The Christkindlmarkt takes place this year for the thirty first time in its original form, in which it became the first-rate tourist attraction. Vienna has more than 6 million overnight stays during Advent. The most numerous tourists are Germans, Americans and Italians.
The tradition of gathering before Christmas has been present for a long time and is characteristic for Central Europe, especially for Germanic cities.
In Vienna, each part of the city (the district) has its own fair with stalls selling decorations, sausages and punches.
The most famous Bezirk (district) for tourists is the one in front of Rathaus. Last year it was called “Vienna’s Christmas Dream”. The offer is rich and placed on 151 booths. On the one side of the park there is an ice rink that Zagreb has successfully copied and romantic lighting on the other side. The crowds are constant and it is best to avoid it on weekends. I was there on Sunday night and there were no foreigners or big crowds.
Other interesting and easy-to-find fairs in different districts connected by city transport are:
The Art Advent in front of Karls Kirche is more Viennese and focuses on selling handicrafts and offers fun for the youngest. In front of St. Stephen’s Church is a small fancy fair in the centre. Between the two museums and around the statue of Mary Theresa there is another small but sweet fair surrounded by magnificent palaces.
For the locals, the most popular fair is the one in the Spittelberg quarter at the 7th Bezirk. The most culturally oriented one, they say, is in the front of the Schoenbrunn Castle. Hipster one, with good DJs that does not look like a fair, but it still is one, is located in the Museum Quartier yard. The oldest fair is in the Am Hof square, where it has been held ever since 1842. The particularly romantic fair is at Wilhelminenberg in the 16th Bezirk. The small fair offers tasty treats, beautiful and romantic scenery without crowds from the city centre.
In two days, by purchasing daily public transport ticket, it is easy to visit all the mentioned places, and even more.
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