As winter approaches, you might be looking for an interesting destination to get you into the holiday spirit. If you want to visit somewhere quieter and calmer than Europe’s big cities, look no further than the Austrian city Linz, a city with a unique blend of old-world charm and modern innovation.
In winter, the city is transformed into an illuminated wonderland, with the highlight being Linz Christmas Market.
In this article, I’ll guide you through everything you need to know about planning a visit, including confirmed 2023 dates, opening times and local specialties.
At Christmas, the historic streets and main square of Linz are decorated with beautiful sparkling lights and a magnificent Christmas tree, creating a festive atmosphere at the Christkindlmarkt.
Be sure to also visit the Christmas market Volksgarten, a family-friendly market with children’s rides, live theatre, craft demonstrations and Christmas huts with moving animations.
Linz Christmas Market 2023
As you wander through the Christmas market in Linz, you’ll notice the scent of roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and Christmas huts selling artisan gifts and decorations.
Before leaving this lovely Christmas event, look out for the vintage carousel and indulge in warm, freshly baked gingerbread.
Dates and Location
Linz Christmas Market dates: 18th November to 23rd December 2023.
Opening times: 10am to 9pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Admission: Free, no tickets required.
Christmas lights: Yes, switch on date: 18th November 2023.
Music: Daily from 5pm.
Ice skating: No.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, but limited.
Gluten-free: Yes, but limited.
Pet-friendly: Yes, dogs are allowed on a lead, but it’s not recommended during busy periods.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: The Hauptplatz Christmas market, located in the heart of the city’s historic centre, is one of the largest and most popular in Austria, with over 160 stalls and a lively atmosphere.
Recommended tour: Family-friendly historic walking tour.
Specialities: Linzer torte, roasted almonds coated with sugar and cinnamon, Kiachl: a deep-fried doughnut, Kaiserschmarrn: a fluffy, shredded pancake, Almdudler: a popular Austrian soft drink made from mountain herbs.
Where to stay: Motel One Linz-Hauptplatz is a great value for money hotel located on the Christmas market square.
Hotels near Linz Christmas Market
Stay anywhere in the Altstadt (Old Town) to be close to the Christmas market. It has cobblestone streets, historic buildings and cosy cafes, perfect for soaking up the festive atmosphere. There are also other attractions, restaurants and shops to explore in the area.
I suggest staying at Motel One Linz-Hauptplatz as it’s in a great location in the Altstadt, directly on the main square where the Christmas market is situated.
If you’d prefer to stay somewhere else, read my full guide to hotels near Linz Christmas Market, where you’ll find plenty of ideas.
Location of Linz Christmas Market
Volksgarten Christmas Market
The Volksgarten Christmas Market is an annual event held during the holiday season in Linz, in addition to the main Christkindlmarkt.
Located in the beautiful Volksgarten Park, the market features over 100 traditional wooden stalls selling a variety of Christmas decorations, gifts and traditional treats.
The Christmas market in Volksgarten is particularly appealing for children as it offers rides and Christmas theatre choices.
You’ll also find the Christmas nativity scenes in Volksgarten, adorned with hand-painted figures, life-sized and intricately detailed, set against the backdrop of a crafted stable that adds a touch of authentic festivity.
Adding to the festivities are craft demonstrations where one can witness creativity in action and musical groups that fill the air with Christmas melodies.
Christmas Market at Volksgarten dates: 18th November to 23rd December 2023.
Opening times: 10am to 9pm.
Volksgarten Christmas Market
Christmas in Linz
Make sure to check out this comprehensive guide to the best Christmas markets in Austria before planning your holiday season trip. It covers all the must-visit destinations and insider tips to help you make the most of your festive travels.
Christmas Specialties in Linz
Linzertorte: Named after the city itself, Linzertorte is a unique culinary delight you can relish at the Linz Christmas Market. A spiced, tart-like pastry featuring a lattice design on top, it’s filled with a scrumptious jam typically made from blackcurrants, though other variations are also available. The sweet, slightly tangy taste contrasts beautifully with the rich, spiced pastry, making it a delicious Christmas treat.
Bratwurst: While you might find Bratwurst at many Christmas markets across Europe, the versions you’ll come across in Linz are exceptional. Grilled to perfection and served in a fresh roll, they’re an irresistible quick bite as you explore the market stalls.
Kaiserschmarrn: Another local speciality, Kaiserschmarrn, is a light, fluffy pancake that has been torn into bite-sized pieces, lightly sweetened, and served warm with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. In Linz, you might find variations served with fruit compotes, making for a deliciously warming sweet treat on a cold winter’s evening.
Pretzels: Pretzels are a well-loved snack all across Austria, and the Christmas market in Linz is no exception. From the classic salted pretzel to those with a variety of delicious fillings or toppings, you’ll enjoy the wonderful mix of textures and flavours in each bite.
Glühwein: No visit to a Linz Christmas market would be complete without sampling some Glühwein. This traditional warm, mulled wine is a festive favourite, often infused with a mix of spices such as cinnamon and cloves, with a splash of citrus for added depth. It’s the perfect drink to keep your hands warm and spirits high as you wander the market.
Vanillekipferl: Small crescent-shaped cookies made with ground nuts, sugar, and vanilla, dusted with powdered sugar.
