If you’re like me and love Christmas, you’ll also really enjoy a good Christmas Market. In my opinion, Vienna is top of the list. Vienna doesn’t mess about when it comes to Christmas markets, they host some of the largest and oldest ones in the world!
Known for its rich history, classical music heritage, and stunning architecture it also encompasses some of the nicest Christmas Markets in Europe. Vienna is the capital city of Austria and is home to twenty-seven palaces and iconic landmarks like Schónbrunn Palace, St Stephens Cathedral, The Hofburg Imperial Palace and lots more in between all of which have their very own Christmas Markets and lie on virtually every street corner.
Highlights of Vienna also include the Vienna Opera House, it is one of the world’s leading opera houses and is located in the heart of the city, it has a rich history dating back to the mid-19th century. It’s a cultural hub and a symbol of Vienna’s musical legacy attracting both locals and visitors seeking a world-class artistic experience. The Am Hof Advent Market on Stephansplatz is located next to the Vienna State Opera House.
The Market at Schónbrunn Palace provides a royal backdrop, while the Spittelberb market in a historic district offers a more intimate experience. Each market is filled with stalls packed to capacity with traditional Austrian handcrafts, homebaked gingerbreads, Austrian goulash and lots more delicacies and multiple flavours of Gluhwein, punch and local beers. The markets cater to all tastes and each one has their own unique flair.
Probably the biggest and most famous market in Vienna is the Christkindlmarkt at Rathausplatz located in front of City Hall. The 19th-century Rathausplatz is transformed into a magical wonderland. At night the trees are embellished with twinkling lights to create an enchanting woodland and visitors are invited to sample all the traditional delicacies the market has to offer in magical surroundings.
The city is also famous for its coffee house culture and delicious pastries, including the renowned Sachertorte, a chocolate cake made up of three layers of chocolate sponge with apricot jam between each layer and covered with chocolate icing, it’s simply delicious!
Coffee houses are the perfect place to immerse yourself in Viennese tradition and atmosphere while enjoying delicious coffee and cakes. We visited the famous Cafe Landtmann where we enjoyed one of their home-baked traditional strudels served with hot custard and flavoursome coffee. The café was the preferred coffeehouse of Sigmund Freud where he found many of his important patients that played a crucial role in his research. It also served as a meeting place for many of the leading industrialists, politicians, thinkers and artists in Austria.
These are just a few highlights. Vienna’s rich cultural scene and historical attractions combined with the amazing Christmas markets offer something for everyone. The markets operate from 11th November to 26th December when Vienna’s prettiest squares transform into magical Christmas markets.
Aer Lingus fly direct from Dublin to Vienna every Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday During November and December and Ryanair flies daily so there’s no reason not to put this amazing city on your bucket list.