The Christmas Markets of Vienna, Austria

There are many reasons to visit the historic city of Vienna in Austria, but planning a trip in November will treat you with the extra treat of the Christmas markets. The markets in Vienna start in the middle of November, which is earlier than most of the other markets in Europe. We were there two years ago and visited four different Christmas markets that were located near the top sightseeing sites in the city. Although you can certainly visit the Christmas markets during the day, to really enjoy them, you should go at night.

Glass Ornaments for Sale
We Still Have One of These Gluhwein Mugs


Plenty of Crowds at the Markets
So Many Options for Gifts
Specialty Teas
Outside of the Cathedral

Obviously there are plenty of hot drinks to be found such as hot chocolate and gluhwein (hot mulled wine), but there are many more things to be found in the markets. Handmade crafts are on display with many of them being for the holiday season as well as items that make excellent gifts for family and friends. Food is certainly another highlight of all of the markets with many choices of bratwurst, roasted chestnuts, pretzels, and a variety of sweets. We actually purchased a candle holder with images of Mozart and Vienna at one of the stalls as a souvenir of our trip.

Unique Gifts
Ice Skating at a Market
Wein Lounge
Where We Bought our Candle Holder
Getting Busy
Colorful Hats
Perfect Setting for a Market

The markets are a great place to spend time with family and friends or just to stroll as a couple. With so many people gathering to enjoy the spirit of the season, they are certainly places of happiness. One of the markets that we visited in Vienna also included ice skating as they had frozen the walking paths and turned them into a skating rink. It certainly was one of the more unique Christmas markets that we have seen. Clearly Vienna has many reasons to visit at any time of the year such as the palace, opera house, and cathedral, but if you plan your trip during the holidays you will also get to enjoy some of the best Christmas markets in all of Europe.

Frozen Sidewalk for Ice Skating
Late in the Day
One of Four Christmas Markets that We Visited


Christmas Decorations
One of the Smaller Markets
Great for the Whole Family
Handmade Ornaments
Toys for Sale


We Have Arrived in Strasbourg, France

We took the ICE train from Frankfurt to Strasbourg, France, yesterday and arrived around midday. We spent the afternoon walking around the old city and Petit France. Today we will see the city in greater detail and plan to take the river tour that goes around the entire city. Tomorrow we will take a tour of the wine road, seeing some smaller, historic towns and hopefully a wine tasting. We are going to be fairly busy, so we will share all of adventures when we arrive back in Frankfurt. We didn’t take too many photos yesterday, but here are couple, just to give you a sense of what we are seeing.

The Notre Dame Cathedral of Strasbourg
Christmas Tree at one of the Markets
Christmas Market outside of the Cathedral
Decorated Store Fronts
Hotel in Petit France
The Cathedral Dominates Everything
Close Up of the Cathedral Window
Sunset from our Hotel
Another View One of the Christmas Market


Frankfurt’s Christmas Markets

The Christmas markets started last week and they dominate the areas where we normally shop and eat. The markets have definitely been everything that we were expecting and heard that they would be. Lots and lots of food, Glühwein, Apfelwein, beer, candy, and souvenirs galore. We understand that Frankfurt’s markets are one of the larger Christmas markets, at least in terms of attendance, and the crowds have definitely shown up in full force. We aren’t ones to stay out too late, but from what we have heard, the crowds can get quite boisterous and it is quite the party with everyone who has had the fill of alcohol and food. It is hard not to have a good time with everyone enjoying themselves and a general feeling of celebration in the air.

Shiny Lights and Gathering Crowds
Enjoying the Celebration
Singing Christmas Carols
Row of Stalls
Plenty of Shopping

During the day, it is definitely a family affair as kids ride the merry-go-rounds and are amazed at the festively colored temporary buildings. It is amazing how elaborate these stalls can be considering that they are only in place for a month including restaurants with tables, wine stands with indoor seating areas, and stores with hundreds of shelves. As the day turns into night, the markets turn to more of an adult playground as more and more young adults make their way out to party with the Christmas spirit.

One of the Merry-Go-Rounds


Candy Vender


Christmas Decorations
Popcorn Stand
Temporary Restaurant

We made our way down to Alten Limpurg, one of favorite restaurants, but it was quite difficult to get there and we were lucky to get a seat. We definitely won’t be going there over the weekend as it is far to busy for us. The party goes on seven days a week, though, so we can probably make our way down there during a weekday when the crowds are not quite as bad. We have had bratwurst and currywurst from the stands and we will definitely be getting some roasted chestnuts soon. We have also had some chocolates and will have a few specialties from Frankfurt over the coming weeks.

Inside Our Favorite Bar
Shopping in the Market
Elaborate Temporary Buildings
Glühwein Vender