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A Vienna Christmas market even a Scrooge can love: Schönbrunn Palace

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With a dozen Christmas markets in spitting distance of each other in Vienna’s city center, is it really necessary to take a 15 minute train ride out to yet another market?

Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market Vienna stalls vendors day

An overview of Vienna’s Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market.

Schönbrunn Palace Christmas market is well worth the quick train ride and is my pick for the best Christmas market in Vienna.

I’ve been fascinated with Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace Christmas market (that’s Weihnachtsmarkt Schönbrunn to my Austrian readers) ever since watching my favorite curmudgeon, Anthony Bourdain, visit the market on an episode of his travel show, “No Reservations.”  I expected nothing but a bah humbug from Bourdain, who is known for his caustic wit and commentary.

So I was surprised to see the program feature this self-proclaimed Scrooge sauntering through the snow on the palace grounds (was that a look of wonder on his face?) and helpless to Schönbrunn’s charms, uttering these unlikely words–

“I just wanna cuddle.  With some hot wine.”

If this Christmas market could melt the heart of my favorite travel critic, then I knew it must be pretty spectacular. So I made sure to visit Vienna’s Schönbrunn Christmas market on my first European Christmas market tour two years ago. I loved it so much I visited it again on my latest tour this December.

Why Vienna’s Schönbrunn Christmas market will make your heart grow three sizes bigger

By day, Mozart is piped through the Schonbrunn Palace’s outdoor, speakers, making it easy to imagine you are simply strolling through the grounds with the rest of the royal court. The canary yellow Palace wraps itself around the market, creating the perfect backdrop, punctuated by a gigantic Christmas tree at the center.

schloss schonbrunn night christmas market palace vienna

Vienna’s Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market at night.

By night, Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace Christmas Market takes on a golden hue, the tree twinkles, the stalls are illuminated just enough to create a festive vibe without competing with the Palace’s majestic glow.

No market is complete without excellent shopping– and the quality of the crafts here was bar none, you won’t do better elsewhere. I also like that the crafts were all very traditional– no weird trendy stuff I’ve seen elsewhere to break the fantasy that Sissi or Marie Antoinette might appear around the corner at any moment.

Take my virtual photo tour through Vienna’s Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market and see what great gifts you can buy here:

Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market wurst sausage food stall

Lots of food and sausage options at Vienna’s Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market.

hanging strings of ornaments vienna Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market

These handmade ornaments caught my eye at Vienna’s Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market.

Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market vienna hand made wool hat vendor stall

I bought this hand-made hat in Charcoal grey on my first visit to the Schönbrunn Christmas market. I was glad to see the vendor, Helene Dietrich was back again this year and bought some additional items as gifts.

Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market Vienna glass ornaments

Several stalls of glass blown ornaments at Vienna’s Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market. These were hand-painted with sweet snowy scenes.

Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market Vienna wreath

A vendor at Schonbrunn Christmas Market peeps out from behind his wreaths.

Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market crafts vendor stalls decoration Vienna snow globes
Snow globes were actually invented in Vienna and make a great gift from the Christmas market.
Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market what to buy stall vendor crafts

A friendly vendor at Vienna’s Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market.

Vienna Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market crafts puppets stall booth

I’ve since learned that creepy puppets are a Christmas market staple.

Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market Vienna wood ornament hand made

I bought several of these made-in-Vienna wooden ornaments, for myself and as gifts– very light and suitcase friendly.

Vienna Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market beeswax candles sell craft vendor

You’ll find candles made from beeswax at nearly every Christmas market in Austria and Germany, but the quality and selection may vary. This Viennese vendor had an interesting variety of shapes I didn’t see at other markets, so I loaded up for gifts.

Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market Vienna handmade beeswax candles

Handmade ornaments made from beeswax at the Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market in Vienna.

Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market in Vienna handmade ornaments elves

I loved the handmade wooden ornaments dressed in miniature woolens– I came home with several, including this guy.

crafts vendor stall Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market Vienna.

A star light for sale at the Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market in Vienna.

charcuterie vendor Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market Vienna.

Charcuterie and dried sausages at the Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market in Vienna.

hand made craft chrismas ornament Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market in Vienna.

