Vienna Christmas Markets Review

Vienna doesn’t mess about when it comes to Christmas markets – they host some of the largest and oldest ones in the world! You’ll find some pretty romantic settings here, amongst beautiful palaces and charming historic buildings. These markets cater to all tastes and each one has their own unique flair.

Chelsea at Vienna Christmas Markets
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I hopped over to Austria’s capital to explore the renowned Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz Christmas Market. In this review, I’m giving the lowdown on everything this market has to offer, from festive food and drinks to fun activities and Christmas shopping. This visit was part of my Christmas Market Crawl, where I set myself a challenge to rate and review seven European Christmas Markets in just seven days, as voted for by my followers!

Everything You Need To Know About The Vienna Christmas Markets

Christmas markets in Austria are an age-old and much-loved tradition dating all the way back to the Middle Ages. Today the capital, Vienna, has over 20 official Christmas markets, with new ones popping up every year. We’ve picked the markets below that stand out as some of the city’s most beautiful and popular.

What Christmas Markets Are There in Vienna?

The Schönbrunn Christmas Market is held in front of the grand Schönbrunn Palace and features 60 stalls with handmade crafts, gifts and festive decorations, including nativity sets. Don’t miss the giant Christmas tree and the stage for open-air concerts, adding a magical touch to your Vienna experience.

Vienna Christmas Markets

The Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace is the perfect festive treat, nestled alongside the enchanting Baroque palace. It features over 40 stalls offering everything from crafts to food. Kids can hop on the reindeer train or take a spin on the small carousel while adults can enjoy a stroll through the palace, soaking in its legendary art collection.

Vienna Christmas Markets

Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz is the true star of the city  maybe even the world! It enjoys the title of the world’s largest and Vienna’s oldest and most renowned Christmas Market. This iconic spot draws in a staggering four million visitors annually. It features an ice skating rink, a carousel and a massive Christmas tree that holds court in the centre. So, of course, I had to go and check it out and see how spectacular it really is!

Other markets in the city include Am Hof, in the historic town square, Stephansplatz, beside the cathedral and even one in the town’s botanical gardens, Hirschstetten.

When do Vienna Christmas Markets Open in 2023?

Vienna’s enchanting Christmas markets typically kick off around mid-November and stay open until the end of December. But the fun doesn’t stop there – a few of them reopen for a bonus week in January as New Year markets. So if you’re planning a new year getaway, check to see if the markets are still running – for example picturesque Schönbrunn market opens up again from 27 December 2024 – 4 January 2025.

Is Vienna a Good Destination for Christmas Markets?

Vienna is home to quite a few world famous Christmas markets, making it a great festive destination. The city is also well connected to the rest of Europe – my train from Budapest took under 2.5 hours, or you can get a train to the Slovakian capital, Bratislava, in just over an hour. You could also combine it with a visit to Austria’s second city, and jump on the 2.5 hour train to Salzburg. So, if you’re feeling adventurous it’s easy to explore a number of other Christmas markets too.

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How Expensive are Vienna Christmas Markets?

The prices at Vienna Christmas markets are quite similar to what I’ve experienced in the UK, with food around the £8 – £12 mark and mulled wine costing just under £5. The activities too, are reasonable, and there are plenty of areas to explore and take in for free!

The Best Vienna Christmas Market Hotels

My Review of Vienna Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz Christmas Market

Chelsea at Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz Vienna Christmas Markets

Vienna Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz Christmas Market Opening Dates and Times

Opening dates
Friday 10 November 2023 – Tuesday 26 December 2023

Times (for 24 Dec – 1 Jan times can vary)
Monday – Sunday: 10am–10pm

My First Impressions

Vienna’s Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz Christmas Market really has that wow factor thanks to the City Hall dominating the skyline and towering over the huts. It’s lit so beautifully that I honestly felt like I could have been in a Disney movie!

Vienna Christmas Markets

As for the market itself, it’s colossal. I did a speed walk through it and it took me over 10 minutes and say you did a gentle amble, with a mulled wine in hand, I reckon it could take you around 45 minutes.
The other thing I noted was that it was super spacious. There are no narrow rows between market stalls here, and plenty of space for people to roam. I did see a few wheelchairs and people with walking aids, as well as plenty of ramps and I didn’t spot any steps or awkward ground to manoeuvre, so it’s really accessible too.

Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz lights

Having said that, it’s a popular market so it does fill up – even with all that space. So if you’re averse to crowds, head to the markets earlier in the day, or sneak in late around 9pm before they close up.

