Julie Austria 3 Comments

If you have plans to visit Vienna in December, you are in for a holiday treat. The Vienna Christmas markets are some of the best in Europe.

In mid-November, Vienna transforms into a magical wonderland. Small markets spring up on famous squares and in front of historic buildings. For sale are holiday gifts, arts and crafts, spiced mulled wine, and a long list of foods to try.

One of the best things about the Vienna Christmas markets is that each one is a little bit different. In some European cities, the Christmas markets get to be repetitive, with each one selling the same things. But not in Vienna. Each market in Vienna is unique, so it is well worth your time to visit several of these markets, for the shopping, the atmosphere, and the holiday vibe.

Join us as we unveil the best Vienna Christmas markets with tips to help you have the best experience.


More Christmas Markets in Europe

Prague is another festive city to visit in December and just a short train ride away from Vienna. Learn more about what it is like to visit Prague at Christmas and the top markets to visit.
London is also a wonderful place to visit in December. This city is filled with small Christmas markets and the streets are lined with thousands of twinkling lights. Plan your trip with our London Christmas Itinerary.

About the Vienna Christmas Markets

The Vienna Christmas markets open in mid-November (each market has a slightly different opening day, which we list below) and close in late December. Hours can also vary for each market, but the main ones generally open at 10 am or 11 am and close at 10 pm.

Each market has different vendors, so you’ll see less repetition than you would in some Christmas markets in Europe (such as London and Prague). Some are more focused on food, others are more focused on gifts and souvenirs, and some are a mix of both.

Each market sells a distinctive holiday mug. One of our favorite things to do was to collect a mug from each market and we ended our visit to Vienna with a nice collection of holiday mugs and boots. If you don’t want to purchase the mugs, you will pay a small deposit fee and this will be refunded when you return the mug.

Vienna Christmas Market Mug

The holiday mug at the Maria Theresien Square Christmas market

In our experience, the Christmas markets are busiest from 5 pm to 9 pm. If you want to avoid the crowds, visit the markets at opening time or midday. Our favorite time to visit the markets was right around sunset, which is at 4 pm in Vienna in December.

The Vienna Christmas markets are our favorite Christmas markets in Europe. So far, we have visited Vienna, Prague, and London at Christmas. We have not been to Germany in December yet, but we hear these markets are legendary. If you have been to Germany at Christmas and have cities and/or markets to recommend, let us know in the comment section at the end of this article. We would love to learn more and I’m sure other readers would, as well.

Best Vienna Christmas Markets

Stephensplatz Christmas Village

Open: November 10 to December 26, 2023
Hours: 11 am to 9 pm with these exceptions: 11 am to 4 pm on December 24, 11 am to 7 pm on December 25 & 26
Location: Stephensplatz

St Stephens Cathedral | Vienna Christmas Markets

St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Christmas market

Sitting on Stephansplatz, running along one side of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, is a collection of stalls selling a great mix of food, hot drinks, and an assortment of gifts, such as holiday decorations, ceramics, and jewelry.

The setting of this Christmas market is one of the best, with St. Stephen’s Cathedral forming the backdrop. In the evening, lights on top of the stalls illuminate the square and St. Stephen’s Cathedral is bathed in white and red light. The best time to visit this Christmas market is in the evening, when you can enjoy the holiday lights.

Nearby, take a stroll along Graben, which is adorned with strings of holiday lights, and have dinner at Onyx, where you can dine on sushi and overlook Stephensplatz.

Stephensplatz Christmas Market Photo | Vienna Christmas Markets

Stephensplatz Christmas Market Shop | Vienna Christmas Markets

Stephensplatz Christmas Market | Vienna Christmas Markets

Stephensplatz Christmas Market

Viennese Dream Christmas Market

Open: November 10 to December 26, 2023
Hours: 10 am to 10 pm, 10 am to 6:30 pm on December 24
Location: Rathausplatz

Viennese Dream Market Photo | Vienna Christmas Markets

Vienna Christmas Market Rathausplatz

This market is the largest, most popular Vienna Christmas market. It is also called Christkindlmarkt and it is located on Rathausplatz. Wiener Rathaus, the Vienna City Hall, is a stunning neo-Gothic building and it forms the backdrop of this Christmas market.

The Viennese Dream Christmas Market is filled with food stalls, stands selling hot mulled wine and hot chocolate, and lots of holiday gifts and souvenirs.

The highlight is seeing the Christmas market with the backdrop of the City Hall building, which is particularly beautiful at sunset. Photograph the tree covered with illuminated red hearts (this makes a somewhat romantic photography spot for couples) and kids will love riding the small Ferris Wheel. There is even an ice-skating path the loops its way through the trees, making it much more fun to do than traditional oval-shaped ice rinks.

