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Christmas markets: Ho! Ho! Ho!

A Christmas market takes place in Hlavné námestie and Hviezdoslavovo námestie during Advent. Vendors from local shops and charitable organizations sell trinkets, crafts, and food daily until December 23.

Christmas markets are a favourite spot to meet, eat, drink and shop.
photo: Ján Svrček

In Bratislava
November 25 to December 23


A Christmas market takes place in Hlavné námestie and Hviezdoslavovo námestie during Advent. Vendors from local shops and charitable organizations sell trinkets, crafts, and food daily until December 23. While many of the objects on offer are uninspired, there are treasures to be found. The food and the atmosphere more than compensate: the smell of grilled meat fills the air. Try lokše, a potato pancake with a variety of toppings, bread with lard and onion, sweet pancakes with poppy, walnuts, and homemade strudels and other pastries. Do not drive so you can enjoy the varené víno (mulled wine), Christmas punch or medovina (mead). Then, when you are full and warm, walk over to the ice rink in front of the opera house, put on your skates, and work up an appetite again.


Just Over the Border


Roman Christmas Market at the Archaeological Park Carnuntum
December 16 and 17 (www.carnuntum.co.at)


In Vienna


For information about Vienna's many Christmas markets, go to www.info.wien.at. Below are some highlights:


Christmas Market
on Rathausplatz Square

November 12 to December 24


This is Vienna's biggest and most popular Christmas market with 140 wooden stalls. The Rathaus Park features decorated trees, pony rides, a reindeer train, a Christmas creche exhibition, and more.

Rathaus, Volkshalle: children can make handicrafts and bake delicious cookies under expert guidance. Open daily 9:00 to 19:00.

Festsaal: International Advent Singing, Fridays to Sundays 15:30 to 19:30. Puppet Shows Fridays to Sundays, 14:00 and 14:45.


Christmas Market
at Schönbrunn Palace

November 19 to December 23
and 26, daily 10:00 to 20:30
December 24, 10:00 to 16:00
December 25 & 26, 10:00 to 18:00


Advent Concerts, Mondays to Fridays at 18:00; Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays at 13:00.

Flapping of Wings - Angels in Schönbrunn, exhibition at Bergl Rooms, open daily 10:00 to 19:00.

The Adventurous Snowman - Interactive Winter Christmas Play at Ehrenhof, Saturdays and Sundays 14:30 to 17:30.

Children can bake cookies at the imperial bakery at the Residenz Café through December 24 (Mondays to Fridays 9:00 to 17:00, Saturdays and Sundays 12:00 to 17:00).


Spittelberg Advent Market
November 17 to December 23,
daily 14:00 to 21:00
Saturdays & Sundays 10:00 to 21:00


This neighbourhood is picturesque with many restaurants and bars. Decorated stalls line the streets, selling decorations, cookies, candy, and holiday gingerbread called Lebkuchen.


Christmas Village
at Belvedere Castle Park

November 18 to December 24, daily 11:00 to 21:00


Both traditional crafters and contemporary retailers among 40 festively decorated stalls.


Christmas Village on Vienna's University Campus
November 12 to December 23, 14:00 to 22:00
Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays
and December 24, 11:00 to 15:00


A secluded inner courtyard plays host to an enchanting Advent Market. Decorated stalls and booths offer elaborate handicrafts and good things to eat.


Old-Viennese Christmas Market on the Freyung
November 26 to December 23, daily 9:30 to 15:30


On the square between Ferstel Palace and Schotten Collegiate Church, this Christmas Market began in 1987 as a countermovement to commer-cialization. A charming place to buy homemade crafts and seasonal specialties. Christmas carols daily at 3:30. Puppet theatre performances Mondays to Fridays at 10:00.


Handicrafts Market at Karlskirche Church
November 25 to December 23, daily 12:00 to 20:00

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