Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates (view the "External Resources" section below). Austrian federal government has introduced a multi-week lockdown, thus, all the events have been suspended until further notice in early December. Only based on the applicable legal provisions and well-grounded security concept may the organizers proceed with the Christmas markets opening.
Austria has a centuries-long tradition of Christmas markets, so naturally, it hosts some of the oldest and best markets on the continent. Almost every town in Austria has a Christkindlmarkt (or Weihnachtsmarkt) during the holiday season. So, if you plan your visit during this time, you will definitely enjoy this beautiful tradition no matter where you go. Christmas markets placed against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains or medieval cities are especially gorgeous.
Vienna Christmas Dream and the Christmas Market at the City Hall (November 14–December 26, 2020; postponed)
Vienna's main Christmas market is located at UNESCO World Heritage Site—next to the City Hall at Rathausplatz. The market was established in the Rathaus gardens in 1975, and this location turned out to be especially convenient and scenic. With the backdrop of the illuminated City Hall, the market is one of the most photographed spots in the city. It has over 150 booths with handmade decorations, delicious foods, and gifts. A large Christmas tree is impressive with twinkling lights and ornaments.
Other Christmas markets in Vienna (late November–December)
Christmas Village at Maria-Theresien-Platz is a bit smaller with over 70 booths, illuminated sidewalks and live music. There is a special curling station, as well as other fun activities. The Old Viennese Christmas Market on Freyung Square features traditional booths and historical atmosphere. Connoisseurs of Austrian history and architecture will enjoy Christmas markets by the Schönbrunn Palace and the Belvedere Palace. Read more about Christmas markets in Vienna.
Christmas market on Hauptplatz in Graz (November 20–December 24, 2020)
The city of Graz offers traditional Christmas markets known for beautiful light displays and the nativity scenes made of ice in the Landhaus Courtyard. The largest Hauptplatz Christmas Market can be found in front of City Hall. Don't leave without trying Feuerzangenbowle, a warm mixture of rum and wine. This will definitely warm you up! The market at Glockenspielplatz is small, but it is known for its art and crafts as well as carols.
Old Town Christmas Market in Innsbruck (November 15–December 23, 2020; postponed)
Innsbruck hosts some of the oldest Christmas markets with a historical atmosphere and scenic views against beautiful winter mountains and colourful lights. The most well-known is the Old Town Christmas Market located in front of the iconic Golden Roof. It is famous for Marchengasse Alley featuring fairy-tale characters. The market has over 70 chalets offering gifts and souvenirs.
Other Christmas markets in Innsbruck (late November–December)
Hungerburg Christmas Market is also known as the Panorama Christmas Market thanks to its magnificent views. It is located in the mountains and can be reached from the city by train. Family Christmas Market at Marktplatz is all about kids activities like a petting zoo, carousel, and games. Check out the Swarovski Crystal Tree which is the main highlight of the market.
Salzburg's Christmas Market (November 19–December 26, 2020; postponed)
Salzburg Christkindlmarkt is one of the oldest and largest, located near the famous Salzburg Cathedral. Walk among Christmas trees with strings of garlands hanging over the alleys and the mountain views complete the perfect Advent picture. The Mirabell Square Christmas Market is conveniently located and is known for its excellent food choice.
Christmas Markets in Linz (November 21–December 24, 2020; postponed)
Linz hosts two major Christmas markets. Christmas Market on the Main Square (Christkindlmarkt am Hauptplatz) looks gorgeous against a backdrop of the Baroque scenery of the old town. Traditional stalls sell all sorts of handicrafts, flavourful gingerbread, and warming drinks.
Linz has a great Christmas market in Volksgarten, with delicious food and souvenir booths. Try some Austrian pastries and listen to classical and seasonal music. The main highlight is a Christmas pyramid light display.