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?
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.
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:
Don’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.
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.