or whether a drink is alcoholic, just ask—everyone speaks perfect English.
Because the Viennese Dream market is in tourist central, we found the shopping options fairly standard. If you’re looking for Christmas ornaments, decorative candles, scarves, or delicious loose-leaf teas, you’ll be set here. Serious shoppers are probably better off holding out for one of the more specialized markets.
In addition to its gorgeous setting, there is a lot that makes this market special. Don’t miss the ice rink set among the illuminated trees. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, you’ll be welcome here.
The giant Advent calendar and huge Advent wreath packed with electric candles draw lots of visitors. Nearby, you’ll find rides, Christmas light sculptures, and a tree dripping in heart-shaped lights that illuminates every half-hour. There is also a path lined with creative nativity scenes that pays respect the heritage of Austrian “crib builders.” Make sure to leave enough time in your itinerary to peruse it all.
Dates: November 10 to December 26, 2023
Christmas Village (Stephansplatz)
Possibly the only market in Vienna with a more gorgeous setting than the Rathaus is at St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The Romanesque and Gothic building is nearly 450 years old and towers over about 40 vendor stalls that surround its base.
Although the stalls at the Christmas Village are limited, they hit the highlights with gifts and trinkets ranging from papier-mache ornaments to jewelry and Christmas decorations. If you want liqueurs or sweets for souvenirs or charcuterie to munch on later, it’s here.
When it comes to food, the offerings were standard. There was soup and goulasch in a bread bowl, donuts, and hot dogs, along with a few other dishes and snacks. We had planned to have dinner at the market but were a little let down by the selection and creativity of the choices, which is probably due to the market being in the heart of the city surrounded by restaurants. (We opted to have tea and snacks and to rest our feet at Hass & Hass).
To see the city’s Christmas lights, spend a few minutes wandering the nearby shopping areas along the Graben and Karntner Strasse for some beautiful displays.
Dates: November 10 to December 26, 2023
Christmas Market at Schonbrunn Palace
The massive palace that was once the summer home of the Austrian monarchs makes a brilliant backdrop for one of Vienna’s best winter markets, Christmas Markt Schloss Schonbrunn. Eighty vendors pack the property selling handicrafts and lots of food, which contributes to the festive atmosphere.
The merchandise here is a mix of some of the mass-produced items found at other markets as well as lots of high-quality arts and crafts made by vendors from Austria and nearby countries. We found wooden toys, sculpted candles, pottery, blown glass creations, and locally distilled spirits. From cookie cutters to pastry mixes and potpourri, many of the vendors were unique.
When it comes to food, there is a wide range. Market standards like chimney cakes and waffles were popular along with leberkase, a traditional sandwich with a slice of pork loaf. We also noticed more vegetarian options, including soups, dumplings, and toasts with toppings like spinach and feta. We opted for a non-vegetarian (and enormously delicious) baked potato topped with bacon, but there were also vegetarian and vegan options.
At the center of the market is the 60-foot-tall Christmas tree decorated with thousands of lights. It stands beside the stage that frequently hosts bands, choirs, and a capella groups.
If you’re making the trip to the market, consider a visit to the Schonbrunn Palace. There’s no better place in Vienna to see how the royals once lived.
Dates: November 18, 2023 to January 4, 2024
Art Advent Market (Karlsplatz)
If you’re shopping for something truly exceptional, the Art Advent market at Karlsplatz is the place to go. The vendors here aren’t like anything you’ll find at the city’s other Christmas markets, so it’s a must visit.
At the foot of the Church of St. Charles (Karlskirche), this curated market brings together talented artists from across the region making high-quality crafts. Products must be created by the artists themselves and approved by a jury before they’re given a coveted spot.
Each vendor has a sign with information about themselves and a QR code that lets shoppers read more about their work. Plus, they’re all happy to chat more about their crafts.
A useful, detailed map gives the artists’ names, making it easy to find specific types of gifts if you’re shopping for something beyond the expected. You can also see people at work making jewelry, books, and other items like nativity figurines and embossed journals.
