Austria is, without a doubt, one of the most enchanting places to spend winter in Europe. With a crisp chill in the air, a very good chance of snow, and gorgeous Baroque architecture, Austria looks its best in the winter season!
If you can visit this remarkable country in the run-up to Christmas, you’re in for an incredible treat. The country goes all in for Christmas in a huge way, with an almost never-ending number of Christmas markets scattered throughout the major cities and small towns.
We understand that you’ve only got a short amount of time to spend in Austria and you don’t want to waste it. To make sure you have a wonderful time this holiday season, we’ve put together a list of the absolute best Christmas markets in Austria. Whether you visit one or all 15, you’re guaranteed to have an amazing and festive trip to Austria this December!
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15 Fun and Festive Christmas markets in Austria
1. Innsbruck Old Town Christmas Market
You’ll find the city’s magical Old Town Christmas Market in the historic part of Innsbruck from mid-November until Christmas. Nestled in front of the famous Golden Roof landmark and surrounded by romantic medieval buildings, the market is a wonderful place to wander and get into the festive spirit.
The stalls here are a real treasure trove of trinkets. You’ll find everything from personalized Christmas decorations and warm winter clothing to typical Innsbruck souvenirs and loads of traditional Austrian gifts. To make your experience even more enchanting, Austrian Turmbläser (brass bands) play classic Christmas songs from the Golden Roof!
For the best view of the market, we recommend heading up to the viewing platform. From up here, you’ve got a bird’s-eye view of the stalls, their twinkling lights, and all the shoppers enjoying the run-up to Christmas!
While you’re here, it’s definitely worth checking out the neighboring Kiebachgasse street opposite the Erzherzog-Friedrich-Straße. Throughout December, this street is transformed into a place of legends, with famous characters from folk stories and fairy tales displayed all along it.
2. Salzburg City Center Christmas Market
One of the oldest Christmas markets in Austria, Salzburg’s City Center Christmas Market dates all the way back to the 15th century. It’s tucked away inside the Hohensalzburg fortress and expands around the emblematic Cathedral of Salzburg, giving it a spellbinding atmosphere you’ll fall in love with.
This market boasts an incredible program of events to help you get into the Christmas mood. From choir performances in front of the cathedral and Turmblasen (wind instrument) performances in Residenz Square to nativity scene displays in the Residenz courtyard and Krampus parades that move through the city’s streets, there’s absolutely loads going on.
You’ll find around 100 different stalls here, making this market a fantastic place to pick up a souvenir or some gifts for friends and family back home. You can shop for festive floral arrangements, Christmas decorations, winter fashion, handmade children’s toys, and beautiful jewelry, among many other bits and pieces.
The food is absolutely fantastic! You can treat yourself to everything from traditional Christmas sweets and piping hot coffee to gourmet hot dogs and the iconic Austrian punch. Whatever you’re craving, you’re sure to find it here!
3. Linz Main Square Christmas Market
For an alluring Christmas market with a real Olde Worlde feel, head to Linz and visit the main square in December. At this time of year, the bustling square is transformed into a joyous winter market teeming with beautiful stalls, dazzling Christmas lights, and a huge and beautifully decorated Christmas tree.
The gorgeous Baroque buildings surrounding the square make this one of the best Christmas markets in Austria. Add into the mix light-hearted festive music, a winter chill in the air, wonderful smells coming from the food stalls, and countless cheery faces, and you’ll find yourself in one of the most magical places to be in Linz at this time of year.
Although Austria typically has icy-cold winters, you don’t have to worry about shivering here. There are plenty of market stalls selling all sorts of yummy things to help you warm up. From spiced gingerbread men and deliciously rich raclette cheese to traditional mulled wine and all kinds of different punches, you’ll never stay cold for long.
4. Graz City Hall Advent Market
Set in front of the city hall in Hauptplaz Square, the Graz Advent Market is a welcoming scene of brightly-lit stalls, Christmas decorations, dazzling Christmas trees, and bustling people. It may be one of the smaller Austrian Christmas markets on this list, but what it lacks in scale, it makes up for in a friendly, intimate, and traditional atmosphere.
There are a number of gorgeously decorated Christmas trees scattered throughout the market, but the focal point is definitely the main tree that towers above the market and even the nearby townhouses. Next to it, you’ll find a classic children’s carousel, which your little ones can enjoy whizzing around while you indulge in a little nostalgia.
The market stalls sell the typical Christmas gifts, decorations, food, and drinks, with one special exception. Here you’ll find a beverage called Feuerzangenbowle. This local drink is an exciting combination of wine and rum that is set on fire! You’ll have no problem keeping warm with one of those in your gloved hands!
5. Viennese Dream Christmas Market
If you’re searching for Christmas markets in Austria, the Viennese Dream Christmas Market is one of the most spectacular in the whole country. Laid out in front of the city hall, this market features a dramatic backdrop that perfectly sets the tone for the astonishing and emotional experience you can expect from an evening here.
You’ll find all kinds of top-notch gifts, food, and drink on sale. From Victorian-style lollipops, roasted chestnuts, and giant pretzels to glass decorations, handmade jewelry, and gorgeous mementos from Vienna, this market is an amazing place to shop for one-of-a-kind trinkets.
