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A lot of tourists are coming each year to Austria and Vienna especially in order to attend the famous Christmasmarkets there. Here you will find the most important of the markets in Vienna and all of them you will find in a special page that I made about "Christmas in Vienna".
Adventzauber am Rathausplatz is the largest of all christmas-markets in Vienna and it includes a lot of activities for children, like rides in a train for children, pony-carriages, small huts, where professional actors are reading fairy-tales etc. A lot of the many giant trees in the park are lighted in a really beautiful way and there are benches as well.
The Weihnachtsmarkt of Schloss Schoenbrunn is in my opinion the most beautiful and most scenic one in Vienna :
That market will be set up inside the big court in front of the former summer-palace of the Austrian emperors and it consists of a large circle of shopping-stands and only 4 food-stands in the centre of that cercle, so you will hardly ever have to fight yourselves through crowds of people, but will have in fact a lot of space to walk freely and enjoy also the lovely scenery of the Schloss Schoenbrunn in the background.
Spittelberger Weihnachtsmarkt is famous mainly for 2 reasons :
1st) Spittelberg is one of the old parts of the city with narrow streets, cobbled stones etc. and
2nd) in this area a lot of artists have settled and built their arteliers here, that are nowadays also part of the x-mas-market.
Weihnachtsdorf am Schloss Belvedere is a place I may mainly recommend because of its special place in front of Schloss Belvedere, that will be beautifully lighted as well. This market is quite small and it will also have less visitors than other markets. At the end of the market you will find a lovely nostalgic merry-go-round, it sounds like driven by steam, but I guess it is a replica with artificial sound.
Kunsthandwerksmarkt am Karlsplatz is the name of another christmas-market that is speciallized in unique handicrafts by various artists, and once again that main attraction of this market is the location next to the beautifully lighted Karlskirche.
They have some attractions for children as well
What to buy: More or less you get the same things in all of the markets with a few exceptions.
What to pay: Prices are also quite the same in all markets
Updated Feb 26, 2010
Grafenegger Advent is a special event, normally held around December 8th ( a holiday in Austria), and depending on the day of the week there will be a few days added before or after that date.
There will be x-mas-plays performed , famous actors will read christmas-stories and a chorus will perform carols etc.
check the dates for Grafenegger Advent here
What to buy: And besides this there will be a christmas-market inside the castle of Grafenegg and at this market you will mainly find small works of art made by great artists, books, precious porcelain, anitques etc...
What to pay: In 2004 the entrance-fee was 7 Euros for the whole day !
Written Feb 17, 2010
Kleinhaugsdorf is a small village at the Austrian Border to Czechia.
When the iron curtain fell down, a young man from Austria had the clever idea to build a duty-free-shoppingcentre in "No-man's land" between the 2 countries and he called it Excalibur City.
He became a multi-millionaire within only a few years and built a city around his dreams of knights, farietales, dragons.
What to buy: The times of the dutyfree-shopping are over now, since the Czech Republic is part of the EU and nowadays people go there mainly for the special atmosphere, for the great, and still quite cheap food and not so much for shopping !
Something special that you should know :
You are allowed to take only 25 single cigarettes (1,5 packets)
into Austria or any other EU-country from there !
What to pay: You might get some bargains here or there, BUT I would recommend it mainly as a stopover on your way to Czech Republik.when you compare prices, you should know, that all the bottles there are 1 litre, while bottles of spirits in Austria are just 0,7 litres - and the price is still about the same - so you actually get about 1/3 for free.
Updated Feb 14, 2010
I made quite a popular page about this Designeroutlet here on VT, obviously a lot of people are interested in this kind of shoping ! Dont expect to get the lastest fashion for those special prices ! In most of the shops you can read it clearly already in the window : all of these goods are from previous seasons, and / or some of the items may have some minor errors or mis-constructions etc.
On the other hand you will find a really big choice of goods, an almost empty shop during ordinary weekdays and you will get all the help and attention when choosing your merchandise.
The shopping-arcades are wide and the shops had been quite empty at 1 hour before closing-time on a wednesday. Customers actually have to get there by their own car, only on friday and saturday there is a bus from Vienna to Parndorf.
I am not very familiar with designer-labels, but recognized that almost all of the most famous labels seem to have their own shops there : take a look at their web-page !
What to buy: When it is important for you to wear a certain lable on your clothings, these shops in the Designer-Outlet Parndorf make sense ! You might be happy to get a jacket for "just" 300 euros that is over 600 euros in other shops, BUT in case that you are used to pay just 59 euros for a jacket (like I normally do) it does not make sense to go there at all...
What to pay: Reductions are 50% and even more
In the designeroutlet Parndorf you will find
150 different shops with more than 600 different lables
it is open daily except sundays and holidays !!
Monday till Friday : 09.30a.m. till 07.00p.m.
saturdays from 09.00a.m. till 06.00p.m. !
