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's main Christmas market is located at UNESCO World Heritage Site—near City Hall. 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.
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.
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.
Innsbruck hosts some of the oldest Christmas markets with 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. 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 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.
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.