The 11 Best Christmas Markets in Austria You Can’t Miss

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If you’re looking for the best Christmas markets in Austria then you’ve come to the right place as we have all the details you’re looking for!

The Christmas market scene in Austria might not be as big or famous as in neighboring Germany, but with plenty of snowy mountain backdrops and stunning cities, it’s certainly just as magical.

Plus, you might be able to combine your trip to the markets with hitting the slopes for some skiing or snowboarding in certain destinations!

From the wonders of Vienna’s many markets to the magic of Christmas markets hosted in castles, here are our top picks for Austrian Christmas markets you should definitely visit.

NOTE: Most of these destinations have multiple Christmas markets to choose from, but if you’re in town, we figure you’ll probably be visiting them all anyway! So, just know when we say “Best Christmas Markets in Austria”, what we’re really talking about is Best Places to Visit for Christmas Markets in Austria. Enjoy!

Vienna’s Christmas Markets

As the capital of Austria, it’s no surprise that Vienna hosts more than a dozen Christmas markets scattered across the city, so it’s a great destination if you want more bang for your buck!

Many of Vienna’s Christmas markets also take place in stunning locales, like the Christmas Village at the baroque Belvedere Palace, the Christmas Market at Schönbrunn Palace and the k.u.k. Weihnachtsmarkt am Michaelerplatz which is located in front of the beautiful Hofburg Palace.

Don’t miss out on the Viennese Dream Christmas Market in Vienna’s Rathausplatz, which features 150 stalls with the neo-gothic City Hall as a backdrop. Other gorgeous spots include the winter market inside Vienna’s famous Prater Gardens and Art Advent at Karlsplatz in the shadow of Vienna’s glorious Karlskirche.

For more information, visit our full Vienna Christmas Markets Guide

Graz’s Christmas Markets

Like Vienna, Graz is home to many excellent Christmas markets, although they’re not too spread out making this one of the most walkable Christmas market destinations in Austria.

Many of Graz’s festive offerings focus on local and handmade handicrafts from the region, with plenty of delicious fare to sample. Markets such as the one on Färberplatz and the one on Mehlplatz offer some great handmade arts and crafts if you want a lovely authentic gift, plus there are some dazzling light projections on Mehlplatz to enjoy too.

Another unique aspect to Graz’s Christmas markets is that there are some that place an emphasis on doing good, such as the stalls at Eisernes Tor which are run by charities (so you know your money is doing going where it’s needed) and the sustainable Grieskindlmarket on Nikolaiplatz!

Graz is also home to a fantastic Circus Wonderlend (no, that’s not a typo) which has exciting performances and light projections along with the expected stalls.

For more information, check out our full Graz Christmas Markets Guide

Salzburg’s Christmas Markets

Salzburg is beautiful and famous as the home of ‘The Sound of Music’ (not to mention the birthplace of Mozart) and it also hosts some enchanting Christmas markets during the festive season.

The most famous of Salzburg’s Christmas markets is the Salzburger Christkindlmarkt, which takes place in front of the gorgeous Salzburg Cathedral across both Domplatz and Residenzplatz.

A special Christmas market also takes place in the courtyard of Fortress Hohensalzburg, which sits above Salzburg with stunning views. More than a hundred traditional decorative Moravian stars bathe the castle courtyard in light, making it quite romantic too!

Another must-see Christmas market in Salzburg is the Hellbrunner Adventzauber in front of the Hellbrunn Palace, which features a fairytale forest and a giant Advent calendar in the palace windows.

For more information, read our full Salzburg Christmas Markets Guide

Innsbruck’s Christmas Markets

Innsbruck is a fabulous winter destination in Austria since it’s got plenty of mountains for skiing (it’s hosted multiple winter Olympics events), plus it has many magical Christmas markets to enjoy as well!

Most of Innsbruck’s Christmas markets are small and cozy, often with a focus on the tradition of advent – like the one in the St Nikolaus district. The Old Town Christmas Market is perhaps the biggest, taking place in front of the famous Golden Roof, from which there are sometimes musical performances.

Don’t miss out on the market in the main Marktplatz, which features a dazzling Christmas tree bedecked in Swarovski crystals, or the Kaiserweihnacht (Emperor’s Christmas) which is held on Bergisel hill with incredible views over the city of Innsbruck.

For more information, see our full Innsbruck Christmas Markets Guide

Linz’s Christmas Markets

Linz is a beautiful town in upper Austria on the Danube and while it only has two main Christmas markets, they more than make up for the number with quality!

The Christkindlmarkt on the main square features stunning triangular light trees on top of every stall, combined with the backdrop of all the beautiful old Baroque buildings. At night this market is particularly beautiful and offers all sorts of lovingly handmade gift ideas, along with yummy food.

There’s also a Christmas market in the Volksgarten, which is delightful and especially popular with children. Illuminated trees stand between the wooden stalls, while there are also fairy tale huts with moving figures. A highlight is the wooden nativity scene which comes alive every 30 minutes!

