A Christmas tree here, an illuminated street there, everywhere the fragrance of chestnuts, gingerbread and punch – Vienna is getting dressed up for Christmas.
Everywhere you look, squares, neighbourhoods and parks are turning into atmospheric Advent markets, and the fragrance of Christmas hangs over the entire city. Every Christmas market has its own speciality. A classic for lovers is the Christkindlmarkt on Rathausplatz with its Advent Magic in the Rathauspark. Countless couples have kissed under the "Little Heart Tree".
Christmas Market on Vienna's City Hall Square (15.11. until 24.12.)
The Spittelberg Christmas Market is also a romantic location. All kinds of punch and culinary delights are to be found in the narrow streets of the former suburb that gives you a glimpse of Vienna in the early 1800s. The Schönbrunn Christmas Market has an imperial touch: adults will admire the Maria Theresa perfume flacons and hand-blown Empress Sisi medallions, while children are given the opportunity to learn about the traditional handicrafts of some of the exhibitors and also try their skills.
The Advent Market on Karlsplatz specialises in handicrafts, and you can stroll from stall to stall and find inspiration for Christmas presents. In the city centre it is also possible to shop in the Altwiener Christkindlmarkt on Freyung or enjoy a warming glass of mulled wine at the Am Hof Advent Market.
Christmas villages have been set up in front of Belvedere Palace, on Maria-Theresien-Platz and on the campus of the Altes AKH. They offer train rides and old-fashioned roundabouts for children, while adults can savour the culinary delights including rum ball or aperol punch, baked potatoes, waffles or doughnuts, and chocolate-covered fruit. There is also a curling rink to burn off the excess calories. Schloss Wilhelminenberg, an elegant mansion on a hill overlooking the city, offers not only a fantastic view of Vienna but also ample opportunity for exercise with its traditional "On Ice" curling and ice skating. There is also a small market to set the mood.
The MuseumsQuartier is the coolest place in the winter and offers plenty of attractive activities: drinking punch in the Ice Pavilion, listening to winter sounds, playing curling, racing remote-controlled vehicles round the curved track - with winter light projections to give the entire inner courtyard and forecourt a magic flair.
The Winter Market next to the Giant Ferris Wheel breathes enjoyment into the cold Viennese air. Although most of the rides in the funfair are closed for the winter, visitors can still soar through the air on the flying swing or take a turn on the bumper cars.
The Hof Palace Christmas Village is a worthwhile excursion destination and can be reached conveniently by bus from Vienna. Visitors will find a traditional country Christmas there. The arcade court offers a genuine imperial Christmas fairy-tale, and children will be fascinated by the manger and petting zoo.