Go for the Christmas markets, stay for the Gluwhein and holiday vibes.
This was my reasoning behind a weekend trip to Vienna and it should be yours too. If the Christmas markets don’t satisfy you, the holiday lights trickled over all of the streets and buildings, carolers, and makeshift ice skating rinks will. Minus the terrible experience getting to and from Vienna from Romania, Vienna was worth it. Of course, Vienna, or any popular Christmas market city will be swamped in December, but it’s part of the vibe. So embrace the chaos, grab some gluwhein, and bundle up for a weekend in Vienna.
Weekending: The Christmas Markets of Vienna
Visa: none (up to 90 days)
Notes: be aware of pickpocketing (especially with the increase in tourists around this time)
Transport: metro, busses
Comfy beds, great location, all-access kitchen, $16 per night? Stay at Zum Goldenen Kegel Hostel
Glühwein (Hot wine mixed with Christmas herbs; white or red), Maroni (Roasted chestnuts) Schaumrollen (Tube-shaped pastry filled with whipped cream or meringue), Langos (Hungarian deep-fried flatbread), Faschingskrapfe (a doughnut filled with apricot jam or custard), Chocolate cake at Cafe Sacher
- ice skating at Rthausplatz in front of City Hall
- See a show at the opera house
They are EVERYWHERE, but the ones you can’t miss are:
- Wiener Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz
- Kuk Weinhnachtmarkt am Michaelerplatz
- Christkindlemarkt am St. Stephen’s Cathedral
I experienced a magical moment in this dome. In the early evening, some carolers broke out in song and the sounds of their voices bounced off of the walls and the ceiling while the crowd lay silent. It’s spontaneous moments like these that make me remember, we are exactly where we need to be, when we need them be.
Griechengasse, Ballgasse, Schoenbrunn Palace, Peace Museum, Stephansdom/ St Stephens, St. Peter’s church, The Belvedere, Karlskirche, Hundertwasserhaus, Rathaus: city hall, Equitable palace, Albertinaplatz, Michaelertor, Heldenplatz, Molkerbasteri, Stadtpark, Graben, Judenplatz holocaust memorial
- It might sound like a packed itinerary (I didn’t get to everything), but everything on this list is merely a suggestion. Don’t get too caught up in an itinerary you forget to wander and embrace the spontaneity of travel.