I’m often asked which country has the best Christmas markets in Europe and I always reply with Austria. Festive cabins covered in snow, warm spiced wine, handmade toys and indulgent snacks. This is just the beginning of what you’ll find at the Austria Christmas markets.
From the traditional to the modern to the most famous or the coziest of neighbourhood markets, Austria has a Christmas market to suit all tastes.
Best Christmas Markets in Austria 2022
Like elsewhere in Central Europe, almost all Austrian cities, towns and villages have a Christmas market or Advent market or sometimes simply called a winter market.
Let’s get straight to it with an overview of the best Christmas markets in Austria for 2022.
Vienna Christmas Markets – Of course, Austria’s beautiful capital is the number one destination if you want to see the biggest, the best and the most traditional Austrian Christmas markets.
There isn’t just one market in Vienna but a number of large markets and many smaller ones. You could stay for a week and visit a different market each day.
Vienna is absolutely stunning in winter, rain, hail or shine. I highly recommend visiting, not only for Christmas festivities and activities but in general for the wonderful attractions, cultural experiences and excellent food.
Get more information on Christmas market dates, times and things to see in Vienna with my Vienna Christmas Market guide, updated for 2022.
If you would like to stay in a central location, book one of my recommended hotels near Vienna Christmas Market. In general, I suggest staying near the Museum Quarter or Rathausplatz.
Vienna is an incredible, historic city with beautiful architecture, world-class museums, unique stores, diverse cuisine and a progressive community.
It is often voted the most liveable city in the world and it’s a well-deserved accolade.
The Christmas markets span the city from the main market in front of the Town Hall to the magical Christmas Village at the Belvedere Palace.
The Christmas Village on Maria Theresien Square is huge, sandwiched between the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Art, two of Vienna’s most grandiose buildings.
Another favourite is the Christmas Market at Schönbrunn Palace or you could try the more modern Winter Market at the Museum Quarter.
Other Advent markets scattered around the city are typically Viennese in style and generally cater more to locals, taking place predominantly in the German language.
These markets are actually great if you want to get a more ‘Austrian’ experience although you can’t go wrong with any of Vienna’s Christmas markets, big or small, local or international.
Salzburg Christmas Market – Situated in front of Salzburg Cathedral with glimpses of the famous Hohensalzburg fortress which lies upon the hill above, Salzburg Christmas Market is traditional, musical and magical.
Like Vienna, Salzburg has a number of markets, large and small, some within Salzburg city centre and others in the surrounding towns and villages.
Salzburg is ideal if you’re looking for a classic European Christmas experience.
Get more information on dates, times and things to see in Salzburg with my Salzburg Christmas market guide.
If you’re looking for hotels near the Salzburg Christmas market, I have shared a list of where to stay.
If you’re lucky you’ll get a white Christmas in Salzburg where the streets, rooftops and trees will be covered in a layer of snow.
Unfortunately, snow is not guaranteed but it’s an incredible sight when you see it.
On the other hand, if the weather is fine, you’ll have more opportunities for wandering around the compact city and experiencing some of the city’s wonderful outdoor parks and attractions.
Particularly worth visiting is the Mirabell Palace and adjacent gardens. These are incredible in spring but are lovely to walk around at other times of the year too.
During Christmas, there is a Christmas market at Mirabellplatz, just outside of the Palace. It’s less crowded and popular with locals.
Innsbruck Christmas Market – Popular with visitors from neighbouring countries along with Austrian locals, Innsbruck is compact, festive and wonderful.
If you don’t know much about Innsbruck, the city runs along the emerald green River Inn and is surrounded by spectacular mountains on all sides.
It’s known for its city skiing where locals famously go for a ski before work or during their lunch break. One of the Christmas markets lines the river while the other is located in the compact centre square.
For full details, read my Innsbruck Christmas market guide that includes dates, opening times and locations for 7 festive Advent markets in Innsbruck.
Book one of my recommended hotels near Innsbruck Christmas market to be conveniently located during your stay.
The old town is of course the heart of Innsbruck and it’s where you’ll find many of the festivities and decorations.
You’ll know you’ve reached the main market when you see the elaborate Golden Roof, the centrepiece of Innsbruck.
Spend time walking around the historic streets with the colourful pastel-coloured buildings and pretty fountains, statues and columns.
Just because you’re likely to be eating as you wander around the markets, save space each afternoon for coffee and cake, an especially delicious treat in traditional Innsbruck.
Graz Christmas Market – Another wonderfully traditional Austrian Christmas market is to be found in the city of Graz.
The Advent Market in the square in front of the Town Hall is a compact market with handmade toys and decorations.
In Central Graz, you’ll find a pedestrian square with mid-rise historic buildings, easily accessed by the trams which slowly pass by.
The specialty drink is feuerzangenbowle, a fiery mix of wine and rum, better than any gluwein in my opinion.
Graz has several unique Christmas markets worth visiting and is a great option if you want to get away from the crowds in Vienna.
Hallstatt Christmas Market – Hallstatt is the most famous village in Austria, known for its picturesque lakeside location surrounded by mountains.
Few people get to visit Hallstatt Christmas Market as it’s a unique event that only runs for one day each year.
Book your hotel near Hallstatt Christmas Market early or arrange a tour from Salzburg.
Klagenfurt Christmas market – Now we’re getting off the beaten path as far as Christmas markets go. I only visited Klagenfurt when I discovered a friend lived there and I was staying not far away in Ljubljana in Slovenia. The market is cosy, festive and lovely to visit if you’re in the area.
I will never forget Klagenfurt as still to this day I wear the thick woolly socks I bought there during winter. Klagenfurt is a nice side trip if you happen to be in the area and there are some small regional markets worth visiting nearby.
Get all the details and dates for Klagenfurt Christmas Market in my guide, updated for 2022.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, these hotels near Klagenfurt Christmas Market are ideally located.
Sustainable Travel Tips
The choices we make have an environmental and social impact on the places we visit. When visiting the Christmas markets, keeping sustainability in mind is important.
Implement some or all of these simple measures to create a positive impact.
- Shop mindfully. Only purchase what you really need.
- Walk, cycle and use public transport to get around.
- Stay in a sustainable hotel powered by renewable energy.
- Stay in hotels. Short-stay apartment accommodation can lead to a lack of affordable housing for locals.
- Avoid using plastic or buying items made or packaged with plastic.
- Try to eat locally sourced organic food where possible.
- Limit your consumption of meat and dairy.
- Be open to diverse cultures and experiences.
- Explore more than just the main tourist areas.
- Support the arts and attend local events.
- Visit fewer places but stay longer at each destination.
There are many options for Christmas in Austria. The capital Vienna is a great place to start, Salzburg is a magical destination at Christmas, Innsbruck is relatively quiet and Hallstatt is a stunning lakeside village.
Note: Please keep in mind the requirements and regulations for travelling to Austria. These are subject to change and can be updated without notice.