The best Weihnachtsmärkte (Christkindlmärkte) in Wien are at the Rathaus, Maria Theresien Platz, Freyung in the old town center, and at the Baroque Schloss Schönbrunn and Schloss Belvedere.
Christmas markets in Vienna (Wien) are as popular as in the rest of the German-speaking world. The Austrian capital has several markets but the best ones in the old town are within easy walking distance from each other at the Rathausplatz, Maria Theresien Platz, and Freyung. The Baroque palaces Schloss Schönbrunn and Schloss Belvedere in the suburbs of Vienna serve as the beautiful backdrops to two further Viennese Christmas markets.
In 2017, several of the Christmas markets will be open on Christmas Day (December 25) but expect hours a bit shorter, especially on December 24. Some markets operate after Christmas as New Year’s Markets until early in January 2018. These include the Weihnachtsmarkt at Schloss Schönbrunn and the Christmas market between the museums on Maria-Theresien-Platz.
Visit the Wiener Christkindlmarkt, Rathausplatz, Vienna
Vienna’s largest and best-known Christmas market is the Wiener Chriskindlemarkt und Weihnachtstraum in front of the Neo Gothic Rathaus (town hall). The Adventzauber – Magic of Advent – celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2015.
The Christmas market in front of Vienna’s Rathaus is the most popular Christmas market in Austria. Annually, around 3 million people visit this market including around half a million foreign tourists. The market has around 150 stands.
The Adventzauber (Magic of Christmas) is a special advent theme park held adjacent to the Christmas market itself. It is hugely popular with children and families with numerous workshops and cultural performances.
The Wiener Christkindlmarkt & Adventzauber claims to be the most child and family-friendly Christmas market in Europe.
The Wiener Christkindlmarkt & Adventzauber, Rathausplatz, Vienna, is held from November, 12 to December 26, 2016. Opening hours are daily from 10 am to 9:30 pm (closing at 7 pm on the 24th). The Adventzauber closes on the 24th but the Christmas Market itself is open until the 26th.
Weihnachtsdorf (Christmas Village) between the Museums in Vienna
Only a short stroll from the Rathausplatz is the Weihnachtsdorf (Christmas Town) at Maria Theresien Platz. This Christmas market is beautifully located between Vienna’s magnificent Kunst- (Art) and Naturhistorischen (Natural History) Museums.
In 2017, the Weihnachtsdorf am Maria-Theresien-Platz is open from November 22 to December 26, 2017. This Christmas market is open daily from 11 am to 10 pm; closing at 4 pm on Christmas Eve. On Christmas and Boxing Days (December 25 and 26) the market is open from 11 am to 7 pm.
The market changes into a Silvesterdorf (New Year’s Village) from 27 to 31 December 2017. Opening hours are 11 am to 7:30 pm but on 31 December 2017, the market closes at 6 pm.
Visit the Altwiener Christkindlmarkt at Freyung, Vienna
The Altwiener Christkindlmarkt (Old Vienna Christmas market) is also in the old town, not far from the Rathaus. This market usually has puppet performances for children in the morning and further music performances in the late afternoon or early evenings.
The Altwiener Christkindlmarkt at Freyung, Vienna, is held from November 18 to December 23, 2016. The market is open daily from 10 am to 9 pm.
The Weihnachtsdorf (Christmas Village) at Schloss Belvedere Palace, Vienna
Just outside the old town area of Vienna, but still very easy to reach on public transportation or even on foot from the town center, is the Weihnachtsdorf in the gardens of Schloss Belvedere. Schloss Belvedere is a magnificent Baroque palace and the art museum inside is the home of amongst others Gustav Klimt’s Kiss.
In 2017, the Weihnachtsdorf at Schloss Belvedere is open from November 24 to December 26, 2017 from 11 am to 9 pm (10 am on weekends).
The Kultur- und Weihnachtsmarkt at Schloss Schönbrunn
It is worth taking the short tram or U-Bahn train ride to Schloss Schönbrunn Palace to visit the Kultur- und Weihnachstmarkt (Culture and Christmas market). This Christmas market is in the Ehrenhof in front of the imperial palace and favorite residence of Maria Theresa and many other Habsburg rulers.
The Culture and Christmas & New Year’s market at Schloss Schönbrunn sells mostly Austrian products and has an extensive cultural program as part of the market. Wednesday is especially for families with many performances and activities aimed at children staged throughout the day. On all other days, special activities and workshops are also available for children.
The Christmas market at Schloss Schönbrunn Palace is not only open on Christmas Day itself but continues until early January. In 2017, it is open as Christmas Market from November 18 to December 26, 2017; from December 27, 2017 to January 1, 2018, as New Year’s Market.
The Christmas market at Schloss Schönbrunn Palace is open daily from 10 am to 9 pm, closing at 4 pm on December 24, and at 6 pm on December 25 and 26. The New Year’s Market at Schönbrunn is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm.
More Christmas Fun in Vienna
Sightseeing day cruises on the Danube from Vienna is possible during winter with many special dinner and event cruises scheduled during the advent and Christmas market season.
Classical music remains very popular in Vienna with tickets for the top orchestras and venues selling out fast. It is usually possible to get tickets for concerts in the Kursalon where many a Strauss waltz was first performed with special Christmas concerts during the final week of December and a New Year’s Eve concert on the 31st – expect a lot of Strauss and Mozart. Combination tickets are also available for Schloss Schönbrunn with a concert.