In this article, we will look at the best areas to stay in Vienna for Christmas Markets, how to get to the Christmas Market, and the best hotels in Vienna for all budget travelers.
Vienna is a fantastic destination for experiencing the magic of Christmas markets. The city is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and festive atmosphere during the holiday season.
Vienna’s Christmas markets typically start in mid-November and run until December 24th, with some continuing until the New Year. The most famous and traditional market, the Vienna Christmas Market in front of the City Hall (Rathaus), usually opens in mid-November.
Some of the most popular Christmas markets in Vienna include:
- Vienna Christmas World at Rathausplatz
- Schönbrunn Palace Christmas Market
- Belvedere Palace Christmas Market
The Christmas markets are perfect for shopping for unique gifts and holiday decorations. You’ll find handmade crafts, ornaments, traditional Austrian gifts, and delicious treats like gingerbread cookies, roasted chestnuts, and mulled wine.
Don’t miss the chance to savor Austrian Christmas delicacies like sausages, potato dishes, and pastries. Warm up with a mug of Glühwein (mulled wine) or try some Punsch, a popular Austrian hot punch, to keep the cold at bay.
Many markets offer entertainment such as live music, choirs, and nativity scenes. Rathausplatz often hosts cultural performances, making it a great place to soak up the festive atmosphere.
Several Christmas markets, including the one at Rathausplatz, have ice skating rinks where you can glide on the ice while enjoying the holiday ambiance.
If you’re traveling with kids, many Christmas markets have activities like carousels and small rides to keep the little ones entertained.
Vienna can be quite cold in December, so dress warmly with layers, a good coat, and comfortable shoes for walking around.
Where to stay in Vienna for Christmas Markets?
The best areas to stay in Vienna for Christmas Markets are Stephansplatz, Rathausplatz, Spittelberg, Mariahilfer Straße, Schönbrunn Palace, Belvedere Palace, Karlsplatz, and Prater. These areas offers easy access to many markets both on foot and by public transportation.
In general, Stephansplatz and Rathausplatz are the most popular locations for tourists and first-time travelers. It is the heart of Vienna, located in Vienna Innere Stadt and offers easiest access to major attractions.
Make sure to book your accommodations well in advance, as Vienna is a popular destination during the Christmas season, and hotels and rentals can fill up quickly.
Map of the best areas in Vienna for Chirstmas markets:
How to get to the Vienna Christmas Market?
If you’re arriving from another city or country, you can use Vienna’s international airport, Vienna International Airport, which is well-connected to the city center.
From the airport, you can reach Vienna city center by using the City Airport Train (CAT), S-Bahn (Suburban Train) S7 line, Bus, and Taxi.
Vienna is also well-connected to other European cities by train. The main train station is Wien Hauptbahnhof (Main Station), but there are also other stations like Wien Westbahnhof and Wien Meidling. You can check schedules and book tickets at the Austrian Federal Railways website.
Vienna has an excellent public transportation system that includes trams, buses, and underground (U-Bahn) lines. You can purchase tickets for single or multiple zones.
Options include single tickets, 24-hour tickets, and weekly passes. The Vienna Card, which offers unlimited travel for 24, 48, or 72 hours, is also available.
Vienna’s city center is compact and pedestrian-friendly, making it easy to explore on foot. Many of the city’s top attractions are within walking distance of each other.
8 Best areas to stay in Vienna for Christmas Markets:
Stephansplatz is one of the best areas to stay in Vienna for travelers who want to be in the heart of Vienna’s Christmas festivities. Stephansplatz is the central square in Vienna’s historic Inner City (Innere Stadt) and is home to the iconic St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom).
Stephansplatz often hosts its own Christmas market, creating a lively and festive atmosphere right at your doorstep. Additionally, you’ll have easy access to other nearby Christmas markets, such as the one at Rathausplatz, which is just a short walk or tram ride away.
The area around Stephansplatz is a shopper’s paradise. You’ll find high-end boutiques, department stores, and traditional Austrian shops, making it a great place for holiday shopping. During Christmas, many stores are beautifully decorated.
There are numerous restaurants, cafes, and traditional Austrian pastry shops (Cafés) in this area. You can enjoy delicious Austrian festive treats like mulled wine (Gluhwein) and Christmas cookies.
Apart from St. Stephen’s Cathedral, you’ll be within walking distance of other historic and cultural attractions, such as the Hofburg Imperial Palace, Albertina Museum, and the Vienna State Opera.
