There is nothing better than a cup of Glühwein and a packet of Maroni to keep you warm and full while you wander around the Christmas markets. They are quite a big deal in Vienna and there are so many around the city that probably one day won’t be enough to cover all of them.
The biggest ones are the ones at Rathaus, Stephansplatz, Karlsplatz, Belvedre, Schönbrunn, Am Hof and Maria-Theresien-Platz. Of course there are many others as well such as the one in MQ or in Campus (Alters AKH). The smaller ones certainly make you feel cosier as they are preferred from the locals. If you want to stay away from the touristic crowds you should definitely skip the ones mentioned earlier and go for those which are not that popular.
If you want to be overwhelmed with Christmas spirit you should definitely go to the Christmas market at Rathaus. It is really magical with all of its decorations and stalls selling everything from Bretzels to small Indian figures. They have everything that you can think of and offer a great atmosphere. The only downfall to it is that it is very crowded especially around the weekend. That is more than normal but if you are a person that likes quieter places – that’s not the one for you.
If you are more in the mood for a royal stroll – choose one of the two markets situated in Belvedere and Schönbrunn. The second one is considered very preferable for tourists but it is very big and it normally has its own stage where they sing Christmas carols live. There are much more places where you can comfortably put your cup of Eierlikör and enjoy what is around you than in other bigger markets and that is why I like it. Also it has a huge Christmas tree in the middle of the court and I have to admit it really cheers up and puts you in a Christmas mood.
The smaller markets such as the one at Spittelberg and the one at the Campus could be seen in less than 30 minutes but their goal is not really to make a big profit from sales rather than offer you a warm beverage with some fries or chestnuts. I personally think it is very convenient for all of the students who have their lectures in the campus, because they can wind off after it with some friends over a cup of Glühwein.
All of the markets are decorated very beautifully so make sure to take a photo or two just to capture the magical moment. Normally the whole city is richly decorated and almost every street in the 1st district has some kind of decoration. I assure you it is a great place to visit around the Christmas holidays – the magic is in the air and even if you are the biggest Grinch on the planet you will definitely surrender to the magic of Vienna.