The Vienna Christmas Markets 2023 are officially operational! One of the earliest starting Christmas Markets in Europe, you’ll find them kicking off at the beginning of November. I’ve been so excited to tick these off my European Christmas Markets for the longest time and let me tell you they did not disappoint.
The Christmas Markets in Vienna are spread out across the city, you’ll have your choice of a Christmas Market set in the shadow of 2 castles, a remarkable city hall, and the modern Museum Quartier, as well as a handful of other picturesque areas. In terms of settings and backdrops, I think the Vienna Christmas Markets win hands down.
Visiting the Vienna Christmas Markets in 2023 was my first time to the city and to the country of Austria, and although my stay was incredibly brief (just around 32 hours), I managed to tick off all the Christmas Markets in Vienna, took a guided walking tour, visited the stunning National Library and toured Schönbrunn Palace. Phew. It was a lot, but I’m definitely going to return to Vienna again, it’s a fantastic city, and made a great first impression.
Vienna Christmas market map
Tips for the Vienna Christmas Markets
- ATMs are available at all of the Vienna Christmas Markets and that’s because cash is king. Most of the stalls that served food and drink displayed signs of ‘cash only’.
- Bring wet wipes. Mulled wine and all the delicious food can get sticky pretty quickly.
- Dress appropriately. Hats, scarves, and gloves are a must. And a good warm jacket is essential.
- Getting around Vienna is really easy with lots of trams, trains, and buses that will take you between places. It’s also incredibly walkable. I covered 28,000 steps in a single day – with a number of transport added in too.
Viennese Traditional Mug
With lots of places to choose from to drink your mulled wine, or punsch as it’s known in Vienna.
These adorably Vienna Christmas Market-themed mugs are a great souvenir to collect from each of the markets you visit around Europe. Each market you visit in Vienna has their own variation. I’m a big fan of the shoe-shaped mug that you’ll find in a few of the Christmas Markets in Vienna.
When you purchase a drink, you’ll also pay a €5 deposit fee. This is called a pfond. Most of the pfond for the decorative mugs were either €4 or €5. When you’ve finished your drinks and you want to return your mug, just bring it back to the cashier at the drink stall and they’ll give you your money in cash.
And if you want to keep your cute little mug, well you’ve paid the deposit of €5 so now its yours to keep! A cute little souvenir from the Vienna Christmas Markets.
Below you’ll find examples of the types of Viennese traditional mugs from this years Vienna Christmas Markets.
Rathausplatz christmas Markets
Whilst doing my research, time and time again, Rathausplatz was described as the best of the Vienna Christmas Markets. The setting against the dramatic city hall, the Rathausplatz Christmas Markets are the largest in Vienna, with an ice-staking rink and lots of adorable chalets selling food, drinks, and crafts.
Above the Wiener Christkindlmarkt entrance is an enormous archway that welcomes you to beautiful Rathausplatz, and it’s not just for tourists, but also for the two million Viennise that live in the city and from around the country.
In the center of Rathausplatz is a stunningly beautiful two-floor carousel that is breathtaking to watch, especially against the contrast of the ornate Rathausplatz building. I was quite envious of anyone who had the excuse of going on it, it would have felt a bit odd going on it by myself.
Ice Skating at Rathausplatz Christmas Markets
The ice-skating rink adjoins the side of the Rathausplatz Christmas Market and the prices were as follows:
Adult Ticket – €10
Child Ticket – €7
Ice Skates (unless you have your own with you) – €5.50 – €9 depending on your shoe size.
Admission is free for the ice-skating rink in Rathausplatz Christmas Markets after 9.30 pm, but you’ll have a limited time on the ice. Skates are discounted too after 9.30 pm.
The ice-skating rink is around until February at Rathausplatz if you are visiting after the Vienna Christmas Markets have finished in 2023.
You’ll also find the beautiful ‘Tree of Hearts’ which is decorated with dozens of illuminated hearts. Occasionally you’ll see a gigantic heart whizz across the night sky, and its beating heart flickers the hearts brighter and brighter.
