Thursday, 19 December 2013

A Christmas Marketing We Will Go

  After Bratisalava, we took the 1 hour and 6 minute train ride into Vienna's Wien Hauptbahnhof then jumping on the U-Bahn and legging it across town to the Wien Westbahnhof station near where our hostel was located.  If you ever get a chance to stay at the Hostel Ruthensteiner I would recommend it. It was clean, open 24 hours, friendly staff and a cheap breakfast. E and I shared a private room and it completely met our needs, nothing fancy but above "it'll have to do".
We were located close enough to the city centre that we could walk in each day (we are walkers) in about 20-25 minutes. You see so much more of a new place when you are able to tackle it by foot. We left the hostel at 10:30 that morning and walked all day, only returning at 11pm that night. 
When the Gluhwein Gang first booked this trip we thought there were about 6 Christmas Markets throughout the city, however, when we arrived we discovered there were actually upwards of 12 Christmas Markets within the city! E and I were determined to see as many as we could while still enjoying our time. Commence images of us rushing around from market to market on a sugar high, screaming carols at the top of our lungs, and foaming Gluhwein at the mouth. 
We managed to visit and enjoy:
Spittelberg between Stiftgasse and Breite Gasse
Mariahilfer Church on Mariahilfer Strasse
Maria Theresien-Platz at the Museum Quarter
Karlplatz in front of Karlskirche 
Belvedere Palace
Stephansplatz located next to Stephansdom 
Freyung 
Am Hof
Rathausplatz (city hall)
Mahlerstrasse between the Opera house and the city shopping complex Ringstrassengalerien
Riesenrandplatz beside the Riesenrad (a giant ferris wheel) at the entrance to the Prater amusement park

Although each market was very similar, every one had their own allure; some where geared for children and families, others off the beaten track for the locals and some centrally located for tourists. Some markets had more food stalls or artisan crafts for sale, while others still were all about the grand setting it was in or small pedestrian street. 
Riesenrandplatz

Stephansdom

Sweet treats

ginger bread house

Ornaments galore 

Vienna cured meats


Gluhwein, oh the gluhwein.

Love these potpourri decorations

Sugar cookies and ginger bread

Gluhwein stall at Spittelberg

the teeniest tiniest of chocolates

ornaments

Ornaments

Giant candle 

snow squirrel 

Stephansplatz

More ornaments!

horse drawn carriages 

Freyung 
Freyung was probably my most favourite market of them all. It had the best Gluhwein (consensus of 'the Gang'), good mix of crafts and ornaments for sale, and had a live choir in the evenings.

Spittelberg was second favourite for it's sense of never ending size, incorporating the popup market stalls with the local cafes and business's. I wish we had a chance to visit this one at night as I can just imagine the Christmas magic with the lights and the huts.

Third favourite--this is where things get difficult to choose--would have to be the Maria Theresien-Platz at the Museum Quarter for is setting between the two enormous domed museum buildings surrounding an impressive statue. The sausage smelled so good and the sugared almonds were hard to resist.

Market stalls at Freyung

ORNAMENTS!!!

Rathausplatz


Pretty lights at Rathausplatz

The Rathaus

Giant tree at Rathausplatz


live music
Despite there being many markets, we were able to meander and take our time at each one, having a Gluhwein here, Vienna sausage there, buying a trinket at that stall and sampling treats at another. The weather couldn't have been better for our time here...that's a lie, it could have snow, but then I just might have pee'd my pants with excitement. On second thought, maybe it's best it didn't snow.

That's the last of my Christmas Markets posts. I hope I didn't bore anyone too much. 
Have you visited any Christmas markets this year? Tell me about it!





Fun travels!

2 comments:

  1. Whew, girl! That is a lot of markets!! We have only gone to the Christmas markets in Hyde Park, but I'm going to try and see more next year even though I'm not a huge shopper. I prefer to see cities on foot, too! :o)

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    Replies
    1. It was a lot of markets, but also a lot of fun. I will definitely have to visit Vienna again and see, you know, everything else the city has to offer.
      Didn't get a chance to get to Hyde Park this year, but that's a good one too. Great for a family visit.

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