Today I made the season’s first visit to the Christmas market at Karlsplatz. The market here has a lot of art stuff and jewellery.
It also has some quirky stuff, like this home made, bicycle powered carousel. It’s really quite charming. 🙂
I was quite mesmerised by these lovely creatures of light that danced and moved around the market. They were so incredibly soothing.
I stalked them for quite a while. 😀
Today is the opening night for many Christmas markets in the city, I accidentally stumbled upon the one at Wien Mitte as I had an errand there. Hurrah! This is the nicest time of the year!! 😀
All over Vienna, the markets are getting ready for the opening of the season. With this weather it almost seems too early!
This wee market on Mariahilferstrasse is still open for business. Today was the big shopping day. 🙂
The market is surrounding the statue of Haydn in front of the church.
There are a few nice stalls. This is definitely not the biggest market, but it’s got some character anyhow.
If you’re out shopping in the madness of Christmas deals, you can take a break here. 🙂 it’s good for Punsch, not so much for getting other stuff.
I always find it a real shame that the Christmas markets are cosed between Christmas and New Years. Apparently the market at Schönbrunn is still open, but now it’s a “New year’s market.” This picture is from am Hof, where they took down everything on the 24th. I miss them already!!
One weekend in December there is the artisan’s Christmas market at Schloss Neugebäude out in the 11th by Simmering. It is actually not that hard to get to, it’s a short bus ride away from the end of the U3 line. Last weekend I brought my friend there to see what it was all about.
The Rennaisance castle makes for a very nice atmosphere, but at first sight we were rather puzzled that this could be called the artisan’s market… we didn’t see any crafts anywhere! In fact, all we saw were some punsch stands, food places, and one guy making wooden ornaments on the spot. Peculiar!
The explanation was that most of the castle cannot be seen from the outside. We went down under the big tower, and found huge halls filled with christmas ornaments, crafts, pieces of art… a whole lot of stuff! Some of it was more impressive than other stuff.
I wasn’t sure how happy the people were for me to be snapping pictures, so I tried to keep my distance.
I now know what to do with my old light bulbs!! What an amazing idea. I’ll be making hot air balloons for the tree… when I get enough light bulbs to make it worthwhile. 🙂
This was my absolute favourite stand. Glass art – so pretty!! I asked if I was allowed to take this picture. The artist(s?) doesn’t have a shop (sadly!) but can be found online, on http://www.cybilldesigns.blogspot.co.at.
I did fail on the Perchtenlauf though. There were way too many people! I had no idea such hordes of people would congregate for the perchtenlauf… but it’s apparently a super popular event in Vienna. So, this was the best shot I got of the Krampus. Oh well, there’s always next year. 🙂
I thought the market had a lot of stuff that could be nice if you’re looking for a Christmas present. There’s not much in the way of food and drink though, and the lines are really long around the Perchtenlauf, but I thought it was worth it!
This is one of the heavy-weight contenders among the Viennese Christmas markets. Located in front of the Schönbrunn castle, they’ve built a little ring of booths enclosing some more Punsch and food stands, and there are concerts almost daily from choirs and brass bands. On the weekend there are even more things happening there.
The booths all contain really nice stuff here, so you don’t get many of the ‘hippie’ stands selling dream catchers and incense, here it’s more about traditional crafts, ceramics, glass art and so on. I usually come here to get a Christmas present for one of mine.
the Punsch is very good here, but it is a bit more expensive than the other markets. That’s to do with the location, but probably also the popularity of the market – it can get insanely crowded. It’s not crazy expensive though, the punsch is up to 1€ more expensive, so it’s possible to deal with it.
They also have the famous Sisi Punsch here. I came here yesterday (a Thursday) so it was relatively liveable there. Previously I’ve only been on the weekend, and you literally have to penguin walk around as there are so many people. They offer bus tours from surrounding countries to this (and other I presume) Christmas markets, so on the weekend it’s not uncommon for 30-50 buses to be parked side by side on the parking lot, and they even have ‘slots’ for when they can offload their passengers to go to the market.
So, like I said more traditional stuff is sold here. And it looks sooo unbelievably nice. I love these Christmas ornaments. I couldn’t afford to dress my tree in these though… maybe I can afford one glass ball a year? hmmm…
I really love these pieces by Sandra Gasque ceramics. This stall is here every year, and I’m equally tempted every year.
This year I also found this booth belonging to Mathias Graebner, whose pieces are absolutely stunning. I told myself that I will go back there if I cannot help myself.. but I managed to get away without a piece… this time! I just love those fish-patterned pieces. I almost thought this booth alone was worth the visit. 😀
The final picture is from the entrance, where they have decorated the two columns with the eagles (?) on top. They look like two giant shiny light-rods from afar.. If you’re in doubt where to enter, look for these! ^_^
Why go here? The atmosphere, and to get some truly unique pieces from talented artist. Just being there, looking at the castle and listening to live music is magical and appeals to the little prince and princess in every one of us. But my advice is, don’t go on the weekend.