Opposite the Christmas market, you’ll find a large park. Take a walk around and see how many secrets and surprises you can discover. Each year it’s full of themed lights, decorations, and wonderful things to find.
The city hall building even plays a part in the festive events. Throughout December, when the market’s open, you’ll find all kinds of workshops for kids on the ground floor. Take them inside, and they’ll have the chance to learn how to make beautiful Christmas candles and cookies.
Stop by the city hall on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, and you’ll also get to witness a beautiful international choir concert for free!
6. Klagenfurt Christmas Market on Neuer Platz
If you’re a fan of glittering Christmas lights and festive decorations, you’ll love the Klagenfurt Christmas Market. Almost every inch of this annual market is blanketed in white fairy lights, fake pine branches, and artificial snow. It regularly snows in Klagenfurt in the run-up to Christmas, so the faux snow isn’t always necessary!
The largest and most colorful Christmas market in Carinthia, the Klagenfurt Christmas Market boasts over 50 stalls run by all kinds of craftspeople, artisans, merchants, and chefs.
The Lindwurm Dragon is usually the focal point of this square. But throughout December, the highlight is the colossal Christmas tree, adorned in all kinds of lights and decorations. There’s also a selfie station where you can snap a pic and upload it online, thanks to the city’s free Wi-Fi.
On Tuesdays, the Christmas market treats seniors to guided city walks, special discounts, and an enchanting music program. If you’re looking for something a little livelier, visit the market on an evening between Thursday and Sunday to watch live music performances on the main stage.
7. Innsbruck Christmas Market Maria-Theresien Straße
Between late November and early January each year, Innsbruck’s main shopping street takes on a new personality and becomes the hotspot for festive flair. Up until December 25, the street is taken over by a fantastic Innsbruck Christmas market. After the big day, it transforms into a New Year’s market up until January 6.
The place where traditional and modern come together, this street is lined by contemporary glass-fronted shops, with the rustic, wooden Christmas market huts nestled into the center. The huge amount of choice makes it a wonderful opportunity to pick up all your gifts in one spot, whoever you’re shopping for.
In addition to the 30 stalls selling handmade children’s toys, artisan Innsbruck souvenirs, freshly-grilled hot dogs, and mugs of steaming mulled wine, the Christmas market also boasts some giant decorations. Huge baubles twice the size of the stalls and real trees covered in twinkling lights add a whimsical atmosphere to the market and make you feel like a little kid!
8. Salzburg Advent Magic in Hellbrunn
The Salzburg Advent Magic is one of the most unique Christmas markets in Austria, thanks to its one-of-a-kind attractions you really won’t find anywhere else. A must-visit place whether you’re traveling as a family, a couple, or on your own, there truly is something for everyone here.
With pony rides, a petting zoo, a children’s bakery, and the chance to grill delicious Austrian sausages over an open fire, little ones will have an amazing time here. There’s even a Christmas post office where they can post their letters to Santa and a Krampus station where they can learn all about the scary Austrian tale.
Couples will have a wonderful time following the romantic walk that takes you past fountains bathed in delicate lighting, through Baroque grottos, and over to the spectacular Star Pond. There’s also a huge 8-meter-tall Christmas angel to admire with a flowing dress that blows in the wind.
One of the many highlights of this market is the façade of the Schloss Hellbrunn. Not only does the palace provide an excellent backdrop, but its 24 windows are transformed in December to make a giant advent calendar!
9. Christmas Market in the Volksgarten
The Christmas Market in the Volksgarten is one of the best markets to visit if you’ve got small children. Here you’ll find a number of child-friendly rides, as well as a cute and festive train that travels around the market.
Our favorite thing about this place was that it gives you a great insight into just how difficult it is to make all the wonderful things you see on sale. Many of the stalls have special displays where you can watch the artisan or craftsperson show off their skills. Take a walk around, and you’ll be able to see how jewelry, metal products, wooden toys, and works of art are all lovingly created by locals.
The nativity play is also definitely worth checking out. Held every 30 minutes between 3 pm and 8 pm, the short performances feature fantastic special effects and a beautiful classical music soundtrack that will really get you into the festive spirit.
Be on the lookout for groups of Perchten wandering around the market! These scary figures are said to banish winter and all its evil spirits.
10. Graz Franciscan Quarter Old Town Traditional Christmas Market
The oldest Christmas market in Graz, this traditional market is set in front of the city’s Franciscan church and is full of local products you won’t come across anywhere else in Austria. The stalls boast a fantastic selection of specialties made at local farms and unique Styrian handicrafts, as well as all the mulled wine, mulled cider, and Austrian punch you can drink.
A wonderful choice if you’re in search of a more classical experience, this Christmas market focuses on rural traditions and the people who continue to follow them today. This gives the place a magical, time-honored atmosphere that will make you feel like you’ve stepped into the past.
At the entrance to the church, you’ll find a superb nativity scene that features real sheep! There’s also a traditional carousel with hand-painted horses and loads of cute stalls filled with children’s toys.
