DSC_0362

A woman enjoying the Christmas magic at the Vienna Christmas markets

During a European Christmas market trip, you cannot miss out on visiting the magical cities of Vienna, Austria and Bratislava, Slovakia.

Vienna and Bratislava are located only an hour away from each other, so it is best to visit both within one trip!

A woman enjoying the art Christmas markets in Vienna

Overall, Vienna is a city filled with royalty and elegance and I was so grateful to be able to visit during my European Christmas market trip.

The lovely capital of Austria is located on the Eastern side of the country and is known for its imperial sights, timeless cafés and the best Christmas markets in Europe!

Bratislava, on the other hand, is the capital of Slovakia and it features stunning Christmas markets throughout the entire city.

It is located in western Slovakia near the Austrian and Hungarian border. In general, the city of Bratislava has stunning architecture, an enchanting castle, small parts of the Carpathian Mountains for outdoor activities and so much more.

A woman holding mulled wine at the Bratislava Christmas Markets

After spending two days in Budapest, Hungary during my 2018 Christmas market trip, I made my way to Vienna, Austria while also making a pit stop in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Just like in Budapest, the Danube River also splits the cities of Vienna and Bratislava!

During my two days in Vienna and Bratislava, I visited historical buildings and sites, strolled through the most magical Christmas markets and savored authentic Slovak and Viennese food.

Gingerbread cookies from the Vienna and Bratislava Christmas markets

Both Vienna and Bratislava exceeded my expectations and I highly recommend everyone to put these two cities on your bucket list, especially if you plan to do a Central/Eastern European Christmas market trip like I did!

Discover everything to not miss out on during Christmastime in Bratislava, Slovakia and Vienna, Austria.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Christmastime in Vienna and Bratislava

Vienna and Bratislava during Christmastime

Where to Stay in Vienna and Bratislava:

Christmastime in Vienna, Austria with a Pit Stop in Bratislava, Slovakia

During my time in Vienna and Bratislava, I spent two nights in Vienna, Austria. It was easy for me to stay in Vienna because that was the city I was flying home from.

Below are hotel suggestions for Bratislava and Vienna:

Bratislava:

Luxury Hotel Recommendation: Grand Hotel River Park, A Luxury Collection Hotel

Boutique Hotel Recommendation: Roset Boutique Hotel

Mid-Budget Hotel Recommendation: Marrol’s Boutique Hotel

Budget Hotel Recommendation: Boutique Capsule Hostel CHORS

Rentals: Airbnb or Vrbo

Vienna:

Luxury Hotel Recommendation: Palais Coburg

Boutique Hotel Recommendation: Boutique Hotel am Stephansplatz

Mid-Budget Hotel Recommendation: Altstadt Vienna

Budget Hotel Recommendation: Wombats Hostels Vienna Naschmarkt

Rentals: Airbnb or Vrbo

What to do in Bratislava in December:

A woman enjoying the Christmas markets in Bratislava, Slovakia

Prior to traveling to Vienna, Austria, I spent two days in Budapest, Hungary. Since Bratislava, Slovakia is situated between the two cities, I decided to make a pit stop there before heading into Vienna for the last leg of my 2018 Christmas market trip.

A beautiful church in Bratislava

Even if you aren’t traveling around or coming from Budapest, you could still make a day trip or even a half day excursion to Bratislava from Vienna since the two cities are only a little over an hour away from each other. 

A statue in Bratislava

Bratislava is known to have one of the most beautiful (and colorful) Christmas markets in Europe and it also has a castle, gorgeous churches, romantic cafés and restaurants, amazing views as well as friendly locals.

Traveling to Bratislava by Bus:

I traveled from Budapest to Bratislava via Flixbus.

The Bratislava Central Bus Station is located on the other side of the city, so you will need to take a taxi if you want to get to Bratislava hlavná stanica (train station) or the downtown area. Since I had my luggage with me, I was able to rent a locker for a few euros in the train station.

Beautiful buildings in Bratislava, Slovakia

What I loved most about Bratislava is that it was a fairly quiet and safe city, making it perfect to get lost in.

When I arrived in the city, I met up with my friend and we began strolling into the downtown area.

Below is what I recommend you check out if you visit Bratislava, Slovakia during Christmastime.

Bratislava Castle:

Bratislava Castle in Slovakia

One of the first places we visited during our time in Bratislava was the infamous Bratislava Castle.

