Christkindlmarkt is the austrian name for "Christmas-market" and the most beautiful in many ways is for me the one in Schoenbrunn castle.
There is a big number of shops lined up in a big cercle in the court in front of the castle.
You may easily go around for shopping as there are no small paths with other customers pushing you around.
There is a lot of space to walk or take a rest at one of the 4 food-stands in the centre of the market with a lot of tables and space around them.
In Vienna you will find more than 10 big Christkindl-markets
read more about them in my "shopping-tips"!
I've been in a fair few European capitals in December but I think it's highly unlikely that anyone does Christmas better than the Viennese. The place seems somehow made for Christmas and you will have absolutely no problem finding a Christmas Market to shop or browse in. The biggest and probably the most commercial is at the Rathaus and then various other smaller ones are dotted around at regular intervals. On Freyung, the Square we stayed on, there was a great market, small enough to get around easily and with quite a lot of crafts and home-made foods. A little way up the street was Am-Hof, specialising in antiques and bric-a-brac and outside the Kunsthistoriche Museum was the best craft market I came across. I bought wax stars here and some ceramic jewelry . I also bought cute little wooden toys for the 'kinder' in my life and a black ornamental cat for myself. Sometimes the crowds are so thick that it can be difficult to see the stalls, so if you're an early bird then your chances of some relaxed shopping are greatly enhanced. Most of the markets stay open until around 9 in the evening and it's really nice to stop and have a hot punch on your way back home.
In Vienna (like many other places in Europe), there is a tradition of Christmas markets in the holiday season. These markets are not just for shopping -- but are social events. People enjoy good conversation along with traditional Christmas snacks (such as Heisse Maroni) and drinks (such as Punsch).
Austrians believe that pigs bring good luck. The pig has long been a significant animal, especially at the end of the year, as a symbol of abundance, because all parts of the pig can be eaten.
At New Year’s pigs of all sorts — stuffed, ceramic, glass, etc. — are exchanged as a good luck symbol.
In some restaurants on New Year’s Eve a pig is let loose within the establishment; guests try to touch the animal for good luck as it runs around.
I think children pretty enjoy this activities in Rathaus. The hall is separeted in many rooms and in every of them is different type of handicraft as cooking cookies, painting pictures, sewing and so on. They are very cute. People can buy their products.
Our favorite was a cute girl making some cookies.
Vienna doesn't just stop at Christmas markets. There are wonderful decorations on streets, public buildings and shops all over the city. I have never before seen so many perfectly dressed Christmas trees and it made me cringe to think of some of the scraggy, almost bare offerings which grace some of our towns and open spaces. Even some of the trams are decorated at Christmas and watching one go by festooned with great golden bows is a sight for sore eyes. I understand the Christmas trams can be hired for private parties which must explain how jolly all the passengers look. As well as at market stands, people drinking gluehwein can be found in courtyards everywhere. So many buildings in Vienna are actually former palaces that an amazingly high number of them have large cobbled courtyards hidden away inside. Passing by in the evening you are alerted to these courtyards by the smell of hot mulled wine and the buzz of conversation. A most civilised local custom, I think.
The Wiener Eistraum is an annual ice skating venue spread over much of the Rathauspark. This area contains two large oval skating rinks, two small children's rinks, plus a long ice trail that weaves through the park. Tickets can be purchased for a full day of skating, or just a partial day and the prices range from 1.5 Euro to 3.5 Euro per person depending on age. After skating, or while resting, the central area has numerous local food and drink booths with plenty of beer, gluhwein, and regular wine.
Throughout the Eistraum festival, there are special events such as charity hockey games, a jazz brunch, an Irish band, and Romeo and Juliet on Ice.
The inner hall of the Viennese town hall is a real workshop into the Christmas time.
The children bake cookies and then, they sell to the many visitors.
The aggregate sale is donated for the arms, orphan, or suffers children.
It is a joy and an amusement to admire, the small, hard-working hand, that work.
The children bake cookies, paint small pictures or picture frames, and make colourful candles or Christian tree jewellery.
In the Weeks before Christmas you will find numerous markets across Vienna's squares and pedestrian zed zones.
The most famous festivity is the Viennese Christmas Market, on the town hall place.
The stalls sell mainly small gifts and Christmas decorations, as well as punch and hot spiced wine to warm you on cold winter evenings.
This party lasts from end November until at the 24th December, on the Christmas Eve.
In the six weeks leading up to Christmas, Vienna and many other towns and cities have a Christkindlmarkt - an Advent Market. They sell a lot of traditional products - such as wooden toys, christmas decorations, sweets and cakes, as well as hand-crafted ornaments and nick-nacks. There are always stands to get food and drink - usually you pay a cover charge for a mug when you buy Punsch or mulled wine and can then walk around the Christmas market with your warm (potent alcoholic) drink in your hand, and enjoy the atmosphere. For younger visitors there are often fairground style-carousels, and there are various such markets all around the city. In city, the main ones are usually at: The Rathaus (the biggest one), the Altes AKH complex, The Freyung, Karlsplatz / Resselpark, Schönbrunn and in the Spittelberg area.
The link is for the Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt
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