Where Is the Best Austria Christmas Market? A Guide

Hellbrunn Christmas Market

Austria is well known for its excellent Christmas Markets and festive atmosphere come December. But there are so many more besides the ones in Vienna and Salzburg. So which is the best Austrian Christmas Market? Read on to find out.

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Where Is the Best Austria Christmas Market? A Guide

Austria Christmas Market in Salzburg
Wooden Christmas tree hangers

Top 5 Must Eats/Drinks at Austrian Christmas Markets

  1. Mulled wine
  2. Gingerbread
  3. Christmas cookies
  4. Sausages and soup
  5. Feuerzangenbowle
Austria Christmas Market
Chocolate Santa and Krampus

What to Bring for Austrian Christmas Markets

  • Winter clothes – Winters in Austria can be really cold. Expect snow fall, chilly breezes and temperatures below freezing, the higher into the mountains you get. (Always check daily weather reports to stay updated and plan your tip accordingly.)
    Therefore, wear mittens, wooly hats, a heavy scarf as well as a cold and wind proof coat. I prefer wearing thermal underwear and super warm socks as well because when standing on a crowded Christmas market in Austria, your feet will cool down pretty quickly and the cold will creep up on you.
  • Travel guides – Eating all the wonderful Christmas fare and stocking up on Christmas presents is key. However, there are so many more things to do on and around Austrian Christmas markets. If you have a Lonely Planet Travel guide, you will easily find local museums (both big and small), insider restaurants and have quick access to Austrian phrases to use when shopping.
  • Shoulder bag – Christmas markets are super busy and crowded, which means there is potential for pickpocketing. Avoid wearing backpacks as they can easily be opened without your notice and they might end up in people’s faces anyway. A sling bag, you can wear in front of you and easily get your money out as well. Opt for one with a zipper and flap for added protection.
  • Austria Christmas Market Hellbrunn

  • Empty Stomach – It should go without saying that you will want to indulge at an Austrian Christmas Market. There is a lot of Austrian Christmas food and drink to be had. Austrian cuisine isn’t the light kind either and comes with a lot of meat (hearty food) as well as butter and sugar (sweets). Vegetarian food is harder to come by but also available.
  • Hand warmer – On especially cold days, wearing layers and heavy winter clothes just isn’t enough. Filling up a big thermal flask with a hot beverage and drinking hot mulled wine (there is a nonalcoholic version too) is a good idea. But if you have constantly cold hands like I do, better get a hand warmer. You just have to squeeze it to active the heat. To “reset” it, slowly bring to boil in a pot with warm water.

  • Read this too: Your Ultimate Winter Vacation Packing List

    Wiener Weihnachtstraum, photo credit: www.wien.gv.at

    Top 15 Christmas Markets in Austria

    1. vienna Christmas Market Christmas World

    2. Vienna is by far the Christmas Market capital of Austria and one of the most stunning European Christmas markets, with its various historic Christmas markets. The most famous, however, is Christmas World , which is hosted on Rathausplatz (Townhall square).

      Here, you can find traditional Christmas gifts and decorations, such as baubles, wooden figures, and Austrian Christmas ornaments. Of course, you can eat food while also shopping for Christmas confectionary and treats.

      Dates: 16 November – 26 December 2018
      Address: City Hall Square, Rathausplatz, 1010 Wien

      Save money: Get free admission and public transport with the Vienna PASS

      Salzburg Christkindlmarket with kid brass player
      Photo: www.christkindlmarkt.co.at, Salzburg
    3. Salzburg Christkindlmarkt

    4. Spread out over the two biggest market squares in Salzburg, the Christkindl Market is a sight to behold. Dating back to the 15th century, this market has quite the tradition. (The Christmas Museum is right next door if you want to learn more.)

      The Christkindlmarkt offers plenty of huts selling Christmasy fares, gifts, drinks and more. All is held underneath a canopy of fairy lights, known as the “starry sky”. Time it right and you can listen to the traditional brass concerts echoing from the towers on Advent Saturdays and Thursdays. For a very special nightmarish treat, visit during the Krampuslauf with over 100 Krampus.

      Dates: 22 November – 26 December 2018 | 21 November 2019 – 26 November 2019
      Address: Dom- & Residenzplatz, 5020 Salzburg, Austria

      Watch the video: The “Krampuslauf” in Salzburg

      Hellbrunn Christmas Market
    5. Hellbrunn Adventszauber Christmas Market

    6. Do you know the Sound of Music? It was filmed at Hellbrunn Palace . Not only can you visit the area and check out original filming locations around the garden and orangery, but there is a Christmas Market as well. It is called Adventzauber (advent magic) and certainly delivers on the name.

      This Salzburg Christmas Market is one of my favourites as it feels more intimate and romantic but just as charming as the bigger, more central ones. There are plenty of Christmas trees and moe unique souvenirs, handcrafted items and local confectionary on sale. Take the bus 25 for 20 minutes from Salzburg to get there.

