Christmas Markets are as popular in Austria as they are in Germany and take place in all towns and cities. Like their German neighbours, Austrian Christmas markets sell gingerbread hearts and mulled wine as well as local handicrafts from wooden toys and tree decorations to local produce.
Vienna alone is home to around 25 individual markets with the famous December Market dating back to 1294. Most of the cities markets start on 15th November and stay open until 24th December from 9 am until 9 pm. The best markets are located in front of the City Hall, on Freyung, Spittelberg, am Hof and in front of the Karlskirche.
The Schönbrunn Christmas Market takes place at the capital’s Schönbrunn Palace on the Parade Court from 22nd November until 26th December. It is open from 10 am until 8.30 pm every day except for Christmas Eve when it opens from 10 am until 4 pm. On Christmas Day and Boxing Day it opens from 10 am until 6 pm. The market consists of 60 stalls selling handcrafted goods like wooden Christmas tree decorations, tin toys and carved wooden items. There is also the possibility to combine a trip to the market with a tour of the palace.
The Christmas market in Innsbruck takes place at the Landhausplatz between 21st November and 28th December from 11 am until 9 pm every day. The market is visited during the early evening on 3rd December by the Rattenberger Perchten and on the 4th December by Santa Claus who lands on the Landhausplatz in a helicopter.
The Graz Christmas Market takes place at the City Hall between 21st November and 24th December from 10 am until 10 pm. The City Hall is decorated with an enormous advent calendar and there is a huge Christmas tree and old fashioned carousel ride in front of it but best of all there is an impressive ice sculpture of the nativity scene made from 50 tons of ice. Stallholders sell handcrafted work from Styria as well as farm products, food and drink.