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The Magic of Advent in Vienna...

November 2011

The beginnings of the Viennese Christmas Market date back to more than seven centuries ago! Today, the market appeals to the Viennese citizens as much as to the visitors of our loveable city.

In the beginning it was the small traders with their stalls which formed the appearance of the market. Besides the supply of the standard range of goods like textiles and groceries, it offered goods from pastry cooks which already then were in high fashion.

Christmas like it is celebrated today was first seen in the "Biedermeier", when it was the high aristocracy who, for the first time, set up Christmas trees in their feudal homes thereby following the northern German tradition. It was not until the time of the "Wiener Kongress" at around 1814 that this was accompanied by the custom of giving presents.

Thus the market paved its way from the past into our days. It has retained all of its charm and beauty which guarantees us the recurrent joy of this pre-Christmas magic. Annually it conquers hearts, especially those of the children. Today there are newer toys, different from the tin soldiers of the past– yet the joyful faces of the children remain the same!

Children who listen carefully may even hear the wings of a busy Christmas angel here or there at one of Vienna’s Christmas markets. These markets still enchant young and old alike, bringing a sparkle to their eyes and a healthy red glow to their cheeks, whisking them off into a world of cinnamon aromas, shiny glass baubles, wooden rocking horses and the soft tinkling of bells.


The Christkindlmarkt at the Rathaus (City Hall)

The Magic of Advent in front of Vienna’s City Hall transforms the park around the festively lit edifice into a fairy tale world, where golden leaves, luminous hearts, giant candies and glittering stars hang from the trees. In this unique ambiance you will find beautiful gifts and mouth-watering delicacies at dozens of stalls at Vienna’s largest Christmas market.


The Christkindlmarkt at Spittelberg

In the heart of Vienna, in the Biedermeier quarter Spittelberg, the city’s most traditional handicraft Christmas market has taken place for the past 17 years. Each year hundreds of thousands of visitors from Austria and abroad are enchanted by the Christmas market's unique charm, set in the romantic maze of the tight Biedermeier streets. Because of its picturesque environment it is said that this is where the Christ Child himself often comes to shop. You can browse fine arts and crafts, ceramics, hand-blown glass, rugs, batik and silk paintings, and even find a piece of silver, enamel or brass jewellery.


The Christkindlmarkt on Freyung Square

There is also plenty to see at the traditional Christmas market on FreyungSquare. Here, the Christ Child feels particularly at home in an ambience of almost celestial beauty. Traditionally decorated stalls are dotted around the famous Austria fountain set against the backdrop of magnificent palace façades. Bathed in flickering candlelight and cloaked in the aromas of gingerbread, baked apples, honey and punch, you are spoilt for choice between hand-painted candles for the Christmas tree, wooden toys and woven wickerwork.


The Christkindlmarkt at SchönbrunnPalace

As the first snowflakes fall gently from the sky, dancing in the soft glow of the lanterns, there is not a more romantic place to visit than the Christmas and arts market in front of SchönbrunnPalace.Here you can stop for awhile to take in the delightful backdrop of the imperial residence before finishing your remaining shopping: traditionally crafted items, handmade jewellery, rural specialties such as self-distilled schnapps, smoked meat, sweet or spicy bread and cakes, and rustic Christmas tree decorations are all available.


For more information, please contact Maria Angeles Hernandez Saluena at

Christmas in Vienna

Christkindlmarkt Rathausplatz

Kultur- und Weihnachtsmarkt Schönbrunn