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Best places to visit in Austria this Christmas

Image of Vienna Christmas market

From glühwein and gingerbread to handmade ornaments and intricately decorated trees, there’s nothing as festive as a Christmas market. These are a few of the best places in Austria to visit this Christmas…

Vienna – History and Handicrafts

Vienna’s Christmas market dates back to 1298, so it’s no surprise that the city is one of the most popular Christmas destinations in Austria.

These days there are over 20 official Advent markets in the beautiful streets of Vienna, so there’s plenty to explore.

Highlights include the Christmas Village outside the world-famous Belvedere Palace, and the enormous Christmas Market at Rathauspark. For something a little different, head to the Divina Art Christmas Market on Karlsplatz, where craftsmen and women from across Europe present their unique works.

Innsbruck – Christmas in the Alps

The capital city of the Tyrol region, Innsbruck is said to have some of the most beautiful Christmas markets in the alpine region. In the historic Old Town, surrounded by colourful medieval facades, the traditional Christmas Market is bustling with winter treats.

But for a true taste of the alps, take the new Hungerburgbahn funicular railway line up to Hungerburg Hill for the Panorama Christmas Market. Breathtaking views of Innsbruck, mountain snow, and plenty of tasty alpine treats await – as well as an atmospheric music programme every Sunday evening.

Salzberg – Music and Romance

One of the more romantic cities to visit at Christmas is picturesque Salzberg, with its pretty skyline of domes and towers.

The Salzberg Christmas Market dates from the 15th century and is found in front of the stunning Cathedral. A rich schedule of music, including choral singing in front of the Cathedral, runs alongside the market, and there are plenty more events across the city, including the famous Salzberg Advent Singing.

Feldkirch – Away from the Tourists

The western region of Vorarlberg, where Austria meets Germany, Switzerland and Lichtenstein, is ideal for an Austrian Christmas market trip with a difference.

The small, medieval town of Feldkirch is considered to have the prettiest Christmas market in the region, held on the cobbled pedestrian area in the listed city centre.

Feldkirch Christmas Market is less touristy than some of the others, and has a great atmosphere with a stronger focus on sentiment than on sales. Plus, the town is a stone’s throw from the scenic alps of Vorarlberg and the enormous Lake Constance, perfect for exploring further.

Linz – Indulge Your Sweet Tooth

The highlight of any Christmas market is the food, and the small city of Linz is one of the best places for foodies to visit in Austria this Christmas. This is the city of Linzer Torte, a spiced jam tart that dates from the Baroque period. Alongside the hot punch and gingerbread of the Christkindl market in the main square, there’s also a Linz Cookie Market at the Josef Linz restaurant. A city of pastry shops, cafes, and great food, this is the perfect place to try some of the best Austrian Christmas treats.

Graz – Fire and Ice

The Styrian capital in southern Austria does Christmas a little differently.

As well as warming glühwein, you can also find the local festive tipple of Feuerzangenbowle. It’s a blend of wine and rum set on fire – perfect for keeping warm on the frosty winter nights. But, those cold winters bring a little magic to Graz in the form of the Landhaushof Ice Crib. Every year this beautiful Renaissance courtyard hosts a unique nativity scene carved out of crystal clear ice, and it’s one of the highlights of Christmas time in Graz.

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