Although charming and fascinating every season, Austria turns into a Christmas fairy-tale, where each city becomes the scene of a winter story awaiting Santa.
Austria’s winter holidays have a genuine atmosphere that will surely captivate you. Moreover, the Christmas fairs in this country are famous all over the world for their magical atmosphere, for their glittering decor surrounded by the appetizing smell of culinary delights and for the huge ornate fir trees they host. But not only the tempting aromas of roasted chestnuts and cinnamon tarts from Christmas markets convince tourists from all over the world to visit Austria, but also the picturesque landscapes of the snowy Alps and the opportunity to practice all winter sports in the best conditions. There is really nothing like a unique Christmas holiday in Austria!
Here are the Austrian cities that deserve the most attention around Christmas:
Vienna. The Christmas markets in Vienna have been organized since 1298, so it’s no surprise that the city is a very popular destination in December. Currently, there are 20 official Christmas markets on the beautiful streets of Vienna, all with stands with handmade festive decorations, boiled wine, baked chestnuts, homemade chocolate, sweet cake, grilled sausages and other culinary delights. The most popular are the Christmas Village in front of the Belvedere Palace and the huge Christmas market at Rathauspark. If, however, you are looking for something different, we recommend you visit the Diviana Art Christmas Market in Karlsplatz, where craftsmen from all over Europe present their unique works.
Salzburg. The historical center of Salzburg, the City of Mozart, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the ideal place not only for traditional Christmas markets, but also for Christmas carols and winter songs. Make time to explore the Residenzplatz Christmas fair and, if you crave more adrenaline, try ice skating in the nearby Mozart Square.
A visit to Hohensalzburg Fortress is always a must when visiting Salzburg, but especially around Christmas, when the view over the city decorated in festive ornaments is simply stunning. There is also a special Christmas concert at the fortress, where works by Mozart and his contemporaries are performed.
To end an excellent visit to Salzburg, we recommend a dinner at Stiftskeller St. Peter, located in the monastery building St. Peter’s Archabbey, which is said to be the oldest restaurant in the world, over 1200 years old.
Innsbruck. Due to its position at the foot of the Austrian Alps, Innsbruck is one of the most picturesque places in Europe. In winter, the Old City, with its incredible medieval gothic architecture and narrow labyrinth, turns into a fairy tale under the spell of snow, especially at the opening of traditional Christmas markets.
Located in the heart of the Old Town, the Altstadt Christmas Market is the place where most people gather to enjoy boiled wine and take a look at the many stalls with ornaments, candles, pastries and local handicrafts that showcase the richness of local traditions.
Hallstatt. A small, charming and attractive city. Tens of thousands of tourists from all over the world come every year to explore this spectacular little village. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and populated by only 900 inhabitants, Hallstatt becomes even more beautiful in winter, when its small wooden houses are covered by snow.
The beautiful village is located on the shore of a shining lake, with false mountains in the background, having a truly magical appearance, especially during the winter holidays, when it is illuminated by Christmas decorations. Even though many attractions are closed during this period, Hallstatt remains a wonderful place to visit in winter due to the story landscape around it.
Zell am See. Winter sports lovers who want to explore the best parts of Austria will find Zell am See-Kaprun an ideal destination. The area covers a few picturesque cities, and in winter it becomes a true winter sports center, with generous slopes, capable of hosting thousands of skiers, from the most experienced to enthusiastic beginners.
In addition to the impressive range of intense outdoor activities, the Zell am See-Kaprun area hosts an interesting ice camp called Ice Camp, where there are several ice igloos with panoramic views of the mountains, where guests can enjoy hot drinks. and with traditional Austrian dishes.