The food and drinks here are predominantly organic (bio), and there is a substantial selection of vegetarian and even vegan dishes. There are delicious flatbreads and raclette plus lots of international food you won’t find other places, including French buckwheat pancakes and Moroccan harira soup. For sweet treats, check out the bauernkrapfen—Austrian donuts covered in powdered sugar or filled with jam.
In the middle of the market, there are piles of straw, farm animals, and children’s activities as well as lots of room for the little ones to run around. In fact, the market as a whole is really spacious, which is a relief if you’ve felt a bit like a sardine at the Rathaus or the Schonbrunn. Existing park benches also mean that there is ample seating, which isn’t common and is really helpful if you’ve visited lots of markets as we had.
Dates: November 24 to December 23, 2023
Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace
Vienna does not lack markets with dramatic backdrops, and the Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace is another winner in that regard. The 18th-century palace, which is now an art museum with an extensive collection of works by Gustav Klimt, is a beautiful setting when the lights turn on at sunset.
The market’s 40+ vendors offer typical merchandise that you will encounter at other markets, including ceramics, wooden toys, leather goods, and Vienna souvenirs. At the food stands, potato pancakes, spiral potatoes, and krapfen were popular. We especially enjoyed indulging in Nurnbergers—small German sausages that we fell in love with when visiting the Nuremberg markets. This was one of the only places we found them in Vienna.
Our schedule meant that we visited Belvedere on a weekend night, which is a very crowded time at almost any market. It was initially wall-to-wall people, but the crowd ultimately thinned out. Given its small size and limited unique things to buy, we would only recommend prioritizing a visit here if you are interested in photographing the building or are planning to visit the art museum inside.
Dates: November 17 to December 26, 2023
Christmas Village at Maria Theresien Square
Flanked by the majestic buildings that house the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Art, Christmas Village at Maria Theresien Square has a fairytale setting. With over 75 vendors, there is lots to shop for, especially if you’re looking for candles, ornaments, snow globes, or linens.
We focused our time at the beautiful market on food. There were Italian options like pizza and arancini, waffles, fries, langos, and nougat. We made a beeline to the stand selling bosna, a kind of sausage sandwich we loved on our first visit to Salzburg many years ago but rarely encountered at the Vienna markets. The sausage is topped with mustard, onion, and curry powder and placed in a roll that gets grilled to a crisp before serving. It’s so good!
Take a minute to cross the street to the MuseumQuartier, which has several additional food stands and drink vendors. The visitors here seemed to be primarily locals enjoying a happy hour atmosphere complete with curling.
Am Hof Christmas Market
In the heart of the historic city, Weihnachtsmarkt am Hof is a charming market with handmade offerings. Despite its location in the center, we found it full of locals enjoying the food and drink, specialty items, and artisan goods.
Over 70 vendors sell a huge variety of goods with one whole section set apart as the craft (handwerk) area. We found everything from upcycled jewelry to clocks made from beer bottles and large-scale artwork. Moonshine, honey, slippers, and soap—you’ll find it all here.
We didn’t eat at Am Hof, but there were lots of delicious-looking items. What caught our attention most was the variety of drinks. One kiosk was set as a Champagne bar (with seats), and several had local wines at decent prices. We stopped at a stand serving Prosecco-topped limoncello spritzes, which we enjoyed while eavesdropping on the conversations of some expats.
Our stop at Am Hof was delightful. It was fun to browse around and encounter completely different kinds of gifts and drinks without having to hop a tram outside the center. If your time is short, this one is worth a visit.
Dates: November 8 to December 23, 2024
Old Viennese Christmas Market (Altweiner Christkindlmarkt)
Just a few minutes’ walk from Am Hof, the Old Viennese Christmas Market at Freyungplatz (Altweiner Christkindlmarkt) is a medium-sized market to visit in the center. It specializes in handicrafts and offers activities like glassblowing, wreath making, and puppet shows.
