From the middle of November until Christmas, Vienna's prettiest squares transform into magical Christmas markets. The aroma of Christmas baking and hot punch sets the mood in the run-up to Christmas.
A tall arched gateway with candles receives visitors at the entrance to City Hall Square for the Vienna Christmas World on Rathausplatz. The 150 or sales booths at the traditional Christmas Market offer Christmas gifts, Christmas tree decorations, handicrafts, culinary treats, confectionery and warming drinks. The trees in City Hall park and along the Ringstrasse boulevard radiate a festive glow. Visitors can skate over a 3,000 m² ice rink and along numerous paths through the park. The Children's World offers a carousel, a reindeer train and wonderful light installations in the park, which are based on Christmas stories for children.
Not far from here is the Christmas Village on Maria-Theresien-Platz, between the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna and the Naturhistorisches Museum Vienna. Over 70 booths offering traditional handicrafts and original gift ideas are set up here during Advent. Gospel choirs and music groups create a pre-Christmas atmosphere. The Christmas Village is replaced by the New Year's Village on 27 December. The romantic Christmas Village on the University Campus is also a popular meeting point during the run-up to Christmas, especially for students. With a children's railway and an old-fashioned carousel, the Christmas Village in the Altes AKH is also a big hit with families. Two curling lanes are also available.
The Old Viennese Christmas Market on Freyung in the city center is committed to tradition. A Christmas market was held here as early as 1772; today, it is a place to buy handicrafts, glass decorations, traditional mangers and ceramics. Festive Advent music can be heard on the square from 4.00 pm. Top-quality handicrafts can also be purchased a couple of steps further along at the Am Hof Advent Market. Christmas music and choral singing provide the perfect atmosphere.
The Christmas Market in front of Schönbrunn Palace offers romance in front of an imperial backdrop, and is converted into a New Year's market after Christmas. The atmospheric market offers traditional handicrafts, hand-made Christmas decorations, Christmas concerts and an extensive children's program, including Christmas workshop. The Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace enjoys an impressive Baroque background. The unique palace gardens provide an ideal site for a tranquil Christmas market with elegant handicrafts and culinary delights.
Art Advent on Karlsplatz offers a diverse children's program and above all handicrafts to buy. Further variety is provided by art installations, show workshops and live bands. All of the food on offer is organically certified. There are also numerous stalls full of artisans' wares in the idyllic tiny alleyways at the Christmas Market on Spittelberg and numerous other vendors with unique culinary gift ideas.
Entertainment is the word at the Winter Market on Riesenradplatz under the slogan "The Prater rocks". There are children's adventure rides, musical live acts from Gospel to Soul and Pop and a humorous show program here until 6 January. The Imperial and Royal Christmas Market on Michaelerplatz in front of the Imperial Palace mainly presents products of Austrian manufacturers, sweet treats, pewter figures, hand-made cribs and much more in its white huts.
The Christmas Market on Stephansplatz focuses on contemplation and tradition, with around 40 booths at the foot of St. Stephen's Cathedral offering high-quality products from Austria. The Advent pleasure market at the Opera House is all about culinary delights. Gingerbread, cheese, meats, punch and wine from regional producers get connoisseurs’ hearts racing.