      Dates: 22 November – 24 December 2018
      Address: Fürstenweg 37, 5020 Salzburg, Austria

      Save money: Get free admission and public transport with the Salzburg Card

      Winterlandschaft Schönbrunn
      Winterlandschaft Schönbrunn, photo credit: MTSWien
    7. Vienna Schönnbrunn Palace Christmas Market

    8. If you want a very grand Christmas market in Vienna, then make your way to Schönbbrun Palace. The palace itself is a beauty but illuminated with glorious Christmas lights – already along the paths and in the trees, it turns into a proper winter wonderland.

      The market is undoubtedly one of the best Christmas markets in Austria and specializes in local handicraft and art items as well as more rustic and traditional Christmas tree decorations. The market doesn’t stop once Christmas is over, though. So you can visit even throughout the New year until Three Kings Day.

      Address: Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Wien, Austria
      Dates: 24 November 2018 – 6 January 2019 | 23 November 2019 – 6 January 2020

      Innsbruck’s Altstadt Christmas market
      Innsbruck’s Altstadt Christmas market, photo credit: www.presse.tirol.at
    9. Innsbruck Old Town Christmas Market

    10. One of the cutest towns in Austria is Innsbruck and its historic centre makes for the perfect backdrop to its traditional Christmas Market . It is very traditional and utterly romantic with 70 Christmas market stalls.

      The Golden Roof is an iconic attraction in Innsbruck and you can listen to the Austrian Turmbläser (brass brands) during live performances fort hat extra warm Austrian Christmas feeling.

      Dates: 15 November – 23 December 2018
      Address: In front of the Golden Roof, Innsbruck Historic Centre

      Linz Christmas Market
      Linz Christmas Market, photo credit: www.austrio.info
    11. Linz Christmas Market

    12. The Christkindlmarkt in Linz is a quaint little gem among the Austrian Christmas markets. Located next to the Linz Palace, you can really indulge in a Baroque Christmas Market feel at Linz.

      The city goes all out with the golden city lights and the real Christmas tree is towering high above the many market stalls. If you are a foodie with a sweet tooth, get a piece of the “Linzer Torte” (cake).

      Dates: 17 November – 24 December 2018
      Address: Hauptplatz, 4020 Linz, Austria

      Graz Christmas Market
      Graz Christmas Market, photo credit: www.austrio.info
    13. Graz Christmas Market

    14. Graz also has several Christmas Markets. The most prominent being the Hauptplatz Christmas Market right at the City Hall. It feels like a cozy little Christmas village and offers live performances and events at the “Engelsspiel” pavilion.

      A must drink beverage (if you drink alcohol) is the Feuerzangenbowle, a hot sugar punch that really packs a punch. (Why not watch the famous German movie after your visit?)

      Dates: 23 November to 24 December 2018
      Address: Hauptplatz 1, 8010 Graz, Austria

      Kitzbühel Christmas Market
      Kitzbühel Christmas Market, photo credit: Michael Paraskevas
    15. Kitzbühel Christmas Market

    16. Kitzbühel is a picturesque town in Tyrol and well known for its winter spots and epic snow slopes. During winter, you can really soak up the Austrian Christmas spirits with its live events, wonderful Austrian Christmas decorations and the many stalls.

      To experience the Austrian Christmas tradition of St Nicholas, visit on December 6 to see him give out sweets to kids. On any December day up to Christmas Day, you can see a new window being opened creating a huge, walkable Advent Calender. Check the event calendar for more activities and concerts.

      Dates: November 28 to December 23 2018
      Address: Kitzbühel, 6370 Kitzbühel, Austria

      Christmas Market Maria-Theresien-Straße
      Christmas Market Maria-Theresien-Straße, photo credit: www.presse.tirol.at
    17. Innsbruck Maria Theresien Street Christmas Market

    18. Another iconic Christmas Market in Innsbruck can be found along Maria Theresien Street. Unlike its more traditional neighboring Historic Centre Christmas Market in Innsbruck, this one is more modern with fantastic light installations and especially the illuminated mountain crystal.

      Your Christmas shopping can be done in any of the around 30 Christmas market stalls. It doesN#t close before Christmas but goes on until Epiphany Day in 2019.

      Date: 25 November 2018 to 6 January 2019
      Address: Maria-Theresien-Straße, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria

      Christmas MarketHungerburg
      Christmas MarketHungerburg, photo credit: www.presse.tirol.at
    19. Hungerburg Christmas Market

    20. This Christkindlmarkt is located in the biggest nature park in Austria! The Hungerburg fortress offers a scenic lookout over the city and snow capped mountains in the distance.

      If you don’t want to walk up the mountain, take the furnicular from Congress lift station in Innsbruck.

      Date: 25 November to 23 December 2018
      Address: Christkindlmarkt Hungerburg, Hermann-Buhl-Platz Höhenstraße 151

      Glockenspielplatz Christmas Market
      Glockenspielplatz Christmas Market, photo credit: Graz Tourismus – Harry Schiffer

      Glockenspielplatz Christmas Market

      Styria is a state in Austria and serves as the central theme for this very local Christmas market . Naturally, you can find plenty of regional delicacies and handmade products.