Updated Feb 14, 2010
Address: A-7111 Parndorf / Designer Outlet Strasse
If you wish to visit some Christmas markets in the city of Vienna, you should visit the city several weeks before Christmas eve. Most Christmas markets in the city operate from the middle of November untill 23rd December each year.
There are quite a number of these Christmas markets held in the heart of the city, viz. at Rathausplatz, Karlsplatz, Schönbrunn Palace, Belvedere Palace, Maria Theresienplatz and at several other locations. The largest of these markets with the most numbers of stalls is located at Rathaus square. Many of these markets even offer entertainments especially for children. We visited the city of Vienna on Christmas day, so most Christmas markets in the city have already been closed except for several stalls at Schönbrunn Palace.
Among the items that you can purchase at these Christmas markets are food and drinks such as hot mulled spiced wine, roasted chestnuts, ginger bread, cheese, Christmas ornaments, Christmas cakes and cookies. Other items available are original handmade handicrafts, jewelries, clothings, Christmas presents and Christmas decorations. Of course these Christmas markets are beautifully illuminated at night with Christmas trees and other lightings and decoarations.
What to buy: Hot mulled spiced wine, ginger bread and roasted chestnuts are highly recommended.
Updated Jan 19, 2010
Ringstrassen-galerien Shopping Mall is an exclusive upmarket shopping centre located right in the heart of the city of Vienna. This is a very impressive shopping complex and is probably the best shopping centre in the city! There are approximately 60 shops with several cafés, bars and restaurants in the shopping complex. The shopping centre is housed in the 19th century Palais Corso and Kärntnerringhof. It was designed by Wilheim Holzbauer and Georg Lippert. It is certainly a one stop shopping centre dealing in wide range of fashion, lifestyle and household products.
Opening hours are between 10.00 a.m. and 7.00 p.m. from Monday to Friday and between 10.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. on Saturday. It is closed on Sunday. Unfortunately all the shops were closed during the Christmas weekend when we were in Vienna except for some stalls selling food and drinks and stores selling souvenirs. Ringstrassen-galerien was certainly beautifully decorated and illuminated during the Christmas festive season. You may e-mail to the following address for more information regarding Ringstrassen-galerien: firstname.lastname@example.org
What to buy: Souvenirs and chocolates were our favourite items.
What to pay: We are afraid prices are not cheap at Ringstraasen-galerien as this is an upmarket shopping centre.
Updated Jan 18, 2010
Address: Kärntner Ring 5-13, Vienna
You may shop for souvenirs at Kalke Village just opposite Hundertwasserhaus at the corner of Löwengasse and Kegelgasse in the third district of Vienna. There are quite a number of souvenir shops in the village. Prices seems to be fixed and reasonable. An interesting section in the village is the art gallery on the first floor where admission is free. You are able to purchase copies of the art that are on display.
Another interesting section is the Toilet of Modern Art in the basement (Photos 3 and 4). Admission to the toilet is charged. You can also obtain information regarding Hundertwasserhaus at the information centre below Hundertwasserhaus (Photo 5).
What to buy: Prices of souvenirs seems to be fixed in all the shops and outlets at Kalke Village. For instance refrigerator's magnets cost 3.90 euros each, three for 9.90 euros and five for 14.90 euros. Post cards cost 0.40 euros each. We bought five pieces of refrigerator's magnets from Kalke Village as depicted in our photo 2.
Updated Dec 31, 2009
Address: Löwengasse/Kegelgasse, Vienna
This shop offers all kinds of things hand-carved from wood. They range from simple to ornate. They have an especially large selection of Christmas ornaments.
What to pay: Prices have a wide range but I thought they were all reasonably priced considering items were hand-carved.
Updated Jan 21, 2009
Address: Badergasse 2, A-5020 Salzburg
One of the fun things to do in Salzburg is people watch. People there have costumes worn on special occasions and they are beautiful. The women's outfits, called dirndls are especially lovely and this shop is a great place to look around and see not only completed dirndls but also the fabric to make one.
What to buy: They sell a few local crafts but the fabric section of the store is the best.
What to pay: Dirndls are extremely expensive. The best bet is to just look and enjoy.
Written Jan 21, 2009
Address: Am Residenzplatz 9
Located on Vienna's main shopping street, ZSJ has been around for hundreds of years. It's where the Empress Maria Theresa used to buy her linens. The work they do here is wonderful. Everything on offer is beautiful and they have items to fit every budget. Just try to get out of there without buying everything!
What to buy: All linens are nice but, for an inexpensive gift for someone back home, try the handkerchiefs. For something pricier, they have embroidered napkins, placemats, & tablecloths, most with a flower motif and all beautiful.
What to pay: Anywhere from 10 Euros up to hundreds of Euros per item.
Written Jan 21, 2009
Address: Graben 26
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