Today we planned on visiting the Christmas market in front of the Rathaus (city hall). It is held to be the largest of the Christmas markets in Vienna. With this market, we’ll have visited five Christmas markets in Vienna (we didn’t go back to Schönbrunn this year) of which we visited or revisited four this trip. As we step out of the hotel, it’s snowing! It’s a constant snow, but not a heavy, wet one. The ground is still too warm for the snow to accumulate.
The Weiner Weinachtsmarkt is about a 20 minute walk from our hotel (a bit less time than taking the tram). The snow is indicative of it being a bit colder today than yesterday, about 34°.
The merry go round is center stage, but on each side of the entrance there are a number of stalls and they extend back and to each side of the Rathaus. Like the other markets, there are a variety of food and decorative gift options; there was even a restaurant. We browsed through the stalls looking at ornaments, but we’re leery of buying anything that looks too fragile to make it back. The punsch, however, isn’t one of those. We bought an apple punsch at one stand and an ornament at another. The little decorative apple punsch cup costs more than what’s in it.
Off to one side of the market, they’ve set up an area for ice skating. (YouTube video).
We headed back in the direction of our hotel, but hoped to stop in at Cafe Central (a very traditional Viennese coffeehouse) for something to eat. The line was huge, so we continued on, stopping at a Geldautomat (ATM) and then back down the Graben to Trzesniewski for our lunch of finger sandwiches since it’s now after 2pm. The Christmas market at Stephansdome is very close by. It’s Friday and both the Graben and Kartnerstrasse (lined with shops and restaurants) are crowded.
We wanted to see if the Sacher Cafe was “too” crowded on this chilly evening to get in, so we walked down Kartnerstrasse. Once we arrived, we looked around the corner to the main entrance to the cafe and had decided it really was too long a wait, but then found another entrance with a much shorter wait. The Sacher is a Viennese tradition with both a hotel and cafe, across from the state Opera house. The cafe is famous for its torte.
The walk back to the hotel reminds us that our stay here was very short, even though we were here just a few months ago. Hate to leave tomorrow, we really love the city and our hotel, but it’s onward to the next stop. Another train, another city, another Christmas market!
Country count 3
City count 4
Total Christmas markets 8