Stephansplatz is not only a central transportation hub but also a cultural and commercial focal point in Vienna, making it a must-visit destination for tourists exploring the city. It can be quite popular and busy, especially during the holiday season.
Best places to stay in Vienna in Stephansplatz for Christmas Markets:
- Luxury ($$$): DO&CO Hotel Vienna
- Mid-range ($$): Hotel Kaiserin Elisabeth
- Budget ($): Boutique Hotel Nossek
Rathausplatz (City Hall Square) is one of the best locations to stay in Vienna, especially during the Christmas season as it’s home to one of the city’s most famous and impressive Christmas markets.
The Rathausplatz Christmas market, known as the “Wiener Christkindlmarkt am Rathaus,” is one of the largest and most iconic Christmas markets in Vienna. It features a stunning backdrop of the Neo-Gothic Vienna City Hall, beautifully illuminated with festive lights and decorations.
Staying near Rathausplatz puts you in close proximity to the Burgtheater, the University of Vienna, and the Parliament Building. You can also take a short walk to the historic Inner City (Innere Stadt), where you’ll find more Christmas markets, such as the one at Stephansplatz.
Rathausplatz is well-connected to Vienna’s public transportation network, making it easy to explore other Christmas markets like those at Schönbrunn Palace, Karlsplatz, or Belvedere Palace.
Best places to stay in Vienna in Rathausplatz for Christmas Markets:
- Luxury ($$$): Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof
- Mid-range ($$): The Levante Parliament A Design Hotel
- Budget ($): Hotel Graf Stadion
3. Christmas Markets
Spittelberg is a charming and historic neighborhood located in the 7th district (Neubau) of Vienna. It is a great base in Vienna for Christmas Markets as it hosts a cozy and intimate Christmas market that’s quite different from the larger, more crowded markets in the city.
Spittelberg Christmas Market is known for its arts and crafts stalls, offering handmade gifts, ornaments, and traditional Austrian treats.
Spittelberg is renowned for its romantic and intimate atmosphere, especially during the holiday season. The narrow streets are beautifully decorated with fairy lights, creating a warm and welcoming ambiance.
While Spittelberg is a bit removed from the city center, it’s still within walking distance of the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum) and the Natural History Museum.
If you prefer a quieter and more relaxed Christmas experience, Spittelberg is an excellent choice. It offers a peaceful contrast to the hustle and bustle of some of the larger markets.
Best places to stay in Vienna in Spittelberg for Christmas Markets:BEST HOTELS IN SPITTELBERG
4. Mariahilfer Straße
Mariahilfer Straße is one of the most famous and bustling shopping streets in Vienna. It is located in the city center and stretches for approximately 1.8 kilometers from the MuseumsQuartier in the 7th district to the Western Train Station (Westbahnhof) in the 15th district.
The street itself is often adorned with elaborate Christmas lights and decorations, creating a magical atmosphere as you stroll along and explore the shops.
At the western end of Mariahilfer Straße, you’ll find Mariahilferplatz, which hosts its own Christmas market. This market features various stalls selling seasonal gifts, food, and drinks.
While not as central as areas like Stephansplatz or Rathausplatz, Mariahilfer Straße is still well-connected to public transportation, offering easy access to Kunsthistorisches Museum and the MuseumsQuartier.
If you love shopping and want to be in the midst of Vienna’s vibrant cityscape during the holiday season, staying near Mariahilfer Straße is an excellent choice.
Best places to stay in Mariahilfer Straße for Christmas Markets:
- Luxury ($$$): Ruby Marie Hotel Vienna
- Mid-range ($$): Motel One Wien Westbahnhof
- Budget ($): numa l Wood Rooms & Apartments
- Budget ($): Vienna Hostel Ruthensteiner
5. Schönbrunn Palace
Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of Austria’s most iconic landmarks, and its Christmas market adds an extra layer of magic to the already enchanting palace grounds.
Schönbrunn Christmas Market is hosted in the palace’s courtyard, which is beautifully illuminated during the holiday season. The market provides a more relaxed and elegant atmosphere compared to some of the larger city center markets.
Staying near Schönbrunn Palace allows you to experience the grandeur of imperial Vienna. The palace itself is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture, and the palace gardens are a serene place to take a winter stroll.
