Vienna is a wonderful mix of nostalgia for its imperial past and the aim for innovation of its exciting culture. During Christmas time, the Austrian capital holds some interesting surprises for kids and grown-ups alike, framed by a merry atmosphere.
Here are a few good reasons to visit Vienna: its Christmas markets.
There are many of them and they are scattered all over the town. The largest one is the Child Jesus Market (Christkindlesmarkt) in Rathausplatz, which every year hosts a big Christmas tree with a wind instruments band playing from 8 to 8.30 pm. With 150 stands and its Child Jesus Lab where kids can try themselves creating handmade decorations, this market is an unmissable experience for every age.
The Ancient Christmas Market in Freyung – one of Vienna’s most beautiful squares, dating back to 1772 – and the Advent Market in Platz Am Hof are well renown for the traditional Christmas music and the many offerings of arts and crafts.
If you are passionate about unique items, you should spend a visit to the Arts and Crafts Market held in front of Saint Charle’s Church (Karlskirche). Here the little ones can have fun in a playground made of straw and join the Sternenwerkstatt laboratory to create handmade candles and other small gifts.
Spittelberg Christmas Market will charm you with its romantic alleys. Over hundred stands offer threats from the Austrian and nearby countries’ tradition. Enjoy the pleasure of walking around biting into biscuits and gingerbread, or sipping one of the many available teas.
All these markets are open every day during the whole Advent, but Vienna hosts many more for less days. Some of them are located in Vienna’s beautiful historic buildings where you can couple a visit to the market with a cultural tour through Austria’s history.
For example, a Christmas village is set in front of the History of Arts Museum (Kunsthistorisches Museum). Here you can buy sweets and gifts, visit the art gallery and the new Kunstkammer which holds the Hapsburgs’ treasure.
Another 50-stand village is located in front of the Belvedere, a historic building complex consisting of two Baroque palaces. Here you will find arts and crafts, punch, mulled wine, sweets and snacks, as the Schinkenfleckerl, a typical dish of pasta and ham. Inside the building there are several Gustav Klimt’s pictures, included the famous Kiss.
Until December 23, in MuseumsQuartier‘s courtyard a light show will entertain the audience, while in the six ice pavilions decorated by street artists food and hot drinks are served. And do not leave the MuseumsQuartier before visiting the Leopold Museum: a collection of Schiele and Klimt’s works awaits you here, and until January 27 also an exhibition dedicated to Oskar Kokoschka.
For further information about Vienna visit www.wien.info.