Europe has plenty of options for your winter holidays. However, Vienna with its imperial heritage, Christmas markets and decoration should be on top of your winter travel bucket list!
Best Christmas Markets
I may be biased but I think Vienna has some of the most beautiful Christmas markets. Not even the famous Christkindlesmarkt of Nuremberg could change my mind when I lived there. Sorry Nuremberg, but Vienna is the real home to the Christkind 😉 My favourite markets are:
It is one of the smaller markets, but I really like the variety of arts and crafts. Furthermore, it is not as crowded as some of the other markets.
The former hospital is now home to institutes of the University of Vienna. In the courtyard, there is a really cute Christmas market. I especially like the sweet Pretzel stand!
The setting in the garden of the Belvedere Palace is just stunning. I think it is a must!
It has a reputation of being very touristy but I think it is still one of the most beautiful markets right in front of the former summer residence of the Habsburgs.
Christmas Market at Tuerkenschanzpark
The drive to the 18th district is definitely worth it. The Christmas market is located in a park and you can find arts and crafts and regional products.
Beautiful Christmas Decoration
Starting in mid-November, the city is lit up with Christmas decorations. Some are more classical such as the stars along the shopping street Mariahilferstrasse, some relate to the imperial heritage (Graben, Kohlmarkt and their side streets) and some are more modern (Rotenturmstrasse, for example).
Scenic Ice Skating
The ice skating rink in front of the city hall is more than just a mere square of ice. There are small alleys which you can skate on. I think it even beats the ice skating rink at Central Park in New York.
Mulled Wine and Pastries
There is no winter trip to Austria without a glass of mulled wine and some Christmas cookies.
Endless Options for Exhibitions and Museums
If you are getting sick of the cold weather, move inside and visit some of the best museums in the world.
For more information about what to do in Vienna, check out my Ultimate Guide.