Lebkuchen: A type of gingerbread made with honey, spices, and nuts, often decorated with icing or chocolate.
Maroni roasted chestnuts: A popular street food during the winter months, especially around Christmas markets.
Kartoffelsalat potato salad: A classic side dish with many traditional Austrian Christmas meals, often made with apples and served warm.
Krautfleckerl: A vegetarian dish with pasta and cabbage, often seasoned with caraway seeds and grated cheese.
Knödel dumplings: A versatile dish made with bread or potato dough, often served as a side dish or as a vegetarian main course with gravy and sauerkraut.
What to Buy
Linzertorte: A trip to Linz is incomplete without buying a Linzertorte, a local delicacy that’s known far and wide. Believed to be the oldest cake in the world, Linzertorte is a pastry made with a buttery, shortcrust jam-packed with nuts and topped with a lattice design. This torte, featuring a tangy redcurrant filling, is a treat for the senses and makes for a wonderful gift to bring back home.
Handblown Glass Ornaments: As you wander around the Christmas market, you’re sure to come across stalls displaying handblown glass ornaments. These ornaments, handcrafted by local artisans, are truly unique, embodying the spirit of Linz and the holiday season. These delicate and exquisite pieces of art can add a dash of festive cheer to your home decor or gift to loved ones.
Austrian Dirndls and Lederhosen: Traditional Austrian clothing, including dirndls for women and lederhosen for men, can be found at the Christmas market in Linz. These garments, made with care and precision, reflect Austria’s rich culture and heritage, making them a unique and meaningful gift.
Handcrafted Wooden Toys: Toys are common gifts at the Linz Christmas Market. Crafted with detail and creativity, wooden toys are beautiful keepsakes and a nod to the simple joy of traditional playthings.
Local Wines and Spirits: Austria, and particularly the region around Linz, is known for its wine and spirits. You can find bottles of local white and red wines and traditional Austrian spirits, which make for a delightful gift for those who appreciate fine drinks.
Traditional Christmas Decorations: The market is a treasure trove of Christmas decorations. From classic wreaths and advent calendars to angel figurines and candleholders, a wide range of items capture the warmth and joy of the season.
Mozartkugel: While these originated in Salzburg, they’re a popular gift all across Austria. They are small, round confections of pistachio marzipan and nougat covered with dark chocolate. You’ll find them packed in ornate boxes, perfect for gifting.
Local Art: Linz is a city of culture and art, and this is reflected in the local creations you’ll find at the market. Often inspired by Linz’s stunning architecture and landscapes, artworks make for a meaningful and lasting memento of your visit.
Linz Tourism is a great starting point if you’re looking for reliable information and resources to plan a visit to Linz. It offers a wealth of helpful information on attractions, accommodations, dining, transportation, and more, making it a reliable source to help plan your trip.
Sustainable Christmas Tips
Many of us are increasingly concerned about climate change and sustainability. Here are a few tips on how we can travel more responsibly in Linz at Christmas.
Renewable Energy Use: The city of Linz has made a firm commitment to renewable energy. As a visitor, you can do your bit to support this initiative. In the Christmas market, find and support vendors who use solar-powered lights and other energy-saving technology for their stalls. Also, choose to stay in hotels or guest houses that have a proven commitment to using renewable energy.
Reducing Food Waste: While sampling the diverse array of local and international food options at Linz Christmas Market, remember to order mindfully. Sharing food dishes can be a great way to experience more variety without contributing to food waste. Also, keep an eye out for vendors implementing clever initiatives to reduce food waste.
Ethical Consumption: Ethical consumption means buying products that are made sustainably and fairly. Many vendors at the Christmas market in Linz sell locally made, handcrafted items. Buying these support local craftspeople and reduces the environmental impact associated with long-distance shipping. Look for stalls with signs indicating local production or ask vendors about the origin of their goods. Also, consider if your purchases are essential or could be avoided.
Sustainable Diets: Embrace the sustainable diet concept by choosing food vendors who source their ingredients locally. Linz is in a region known for its agriculture, and many market vendors will have locally sourced produce, cheeses, and other ingredients.
Sustainable Transport: One way to contribute to sustainable tourism in Linz is by utilising the city’s public transportation system. Linz has an efficient network of trams and buses that can take you around the city. Consider walking or renting a bike for shorter distances – Linz is a bike-friendly city with several dedicated paths and lanes. Choose one of the city’s electric taxis if you need a taxi.
Limit Single-Use Plastics: Opt for reusable shopping bags and refuse unnecessary packaging to limit your consumption of single-use plastics. If you’re planning to buy food and drinks at the market, bring your own reusable containers and cups.
Water Conservation: Conserve water by using it wisely. Many hotels in Linz have water-saving devices installed in their bathrooms. Limiting your shower time can also help reduce your water footprint.
Support Local Businesses: Choose to support local businesses in Linz. Whether you’re shopping for gifts or looking for a meal, opting for a local business can help boost the local economy and contribute to sustainable tourism.
Linz Christmas Market starts on the 18th November and to 23rd December 2023.
The Christmas market in Linz is located at Hauptplatz, with the children’s market located at Volksgarten.
Both Christmas markets in Linz are open daily from 10am to 9pm.
If you would like to leave a review of Linz Xmas Market, comment below.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Linz, Austria. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.