When Vienna transforms into a glittering winter wonderland, even the hearts of the biggest Last Christmas grouches beat faster. Because Advent in Vienna enchants with an entertaining program of pre-Christmas events.
What does Advent in Vienna have in common with coriander? Clearly the polarizing force. Either you're a proud defender or a strident opponent. It's the same with Christmas: while some people change radio channel at the sound of the first Christmas song, others can hardly wait to fill their home with the aroma of freshly baked cookies. Our tips for Advent convince even the biggest of Christmas grouches.
They're known around the world, but the snow globe was invented in Vienna. If you're looking for the right Christmas mood, you should pay a visit to the Original Vienna Snow Globe Manufactory. Snow globes have been produced here for over 100 years. St. Stephen's Cathedral, the Giant Ferris Wheel, Schönbrunn Palace, and many other motifs can be found in the flurry of snow. By the way, the recipe for the snow's composition is a strictly guarded secret...
Hot chestnuts are as much a part of Advent as Christmas cookies and punch. Every corner in Vienna smells of this wintertime street food. To obtain their characteristic flavor, the chestnuts continue to be roasted over coal. What's more, the chestnut roasters are a historic relic. In the 18th century, Maria Theresa permitted a German minority in Slovenia to sell the edible chestnuts from their homeland as itinerant traders. Chestnut roasters define the city's streets in winter to this day. Your mission during the run-up to Christmas in Vienna: to choose your favorites from among the city's chestnut sellers.
A magical Advent ambience extends throughout the Hirschstetten Botanical Gardens in the pre-Christmas period in Vienna. A highlight is the floral Christmas exhibition, at which everything is based on popular Christmas songs. If you've had your fill of Feliz Navidad and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, you can enjoy charity punch and organic treats, browse for gifts at the traditional Christmas market, while the children do crafts and bake cookies.
The sight of it is sure to get everyone's mouth watering: the Demel show bakery creates artworks of Advent pleasure right in front of the guests' eyes. On Kohlmarkt, in the 1st district, baking is done at the former imperial and royal court confectioner for all its worth. In the run-up to Christmas, you can look over the shoulder of the confectioners as they bake cookies in the glass-walled show bakery. "To some extent, it's like a kitsch TV commercial," is the verdict of one visitor. And what would Advent in Vienna be without a hint of kitsch?