Vienna Christmas Markets Lights


I saw many of the classics on offer including bratwurst, pork belly sandwiches, lángos, waffles, crepes and chimney cakes.

I opted for a grilled bratwurst for €9.40 (£8.10) and whilst I wasn’t expecting much, it was actually pretty tasty! They have a cheaper sausage on offer too for €7.40 (£6.35).

Chelsea at Vienna Christmas Markets

The food prices were similar to what you’d find in the UK but if you were after something cheap, there was a popular jacket potato stand where prices started from €5.50 (£4.70). A pork belly sandwich started at €12 (£10.30) and a cone of chips was €5.50 (£4.70).

Can you eat elsewhere in the city cheaper? Absolutely. But it’s not as bad as Budapest!!

Budapest's Advent Feast at the Basilica has been crowned the best Christmas market in Europe, I'm spilling the beans on all the good stuff – from food and drinks to activities and prices.

I did spot a few vegan options as well – one of which was at the pork belly place! They had a ‘wholegrain bread with homemade vegan pork dripping and fried onion’ for €8 (£6.85). It was really great to see places making an effort with a vegan option, rather than just selling chips.

However, all of this praise aside, I was disappointed with the lack of food vendors considering the vast size of the market. This led to huge queues at peak times, so much so that I opted to eat elsewhere when I got hungry after my sausage!


If you’re in the mulled wine mug game, Vienna has got your back. In fact, all the Christmas Markets in the city have different mugs so you could enjoy a game of collecting them all.

Mulled wine was €5.50 (£4.70) with a €5 (£4.30) mug deposit which you get back in cash if you don’t want to keep it.

Vienna Christmas Markets Drinks

There are loads of places serving mulled wine but they’re all in the same scheme and so the price doesn’t differ – and after two mugs, I couldn’t tell you whether the taste differed either! Overall, it was piping hot and an absolute treat.


There are lots of goods on offer including all the classics: hats, sweets, candles, decorations, lights, toys, food, drink, gifts… loads! 

Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz Shopping

I wasn’t there specifically to shop but nothing swayed me – there was a lot that I’d seen before at markets, however that’s not to say that some of it wasn’t nice. So definitely worth a look, but I wouldn’t head here with the main aim to shop.

Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz Shopping


Okay, where do I begin? One of the reasons this market is so big is because there are so many different areas. There’s a carousel, Ferris wheel (€4 / £3.45 a ride) and a kids zone complete with a mini ride.

Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz Carousel
Vienna Christmas Markets

There’s some epic ice skating where, instead of a rink, it’s like a racing track! There are parts that are downhill and so if you’re nervous about skating, definitely head here in the quieter times as some people properly zip around it.

My top tip is to book your tickets online as you’ll save 10%, making it just €9 (£7.70) for adults. That, or head over at 9:30pm just before they close when you can skate for free!

Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz ice skating

My favourite activity actually was the walkways dotted around the markets – perfect for escaping the crowds. They have really gone to town with the lights and design of these areas, and I appreciated this extra touch.

There’s also a – perhaps somewhat cheesy moment – when a lit-up heart crosses the sky and unites with a tree that once it touches it, lights up with red hearts. I’m not usually a soppy person, until it comes to excellent production it seems! I just loved that they didn’t have to do these bits, but it really added to the magic.

Vienna Christmas Markets Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz

Are Vienna's Christmas Markets Worth Visiting?

My Overall Thoughts

I really liked Vienna’s Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz Christmas Market. Whilst the food options left a little to be desired, the mulled wine hit the spot and I just loved looking up at the city hall, and across to the trees all lit up and festive.

Also – and perhaps I’m being a Scrooge here – there wasn’t booming music being played and I really liked that! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Christmas song but I’ve been to markets before where they play the most bizarre songs (I’m looking at you Warsaw playing Samantha Mumba at the ice rink) and so I actually preferred this.

Chelsea at Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz

That, and it made my editing much easier for the video I made – haha!

I know that there are many other – more traditional – Christmas Markets in Vienna which I didn’t have time to get to, however I think this one is absolutely worth a visit.

Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz lights

So, Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz gets an overall 8/10 from me.

Sometimes the big markets lose their charm, but I think Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz has managed to retain theirs.

Other European Christmas Markets to Visit

Check out our list of the top Christmas markets in Europe and our Budapest Christmas Markets review.

Follow my Christmas Market Crawl challenge where I visit seven markets in seven days, as voted for by my followers on Instagram.

Get ready for a wild festive ride across Europe. We're exploring seven Europe Christmas markets in seven days - all chosen by you!
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Vienna Christmas market review 2023

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