Would I like a glass of punch or some mulled wine? I ask myself this question every year at the end of November when I meet friends at one or other of the many advent markets in Vienna. This then inevitably leads to another question: which Christmas market is the most beautiful?
It is advisable to leave your car at home and to travel to the market by public transport if you intend to try the mulled wine and punch. From the JUFA Hotel Vienna City*** you take the U3 line into the city centre and then directly to Stephansplatz. The market located around the famous Steffl department store is one of the city’s newest Christmas markets. It is particularly special as it is located close to St Stephen’s cathedral and it boasts an array of beautifully lit stands selling handicrafts from all over Austria. As you walk from Stephansplatz towards Freyung Square, you will pass the stunning Christmas illuminations along the famous Graben shopping street. The giant chandeliers look like something out of a fairytale.
Freyung Square is steeped in Viennese history. The sumptuous palace provides the backdrop to the Alwiener Christkindl Market. This market has the longest tradition of all the markets. Since 1772 there has been a Christmas market in this square. I am not sure whether Mariazell gingerbread would have been on sale back then! The neat booths are all designed in the same way and offer a range of hand-crafted items, including wooden toys, glass Christmas tree decorations and hand-painted ceramics. The range of culinary treats on offer is also very impressive. We have tried Schilcher mulled wine (Glühwein), baked potatoes and Trzesniewski bread rolls. There are also craft demonstrations and musical performances to see. The children certainly won’t be bored! They will be entertained twice a day by Kasperl.
We then take the tram to Karlsplatz. The advent market in front of the Karlskirche (St. Charles Church) is the first advent market in Austria that has received organic certification. All products, such as chestnuts, herbs and spices, cheese and eggs are supplied by companies that have organic certification. You can definitely taste the difference! This market is particularly popular with children. They can either take part in craft activities in a specially constructed yurt, romp about in an area covered in straw or have a ride on the Draisine (handcar) track. From Karlsplatz we then take the U4 underground line to Schönbrunn Palace. If you have not yet finished all your Christmas shopping, you are certain to find plenty of inspiration at the 80 booths you will find here. This market is particularly impressive during the evening. The shimmering lights on the Christmas tree try to outdo glitz of the palace.
At JUFA Hotels we believe: each and every Christmas market in Vienna has something special to offer. Whether you visit the markets at St Stephen’s Square or at the Freyung, whether you fancy the organic market or the fairytale market at the palace, each market has its individual charm and is definitely worth a visit!
Tips & Information
Stephansplatz Christmas Market
Stephansplatz, 1010 Vienna
Underground: U1, U3
Altwiener Christkindl Market Freyung
Freyung, 1010 Vienna
Underground: U3, U2
Tram: D, 1, 37, 28, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 71
Bus: 1A, 40A
Organic Advent Market at Karlsplatz
Resselpark, 1040 Vienna
Underground: U1, U2, U4
Tram: 1, 62
Bus: 4A, 59A
Christmas market at Schönbrunn Palace
Schönbrunn Palace, Ehrenhof, 1130 Vienna
Stay at the JUFA Hotel
Modern facilities with excellent access to transport links, theJUFA Hotel Vienna City*** is located in the Simmering district of the city. You can reach the city’s top tourist attractions, such as St Stephen’s Cathedral, within minutes from the hotel by public transport. The hotel offers a fantastic location in which to enjoy a relaxing winter city break.