This Renaissance castle is situated on a hill above the Old Town. I will admit that it was a little tiring walking up there, but the views definitely made up for it!

What is cool about Bratislava Castle is that it features the first written reference to the city, which appears in the Annals of Salzburg of 907, in association with a battle between the Bavarians and Hungarians.

With an expanse history, Bratislava Castle now serves as a representative venue for the Slovak Parliament and houses collections of the Slovak National Museum.

A nativity scene at Bratislava Castle

Since my friend and I visited Bratislava Castle during Christmastime, there was a little Christmas market set up next to the castle. In the courtyard of the castle was a beautiful nativity scene with a manger. It was definitely a beautiful sight to see!

Most Slovenského národného povstania (Most SNP):

Most SNP in Bratislava, Slovakia

Known as Slovakia’s “UFO” bridge, Most SNP was built during the Slovak National Uprising between 1967 and 1972. It is considered the most characteristic landmark of the city and is a cable-styled bridge with only one pylon.

Even though we didn’t have time to visit the restaurant at the top (which is the UFO part), it was so awesome seeing it from the castle hill.

Michael’s Gate:

Michael's Gate in Bratislava, Slovakia

Known as one of the symbols of Bratislava, Michael’s Gate features Baroque architecture and offers wonderful views of the colorful city from the top. It is hard to miss Michael’s Gate because it leads you into the enchanting Old Town of Bratislava.

As we walked to the Christmas market in the Old Town, my friend and I admired this gorgeous gate and the surrounding buildings were also stunning!

Old Town Hall:

Old Town Hall in Bratislava

The Old Town Hall of Bratislava dates back to the beginning of the medieval city in the 13th century.

Nowadays, the building houses the Bratislava City Museum (Mestske Muzeum), which is the oldest in Bratislava. It features an exhibition of the feudal justice system as well as the original furnishings from the municipal court.

Old Town Hall in Bratislava during Christmastime

What I loved most about the Old Town Hall was that it was located in the heart of Bratislava’s Christmas market scene and had the city’s stunning Christmas tree in front of it.

Bratislava Main Christmas Market:

A woman enjoying a Christmas trip in Vienna and Bratislava

Advent season in Bratislava is absolutely magical!

Between the gorgeous buildings, glowing streets, Christmas trees and red and white stands full of delicious treats, crafts and décor, there is so much to fall in love with in Slovakia’s capital during the holidays.

The Christmas markets in Bratislava, Slovakia

The popular Christmas market is located at the Main Square and Hviezdoslav Square in the city.

You could also find mini markets such as the one in front Bratislava Castle as well as the Eurovea shopping center.

A potato pancake from the Bratislava Christmas market

I absolutely LOVED what was offered at the Bratislava Christmas markets! They sell all different types of strudels, sweet and savory potato pancakes, sausages, Slovak rolls, cheese, gingerbread cookies, kolaches and so much more. Just like the other markets in Europe, Bratislava’s Christmas stalls also offer mulled wine!

In addition to all the food, the Christmas markets in Bratislava also sell ornaments, trinkets and other Slovak handicrafts. It is such a magical place to be!

Vienna Christmas Markets:

The Vienna Christmas Markets

After spending an amazing morning in Bratislava, Slovakia, my friend and I took the train over to Vienna’s main train station – Wien Hauptbahnhof.

What is great about Vienna versus the other cities I visited during my 2018 Christmas market trip is that they have UBER! Since everything in Vienna is spread out, it was nice to know we had the option to take an Uber if we needed it.

Click here to discover the best places to visit in Vienna in 48 hours from my friends at Red White Adventures.

Getting around Vienna:

A trip to Vienna and Bratislava during winter

In addition to Uber, Vienna also has a vast transit network. You could either take the U-Bahn (subway), streetcar or the city bus.

If you are staying closer to the city center and main attractions near the Danube, everything is easily walkable. There are also city taxis as well, but please keep in mind that Vienna and Austria in general could be pretty pricey.

Inside of Hofburg Palace in Vienna

To summarize how I traveled during my 2018 Christmas market trip, I found great flight deals through Skyscanner!

From Newark Liberty International Airport to Munich with a short layover in Lisbon, I was able to grab a one-way flight for less than $200 without taxes!

The Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria

On my way home, I got a flight out of Vienna International Airport to Newark with a short layover in Düsseldorf, Germany for less than $300 with taxes included. (Make sure to also check out Expedia for great deals too.)

