Get away for a few days in winter and make the most of the colder months. Vienna offers Christmas markets, a large selection of shops, tasty food and hot punch. Just what you need to get you in the festive spirit.
Vienna Boasts 20 Christmas Markets
Top of any Austria bucket list has to be the capital, Vienna. Visit this pretty city in winter and you can wander around 20 different Christmas markets. They all feature wooden cabins serving pumpkin soup, fried sausage and hot punch – just what you need to keep warm as you browse the different stalls.
You’ll find Christmas tree baubles, chocolate reindeer, cured meats and a range of crafted gifts on sale. The biggest Christmas market in Vienna is Christkindlmarkt at Rathausplatz located opposite the Town Hall.
Eating Out in Vienna
Cafés in Vienna offer outdoor seating, even in the winter, with overhead heaters providing some warmth. Café Zum Schwarzen Kameel (established in 1618) has a large outdoor area at the front. They serve hot chocolate, wine and coffee with a delicious selection of open sandwiches and pastries. The cafe is located amongst designer shops offering the perfect spot for people-watching.
Warm Up Indoors
When the weather is cold, it’s good to know there are things to do inside. St Stephens Cathedral, in the heart of Vienna, is a Medieval building that towers over the cobbled streets in the old part of town. The art and architecture inside take your breath away.
Don’t miss Hofburg Palace, it’s adorned with copper domes, statues and gold-leaf decorations. Admire the exterior, then take a tour of the Imperial Apartments inside. Then there’s Belvedere, an impressive Baroque building that houses a permanent collection of Gustav Klimt masterpieces. Finally, a narrated boat trip along the river offers inside seating and hot drinks.
After Dark in Vienna
Darkness falls around 4 pm so the evenings are long in Vienna, but the seasonal lights add festive colour to the streets. As Vienna was home to Beethoven, Strauss and Mozart, why not book a classical music concert in one of the many theatres?
After the performance, you can choose to eat in a fine-dining restaurant, modern bistro or local pub. Tuck into French, German or Italian cuisine, but of course, schnitzels are the famous local delicacy.