For more information, here’s our full Linz Christmas Markets Guide

Klagenfurt’s Christmas Market

Klagenfurt (full name Klagenfurt am Wörthersee) is the capital of Carinthia in Austria and gets a lovely festive makeover during the Christmas period.

The main Christmas market surrounds the famous Lindwurm Fountain (with a statue of a dragon, or lindworm), on Neuer Platz. Here you can sample regional food and drinks while shopping for gifts underneath a massive Christmas tree. There’s also a smaller, more intimate market on the Domplatz which often features live music performances.

Klagenfurt is located next to the Wörthersee Lake, and beautiful Christmas decorations are placed all over the city all the way from the historic city center down to the lakeside, making it an enchanting spot for photos.

For more information, visit our full Klagenfurt Christmas Market Guide

St. Wolfgang’s Christmas Market

St. Wolfgang is one of three villages located on the banks of Wolfangsee Lake, which together form the delightful Wolfgangseer Advent.

There are Christmas markets in each of the three towns, along with incredible displays of giant angels in St. Wolfgang, a life-size nativity scene in Strobl and Baroque-style advent art in St. Gilgen. From any of the towns, you can also witness the giant floating peace lantern on the lake.

It’s quite easy to combine a visit to all three of these destinations, as it’s about a ten-minute drive between St. Wolfgang and Strobl, then a 15-minute drive from Strobl to St. Gilgen.

The Wolfgangseer Advent also hosts events including Krampus runs, lantern boat rides on the lake, plenty of musical performances and special Advent rides on the SchafbergBahn cog railway!

For more information, this is our full St. Wolfgang Christmas Market Guide

Steyr’s Christmas Market

Steyr is a gorgeous historic city in Austria with one of the best-preserved Old Towns in the country, so it simply becomes more beautiful when bedecked with Christmas decor!

There are two main Christmas market areas in Steyr, one is held within the historic Old Town, featuring a stunning backdrop of both Lamberg Castle and St Michael’s Church. This market offers gifts to purchase along with daily blacksmithing displays, a nativity scene and Advent bugle players.

Steyr also holds a Christmas market on the Promenade, which is particularly good for children as it includes a children’s train, a merry-go-round and opportunities for pony riding. There are also fairy tale figures to discover, stories, music and local artisans demonstrating their crafts.

For more information, read our full Steyr Christmas Market Guide

Villacher Adventmarkt

The Austrian town of Villach is another small but stunning one that manages to pack a lot of Christmassy goodness into a short time period.

The main Villach Christkindl market takes place around the parish church and offers up plenty of lovely gift ideas. There are also six special culinary huts where guests can sample delicacies from the six Villach regions.

Thursday to Sunday there’s also another special ‘Art Advent’ market where visitors can find beautiful handmade gift ideas.

Along with the market stalls, Villach holds some magical events during the Advent season, including a Krampus run, the arrival of the Christkind with the Three Wise Men and lots of fun activities for children!

For more information, check out our full Villach Christmas Market Guide

Welser Weihnachtswelt

The town of Wels gets a festive makeover during Advent, transforming the beautiful mountain village into a literal Christmas World or ‘Welser Weihnachtswelt’.

During this period, from the end of November until Christmas Eve, the town square of Wels is filled with wooden chalets selling gifts from the region and delicious treats. Wels is a particularly good Christmas destination if you are visiting with children, as it has a special Christmas post office and shop inside the Ledererturm, or tower of the Christ Child.

This Christ Child delivers gifts to children around the world, so visitors can leave a wish at the top of his heavenly kingdom of clouds in the Ledererturm.

The Pollheimerpark is also filled with angels, lights and giant deer, along with live ponies to pet. A carousel, romantic horse-drawn carriage rides and a fairy tale trail combine to make this a perfect destination for children and young-at-heart couples!

Hohenwerfen Castle’s Romantic Advent Market

Germany isn’t the only place to have Christmas markets held in castles, there are also some lovely ones in Austria – particularly this one!

The Romantic Advent Market is an Austrian Christmas event held within the grounds of Festung Hohenwerfen; a castle above the market town of Werfen. This castle was famously used as a filming location in the 1968 war film “Where Eagles Dare” and a pivotal scene in the Amazon series “The Man in the High Castle”.

Of course, now Festung Hohenwerfen hosts a yearly ‘romantic’ advent market which is indeed very romantic to see an entire castle bedecked in lights and other decorations for Christmas. There are stalls selling local handicrafts and yummy food, as well as live folk music and a program for children.

Perhaps the coolest part of this event is that there are also many Krampus figures getting up to mischief around the beginning of December when Saint Nicholas also visits on St Nicholas’ Day!

Hohenwerfen Castle in Austria with trees and clouds behind.
Photo by Anja Junghans on Unsplash

Did we miss any of your favorite Austrian Christmas markets?

Let us know in the comments so we can update our list!

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