Our favorite Christmas Markets in Austria, Germany & Switzerland
It is that time of the year again, and Christmas is coming closer! As Christmas markets were allowed to reopen again in Austria last weekend, we thought we would seize the chance to take you to a few of our favorites! We’ll also take a look at lovely Christmas markets in our neighboring countries Germany and Switzerland, so bundle up and get ready for some mulled wine and hot punch!
Christmas Markets in Austria
Salzburger Christkindlmarkt, Austria
We are starting off with Salzburg! Most of you might know Salzburg as the city of Mozart, but did you know that this is also the city of Josef Mohr? Josef Mohr was no less than the composer of Silent Night, one of the most famous Christmas songs ever written.
Whether it was due to his influence or there is something truly Christmassy about Salzburg, we’re not sure, but the city is definitely worth a visit in December. Especially to our favorite Christmas market there, the Salzburg Christmas Market.
This historic market located at “Dom- und Residenzplatz” is one of the most beautiful and oldest Christmas markets in the world. Its unique location in the middle of the World Heritage Site Old Town Salzburg, the traditional stalls, and its long history make the Salzburg Christmas Market very special.
In its current form, the Christkindlmarkt has been around since 1974. Its unique atmosphere, traditional huts, and specially designed “starry sky” lighting give it its unmistakable appearance. The people of Salzburg love it and almost a million visitors from all over the world walk through this sparklingly beautiful Christmas world year after year in amazement.
The “Salzburger Christkindlmarket” is one of the most beautiful and oldest Christmas markets in the world.
In Vienna, markets have a long tradition. Seasonal markets have been on the go since 1296 when Emperor Albrecht I granted Viennese traders the privilege of holding a December market for their customers.
Today there is such a vast selection of Christmas markets that it can be pretty hard to decide which one to visit first. That’s why we’ve decided to take you to our three favorite markets, so enjoy!
Wiener Christkindlmarkt at Rathausplatz
Right in front of the gorgeous City Hall, you’ll find one of the most vibrant Christmas markets in town, the “Wiener Christkindlmarkt. At approx. 150 stalls, you’ll come across sweet nibbles, tasty punch, and mulled wine as well as creative and local gifts of all kinds. So come visit the “Wiener Weihnachtstraum” (Viennese Christmas Dream), and let yourself be enchanted! Once you’re there, also take the chance to walk through the festively lit up Rathauspark and marvel at the beautiful Christmas lights!
The “Viennese Christmas Dream” is worth a visit every year!
Here are some more ideas on where to discover the most beautiful Christmas lights in Vienna.
Christmas Market at Spittelberg
Another market we love (and isn’t as busy as the one at Rathausplatz), is the market housed in the small alleys of Spittelberg in the 7th district. Here, you can find fine art and crafts, delicious food, organic wines, and, of course, a lot of punch!
New: Christmas Market at Palais Liechtenstein
Vienna has even gained a new Christmas market this year! Now you can get in the festive spirit in the beautiful gardens of Palais Liechtenstein in the 9th district. The cozy market awaits with culinary specialties and local handicrafts. It also features a lovely historic carousel, offering something for the whole famil
With the lovely, historic carousel, the Christmas market at Palais Liechtenstein offers something for the whole family.
Aufsteirern- Weihnachtsmarkt at Schlossberg
The picturesque Old Town of Graz is home to a variety of traditional Christmas markets. Our favorite of the lot is the Aufsteirern- Weihnachtsmarkt at Schlossberg (the little hill in the middle of the city), as it combines the magic of Christmas with the best view over the city. You can find Styrian handicraft products from local exhibitors there as well as tasty specialties from the region – and the vast mulled wine and punch selection goes without saying! Another highlight is the appearance of the “Christkind” (Christ child) that brings a sparkle into the children’s eyes every day at 4 p.m.
Christmas Markets in Germany
“White Magic” Christmas Market in Hamburg
With white pagoda tents instead of the usual wooden stalls, an impressive display of lights, a historic Ferris wheel, and a panoramic view of the glittering Alster – the “White Magic” Christmas Market on Jungfernstieg in Hamburg offers more than just roasted almonds and mulled wine.
The unique view of the festively illuminated city center makes this Christmas market, which extends over the entire Jungfernstieg, directly on the Binnenalster, is something special. So if you want to get a glimpse of pre-Christmas Hamburg while enjoying mulled wine, this is certainly the place to be!
Experience the “White Magic” Christmas market in Hamburg!
Our next location is Nuremberg where you find a Christmas market that is well known beyond the borders of Germany.
Nuremberg’s world-famous Christkindlesmarkt, which was first held in 1628, usually attracts more than two million visitors every Advent season. The almost 200 wooden huts, uniformly in white and red design, create a cozy and festive atmosphere. Anyone visiting the Christkindlesmarkt should definitely try the Nuremberg gingerbread, Christmas stollen and Nuremberg sausages – of course with the obligatory cup of mulled wine!
This year, the popular Christmas market unfortunately had to be canceled due to COVID-19, so the organizers came up with the idea to establish an online shop where you can buy the local exhibitors’ products. What a lovely idea!
Christmas Markets in Switzerland
Christmas Market Montreux Noël
With the magnificent panorama of the Alps in the background, a stroll through the Christmas Market Montreux Noël is a special pleasure. Montreux truly has a lot to offer during the Christmas season, from medieval stalls to the fairy tale festival behind the walls of Chillons Castle. Montreux Noël also offers events and activities for all ages around the traditional Christmas market.
You can also go ice skating at the Christmas market Montreux Noël. (c) Montreux Noël
Zürcher Wienachtsdorf am Bellevue
Located directly on Lake Zurich, the Wienachtsdorf at Bellevue is shining again this year. This Christmas market follows a less classical concept and is more a mixture of a street food festival, design market, and ice skating rink. At the 30 food stands, guests can take a culinary trip to Israel, Denmark, Afghanistan, or Sri Lanka. Part of the young concept is that the exhibitors change regularly – so it’s worth coming twice.
We hope we could give you some inspiration on Christmas markets worth visiting and already wish you a very merry Christmas!