Christmas Markets in Vienna

January 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

Looing through snowman lanterns to the Christmas markets on Rathauspark. Vienna. Dec 13, 2011.

When I was booking my Finnair winter promo ticket to Europe, I was thinking: There wouldn’t be lots of beautiful sunny day, it would be cold and dark, shops close early, even museums have a shorter visiting hours. If I must do this trip in winter, I should do it in…December! It can’t go wrong with the all Christmas decorations along the streets, and after dark, there would be still a bunch of Christmas markets going on all over the place!

I went into a Christmas market in front of the Helsinki Cathedral during my brief visit to the city, but it wasn’t a really big one. Perhaps it was not yet in its full swing, as it was around noon. So seeing the Christmas markets in Vienna, for the first time, was amazing! There were lots of cute little things: handmade soap bar, objects hand carved out of wood, beautiful candle holder, jewellery, pottery…… It was a wonderful place to shop for Christmas gift. See the pictures below:

I regret that I didn't get one of these candles holder. Very "Klimt". best pattern I've seen in my entire trip. Found at Am Hof. Vienna. Dec 12, 2011.

Candles and Soap at Christmas Market in Am Hof. Vienna. Dec 12, 2011

Lots of wooden bowls, chopping boards at Am Hof. Vienna. Dec 12, 2011.

A lady hand crochet a necklace with beads. She said it normally takes up at least 12 hours for each. At Am Hof. Vienna. Dec 12, 2011.

Walking around a Christmas market, you cannot ignore the smell of gluhwein, basically it’s hot wine. That’s quite the best idea for shopping outdoor in the winter. I guess, the alcohol also help the shoppers to loosen up, and make more unnecessary purchases. For the food, you can always find grilled sausages, fruit covered by delicious chocolate (I can never get over those chocolate covered strawberries), sweet cake, cookies, nougat, “honig”, jam, ginger bread, different types of roasted nuts in sugar…even pasta, crepe, cheese, dried meat, mash potatoes and soup. I’m sure you can get a full stomach in any christmas market, just head to somewher with a crowd, or look for the smokiest stall. (Someone advised me that they only had little snacks in Christmas Markets, and wouldn’t fill me up… that’s just lies)

Cutest gummy bear (up-side-down), they are holding hands! Honey flavor, the best out there (cheaper to buy in Germany tho). Schonbrunn, Vienna. Dec 11, 2011.

I often bough some ham from stall like this in Christmas Markets, and save it for dinner. Sometimes you can find bread in the market too! At Rathauspark, Vienna. Dec 13, 2011.

Not that they make fresh ham at Christmas markets for the stall above... But some markets caters to families would have cute lazy animals sleeping around for kids to take pictures with. Absolutely fun, and this is a really fat one. Karlsplatz, Vienna. Dec 13, 2011.

At Schonbrunn, I smelled something fried. Then I found the source… with the longest queue in the entire market. It’s something called “spiral kartoffel”. Basically, they have a machine to slice the potatoes into very thin slices, often in spiral form. Then they fry it right away. So when the ultra-crispy potato “chips” arrived in your hand, they are still hot! That, was the most delicious potatoe chips I’ve ever tried. I totally should import that machine to Hong Kong. Consider the street food culture here, I’d become a very rich girl.

The glorious spiral cut fried potato chips and a cup of gluhwein. Schonbrunn. Vienna. Dec 11, 2011.

I really enjoy checking out all every Christmas markets. I can always find something nice there, and fill up my stomach inexpensively. Visiting one after doing the whole tourist thing during the day, was the best way to end a busy day. Also, every country’s markets are slightly different, mostly, it’s the food that set the difference.

Standing below a tree of dream catchers at Karlsplatz, Vienna. Dec 13, 2011.

Note: Hot wine cost around 2 to 5 euro per cup, depends on where you are and if it’s some fancy flavor combination. They always serve it in a mug, so, be prepared to pay deposit for it. Usually the deposit is 2euro, which you get can get it back when you return the mug.

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