The first December market in Vienna appeared back in 13th century. The years turned this into the Christmas tradition that it is today.  The Old Viennese Christmas Market on Freyung is the oldest remaining “Weihnachtsmarkt” dating back to the 18th century. Ever since then the traditional spirit of Christmas has been floating around the city from mid-November to December 23rd every year.

For this period of almost two months the whole atmosphere in Vienna is magically transformed. The city is illuminated by the glamorous Christmas decorations, the spirit of tradition and the smell of celebration. You can literally breathe in the sweet scent of Christmas! From roasted chestnuts to pretzels and candied fruits-those scents will take you on a magical Christmas ride amongst small wooden market stalls and fabulously decorated trees telling you a true Christmas fairy tale.

In case you are looking for presents, there is nothing more special than a unique gift. This is why handcrafts are the perfect Christmas present! You will find about 70 stands on the Christmas village on Maria-Theresien-Platz, each and every one offering different and one of a kind items to choose from. The market in front of Karl’s Church and Am Hof Advent Market also offer a rich variety of authentic gifts by local artists.

However, if you are worried that you might miss out on the sightseeing, then you should definitely visit the markets in front of the two emblematic palaces of Vienna. The Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace will make you feel like a sophisticated lady/gentlemen from the 18th century with the spectacular baroque background and its traditional Austrian crafts, decorations and culinary. The cultural and Christmas market in front of the magnificent Schönbrunn Palace combines the smell of freshly baked sweets and hot wine with the contrast between the empirical surroundings and the glamorous Christmas decorations.

Places like The Christmas Village at Vienna’s former General Hospital, Winter Market on Riesenradplatz and the Christmas market on the City Hall Square on the other hand, put more emphasis on the festive atmosphere. While you are drinking mulled wine and choosing what to eat from the various selection of Christmas foods you can also listen and watch the regular performances. For the kids and everyone else who wants to have fun, there are numerous attractions too. You can find curling lines, ice rinks, carousels and many others here. If you don’t want to visit Vienna’s Christmas markets, which I doubt, your kids are probably going to make you.

Once you visit Vienna, you will always want to come back, that is a fact. The same goes for its Christmas Markets. The festive spirit here is not only magical but also highly contagious. This is why you are bound to take some of it home with you.