by Kurt Schmidt:
For anyone that loves Christmas, Music, and Travelling Vienna at Christmas is a must see destination.
Christmas Season Officially starts on November 14 with the opening of the first Christmas Markets at "Rat Hall" or translated properly City Hall. Other Christmas Markets open over the next few days and by late November all the Christmas Markets are open.
City Hall Market is by far the largest and most crowded but well work at least one visit. If your more in a family affair you can't beat the Christmas Market at Karls Platz. There is everything for the entire family to enjoy. The Highlight for the youngest in your family will be the Petting zoo with a very Christmas setting.
This Christmas Market might just be the easiest of all to find and get to as it is right at one of the largest subway stations in Vienna.
Make sure to explorer all of Vienna there are a great many Christmas markets. Go out into the "sub-burbs'" which are only 5 minutes from central Vienna via bus or subway. And incase this your first time in Vienna the locals spell it "Wien". See below for our favorite Christmas Markets in Vienna.
Even at Christmas Vienna is a city of music. Christmas is a time between other major events in Vienna because Christmas is the Major event. Even So there are still great musicals, Chamber orchestra, plays, operas and more to see. Before you leave get on the plane make sure you have purchased your tickets to the show you want to see. Most shows are for a small crowd and group tours can some times book them out well in advance.
Besides seeing a show, you must visit Belvedere at night during Christmas and take a picture. The cover photo for this piece is Belvedere Palace at night. During the day is also a great time to go into Belvedere Palace and see the museum.
The one thing no one tells people coming to Vienna is that Vienna is CLOSED on Sundays. Don’t plan on going shopping for anything or Eating out at local eatery on Sunday nothing will be open. If you need a day to recover or want to day to see the city on foot Sunday is the day.
While you’re at the Christmas markets make sure to get some Christmas punch or “Weihnachtspunsch”. Every Market has its own unique cup that you can “rent” or keep. You pay your deposit for your first cup, and just pay for refills. At the end of the night you can keep it or return it for your deposit back. Christmas Punch comes in dozens of flavors so if you don’t like the first one or even the second one there are plenty more to try.
Another must visit location is GRABEN AND KÄRNTNER STRASS there is a Christmas market here but the Lights and Carriage Rids are the must do activity. You will also get a good tour of the local area and may find a great many shops you want to revisit during the day. Did I say? Your first trip here should be after dark so you can see the lights. Due to the Church’s location and the major subway station under it you probable be back here several times.
One of those other activities you should book as soon as you have a date set for Vienne is the Spanish Riding School. You can get tickets the day of, but you will be standing and there will be columns and people in front of you. Best to book the “royal” seats which are the only seats that can see the entire show.
You have plenty of choice were to eat in Vienna but if your expecting sit down service you better make a reservation.
You can get stuffed at the Christmas markets with everything from sweets to full meals.
If you’re not short on time, and you love to ski it is will worth renting a car and driving up to one of the ski resorts neat Salzburg. While you there you should also visit the Castle and the local Christmas market. If your not that great with navigation its no problem, when renting the car make sure to get GPS, have them put the car into English, AND most important of all ensure you are allowed to take it into Germany. That means pay for the vignette aka toll Sticker for Germany, it is a flat rate per day. Salzburg is very close to Germany, if your great at navigation and your not going to Germany you can save the money.
Make sure you go up to the TOP of the castle as there is a museum and Christmas market. You can walk up or take the tram up (if you’re in great shape)
Another great sight to see is Krumpas if you’re going to be in Vienna on December 6 make sure to buy tickets in advance and arrange a car to go the festival outside Vienna, there is no bus or subway service to the Festival. If that is too much there is also a Krampus Parade on December 5 in the heat of Vienna.
For Our list of top markets (in order by which ones you must see if you have limited time)
Viennese Dream Christmas Market
@city hall - family friendly
Christmas Village on Maria-Theresien-Platz
About 200 yards/meters away from City hall. The Best place to find Crafts.
Christmas Market at Spittelberg
Great for Couples or an Adult Crowd. (Kids would get board)
Art Advent - Art & Crafts on Karlsplatz
This is on that the kids would love.
Christmas and New Year's Market at Schönbrunn Palace
If you’re going to Schönbrunn Palace stop by… If your not it is out of your way.
Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace
Old Viennese Christmas Market Freyung
Christmas Village on the University Campus
For a Full list of Christmas markets in Vienna please visit Vienna’s official page.