Text & images by Anton Miguel De Vera, Austria
The Wiener Christkindlmarkt Am Rathausplatz
Christmas is coming, the bells are ringing, and the city of Vienna and its people are certainly aware of it. Grand Christmas decor can be found in almost every curve of Ringstrasse, with lights hanging on every tree, and impressive swinging ornaments, glistening as you pass by.
Following this decorative path of Ringstrasse, you may find yourself at the most festive event at one of Vienna’s annual landmarks in front of the Rathaus: the Viennese Christmas Market (in German: der Wiener Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz), one of the numerous but also the biggest Christmas market you can find in Vienna.
From the very entrance of the market arched a welcome sign greeting visitors “Frohe Weihnachten” or Merry Christmas in English. As you enter, you can find dozens of stalls filled with either Christmas-themed goods and products such as ornaments and winter clothing, or tasty food with a twist of Viennese in it—all of which were mouth-watering.
I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the Wiener Weihnachtsmarkt am Rathausplatz after not being able to visit last year due to the pandemic lockdown. Things certainly have changed in the past year, but the Christmas market has not changed one bit in terms of creating a festive environment in Vienna.
The Vienna Sausage Hot Dog stall and the Glühwein Stall at the Wiener Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz
The best part of my visit this 2021 in the Wiener Weihnachtsmarkt to me was indeed, food. With almost every corner of the market, it was almost impossible not to encounter a food stand that might attract you. I indulged myself with some Vienna Sausage Hot Dog and I had a few bites of Raclette cheese spread on a piece of bread. Afterwards, I had a warm mug of red Glühwein, a spiced mulled wine served mostly during Christmas which is arguably, a MUST to drink when visiting the Viennese Christmas market) as it adds this festive and cozy feeling. To tip it all off, I had sugar-coated peanuts to soothe my sweet tooth. Adding all of it up, I only spent under 20 €! Not too bad, for a full-course meal with a variety of choices.
Another thing that stood out to me was the various stalls showcasing glass-blown ornaments for sale. I thought that they were beautiful to look at as they sparkle from the reflection of the surrounding Christmas lights. You end up staring at them for a long time, feeling mesmerized in a child-like wonder.
A stall filled with various glass-blown ornaments for sale at the Wiener Christkindlmarkt Am Rathausplatz
Looking back at my visit this year at the Christmas market, it certainly was a good and reassuring time to be able to experience it once again. It gave me an idea on how the city of Vienna celebrates the holiday season and the importance of Christmas, as it emphasizes the virtue of togetherness and thanksgiving. To be able to feel comforted with the presence of our loved ones and to be thankful that we get to celebrate Christmas in the first place.
To me, the Viennese Christmas Market was more than just the food and decorations that it had to share. It was more about having the opportunity to celebrate Christmas, with your friends, family, and loved ones in a festive and safe environment.
If given the opportunity, I recommend visiting the Wiener Christkindlmarkt annually to get to know how the city of Vienna celebrates the holiday season. And as I write this, I hope that all of you readers are doing well, staying safe, and spending time celebrating the holiday season with the people that you love.