Since I flew into Munich, I started my Christmas market tour there and then made my way to Salzburg after two days. From the Austrian Alps, I took a five our train ride to Budapest, Hungary where I spent two days there before heading to Bratislava and Vienna.

I traveled around via train to each city, except for my journey from Budapest to Bratislava where I took a Flixbus.

Due to the holiday season, Europe is filled with many tourists and travelers alike so I made sure to book my train tickets to each city in advanced through Omio. You could find great deals there!

Where to Stay in Vienna:

Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria

During my two nights in Vienna, I stayed at Hotel Bergwirt Schönbrunn. It is a cozy mid-budget, boutique hotel located near the famous Schönbrunn Palace.

Just like in Salzburg, my hotel in Vienna was further away from the city center though.

What was nice about Hotel Bergwirt Schönbrunn is that there was an authentic Austrian restaurant and bar located right in the hotel. The area outside of Schönbrunn Palace (ORF Centre) is also adorable and offers great restaurants, cafés, bars and more!

Rathaus in Vienna, Austria

You could find other great hotels that suit your budget on Hotels.com and there is also a wide range of hostels in Vienna.

Things to do in Vienna during Christmastime:

The Christmas market in Rathaus in Vienna

Not only is Vienna a magical city during the holiday season, it is also a great place to visit year round. Discover the best things to do in Vienna all year long!

Visit the Old Cafés:

A woman enjoying a morning at one of the old cafes in Vienna

One of the top things to do in Vienna is visit one of the old world cafés to savor a delicious Viennese cake!

During my time in Vienna, my friend and I went all out and visited the famous Café Sacher in the heart of the city where we got to enjoy Champagne, a cappuccino and their famous chocolate cake – a Sachertorte. This delicious chocolate cake also has a layer of apricot jam and is covered in chocolate ganache.  It was amazing and the perfect way to start the day!

Two friends enjoying breakfast at a cafe in Vienna

If you decide to go to one of the old cafés in Vienna, I highly recommend going early to avoid crowds.

Thankfully, the line to get into Café Sacher when we went wasn’t too bad. When we left, it was almost wrapped around the block! (Mind you, it was also before Christmas.)

I loved how the café was super elegant and made you feel like you were having breakfast in a palace.

Wander around Hofburg Palace:

Hofburg Palace during winter

The imperial Hofburg is the former palace of the Habsburg dynasty rulers and currently serves as the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. It was also the birthplace of Marie Antoinette.

Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria

You could get tickets and actually go inside the Palace, but the grounds were so beautiful to walk through. There were enchanting courtyards, beautiful parks and lawns, lovely gardens and so much more. To make it even better, it was snowing when we were there!

Get Lost in the Austrian National Library:

A woman walking through the Austrian National Library in Vienna

The Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, also known as the Austrian National Library, is Austria’s largest library. It is also a perfect place to feel like Belle from Beauty and the Beast!

Austrian National Library in Vienna, Austria

The Austrian National Library is absolutely stunning and offers over 12 millions books and artifacts. Within these artifacts are manuscripts, music manuscripts, photographs, maps, globes and much more. It is definitely a place you cannot miss out on when you are in Vienna!

Stroll through the Vienna Christkindlmarkt:

A winter wonderland at the Vienna Christmas markets

The Christmas markets in Vienna are truly nothing like I’ve ever seen before!

Even though I found all of the Christmas markets in Europe to be magical, Vienna’s definitely had that WOW factor to them. (I think I may have saved the best for last during my 2018 Christmas trip.)

Schonbrunn Palace during Christmastime

The Viennese Christmas markets date back to the Middle Ages. Scattered throughout the city are a variety of different markets that sell glühwein, bratwursts, roasted chestnuts, pretzels, pastries and chocolates. They also offer handcrafted goods, toys, textiles and more!

Christmastime in Vienna and Bratislava

There are so many Christmas markets in Vienna! If you have the time, I would definitely check them all out.

Unfortunately, I only had two days in Vienna so, I only got to go to three markets (which I was told were the best ones to attend).

A woman enjoying the Christmas and New Year's markets at Schonbrunn

Here are the markets I attended:

Viennese Dream Christmas Market at Rathaus:
A winter wonderland at the Viennese Christmas markets

The Christkindlmarkt at Rathaus had to be the most magical market for me! Located in front of the City Hall is the main Christmas market that features everything that will get you into the spirit.