      For typical Styrian Christmas products, look for Christmas socks, Christmas cookies (e.g. “Buchteln”), sausage soup and advent duck with fir honey.

      Dates: 23 November to Sunday, 23 December 2018:
      Address: Glockenspielpl.8010 Graz, Austria

      Adventmarkt in the Blumengärten Hirschstetten
      Christmas Market at the Botanical Garden Hirschstetten, photo credit: www.Wien.gv.at
    21. Hirschstetten Botanical Garden Christmas Market

    22. Have you ever celebrated Christmas at a Botanical Garden? You can do that in Austria’s capital . Where flowers bloom in summer, during December festive stalls and decorations sprout as the scenery turns Christmasy.

      Stock up on classical beeswax candles and enjoy the floral Christmas decoration and live music. By the way, this year’s slogan is “Shining Advent”.

      Dates: 22 November – 23 December 2018
      Address: Blumengärten Hirschstetten, Quadenstraße 15, 1220 Vienna, Austria

      Christmas snow globes in Austria
      Christmas snow globes
    23. “Christmas Magic” at Wilhelminenberg Palace

    24. A grand view over Vienna’s Christmas lights can be had from one of its fabulous Christmas markets. With Wilhelminenberg Palace as the wonderful set, dig right into the delectable cuisine and feast on mulled wine and punch. Food and drink are part and parcel of the perfect Christmas in Vienna!

      On December 6 you can see the Saint St Nicholas visit and bestow little treats on eager children.

      Dates: 16 November – 23 December 2018
      Address: Wilhelminenberg, Savoyenstraße 2, 1160 Wien

      Klagenfurt Christmas Market
      Klagenfurt Christmas Market, photo credit: www.visitklagenfurt.at
    25. Klagenfurt Christmas Market

    26. Klagenfurt is the sixth largest city in Austria and the capital city of the Austrian province of Carinthia. It sits snugly by Lake Wörthersee and gets excessively charming when covered in snow and Christmas lights.

      In front of the city hall, you can experience a traditional Christmas market complete with regional handcrafted souvenirs and sacred music. To realy soak up traditional music, take a seat in Landhaushof on Fridays.

      Dates: 17 November -23 December 2018
      Address: Neuer Pl.9020,Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Austria

    27. Neugebäude Palace Christmas Market

    28. A green Christmas market in Austria, the Advent market at Neugebäude Palace offers a modern take on classic Christmas markets. On sale are artworks, handicrafts and local items.

      As always, you can expect cultural programs and concerts to take place around the trader booths.

      Dates: 30 November – 2 December, 6 – 9 December, 13 – 16 December 2018
      Address: Schloss Neugebäude Palace, Otmar-Brix-Gasse 1, 1110 Wien

      Oberndorf St. Nikola church
      Photo: https://press.austria.info/

      Christmas Market Tours

      The biggest cities in Austria don’t just have one measly Christmas market, they have multiple ones! To hear and see the best spots for food sampling, local handcrafts and their long standing history, I highly recommend getting in on a local guided tour. I myself did tours around Salzburg’s Christmas markets and loved to hear the unique stories. (And get a heads up of the Krampus tradition.)

      For Vienna’s Christmas Markets, you can join a four hour tour that covers four of the markets. Along the tour, there are plenty opportunities to sip on the rum and cookies that are included in the tour. Check available tour spots now.

      For Salzburg, why not witness a very unique Christmas event, namely that of a Christmas concert at Hohensalzburg. The fortress towers high above the city and offers marvelous views and paired with traditional music, you will feel as festive as possible. Reserve your seat way in advance as this event sells out quickly.

      Oberndorf, Austria at Christmas
      Photo: https://press.austria.info/

      You probably know the song “Silent Night”. But did you know it was invented by a small chapel in Oberndorf near Salzburg? There are special tours visiting this place and telling you the amazing story behind this all time classic. Check tour dates here. You can even visit on Christmas Eve!

      Photographers will love this 150 minute small group tour I found. There is a vintage Polaroid tour through Vienna’s Christmas market scene, which offers you an entirely fresh perspective on capturing the magical Christmas moments. You can chat to your tour guide about unique angles and compositions, too. (It’s suitable for beginners as well.) Check available dates here.

      Klagenfurt Christmas Market
      Klagenfurt Christmas Market, photo credit: www.visitklagenfurt.at

      So What Is the Best Austrian Christmas Market?

      The answer isn’t so simply, which is why I created this list. It depends on what kind of Christmas atmosphere you are looking for – more modern, traditional, historic or scenic? Whether you prefer cities or nature. What type of handicrafts and Christmas gifts you are looking for. So what type of Christmas in Austria did you have in mind?

      Tell me, which Christmas Market in Austria appealed to you the most?

      Read next:

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