The best time to be here is right at sunset and then this gets to be a very busy place, one of the busiest markets in Vienna.

This market is so big that there is an online map listing the stalls, ice rink, heart tree, and places to take the kids.

Here are more photos of the Viennese Dream Christmas market.

Viennese Dream Vienna Christmas Market

Vienna Christmas Market Heart Tree | Vienna Christmas Markets

Vienna Christkindlmarkt Shop | Vienna Christmas Markets

Gluhwein and Punch | Vienna Christmas Markets

Christkindlmarkt Vienna Wien | Vienna Christmas Markets

Christmas Village on Maria Theresien Square

Open: November 15 to December 26, 2023
Hours: 11 am to 9 pm Sunday to Thursday, 11 am to 10 pm Friday through Saturday, reduced hours on December 24 to 26; check hours here
Location: Maria Theresien Square

Maria Theresien Square Christmas Market | Vienna Christmas Markets

Tim and Kara Vienna Christmas | Vienna Christmas Markets

Maria Theresien Square is the large square that sits between Museum of Natural History of Vienna (Naturhistorisches Museum) and the Kunsthistorisches Museum. From mid-November through late December, this square becomes a holiday wonderland, with market stalls, glühwein (mulled wine), and local foods to try.

We really enjoyed this market, purchasing jewelry, a few Christmas decorations, and of course the holiday mugs filled with hot mulled wine.

It’s well worth the visit, since it is located next to two of Vienna’s most popular museums (the Kunsthistorisches museum is gorgeous inside and well worth an hour or two of your time).

Vienna Christmas Market Shop

A shop at the Maria Theresien Square Christmas Market


Vienna Christmas Market Gluhwein | Vienna Christmas Markets

Punsch and glühwein (mulled wine) stand at the Maria Theresien Square Christmas Market

Christmas Village Campus University of Vienna

Open: November 11 to December 23, 2023
Hours: Hours vary by day of the week, opening at 11 am on Saturday and Sunday and opening at 2 pm on weekdays; get the full list of hours here
Location: Campus University, Spitalgasse and Alserstrasse

This market doesn’t have the most exciting name but it is a great market to visit if you like the idea of visiting a smaller, less crowded market and want to go curling.

We visited this market right after the Viennese Dream Christmas market on Rathausplatz and crowds were so much smaller here. Food and drink were the predominant things for sale but there were also a few shops selling holiday gifts and souvenirs..

However, what makes this market unique is the curling. You can rent a curling lane and spend an hour or two learning a new skill (or perfecting your skills, if you have done this before). Make your reservation at least one week in advance, because there are only a few lanes and these sell out quickly.

Christmas Village Campus University of Vienna

Christmas Village Campus University of Vienna


Vienna Christmas Market Food Stand

Food stand at the Christmas Village Campus University of Vienna

Christmas Market at Spittelberg

Open: November 16 to December 23, 2023
Hours: Weekdays 2 pm to 9 pm; Saturday 10 am to 9:30 pm; Sundays and holidays 10 am to 9 pm; get hours here
Location: Spittelberg

This tiny Christmas market is located on several streets in the Spittelberg neighborhood of Vienna. Mostly we saw food, punch, and hot wine for sale here, with just a few shops selling ceramics, gifts, and jewelry.

This market is located a bit out of the way from most sights in Vienna and with its small size, I don’t think it is worth going out of your way to visit this market, unless you will be in the area or like the idea of visiting a smaller market.

This market is predominantly located on Spittelberggasse with a few stalls on Gutenberggasse.

Spittelberg Christmas Market

Spittelberg Christmas Market


Christmas Market Spittelberg

Spittelberg Christmas Market

Winter Market Prater

Open: November 28, 2023 to January 7, 2024
Hours: Weekdays 12 pm to 10 pm, Saturday and Sunday 11 am to 10 pm, December 24 11 am to 5 pm, December 31 11 am to 2 am
Location: Prater

Wintermarkt Prater Snow

Winter Market Prater, also called Wintermarkt at Riesenradplatz, is a small Christmas market that is located in Prater, a park that sits just outside of the historic city center.

There are a few market stalls here which mostly sell food and drinks. Because of its very small size, it’s not worth visiting Prater solely for the Christmas market, but there are plenty of other reasons why it is worth visiting this park while in Vienna.

At Prater, you can ride the historic Ferris Wheel (Wiener Riesenrad), which is one of the most popular things to do in Vienna. There are also amusement rides for kids and the Rollercoaster Restaurant is a fun restaurant to take the kids. Several nights a week there are live concerts.