The Old Town Traditional Christmas Market closes on December 24 but opens again on December 26 when it becomes a New Year’s market. The decorations are a little different, and there’s no nativity scene, but there are still stalls and the carousel.
11. Vienna Christmas Village Belvedere Palace
Laid out in front of one of the most emblematic buildings in Vienna, the Christmas Village Belvedere Palace is one of the most romantic, impressive, and beguiling Christmas markets in Austria. Surrounded by magnificent Baroque architecture and full of outstanding local gifts, this market will make you feel like royalty.
You’ll find more than 40 festively decorated stalls here that focus on superior quality arts and crafts. Jewelry made from amber and Murano glass, fragrant handmade soaps, beautifully scented candles, hand-painted ceramics, and drinking horns made from real horns are just some of the things you can pick up here.
While the market stalls are wonderful to wander around, it’s the surroundings that really make this market shine. The detailed façade of the palace illuminated with golden lights and the reflections of star-shaped decorations dazzling in the nearby water make this place look like a winter postcard that’s come to life!
Like many other Christmas markets in Austria, the Christmas Village Belvedere Palace turns into a New Year’s market between December 26 and early January.
12. Vienna Christmas Village on Maria Theresien Square
Tucked in between the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Art, the Vienna Christmas Village is home to some of the most phenomenal Christmas lights in Austria. Definitely best visited after dark, the illuminations alone are the reason why this is considered one of the best Austrian Christmas markets!
From the dramatic brilliance of the Natural History Museum and the bright, cozy interiors of the market’s wooden huts to the bright and colorful entrance archway and the individual bushes carefully adorned with twinkling lights, some serious thought has gone into decorating this market.
Here you’ll find stalls selling all the usual wonderful and drool-worthy Austrian treats. From woolen hats to grilled sausages, handmade cards to smoked cheese, and delicate jewelry to aromatic mulled wine – everything you need to celebrate the holidays is right here.
The festive stalls wind their way around a beautifully manicured topiary, artistically lit fountains, and the iconic Empress Maria Theresa monument. Even if you’re not planning on buying anything, follow the stalls, and you’ll discover one of the most beautiful winter walks in Vienna!
13. Innsbruck Marktplatz Family Christmas Market
One of the best Christmas markets in Innsbruck to take your kids to, the one in Marktplatz has absolutely loads for little ones to see and do. The detailed, colorful carousel is a highlight for both children and parents who can enjoy a little piece of fun from times gone by.
Kids will also love the affectionate ponies and all the friendly creatures at the petting zoo. If you need a break from the animals, check out the traditional puppet show, which never fails to make children’s eyes sparkle!
The focal point of the market is the glistening Swarovski tree. Stretching more than 14 meters into the sky and covered with over 170,500 individual crystals, this tree is guaranteed to be like no other you’ve ever seen before. Don’t forget to take a picture!
The moving nativity play is definitely worth checking out, too. Every day it hosts a free performance in which 15 motors move 28 tiny figures, power a thundering waterfall, and ring miniature church bells. The detail of the nativity, considering its minuscule size, is incredible.
14. Salzburg Christmas Market on Mirabell Square
Located in front of the dazzling Mirabell Palace, this small, traditional Christmas market offers a completely different experience from the larger Christmas markets in Austria. Far away from bustling crowds, this peaceful, friendly market is the perfect place to pick up handmade treasures lovingly made by talented locals.
Stroll along the rows of wooden huts, and you’ll find all kinds of delights from Salzburg to pick up. From hand-painted nutcracker figures and gorgeous Christmas tree decorations to sweet toasted almonds and giant bowls of Kaiserschmarrn (a dessert made of shredded pancakes), you’ll be truly spoiled for choice here.
When you need a break from shopping and wandering, head for the large Christmas tree. Here you’ll find a number of stalls where you can warm up with piping hot mulled wine, mulled cider, punch, or coffee as you gather around barrel-like tables and talk about your plans for the holidays.
One of the best things about this market is its location. Easy to access wherever you’re coming from, the market is just steps away from a train station and bus stop. There’s also a large car park nearby if you’re planning on driving.
15. Vienna Christmas Market at Schönbrunn Palace
There are plenty of Christmas markets in Austria with magical settings, but the Christmas market at Schönbrunn Palace has got to be one of the most spectacular. Surrounded by the glamorous Baroque architecture of the palace, this festive market boasts 60 individual stalls filled with original gifts and delicious eats.
The food and drinks here are a wonderful example of Austria’s comfort food. From baked potatoes with all kinds of fillings and Austrian meatloaf with potato salad to hearty soups served in bread bowls and giant cheese pretzels, there’s no way you can go hungry here. You’ll also find a number of stalls selling local ingredients so you can make your favorite Austrian winter dishes at home.
In the center of the market, you’ll find a beautiful Christmas tree almost too big to be true. It even towers above the highest part of the Schönbrunn Palace! It’s the first thing you see as you walk up the tree-lined avenue to the market, and it’s so magical you’ll feel like you’re in a fairy tale!
And there you have it! These are our picks for the best Christmas markets in Austria! Have you ever visited one of the many festive Christmas markets in Austria? Which is your favorite?
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