vienna's magical christmas markets
Deciding to visit Vienna in December meant that the infamous Christmas markets were calling. After having them "on my list" for years — influenced both by hearing my well-traveled godmother sing their praises and seeing them infiltrate my social media feeds — experiencing them first-hand was a dream. Fortunately, once arriving to the city, discovering each new market (there are over a dozen!) was as simple as wandering from one neighborhood to the next.
Perhaps the most touristed market, this one is hard to miss. We ended up visiting Rathausplatz both the first and last nights we were in Vienna to fully embrace this expansive market. Its location in front of the stunning City Hall building makes for a gorgeous backdrop, which was all the more charming when we happened to catch a live performance by a local choir.
What we ate: bratworst + baked potato with tzatski, bacon & onions + ischler nusskipferl (basically a donut) + kaisekrainer (sausage filled with cheddar)
We were fortunate enough to stumble upon this market while doing some shopping and immediately fell in love. It definitely appeared to be well attended by locals, not to mention the vendors' products offered caught my eye a bit more than others. I found a mulled wine spices packet which I was eager to bring home in an attempt recreate the delicious glühwein we'd drank the entire trip.
What we ate: a spiraled potato stick
Just around the corner from the Freyung market, this one was an easy stop. What stands out most from this radio station-sponsored spot is the champagne bar. While we were sure drink our way through the other markets thanks to mulled wine or local beer, this was a welcome change of pace. While tough to get a spot to sit at this small stand, the bubbly hit the spot.
What we ate: roasted chestnuts
On our way to dinner one night, we walked through this market and it quickly made our list of favorites. It is set up with beautifully strung lights all meeting in the middle of an expansive stray play area for kids. The vendors here serve exclusively organic products, so it was a real shame we ended up here just prior to going to a restaurant or I would tasted a few of their products beyond wine!
When visiting the Beleverde Museum, I noticed that there were stalls set up along the back of the baroque building. Once we finished looking at the galleries, we went around to check it out (and add another market mug to our photo series!). While I wasn't much in the market for the artist made goods many of the vendors were selling, we did try some pretty delicious eats.
What we ate: kasnudi + spaetzle
During our last day in Vienna, we were doing some walking around and once again, stumbled upon another one of the city's other markets. Wedged between Museumsquartier and the Museum of Fine Arts, this large open space has all of your standard foods and products. While not my favorite vibe (perhaps because it was also one of the few we visited during the day), it is centrally located to several museums.
What we ate: marzipan-stuffed pretzel
Ready to visit the markets for yourself?
I found the map in this blog really helpful to navigate the location of the markets in comparison to one another. Be sure to have euros on hand for any gifts, food items or drinks you'd like to purchase as very few vendors will accept cards. Of course, if you have any questions about visiting Vienna's plentiful Christmas markets, it would be great to hear from you in the comments section!