The Vienna Christmas Market is believed to have evolved from the city’s ‘December Market’ and has more than 700 years of tradition. This tradition is alive and well in Vienna where you can find an impressive Christkindlmarkt around almost every corner.

The largest Christmas Market takes place in front of the city’s neo-Gothic town hall, the Rathauspark, which has elaborately decorated trees, and for children, pony rides on the Christkindl Express, and the Rathaus itself is transformed into an enormous advent calendar, and each day a window is opened.

Other markets in Vienna worth visiting are the magnificent Schoenbrunn Palace, with its festive lighting and daily advent concerts that make for a romantic Christmas setting, and the market in the historical enclave of Spittelberg. Unlike the other markets, Spittelberg is not in an open, but goes through the city’s courtyards and cobbled alleys and it is where you go to find the more eclectic, quirky buys.

I’m not usually a fan of snow and cold and couldn’t care less about a white Christmas, but I must admit that shopping the Christkindlmarks while fluffy, white snowflakes slowly drifted from the sky made the already picture-perfect holiday experience even more perfect and added to the gemütlichkeit, or cosiness of the market.

The markets are typically open from mid-November until Christmas Eve. Visit the Vienna website for more information.