The 60 stalls here offer jewelry, children’s books, decorations, and other exclusive merchandise. We also found lots of local meats and cheeses, chocolates, sausage, and pizza, though there are more drinks than food.
Surrounded by historic buildings, the market has a cozy setting, but we weren’t quite as enthusiastic about it compared with our stop at Am Hof. Still, it’s worth a brief visit if you’re in the area.
Dates: November 17-December 23, 2023
Christmas Village Campus University of Vienna
The spacious campus of the University of Vienna is an ideal place to host a Christmas market. There is plenty of room to cater to the Christmas Village’s two target audiences—students and families living nearby.
For students, there are plenty of drinks stands with more tables than we found at any other market. The list of drink options is also impressive—mulled wine, mulled cider, mulled beer, and mulled gin alongside a catalog ranging from hot orange rum punch to Jaegermiester. They’re all served in some of the cutest mugs we came across at the markets. We couldn’t resist trying the bratapfelpunsch, a mix of apple juice, apple brandy, vanilla, cinnamon, and other spices designed to taste like baked apples
Grab some churros, empanadas, or a pulled pork sandwich to sop up some of the alcohol.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, this is a great market for kids. There are multiple amusement rides including a mini-train and several carousel-type rides where kids can sit in cars or balloons that spin. If you want to try your hand at curling, that’s an option here, too.
Dates: November 10 to December 23, 2023
Winter Market on Riesenradplatz (Prater)
Not your typical Christmas market, the Winter Market on Riesenradplatz is a place to enjoy entertainment and meet with friends for lots of eating and drinking. While there is almost no shopping here, there are many other things to do.
The area around the city’s famous Ferris wheel is full of food kiosks and restaurants. If you haven’t met your daily quota of sausage or langos (Hungarian fried bread), this is the place to be. There are dozens of punches spiked with every imaginable spirit as well as beer, hot chocolate, and more. We had some excellent gluhwein along with prosciutto-topped raclette while listening to some of the oddest live music we’ve heard (everything from O Holy Night to Billy Joel hits and Wind Beneath My Wings).
The funfair is the main draw here. Take a ride on the historic Ferris wheel, spin on the swings, and try not to lose your dinner on the upside-down rollercoasters. People traveling with kids or who are looking for something completely different to do may want to add Prater to the list, but it’s not the top spot for holiday atmosphere.
Dates: November 16, 2024 to January 6, 2025
Christmas Market in Spittleberg
The Spittleberg neighborhood is a lively place packed with restaurants and specialty art and clothing shops. During the Christmas market, the area’s streets (particularly Spittelberggasse and Gutenberggasse) fill with stalls selling things you won’t find elsewhere.
The market is an Eco-Event, so organic, fair trade, and locally sourced items dominate. We found upcycled jackets, handmade jewelry, specialty pottery, lots of vinyl records, and high-quality leather goods. When it comes to food, there are some traditional dishes, but expect the unexpected with everything from bagels and lox to falafel. We had some incredible chicken souvlaki made by a couple from Crete who gave us a complimentary glass of their rakia (potent brandy).
In addition to the market vendors, many of the stores and restaurants bring their goods and food outside, adding to the fun atmosphere. Visitors who love a Bohemian vibe and creative merchandise should make it a point to visit.
Dates: November 16 to December 23, 2023
Advent Market at Gartenpalais Liechtenstein
The tiny Adventmarkt im Gartenpalais Liechtenstein is a neighborhood gem. With just 15 stands set outside the 300-year-old Baroque Garden Palace Liechtenstein, the Advent Market offers a quiet environment to enjoy market festivities that are as far away from “touristy” as you can get. We visited on a weekend morning just after opening time, and it was filled with families out for a walk and couples enjoying a late morning glass of wine in the sun.
We saw a few children’s games to play and even a small carousel to ride while locals bought their Christmas trees on the edge of the market.