The beautiful Christmas markets in Vienna and Bratislava

I will admit that the backdrop to Vienna’s Rathaus Christmas market reminded me of the Christmas market in Munich’s Marienplatz. It was absolutely breathtaking!

There are countless stands that will take you a couple hours to walk through, an ice-skating rink, Ferris wheel and other outstanding attractions.

Beautiful Christmas decorations in Vienna and Bratislava

You could even go inside City Hall on the ground floor and learn how to make Austrian Christmas cookies or candles. It is so cool!

Art Advent at Karlsplatz:
Christmas market at Karlsplatz in Vienna

After attending the Christkindmarkt at Rathaus, I walked 10 minutes over to Karlsplatz for the magical Art Advent.

I absolutely LOVED how dreamy this market was with all of its lights and decorations! The Karlskirche (baroque cathedral) also makes for a magical backdrop.

Art Advent Christmas market in Vienna, Austria

Unlike the other markets, you will find exceptional craftwork, quality regional handicrafts and the best entertainment performances. (Don’t worry though you could still get glühwein!)

Christmas and New Year’s Market at Schönbrunn Palace:
A Christmas market at Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna

Another one of my all-time favorite Christmas markets was the one at Schönbrunn Palace.

Even if you travel to Vienna during non-Christmas season, I highly recommend visiting Schönbrunn Palace. It is absolutely stunning and makes me want to attend a ball there.

A woman enjoying the Christmas markets in Vienna

If you visit this beautiful palace during Christmastime, I highly recommend making your way there at night because it is absolutely stunning!

During my evening there, it started to snow, making it even more magical. (Please note that these photos don’t do it justice.)

Christmastime in Vienna and Bratislava

There are approximately 60 exhibitors offering beautiful original gifts and hand made Christmas decorations at this market. They also have glühwein and other Austrian and Viennese goodies!

Other Christmas Markets in Vienna:
A decorative Christmas tree in Vienna, Austria

Christmas Market at Spittelberg

Winter at Museums Quartier

Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace

Christmas Village at Maria-Theresien Platz

Christmas Village at the Former General Hospital

Winter Market on Riesenradplatz

Old Viennese Christmas Market

Am Hof Advent Market

Christmas Market on Stephansplatz

Savor Authentic Austrian Food and Beer:

During my two days in Vienna, I savored amazing Austrian-German food and sipped some of the best beer I’ve ever had!

Here are the places I ate and drank at during my time in Vienna:

Brandauers Schlossbrau: This beautiful Austrian beer hall and courtyard is the perfect place to enjoy an authentic meal with a pint!

During our last night in Vienna, my friend and I enjoyed a chicken schnitzel dinner with spätzel, potatoes and Viennese beer. It was absolutely amazing!

A shrimp dinner from an Austrian restaurant in Vienna

Zum Blauen Esel: This cozy and quaint restaurant also offers delicious Austrian food.

Instead of typical Austrian-German food (like schnitzel and sausage), I savored a lovely seafood dinner that was so tasty! In addition, I also tried Austrian wine for the first time and loved it.


Austrian National Library in Vienna

I hope you all enjoyed reading about my time in Bratislava, Slovakia and Vienna, Austria and discovered all of the magical places to visit during Christmastime.

If you have any questions about my time in Vienna and Bratislava, please feel free to email me at [email protected]

Make sure to pin this post if you find it useful!

Christmastime in Vienna and Bratislava

Basic Facts of Slovakia:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Bratislava, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

Basic Facts of Austria:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Vienna, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

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*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Shop my Vienna and Bratislava Christmas Market Look:

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4 Comments

  1. Maria Stadler on January 6, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    I loved to read that your expectations of Vienna were exceeded. I’m from Austria and it always makes me happy when travellers had a good time here 🙂
    Christmas market season is the best time of the year in Vienna!

    • Taylor Deer on January 6, 2019 at 7:53 pm

      Yay! I’m go glad you enjoyed my blog post on Vienna. I hope to come back in the near future 🙂

  2. Beth Lucy on October 13, 2019 at 3:33 am

    So jealous! Vienna looks amazing and it sounds like you enjoyed your time there! All those buildings and Christmas markets are beautiful 💖

    • Taylor Deer on October 13, 2019 at 11:54 am

      It really was the definition of pure magic! 🙂

Leave a Comment





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A woman enjoying the Christmas magic at the Vienna Christmas markets

During a European Christmas market trip, you cannot miss out on visiting the magical cities of Vienna, Austria and Bratislava, Slovakia.

