Christmas in Vienna

Published by flag-at S S — 3 years ago

Blog: Austria
Tags: flag-at Erasmus blog Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Fairy lights, presents, and decorations; associations with Christmas that have evolved throughout the years. For each individual, the holidays represent different memories; writing letters to Santa Claus, playing in the snow, etc. and to others, the holidays meant nothing at all. 

How Christmas became integrated differently within different cultures is a topic for another time, but in most German-speaking countries (as well as in most European ones), Christmas means markets, gingerbread cookies "Lebkuchen", traditional foods, "Punsch" and "Glühwein" (tea with rum and hot wine with cinnamon). 

This year, I decided to visit almost all of the Christmas markets in Vienna, from the biggest one in Rathausplatz to the smallest Am Hof, exploring all the aspects that make this holiday so special. 


The Rathaus, which is the municipality, presents the biggest Christmas markets in its massive garden. The entrance is decorated with huge lights that contrast the beautiful building of the municipality and the market offers not only food and souvenir stands, but an ice skating rink and Ferris Wheel as well.



The Christmas markets soon get replaced with New Year markets that last until approximately the middle of January. This place has become a great hub for hanging out with family and friends throughout the winter, so if you plan on spending most of your time here, be sure to start saving, because the different stands will surely lure you in! 

Stephansplatz and Rotenturmstrasse: 

St. Stephan's Church, more commonly named Stephansdom, is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Vienna. Located in the center of the city, the church from the inside offers underground tours in the catacombs, as well as a spectacular view upstairs, where the 2nd largest bell in Europe is. 

The Stephansdom's yard is a great space for a Christmas market, in which you can walk around the church enjoying different beverages, food, and purchasing souvenirs.


 View of the church and market from a distance. 


View from the opposite side. 


Tourists observing and buying wooden artifacts. 

Upon walking down the street, beautiful red lights shimmer everywhere, a common decoration for Rotenrutmstrasse, which literally translates into Red tower street. 


While there is nothing special about it, people enjoy spending time here for the variety of restaurants it offers, as you can see on the right. 

Palais Schönbrunn: 

The Schönbrunn Palace is another famous attraction, as it was the Habsburg rulers' main summer residence. Tours of the rooms from the inside are offered and walking in the royal gardens is free for everyone. The palace is definitely a must visit in the summer, and the gardens are transformed into yet another Christmas market in the winter. 


While not as big as the Rathaus's market, it still has a cozy atmosphere and is not as packed with people. 

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