Vienna is a beautiful city to visit at anytime of year, but when the Austrian Christmas Markets are running and the city is strung with a dazzling array of Christmas lights it is really special. Vienna has many Christmas Markets throughout the city – ranging from the spectacular ‘Vienna magic of advent’ and old Viennese Christmas market in Rathausplatz to the stalls in the narrow cobbled streets in Spittelberg’s market. The tall Christmas tree in the Rathausplatz market was decorated in lights the colour of the French flag this year in memory of those who died in the recent attacks in Paris.
All the streets around Stephansdom are filled with strings of intricate golden lights in chandelier, crown and firework patterns. The Maria-Theresien-Platz market is found between two striking buildings – the museum of fine arts and the natural history museum – whilst the university quad in the old AKH has a small market complete with rinks for Bavarian Curling. Karlskirche provides a beautiful backdrop for an arts and crafts market, complete with piles of straw for children to play in! Freyung and Am Hof are very close to one another and offer a lovely mix of stalls including some pottery, glass decorations and artworks that I didn’t spot elsewhere. One of my favourites was the Schonbrunn Palace market, with a stage for carol singers, a lovely mix of food and craft stalls creating a cosy feel in the cold and the beautiful Palace itself lit behind the Christmas tree. Although the market at Belvedere Palace is smaller, I think the incredible reflections still make it worth visiting.
Read about Slovakia’s Bratislava Christmas market on the blog and visit my website to see more of my travel photography – and please leave any suggestions and tips for future Christmas market trips below!