Vienna and Bratislava are located only an hour away from each other, so it is best to visit both within one trip!

A woman enjoying the art Christmas markets in Vienna

Overall, Vienna is a city filled with royalty and elegance and I was so grateful to be able to visit during my European Christmas market trip.

The lovely capital of Austria is located on the Eastern side of the country and is known for its imperial sights, timeless cafés and the best Christmas markets in Europe!

Bratislava, on the other hand, is the capital of Slovakia and it features stunning Christmas markets throughout the entire city.

It is located in western Slovakia near the Austrian and Hungarian border. In general, the city of Bratislava has stunning architecture, an enchanting castle, small parts of the Carpathian Mountains for outdoor activities and so much more.

A woman holding mulled wine at the Bratislava Christmas Markets

After spending two days in Budapest, Hungary during my 2018 Christmas market trip, I made my way to Vienna, Austria while also making a pit stop in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Just like in Budapest, the Danube River also splits the cities of Vienna and Bratislava!

During my two days in Vienna and Bratislava, I visited historical buildings and sites, strolled through the most magical Christmas markets and savored authentic Slovak and Viennese food.

Gingerbread cookies from the Vienna and Bratislava Christmas markets

Both Vienna and Bratislava exceeded my expectations and I highly recommend everyone to put these two cities on your bucket list, especially if you plan to do a Central/Eastern European Christmas market trip like I did!

Discover everything to not miss out on during Christmastime in Bratislava, Slovakia and Vienna, Austria.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Christmastime in Vienna and Bratislava

Vienna and Bratislava during Christmastime

Where to Stay in Vienna and Bratislava:

Christmastime in Vienna, Austria with a Pit Stop in Bratislava, Slovakia

During my time in Vienna and Bratislava, I spent two nights in Vienna, Austria. It was easy for me to stay in Vienna because that was the city I was flying home from.

Below are hotel suggestions for Bratislava and Vienna:

Bratislava:

Luxury Hotel Recommendation: Grand Hotel River Park, A Luxury Collection Hotel

Boutique Hotel Recommendation: Roset Boutique Hotel

Mid-Budget Hotel Recommendation: Marrol’s Boutique Hotel

Budget Hotel Recommendation: Boutique Capsule Hostel CHORS

Rentals: Airbnb or Vrbo

Vienna:

Luxury Hotel Recommendation: Palais Coburg

Boutique Hotel Recommendation: Boutique Hotel am Stephansplatz

Mid-Budget Hotel Recommendation: Altstadt Vienna

Budget Hotel Recommendation: Wombats Hostels Vienna Naschmarkt

Rentals: Airbnb or Vrbo

What to do in Bratislava in December:

A woman enjoying the Christmas markets in Bratislava, Slovakia

Prior to traveling to Vienna, Austria, I spent two days in Budapest, Hungary. Since Bratislava, Slovakia is situated between the two cities, I decided to make a pit stop there before heading into Vienna for the last leg of my 2018 Christmas market trip.

A beautiful church in Bratislava

Even if you aren’t traveling around or coming from Budapest, you could still make a day trip or even a half day excursion to Bratislava from Vienna since the two cities are only a little over an hour away from each other. 

A statue in Bratislava

Bratislava is known to have one of the most beautiful (and colorful) Christmas markets in Europe and it also has a castle, gorgeous churches, romantic cafés and restaurants, amazing views as well as friendly locals.

Traveling to Bratislava by Bus:

I traveled from Budapest to Bratislava via Flixbus.

The Bratislava Central Bus Station is located on the other side of the city, so you will need to take a taxi if you want to get to Bratislava hlavná stanica (train station) or the downtown area. Since I had my luggage with me, I was able to rent a locker for a few euros in the train station.

Beautiful buildings in Bratislava, Slovakia

What I loved most about Bratislava is that it was a fairly quiet and safe city, making it perfect to get lost in.

When I arrived in the city, I met up with my friend and we began strolling into the downtown area.

Below is what I recommend you check out if you visit Bratislava, Slovakia during Christmastime.

Bratislava Castle:

Bratislava Castle in Slovakia

One of the first places we visited during our time in Bratislava was the infamous Bratislava Castle.