The Christmas market at Schönbrunn Palace is known for its romantic ambiance, with its festive lights and stunning backdrop. It’s an ideal setting for couples seeking a more refined and quieter experience.
If you’re traveling with children, the market often offers family-friendly activities, such as carousel rides and visits with Santa Claus.
While in the area, you can also explore the attractions within Schönbrunn Palace, including the magnificent rooms of the palace itself and the world-renowned Vienna Zoo, which is located on the palace grounds.
Best places to stay in Schönbrunn Palace for Christmas Markets:
- Luxury ($$$): Vienna Stay Apartments Schönbrunn
- Mid-range ($$): Quality Hotel Vienna
- Budget ($): Seminarhotel Springer Schlössl
6. Belvedere Palace
Belvedere Palace is a historic palace complex and is one of the most famous and significant Baroque-style architectural landmarks in the city.
The palace has two separate buildings, the Upper Belvedere (Oberes Belvedere) and the Lower Belvedere (Unteres Belvedere), which are linked by beautiful gardens.
The Belvedere is home to an impressive art collection, including works by Gustav Klimt. You can explore the museum’s exhibits and enjoy the historic architecture.
Belvedere Christmas Market is hosted right at the front of Upper Belvedere palace. You can have a great photo by standing at the end of the lake and taking a picture of the palace and Christmas market.
Best places to stay in Belvedere Palace for Christmas Markets:
- Luxury ($$$): Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere – a concept by Hyatt
- Mid-range ($$): Hotel Daniel Vienna – Smart Luxury Near City Centre
- Budget ($): Adina Serviced Apartments Vienna
Karlsplatz is known for its modern and creative Christmas market, making it an excellent choice for those who appreciate contemporary art and design.
Karlsplatz Christmas market often features unique, handcrafted items, modern decorations, and installations created by local artists. It’s a refreshing departure from the more traditional markets in Vienna.
Karlsplatz is home to the Karlskirche (St. Charles’s Church), one of Vienna’s most iconic churches. It’s a stunning Baroque masterpiece that often hosts special Christmas concerts and events during the holiday season. The church itself is beautifully illuminated at night.
The Museum of Art History is within walking distance of Karlsplatz. It houses an extensive collection of art and historical artifacts, making it a great cultural stop during your stay.
Karlsplatz is relatively close to Vienna’s city center, making it easy to access the Christmas markets at Rathausplatz and Stephansplatz. You can explore the city’s holiday festivities with ease.
Karlsplatz is a major transportation hub in Vienna, served by several subway lines (U1, U2, U4) and trams. This central location makes it convenient to explore other parts of the city.
Best places to stay in Vienna in Karlsplatz for Christmas Markets:
- Luxury ($$$): Hotel Bristol, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Vienna
- Mid-range ($$): Living Hotel an der Oper
- Budget ($): Motel One Wien-Staatsoper
Prater is one of the best places to stay in Vienna during the Christmas season. It is best suited for families with children who enjoy amusement park rides and less crowded holiday experiences.
Prater is a large amusement park and recreation area in Vienna, and during the winter months, it transforms into a winter wonderland with its own Christmas market.
The Prater Wintermarkt is the Christmas market located within Prater. It offers a wide range of attractions, including festive stalls selling holiday gifts, crafts, and delicious Austrian food. There are often funfair rides and activities suitable for families and children.
While visiting during the Christmas season, you can still explore some of the attractions at Prater, which is home to iconic rides like the Giant Ferris Wheel (Riesenrad) and roller coasters. Some of these rides are open year-round, weather permitting.
Prater’s Christmas market is known for its family-friendly atmosphere. Children can enjoy carousel rides, visit Santa Claus, and take part in various holiday-themed activities.
Prater is also home to a large green space with walking paths. You can take a relaxing stroll through the park and enjoy the festive decorations and lights.
Best places to stay in Vienna in Prater for Christmas Markets:
- Luxury ($$$): BASSENA Wien Messe Prater
- Mid-range ($$): Superbude Wien Prater
- Budget ($): Zoku Vienna
See more: Where to stay in Vienna first time
In conclusion, Stephansplatz, Rathausplatz, Spittelberg, Mariahilfer Straße, Schönbrunn, Belvedere Palace, Karlsplatz, and Prater are the best places to stay in Vienna for Christmas Markets. Vienna has excellent public transportation, you can easily reach markets by tram or subway no matter where you stay.