Most things that happen in the Museumsquartier (MQ) complex are like driving down a little motorway exit that takes you away from the mainstream into alternative landscapes.
The Weihnachtsquartier is no different – an exhibition and market with a focus on independent design.
- Dozens of independent labels and designers showcase and sell their wares
- Products include art, fashion, food, jewellery, accessories, and more
- Free entry, 2019 dates TBA (it was Nov 30 – Dec 2 in 2018)
- See also: Winter at the MQ
What’s the Weihnachtsquartier?
If you take around a hundred independent labels and designers and give them a bit of space to display and sell their work, then you’ve pretty much described the Weihnachtsquartier. It’s billed as a “Christmas” design exhibition with sales, but the name refers more to the timing rather than the content.
Held in the first weekend of the Advent season, it’s a chance to pick out something different, something unique, something that wasn’t mass produced and advertised by an unnaturally slim model on TV. Most of the designers at the event are local to Austria, so you can add central European flair to the list of product qualities.
Exhibitors have to convince a jury of their worthiness, which eliminates any possibility of the exhibition becoming a junk-filled free for all. In fact, you can often speak to the designers themselves if you want to learn more about what you’re buying.
The event covers a wide range of products and materials, from leather handbags to Limoges-style porcelain, beeswax cloths to body butters, jewellery to jams. Should you visit, there’s a much smaller design market going on outside the MQ at the same time, which is part of the Winter at the MQ advent event.
The organisers of the Weihnachtsquartier are the same folk behind the Schönbrunn Christmas market, which is an absolute delight and further evidence for the quality of the event.
2019 dates and tickets
Well, the good news is the event is free, so no tickets are required. You’ll find it in the western parts of the Q21 MQ tract, so when you’re facing the Museumsquartier main entrance from outside, go left.
As soon as I can confirm 2019 dates, I’ll post them up here. In 2018, the Weihnachtsquartier took place on Friday, November 30 (2 pm to 8 pm), Saturday, December 1 (10 am to 8 pm), and Sunday, December 2 (10 am to 6 pm)
How to get to the design market
The simplest route is to take the U2 subway to the “Museumsquartier” station, which exits just outside the Q21 exhibition space. For other suggestions, see the Museumsquartier article.
Address: Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna | Website