This Renaissance castle is situated on a hill above the Old Town. I will admit that it was a little tiring walking up there, but the views definitely made up for it!

What is cool about Bratislava Castle is that it features the first written reference to the city, which appears in the Annals of Salzburg of 907, in association with a battle between the Bavarians and Hungarians.

With an expanse history, Bratislava Castle now serves as a representative venue for the Slovak Parliament and houses collections of the Slovak National Museum.

A nativity scene at Bratislava Castle

Since my friend and I visited Bratislava Castle during Christmastime, there was a little Christmas market set up next to the castle. In the courtyard of the castle was a beautiful nativity scene with a manger. It was definitely a beautiful sight to see!

Most Slovenského národného povstania (Most SNP):

Most SNP in Bratislava, Slovakia

Known as Slovakia’s “UFO” bridge, Most SNP was built during the Slovak National Uprising between 1967 and 1972. It is considered the most characteristic landmark of the city and is a cable-styled bridge with only one pylon.

Even though we didn’t have time to visit the restaurant at the top (which is the UFO part), it was so awesome seeing it from the castle hill.

Michael’s Gate:

Michael's Gate in Bratislava, Slovakia

Known as one of the symbols of Bratislava, Michael’s Gate features Baroque architecture and offers wonderful views of the colorful city from the top. It is hard to miss Michael’s Gate because it leads you into the enchanting Old Town of Bratislava.

As we walked to the Christmas market in the Old Town, my friend and I admired this gorgeous gate and the surrounding buildings were also stunning!

Old Town Hall:

Old Town Hall in Bratislava

The Old Town Hall of Bratislava dates back to the beginning of the medieval city in the 13th century.

Nowadays, the building houses the Bratislava City Museum (Mestske Muzeum), which is the oldest in Bratislava. It features an exhibition of the feudal justice system as well as the original furnishings from the municipal court.

Old Town Hall in Bratislava during Christmastime

What I loved most about the Old Town Hall was that it was located in the heart of Bratislava’s Christmas market scene and had the city’s stunning Christmas tree in front of it.

Bratislava Main Christmas Market:

A woman enjoying a Christmas trip in Vienna and Bratislava

Advent season in Bratislava is absolutely magical!

Between the gorgeous buildings, glowing streets, Christmas trees and red and white stands full of delicious treats, crafts and décor, there is so much to fall in love with in Slovakia’s capital during the holidays.

The Christmas markets in Bratislava, Slovakia

The popular Christmas market is located at the Main Square and Hviezdoslav Square in the city.

You could also find mini markets such as the one in front Bratislava Castle as well as the Eurovea shopping center.

A potato pancake from the Bratislava Christmas market

I absolutely LOVED what was offered at the Bratislava Christmas markets! They sell all different types of strudels, sweet and savory potato pancakes, sausages, Slovak rolls, cheese, gingerbread cookies, kolaches and so much more. Just like the other markets in Europe, Bratislava’s Christmas stalls also offer mulled wine!

In addition to all the food, the Christmas markets in Bratislava also sell ornaments, trinkets and other Slovak handicrafts. It is such a magical place to be!

Vienna Christmas Markets:

The Vienna Christmas Markets

After spending an amazing morning in Bratislava, Slovakia, my friend and I took the train over to Vienna’s main train station – Wien Hauptbahnhof.

What is great about Vienna versus the other cities I visited during my 2018 Christmas market trip is that they have UBER! Since everything in Vienna is spread out, it was nice to know we had the option to take an Uber if we needed it.

Click here to discover the best places to visit in Vienna in 48 hours from my friends at Red White Adventures.

Getting around Vienna:

A trip to Vienna and Bratislava during winter

In addition to Uber, Vienna also has a vast transit network. You could either take the U-Bahn (subway), streetcar or the city bus.

If you are staying closer to the city center and main attractions near the Danube, everything is easily walkable. There are also city taxis as well, but please keep in mind that Vienna and Austria in general could be pretty pricey.

Inside of Hofburg Palace in Vienna

To summarize how I traveled during my 2018 Christmas market trip, I found great flight deals through Skyscanner!

From Newark Liberty International Airport to Munich with a short layover in Lisbon, I was able to grab a one-way flight for less than $200 without taxes!

The Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria

On my way home, I got a flight out of Vienna International Airport to Newark with a short layover in Düsseldorf, Germany for less than $300 with taxes included. (Make sure to also check out Expedia for great deals too.)

Since I flew into Munich, I started my Christmas market tour there and then made my way to Salzburg after two days. From the Austrian Alps, I took a five our train ride to Budapest, Hungary where I spent two days there before heading to Bratislava and Vienna.

I traveled around via train to each city, except for my journey from Budapest to Bratislava where I took a Flixbus.

Due to the holiday season, Europe is filled with many tourists and travelers alike so I made sure to book my train tickets to each city in advanced through Omio. You could find great deals there!

Where to Stay in Vienna:

Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria

During my two nights in Vienna, I stayed at Hotel Bergwirt Schönbrunn. It is a cozy mid-budget, boutique hotel located near the famous Schönbrunn Palace.

Just like in Salzburg, my hotel in Vienna was further away from the city center though.

What was nice about Hotel Bergwirt Schönbrunn is that there was an authentic Austrian restaurant and bar located right in the hotel. The area outside of Schönbrunn Palace (ORF Centre) is also adorable and offers great restaurants, cafés, bars and more!

Rathaus in Vienna, Austria

You could find other great hotels that suit your budget on Hotels.com and there is also a wide range of hostels in Vienna.

Things to do in Vienna during Christmastime:

The Christmas market in Rathaus in Vienna

Not only is Vienna a magical city during the holiday season, it is also a great place to visit year round. Discover the best things to do in Vienna all year long!

Visit the Old Cafés:

A woman enjoying a morning at one of the old cafes in Vienna

One of the top things to do in Vienna is visit one of the old world cafés to savor a delicious Viennese cake!

During my time in Vienna, my friend and I went all out and visited the famous Café Sacher in the heart of the city where we got to enjoy Champagne, a cappuccino and their famous chocolate cake – a Sachertorte. This delicious chocolate cake also has a layer of apricot jam and is covered in chocolate ganache.  It was amazing and the perfect way to start the day!

Two friends enjoying breakfast at a cafe in Vienna

If you decide to go to one of the old cafés in Vienna, I highly recommend going early to avoid crowds.

Thankfully, the line to get into Café Sacher when we went wasn’t too bad. When we left, it was almost wrapped around the block! (Mind you, it was also before Christmas.)

I loved how the café was super elegant and made you feel like you were having breakfast in a palace.

Wander around Hofburg Palace:

Hofburg Palace during winter

The imperial Hofburg is the former palace of the Habsburg dynasty rulers and currently serves as the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. It was also the birthplace of Marie Antoinette.

Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria

You could get tickets and actually go inside the Palace, but the grounds were so beautiful to walk through. There were enchanting courtyards, beautiful parks and lawns, lovely gardens and so much more. To make it even better, it was snowing when we were there!

Get Lost in the Austrian National Library:

A woman walking through the Austrian National Library in Vienna

The Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, also known as the Austrian National Library, is Austria’s largest library. It is also a perfect place to feel like Belle from Beauty and the Beast!

Austrian National Library in Vienna, Austria

The Austrian National Library is absolutely stunning and offers over 12 millions books and artifacts. Within these artifacts are manuscripts, music manuscripts, photographs, maps, globes and much more. It is definitely a place you cannot miss out on when you are in Vienna!

Stroll through the Vienna Christkindlmarkt:

A winter wonderland at the Vienna Christmas markets

The Christmas markets in Vienna are truly nothing like I’ve ever seen before!

Even though I found all of the Christmas markets in Europe to be magical, Vienna’s definitely had that WOW factor to them. (I think I may have saved the best for last during my 2018 Christmas trip.)

Schonbrunn Palace during Christmastime

The Viennese Christmas markets date back to the Middle Ages. Scattered throughout the city are a variety of different markets that sell glühwein, bratwursts, roasted chestnuts, pretzels, pastries and chocolates. They also offer handcrafted goods, toys, textiles and more!

Christmastime in Vienna and Bratislava

There are so many Christmas markets in Vienna! If you have the time, I would definitely check them all out.

Unfortunately, I only had two days in Vienna so, I only got to go to three markets (which I was told were the best ones to attend).

A woman enjoying the Christmas and New Year's markets at Schonbrunn

Here are the markets I attended:

Viennese Dream Christmas Market at Rathaus:
A winter wonderland at the Viennese Christmas markets

The Christkindlmarkt at Rathaus had to be the most magical market for me! Located in front of the City Hall is the main Christmas market that features everything that will get you into the spirit.