Winter Market Prater Snow

Wiener Riesenrad Snow

Vienna Christmas Market and Snow

ABOUT THE SNOW IN OUR PHOTOS: We visited Vienna from November 30 to December 4, 2023. On December 1, a wintry mix began falling. This changed over to snow on December 2, blanketing Vienna with a light coating of snow. This is a relatively rare occurrence and locals told us that it is unusual for Vienna to get snow that accumulates on the streets and sidewalks this time of year.

Weihnachtsmarkt am Hof

Open: November 10 to December 23, 2023
Hours: Monday through Thursday 11 am to 9 pm; Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10 am to 9 pm
Location: Am Hof

Weihnachtsmarkt am Hof Entrance

Weihnachtsmarkt am Hof, which translates to Christmas market at the farm, is a small market located in the historic center of Vienna. For centuries, this was the site of a fish, fruit, and baked goods market. A Christmas market opened here in 1842, a long running tradition in Vienna.

This was one of our favorite markets in Vienna. Conditions were magical, with Vienna getting several inches of snow over the course of the day. There are over 70 markets here, selling a wide variety of foods and holiday gifts, ceramics, clothing, and more. It’s a great place to get something to eat and to go shopping for friends and family or get a few souvenirs for yourself.

Weihnachtsmarkt am Hof Vienna

Vienna Christmas Market

Tiroler Hutte

Weihnachtsmarkt am Hof Snow

Weihnachtsmarkt am Hof

Old Viennese Christmas Market (Altwiener Christkindlmarkt)

Dates: November 17 to December 23, 2023
Hours: 10 am to 9 pm, get updates here
Location: Freyungplatz

Altwiener Christkindlmarkt

This Vienna Christmas market is just a short walk (less than 5 minutes) from Weihnachtsmarkt am Hof, at Freyungplatz. The Old Viennese Christmas market specializes in handicrafts and ceramics but also has a few stalls selling hot food and drinks, so you won’t go hungry.

This market has a very long history, first opening in 1722. It has changed locations in Vienna several times, returning to this location in the late 1980’s.

Altwiener Christkindlmarkt Punch

Altwiener Christkindlmarkt Photo

Altwiener Christkindlmarkt

Christmas Village Belvedere Palace

Dates: November 17 to December 26, 2023
Hours: Monday to Friday 11 am to 9 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 9 pm, reduced hours December 24 to 26
Location: In front of Belvedere Palace

Belvedere Palace Christmas Market

This Christmas market has one of the most beautiful settings in Vienna, sitting in front of the Belvedere Palace. It is on the smaller side and for sale are a lot of the same food, drinks, and souvenirs/gifts that we saw in other markets in Vienna.

This market is not worth going out of your way to visit, in our opinion, unless you want to photograph the market with the backdrop of the Belvedere Palace.

If you plan to visit the Belvedere Palace (this is where you will see Gustav Klimt’s famous painting The Kiss), plan on getting here at dusk because this market is beautiful at sunset.

Belvedere Christmas Village Shop

Christmas Village Belvedere Palace

Belvedere Palace Christmas Market just after sunset

Karlsplatz Christmas Market

Dates: November 24 to December 23, 2023
Hours: 12 pm to 8 pm
Location: Karlsplatz, in front of Karlskirche (St. Charles Church)

Karlsplatz Christmas Market

Karlsplatz Vienna Christmas Market

This Christmas market sets itself apart from the ones already listed by focusing on “Art Advent.” For sale are lots of arts and crafts, including handmade ceramics, fragrant soaps, cutting boards, home goods, jewelry, decorations, and toys. There are also stalls selling food and drinks.

The Karlsplatz Christmas Market has a beautiful setting in front of St. Charles Church. For an elevated view of the market, and the city of Vienna, climb the tower of St. Charles Church.

Overlooking Karlsplatz Christmas Market

The view from the tower of St. Charles Church

Christmas Market at Schönbrunn Palace

Dates: November 18, 2023 to January 4, 2024
Hours: 10 am to 9 pm
Location: Schönbrunn Palace

Schonbrunn Christmas Market

This market is one of Vienna’s largest Christmas markets. There are more than 70 stalls selling handicrafts, souvenirs, food and drinks. This is a great market to purchase gifts for family and friends, try a few new foods (such as enormous pretzels and langos, which is bread topped with garlic and cheese), collect another mug, and enjoy some mulled wine or punch.

We visited this market in the morning, pairing it with a visit to Schönbrunn Palace, and crowds were relatively light. I imagine in the evening this would be a much busier place.

Plan on spending about a half of a day here if you also plan to tour Schönbrunn Palace and walk through the gardens.

Schonbrunn Palace Snow

Schönbrunn Palace in the snow

Austria Travel Guide

More Vienna Christmas Markets to Visit

Below is a list of a few more Vienna Christmas markets. We either visited these and didn’t think they were worthwhile, they are far from the city center, or were not open during our visit.

