Christmas in Austria… The Magic of Vienna and Salzburg
Christmas Market Vienna By -12°C (CC -BY-SA 2.0)
Austria’s cities are awash with cultural delights, stylish shops and bars, with fairytale architecture providing the perfect backdrop. During Advent, in the run up to Christmas, deeply rooted traditions come alive and the joy of the season is embraced by its proud citizens.
Salzburg in Winter
Perhaps one of the most beautiful and scenic spots has to be Salzburg. Impressive snow-capped Alps keep watch over the city along with castles and cathedral spires that dominate the horizon. This place is pretty special at any time of the year but it really is magical once the calendar turns to December and the season of goodwill descends upon this alpine, winter wonderland.
Salzburg Christmas Market By Viator.com (CC BY-SA 2.0)
A good starting point for your Austrian adventure might be Salzburg Christmas Market. The atmosphere is just perfect for getting into the festive spirit. The aroma of mulled wine and roasting chestnuts fill the air and the city simply tastes and smells of Christmas!
Horse Drawn Sleigh Ride
You can really have some fun too with a horse-drawn sleigh ride from Salzburg, passing snowy mountains, pretty lakes and quaint villages.
Another treat to tickle your taste buds, is a hands-on cookery lesson under the guiding hands of an experienced chef. Learn how to make Austrian apple strudel or delicious Christmas cookies.
Or, if a taste of Austria’s capital city takes your fancy this winter, Vienna is just waiting to welcome you. Nestling on the banks of the River Danube, Austria’s romantic capital is a music lovers’ paradise, especially Opera fans. Plenty of atmospheric cafes and bars line the Medieval lanes and cobbled streets.
Strauss Monument, Vienna
Music is the beating heart of Vienna. You can’t escape the classical music world as Austria is the birthplace of some of the most famous composers in the world. Visitors can retrace the footsteps of some of Austria’s finest composers who lived, worked and played here, such as Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert, Strauss, Brahms and of course Mozart. You will hear their masterpieces throughout the city and in some of the wonderful concerts that are on in Vienna during December.
Arts & Crafts Stalls, Vienna Christmas Market
There are also some impressive Christmas markets in and around Vienna where you can stock up on quaint hand made arts and crafts as well as sampling some of the delicious local fayre on offer.
Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market By MTSWien (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.
One of the most scenic markets is set against the backdrop of Schonbrunn Palace, which also offers live music and plenty of activities for children if you have the kids with you. After Christmas, the foreground of this imposing palace is transformed into a New Year market.
We would love to hear from any of our members who’ve been to Austria’s Christmas markets or any of the enchanting concerts. Why not post some pictures along with your tips on what to buy and what to eat and drink during a trip to Austria’s winter wonderland.