The beautiful Christmas markets in Vienna and Bratislava

I will admit that the backdrop to Vienna’s Rathaus Christmas market reminded me of the Christmas market in Munich’s Marienplatz. It was absolutely breathtaking!

There are countless stands that will take you a couple hours to walk through, an ice-skating rink, Ferris wheel and other outstanding attractions.

Beautiful Christmas decorations in Vienna and Bratislava

You could even go inside City Hall on the ground floor and learn how to make Austrian Christmas cookies or candles. It is so cool!

Art Advent at Karlsplatz:
Christmas market at Karlsplatz in Vienna

After attending the Christkindmarkt at Rathaus, I walked 10 minutes over to Karlsplatz for the magical Art Advent.

I absolutely LOVED how dreamy this market was with all of its lights and decorations! The Karlskirche (baroque cathedral) also makes for a magical backdrop.

Art Advent Christmas market in Vienna, Austria

Unlike the other markets, you will find exceptional craftwork, quality regional handicrafts and the best entertainment performances. (Don’t worry though you could still get glühwein!)

Christmas and New Year’s Market at Schönbrunn Palace:
A Christmas market at Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna

Another one of my all-time favorite Christmas markets was the one at Schönbrunn Palace.

Even if you travel to Vienna during non-Christmas season, I highly recommend visiting Schönbrunn Palace. It is absolutely stunning and makes me want to attend a ball there.

A woman enjoying the Christmas markets in Vienna

If you visit this beautiful palace during Christmastime, I highly recommend making your way there at night because it is absolutely stunning!

During my evening there, it started to snow, making it even more magical. (Please note that these photos don’t do it justice.)

Christmastime in Vienna and Bratislava

There are approximately 60 exhibitors offering beautiful original gifts and hand made Christmas decorations at this market. They also have glühwein and other Austrian and Viennese goodies!

Other Christmas Markets in Vienna:
A decorative Christmas tree in Vienna, Austria

Christmas Market at Spittelberg

Winter at Museums Quartier

Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace

Christmas Village at Maria-Theresien Platz

Christmas Village at the Former General Hospital

Winter Market on Riesenradplatz

Old Viennese Christmas Market

Am Hof Advent Market

Christmas Market on Stephansplatz

Savor Authentic Austrian Food and Beer:

During my two days in Vienna, I savored amazing Austrian-German food and sipped some of the best beer I’ve ever had!

Here are the places I ate and drank at during my time in Vienna:

Brandauers Schlossbrau: This beautiful Austrian beer hall and courtyard is the perfect place to enjoy an authentic meal with a pint!

During our last night in Vienna, my friend and I enjoyed a chicken schnitzel dinner with spätzel, potatoes and Viennese beer. It was absolutely amazing!

A shrimp dinner from an Austrian restaurant in Vienna

Zum Blauen Esel: This cozy and quaint restaurant also offers delicious Austrian food.

Instead of typical Austrian-German food (like schnitzel and sausage), I savored a lovely seafood dinner that was so tasty! In addition, I also tried Austrian wine for the first time and loved it.


Austrian National Library in Vienna

I hope you all enjoyed reading about my time in Bratislava, Slovakia and Vienna, Austria and discovered all of the magical places to visit during Christmastime.

If you have any questions about my time in Vienna and Bratislava, please feel free to email me at [email protected]

Make sure to pin this post if you find it useful!

Christmastime in Vienna and Bratislava

Basic Facts of Slovakia:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Bratislava, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

Basic Facts of Austria:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Vienna, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

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4 Comments

  1. Maria Stadler on January 6, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    I loved to read that your expectations of Vienna were exceeded. I’m from Austria and it always makes me happy when travellers had a good time here 🙂
    Christmas market season is the best time of the year in Vienna!

    • Taylor Deer on January 6, 2019 at 7:53 pm

      Yay! I’m go glad you enjoyed my blog post on Vienna. I hope to come back in the near future 🙂

  2. Beth Lucy on October 13, 2019 at 3:33 am

    So jealous! Vienna looks amazing and it sounds like you enjoyed your time there! All those buildings and Christmas markets are beautiful 💖

    • Taylor Deer on October 13, 2019 at 11:54 am

      It really was the definition of pure magic! 🙂

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