Winter in the City

This “Christmas market” came up in our research prior to our trip. Really, it is just a covered outdoor bar that is tucked away in a courtyard behind St. Stephen’s Church. If you want to stop in for a drink, we have the location marked on our map below (the address is Stephensplatz 4 at the Haas & Hass courtyard).

Winter at MQ

The inside courtyard at the MuseumsQuartier is decorated with Christmas trees and festive light projections. In our research, there are stalls set up selling food and drinks. In 2023, there wasn’t much here, so I recommend checking the official website before you go for updates.

Michaelerplatz Christmas Market

Again, this was a market that came up in our research and again, there was not much here in 2023, just a handful of stalls.

Advent Genuss Markt (Advent Gourmet Market)

This is a Christmas market that we would have loved to visit, but unfortunately in 2023 it was not open. It is expected to return in 2024. This covered market is located near the Opera House and specializes in gourmet food and drinks.

Markets Outside of the City Center

Hirschstetten Advent Market and Weihnachtszauber Christmas markets are two more markets that frequently come up on a lot of lists. However, they are located outside of the city center and only worth visiting if you have a lot of time in Vienna (4 or more days).

Best Vienna Christmas Markets: On a Map

How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each point of interest. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

Christmas Lights in Vienna

The historic city center of Vienna is adorned with holiday lights. In our Vienna Christmas Lights walking tour, we list the best places to see the lights and how to link them together in a short, festive walk through the city, which also includes a few Vienna Christmas markets and must-visit cafes and landmarks.

Frequently Asked Questions

When are the Vienna Christmas markets open?

The Vienna Christmas markets open in mid-November (each market has a slightly different opening day, which we list below) and close in late December. Hours can also vary for each market, but the main ones generally open at 10 am or 11 am and close at 10 pm.

What are the best Vienna Christmas markets?

The Viennese Dream Christmas Market, which sits on Rathausplatz, is Vienna’s largest, most popular Christmas market to visit. The Christmas markets at Stephensplatz and the Belvedere Palace both have a beautiful setting. If you want to go curling, visit the Christmas Village Campus University of Vienna and if you are visiting with kids, don’t miss the Wintermarkt at Riesenradplatz. And if you have plans to visit Schönbrunn Palace, there is a wonderful Christmas market here.

Are the Vienna Christmas markets worth visiting?

Absolutely. Vienna is home to some of the best Christmas markets in Europe. With backdrops of famous, historic buildings, such as the Rathaus and Schönbrunn Palace, the markets in Vienna are gorgeous. Each market in Vienna is unique, with different holiday gifts and foods for sale. Plus, it can be lots of fun collecting the various holiday mugs (some shaped as small boots) at each market.

Are the Vienna Christmas markets free?

There is no fee to visit the Vienna Christmas markets.

If you have any questions about the best Vienna Christmas markets to visit, or if you want to share your favorites, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Austria

CHRISTMAS IN EUROPE: Learn what it is like to spend Christmas in Prague. Spend a week in London at Christmas, seeing the Christmas lights and shopping in the Christmas markets. And don’t miss Vienna Christmas lights walking tour.

VIENNA: Get started with our article about the best things to do in Vienna. Don’t miss our guide to 10 must-visit cafes and coffee houses in Vienna and learn how to spend one perfect day in Vienna.

AUSTRIA: Learn how to spend one day in Hallstatt, one day in Salzburg, and take a look at our guide to the best things to do in Innsbruck.

CENTRAL EUROPE ITINERARY: Learn how to put together Budapest, Vienna, and Prague together in our 10 day Central Europe Itinerary.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Learn how to day trip to Cesky Krumlov and get a list of the best things to do in Prague.

BAVARIA, GERMANY: Take an amazing 10 day road trip in Bavaria, visiting Munich, Neuschwanstein, Berchtesgaden, Salzburg, Innsbruck, and drive the Romantic Road in Germany.

Read all of our articles about Austria in our Austria Travel Guide.


Vienna Christmas Markets


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Comments 3

  1. Avatar for Kelly Simons
    Kelly Simons

    Hi there,

    What a great read you article was. Thank you so much for writing it.
    Can I ask where you stayed, or where you think the best area to be based would be, in order to visit the markets you did?

    Kind reaards

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Kelly. I recommend staying somewhere in the historic center of Vienna, inside or along Ring Road. On our first visit to Vienna, we stayed at Hotel am Stephensplatz, which sits on Stephensplatz with a spectacular view of St. Stephens Cathedral, and it has a prime location and gets great reviews. I’ll be publishing new and updated info on Vienna later this year, with hotel recommendations, so check back to our site if you plan to visit Vienna in December. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Kelly Simons

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