Though the offerings are limited, the market seems to somehow hit the highlights with spiral potatoes, chimney cakes, kaiserschmarrn, and flammkuchen (flatbread). Our favorite stand offered a wine tasting flight—we opted for mulled rose wine, hot passionfruit punch, and eierpunsch (similar to warm eggnog). I think we were the only non-Austrians there, but the vendors couldn’t have been nicer.
While the market isn’t worth a trip to visit on its own, don’t miss it if you’re visiting the Garden Palace. The building holds one of the world’s premier private art collections with works by Rubens, Raphael, Rembrandt, and other masters. Public guided tours are available in German only.
Dates: November 17 to December 23, 2023
Ottakringer Christmas Magic
Of all the Christmas markets we visited in Vienna, Christmas Magic at Ottakringer Brewery was the most unique setting. The family-owned brewery hosts a small outdoor market throughout the season as well as an indoor market on certain weekends.
Outside, 25 vendors offer a selection of gifts, good food, and drinks. There was langos, churros, sausage, schnitzel sandwiches, and lots of pastries. As you might expect at a brewery, there was an ample amount to drink—beer punsch, apple punsch, cider, and more. We tried marillenpunsch, an apricot-flavored warm cocktail.
The outside area also features several amusements. There are curling lanes for adults and a small playground for kids. There is even a mailbox to leave letters for Santa. Weekends offer children’s crafts and live music.
The multi-story indoor market changes depending upon the weekend. In 2023, there were markets focusing on music and food. The weekend we visited, the vendors were creative, female-owned businesses. We found everything from specialty condiments and natural body products to jewelry, handbags, personalized ornaments, and feminist-themed clothing and decorations. It was completely unlike anything else we saw in Vienna.
Dates: November 23 to December 23, 2023
Christmas Market at Turkenschanzpark
One of the most family-friendly markets in Vienna is in Türkenschanzpark. North of the city center, the park is filled with ponds, fountains, and sports facilities that make it a huge draw for locals pretty far off the tourist track. The park is so large that we had to ask for help finding the market more than once (it’s at Peter-Jordan-Strasse and Danenstrasse).
The small market has handmade jewelry and art, hot chocolate kits, and gourmet gifts. In addition to baked potatoes and sausage, there were stands with spaetzle with a long list of toppings, and food we didn’t see elsewhere like pasta and brownies.
Visits from Santa, live music, and a regular “bubble show” plus a carousel and other rides make it a great space for kids to enjoy and run around.
Dates: November 10 to December 23, 2023
Wooden huts called stubn set the Alm Advent market apart from the plethora of options in Vienna. People primarily come here to eat and to entertain kids with the variety of crafts and programs. It feels a world away from the city.
Across the Vienna markets, there aren’t lots of warm spaces where you can sit down to enjoy a meal, but you’ll find several great options at Alm. We loved stopping for a late afternoon snack of flammkuchen and mulled wine while getting to rest our feet. Alm also hosts seated dinners and events throughout the season, so it’s worth checking out what’s on the schedule and trying to reserve a table.
The family village includes an ice skating rink and carousel plus a hut offering different children’s activities. Last year’s program even offered a chance to get autographs from players on the local soccer team. We didn’t get to see it, but Sunday evenings bring a fire and pyrotechnics show that makes the market even more special.
Dates: November 23 to December 22, 2023
Laura Longwell is an award-winning travel blogger and photographer. Since founding Travel Addicts in 2008, she has written hundreds of articles that help over 3 million people a year get the most out of their travel. In that time, she has visited nearly 60 countries on 5 continents, often returning to favorite destinations over and over again. She has a deep love of history, uncovering unexpected attractions, and trying all the good food a place has to offer.
In addition to Travel Addicts, Laura runs a site about her hometown of Philadelphia—Guide to Philly—which chronicles unique things to do and places to see around southeastern Pennsylvania. Her travel tips and advice appear across the web.