Best Time to Visit the Rathausplatz Christmas Markets
I visited during the week an hour before closing in mid-November and found the Rathausplatz Christmas Market to be quite quiet. They were still busy, but I didn’t feel like I was being pushed from stall to stall and could take my time exploring.
The best time is of course in the evening when the Christmas Markets in Vienna are illuminated. You don’t have to wait long in the months of November and December with sunset usually just after 4 pm and darkness shortly after.
Dates: The Rathausplatz Christmas Market starts on November 10th, 2023 until December 26th, 2023.
Opening Times: Open daily from 10 am until 10 pm.
It’s impossible not to be wowed by Schönbrunn Palace. The former imperial palace of the royal family of the Austrian Empire, the Habsburgs, made Schönbrunn Palace their stunning home just outside the city limits of Vienna.
In front of Schönbrunn Palace, you’ll find a good selection of Christmas Market stalls, and the best local artisan stalls selling handmade Christmas ornaments, notebooks, Christmas wreaths and so much more.
The Christmas Markets of Schönbrunn Palace are in my opinion the best. The selection of food stalls was perhaps the most varied, with everything from wursts, and bretzels twice the size of your head, and lots of punsch stalls.
The market stalls were the best in terms of local artisan-produced goods, there were so many stalls in the Schönbrunn Palace that I wanted to buy from. From beautiful ornate Christmas figurines, wreaths, and beautiful ceramic flowers. Come prepared to add a few more pounds to your suitcase.
Head to Schönbrunn Palace in the early afternoon and spend the time visiting the incredible gardens of Schönbrunn Palace before heading indoors and taking a tour of the palace. And just as the sun starts to set, spend the next couple of hours eating and drinking your way around the Schönbrunn Palace Christmas Market as they start to illuminate.
At 8 pm attend the Schönbrunn Palace Orangery, where Mozart once played, and listen to the Schönbrunn Palace Orchestra perform a superb Christmas concert.
Dates: The Schönbrunn Palace Christmas Markets start on 18th November 2023 to the January 4th, 2024.
Opening Times: Open daily from 10 am to 9 pm.
Schönbrunn Palace is open from 10 am until 5 pm daily.
There was something about the Chrismas Village at Maria-Theresien Square that I just loved. It was one of my favorite Christmas Markets in Vienna.
I think what I loved about it was that it focused heavily on food and drink. There are a number of stalls selling handicrafts too, but the emphasis here seemed to be catching up with friends, and definitely a more local feel.
And I think that’s something about the Vienna Christmas Markets isn’t that they’re just for tourists, far from it. The markets in Vienna have been created for the people of the city, and have welcomed people from around Austria and far beyond to their beautiful Christmas Markets.
The Maria-Theresien-Platz Christmas Markets are sandwiched between the Natural History Museum and the fine arts museum, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien. This is one of the coziest of Christmas Markets in Vienna and a great place to have a couple of drinks and bites to eat at. I loved it!
Dates: The Maria-Theresien-Platz Christmas Markets are open from the 15th of November 2023 until the 31st of December.
Opening Times: Open from 11 am until 9 pm daily. On the weekends they extend their opening hour until 10 pm. After December 25th, the times change slightly and close at 7 pm.
Belvedere Palace Christmas Market
Belvedere Palace is where I honestly expected to bump into a real-life princess. The setting of the Belvedere Palace Christmas Market is beautiful. These Vienna Christmas Markets are set in the very romantic gardens of Belvedere Palace which is now an incredible art museum with artworks from Klimt & van Gogh on display.
Spend an early afternoon exploring the museum, before heading out to the stunning grounds and wait for the light to start fading before enjoying the Christmas Markets in Belvedere Palace.
The grounds of Belvedere Palace are outstanding. I felt like I was in a mini-Versailles as I walked around, expecting to bump into some ladies in hoop dresses from the 18th century.
The Christmas Markets in Belvedere Palace are enchanting and I think the setting really adds to them. I went during the day, and like most of the Christmas Markets in Vienna, they’re best visited during the evening when they’re lit up in all their glory.