Hand-carved Christmas ornaments at the Viennese Christmas market.

hand-blown glass ornaments Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market in Vienna.

Several stalls of hand-blown glass ornaments.

austrian food cookies

This was one of my favorite stalls– yummy gingerbread and other Austrian baked goods. I brought back a fruit bread, gingerbread dipped in chocolate and small tray of Christmas cookies, some for me, some for gifts for friends who are gingerbread fanatics.

 food stalls options Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market in Vienna fries

Piping hot fries at the Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market in Vienna.

food gifts Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market in Vienna.

Yummy pates and tapenades from pumpkin seeds and other ingredients make a unique gift item.

Austrian christmas ornaments Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market in Vienna.

Glittery, frosty red glass ornaments at the market.

Austrian jams schnapps gift Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market in Vienna.

Austrian jams and fruity schapps– also a great gift from the Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market in Vienna.

austrian sweets

Austrian sweets.

Vienna christmas ornament rocking horse wooden Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market in Vienna.

I loved this little rocking horse wooden Christmas ornament.

Viennese Austria gifts Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market ViennaDon’t miss a visit with the familie Seifried, a family-owned farm and vineyard just outside Vienna.  The family has been making wine, liquors, schmaltzes, jams, and pumpkin-seed based pestos (I bought one) for years.  They are a delight to chat with and one of my favorite booths.

austria vienna gifts schanpps Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market Vienna

Traditional (and home-made) Austrian schnapps are a great gift idea from the Christmas market.

Schonbrunn Palace at night Vienna austria

The Schönbrunn Palace at night.

schobrunn palace night christmas marketschonbrunn palace christmas treeWant to see even more photos?  Click through on the slide show:

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Vienna Souvenir Shopping Details:

Where: Parade Court, on the grounds of the Schönbrunn Palace
When: November 23- January 1
Opening Hours: Daily: 10:00 a.m. – 09:00 p.m., 24th December: 10:00 a.m. – 04:00 p.m., 25th December 2013 – 1st January 2014: 10:00 a.m. – 07:00 p.m.

Want to read about more Christmas markets?
Read about a Real Life Swedish fairy tale at the Swedish market in Stockholm
Check out the Budapest Christmas Market here for the shopping
And here for the Budapest Market’s mouth watering-eats

All photos Copyright 2013 by Souvenir Finder, all rights reserved.  No photos may be used in any way without express permission of Souvenir Finder.

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10 Responses to A Vienna Christmas market even a Scrooge can love: Schönbrunn Palace

  1. sueslaght 12/20/2013 at 7:37 pm #

    So beautiful Kristin. Via your photos this is my pick of best market. No creepy puppet purchase here either? 🙂

    • Kristin Francis 12/31/2013 at 12:45 am #

      No creepy puppets! Looking at my photos is enough to give me nightmares.

  2. gallivance.net 12/23/2013 at 7:37 am #

    Well Kristin, this market gets my vote. It’s fabulous! The variety is amazing and it certainly seems to include items not seen anywhere else. ~Terri

    • Kristin Francis 12/31/2013 at 12:47 am #

      Terri, thanks so much for stopping by! It was the best of everything here as far as shopping.

  3. Amy 12/30/2013 at 1:48 pm #

    This looks so fun! You did a great job of showcasing what you can buy, and I recognize some food goodies in here. 🙂

    • Kristin Francis 12/31/2013 at 12:49 am #

      Haha you’ll have to let me know how the mini goodies are!

  4. Just Add Attitude 01/03/2014 at 1:37 pm #

    Love, love those ornaments made from beeswax and the wooden ones dressed in miniature woolens. The market looks very atmospheric and festive. 😉

    • Kristin Francis 01/03/2014 at 7:29 pm #

      It was so fun! I just put away all the ornaments, such a sad day!

  5. wanderingeducators 04/16/2014 at 11:07 am #

    What AMAZING photos – I so want to go!

    • Kristin Francis 04/16/2014 at 11:13 am #

      Thanks! Lack of Christmas market photos available elsewhere was one of the reasons I started blogging– I want to know what this stuff looks like before I plan my visit!

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