Christmas Time in the City

Punsch, Glühwein and holiday cheer

Services | Vienna Review | November 2009

The first Christmas market in Vienna was held in front of Stephansplatz in 1626 and the concept has since spread throughout the German-speaking world. The following is a list of some of the finest markets Vienna has to offer. Punsch, a hot drink made from liquor, sugar, and spices, can be found at countless stands throughout all 23 districts of the city, along with Glühwein, Maroni, and other savouries. 


Ice Palace at MQ

Never a boring moment at the Museumsquartier, the holiday season here is no exception. A bit different from the Weihnachtsmarkt concept, the Weinachtsquartier exhibits the creations of designers and the sounds of electronic DJs, as well as an ice palace with ice sports such as curling and activities for children.

MuseumsQuartier, Museumsplatz

Nov. 12 – Dec. 23

Mon. – Fri., 16:00 – 23:00, Sat., Sun., &

Holidays, 14:00 – 23:00


Magic of Advent in the Rathauspark

The largest and most famous in Vienna, the Wiener Christkindlmarkt consists of 140 different stalls with food, crafts, toys, decorations, and everything else the holiday heart could desire. But due to its size, it attracts three million visitors each year and is a madhouse. If you don’t like screaming children and tacky Christmas paraphernalia, there are plenty of other places to go.


Nov. 14 – Dec. 14

Mon. – Thurs., Sun., 10:00 – 21:30, Fri. & Sat., 10:00 – 22:00, Dec. 24, 10:00 – 18:00


Christkindlmarkt Spittelberg

Found on the knolls and in the alleyways of the 7th district, the market at Spittelberg is enjoyable for just about anyone, particularly those who enjoy a Punsch or two with friends before hitting the neighborhood bars and clubs. This market combines tradition and innovation, and many store-owners from this artsy district offer their products on the streets. Local Austrian wines directly from growers are sold by eight wine bars found in the market area.

Spittelberg, behind the Volkstheater

Nov. 15 – Dec. 23

Opening hours: check website


Altwiener Christkindlmarkt

For the 21st  consecutive year, the Altwiener Christkindlmarkt at the Freyung will offer its time-honored holiday flair. The history of winter markets at this square date back as far as 234 years ago and the organizers make a conscience effort to retain the original Viennese tradition and to avoid the complete commercialization that has overwhelmed many others. Puppet theaters, advent music, and diverse craftsmanship can be enjoyed in the middle of the first district.

Freyung, Schottengasse

Nov. 21 – Dec. 23

Mon. – Sun. 10:00 – 21:00


Christmas Village

Belvedere Palace

Explore baroque lifestyle and traditional handicrafts set against the glorious baroque backdrop of the world-famous Belvedere Palace. More than 40 stalls offer traditional handcrafted goods, elaborate Christmas decorations and special culinary delights.

Belvedere Palace, Prinz Eugen-Straße

Nov. 20 – Dec. 23

Mon. – Sun., 11:00 – 21:00


Christmas Village

Maria-Theresien Platz

Experience Viennese buildings and traditional Christmas customs at Maria-Theresien Platz, between the Art History and Natural History Museum, this winter. The Christmas Village in the heart of Vienna opens its doors this year for the 4th time amongst the world-renowned sights of Vienna‘s majestic Ringstrasse. The Christmas atmosphere is provided by festively decorated market stalls as well as a vast array of culinary delights.

Maria-Theresien Platz

Nov. 18 – Dec. 24

Mon. – Sun. 11:00 – 22:00

Dec. 24, 11:00 – 15:00


Christmas Village Altes AKH

In the courtyard of the former general hospital of Vienna, more holiday cheer can be found. Punsch, Glühwein, crafts, etc, sold by around 50 vendors as well as tours are offered, taking visitors around the old hospital and psychiatric ward. Like the one at Rathausplatz and Schönbrunn, this one is also child friendly.

Universitätscampus, Alserstrasse

Nov. 14 – Dec. 23

Mon. – Sat., 14:00 – 22:00, Sun. & Holidays, 11:00 – 22:00


Christmas Market

Schönbrunn Palace

This is the second largest market with around 60 stalls run by German, Austrian and Hungarian vendors, located in front of the famous Schönbrunn Palace. All the holiday favorites are available, and in addition, you can take a guided tour called "Christmas in Schönbrunn," in which guides take visitors on an informative stroll, telling stories of Christmas past.

Parade Court, in front of Schönbrunn Palace

Nov. 21 – Dec. 26

Mon. – Sun., 10:00 – 21:00, Dec. 24, 10:00 – 16:00, Dec. 25, 26, 10:00 – 18:00


Divina Art Christmas

Market on Karlsplatz

Some of the finest handicrafts by Central European artists can be found at Karlsplatz presented by an independent organization of artists called Divina Art. From unique hats and scarves, to woodwork and original ceramics, you can find a perfect gift for that friend that never seems satisfied with mainstream products.

Karlskirche, at Karlsplatz

Nov. 21 – Dec. 23

Mon. – Sun., 12:00 – 20:00

Other articles from this issue

  • A Late Night at Schwarzenbergplatz

    How wandering in Vienna at night might bring more than expected; after-hours in the backroom of a little-known café
    On The Town | Lauren Brassaw
  • Under the Wings of an Eagle

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    On The Town | Christian Cummins
  • Eyes On The Wall, Exhibit

    As East and West Germany were reunited, the future of the two halves became the focus of debates around Europe and the world
    News | Nayeli Urquiza
  • Art Dealer Doldrums

    Vienna auctions continue strong even as the crisis hits world markets
    On The Town | Natascha Eichinger
  • All articles from this issue

    the vienna review November 2009