With a number of stalls selling warm apple punch and different types of food, the Belvedere Palace Christmas Markets are gorgeous and I would imagine even more stunning in the evening.
Dates: The Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace starts on the 17th of November 2023 until the 26th of December 2023. The Belvedere Palace Christmas Village will then turn into the New Year’s Eve Village and run until the 31st of December 2023, finishing at 6 pm.
Opening Times: The Belvedere Christmas Market is open from 11 am until 9 pm each day. They do open an hour earlier on the weekends at 10 am. If you’re planning on visiting
St Stephen’s Square Christmas Village
Set beneath the soaring St Stephen’s Church you’ll find a small city-center Christmas Market. This Christmas market weaves around the base of the Gothic church and is perfectly situated in the heart of the city of Vienna. Nearby the streets are decorated so beautifully with enormous baubles on one of the main shopping streets of Vienna, Graben.
You’ll find a lot more stalls to grab a mulled wine at than to eat at. The St Stephen’s Square Christmas Market gives off the impression that it’s nice to stay at for a drink, but then you move on elsewhere. Cute, but there are better Christmas Markets in Vienna to visit.
Spittelberg Christmas Markets
So, I thought I had found the Spittelberg Christmas Markets but apparently whilst writing this post, I most definitely hadn’t. My Google Maps took me close, but not close enough.
The Spittelberg Christmas Markets are apparently some of the coziest markets in Vienna set along a restored alleyway that dates back to Medieval times. Linger along the street, sipping on a hot drink and browse the stalls. And let me know how they are.
What I did find were the nearby MuseumQuartier Christmas Markets which were just drink stalls, an art installation and a curling game. There was a great vibe here and it was fun to watch the curling game and find one of the more unusual Viennese traditional mugs.
More Christmas Markets in Vienna
There are a smaller amount of Christmas Markets in Vienna that are more spread out, or have later opening dates.
- Am Hof Christmas Market
- Prater has a small Christmas Market set up, which if you’re planning on visiting is a bonus.
- University Campus Christmas Markets
Vienna christmas market food
One of the best things about any of the European Christmas Markets is the food! And the Vienna Christmas Markets are no exception. You’ll find a huge number of things to nibble on as you make your way from market to market.
Lángos – A Hungarian fried dough that can be served with a number of toppings. Sour cream and grated cheese seemed to be a popular option.
Maroni – Roasted chestnuts.
Sausages/Hot-Dogs – Different variations and fillings.
Überbackene Brote – Toasted open-face sandwiches with a variety of toppings. Cheese/Ham/Leek & Black sausage/onions.
Bread Soup Bowls – various flavors of soups presented in a bread bowl.
Ofenkartoffel – Baked potatoes with different toppings.
Käseraclettebrot – Raclette cheese melted onto bread, toppings can be added like bacon or truffle.
where to stay in Vienna for christmas markets
Vienna seems like a really accessible city to get around. There are plenty of options of hopping on a tram, bus or train to your destination, and the city is quite flat.
I stayed a 10-minute tram ride from Rathausplatz, and you can easily walk around the city, often times Google Maps was telling me it was faster to walk than get local transport.
A ring road, or boulevard runs around the perimeter of the older part of the city and the newer part.
Stadtaffe Chic Hostel Vie – I stayed in Stadtaffe Chic Hostel Vie during my trip as I was in Vienna for such a short period of time and wasn’t planning on spending any time relaxing as I had a lot to tick off my list. The hostel was fantastic and actually restored my faith in what a good hostel can look like and be. Clean, modern, and has a great location.
Flemings Selection Hotel Wien-City – A mid-range hotel a 5-minute walk from the beautiful Rathausplatz and line U2 – the location is superb.
Ritz-Carlton, Vienna – Complete your perfect Vienna Christmas Market in the most perfect and dreamy luxurious hotel in Vienna. Chic, modern and with splashes of glamour throughout, this is a bucket-list hotel if ever there was one.