Should you enjoy a glass of vino at the Am Hof Christmas market, you’re following in some very old footsteps. The same location hosted a wine market as early as 1358 (likely involving less tinsel, though).
- Lovely market with a section dedicated to unique arts and crafts
- Particularly good for the variety of food and drink available
- Popular with locals and close to the Freyung market
- 2019 dates: Nov 15 – Dec 23
- See also: All Christmas markets
Am Hof means “at court”, but is also the name of a large central square in Vienna surrounding a column dedicated to the Virgin Mary (the Mariensäule).
Henry II, the Babenberg Duke of Austria, resided at Am Hof in the 12th Century, so it’s no surprise to find a fair few historical buildings behind the market stalls.
The Collalto Palace, for example, is where Mozart first performed in Vienna, and the imposing Kirche am Hof dates back as far as the 14th century (the facade is a mere 350 years old, mind you).
The first Christmas market appeared there in 1842. At the time, Charles Dickens was still working on a story about a miserly old fellow named Scrooge, and it would be another 12 months before Christmas cards were invented.
Today’s Am Hof Christmas market is ideal for those who like their sights packed together, being close to Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral) in the city centre and a short walk from the Freyung Christmas market as well.
The market is split into two parts.
One is the Kunsthandwerkmarkt (arts and crafts market), which features just over 20 huts selling, well, “arts and crafts”. This is not your run-of-the-mill craft market, though.
Those wishing to sell their wares have to pass a jury-led selection process. Which means the items on sale have a certain level of artistic quality and are not mass-produced.
So if you’re looking for unique gifts, this is a good place to start. And unlike most market stands, you can go into these ones. You essentially have a wide aisle of miniature shops – handy for lifting your spirits if the weather turns grim.
The jury process ensures plenty of variety, from art deco candle holders and alternative paintings to beer bottle clocks and miniature wooden draws made from Austrian stone pine.
The other part is the actual Christmas market, featuring the usual Christmas classics, like punch, jams, ceramics, candles, decorations etc. One thing is very different from the 1842 version, though: an ATM.
There is plenty to eat here, of course, and perhaps more variety than at many of the other markets. You won’t go hungry.
When I last visited, for example, there was a champagne bar and a hugely-popular stand selling traditional langos and Feuerflecken (a kind of bread-like pastry with toppings).
Other stands offered baked potatoes, roast nuts, chocolate-coated fruits, waffles, gingerbread, dumplings, raclette and great slabs of cheese in different colours, Baumkuchen (cakes baked on a spit), French nougat, Tyrolean specialities like Gröstl (fried potatoes and mincemeat), and more.
I love the stand selling great strings of sausages in all their forms, which adds a medieval feel to that particular corner.
My tip: visit at dusk, as there’s a trail of lights above the market like the roof of a circus tent.
Opening hours 2019
The 2019 opening times are:
- November 15 to December 23
- 11 am to 9 pm (Mon-Thurs)
- 10 am to 9 pm (Fri-Sun and on December 8)
- Food stalls are open until 10 pm
How to get to Am Hof
The Christmas market is right in the centre (it used to be the *actual* centre of medieval Vienna).
Subway: U1 (Stephansplatz), U3 (Herrengasse) or U2 (Schottentor). Each is a short walk from Am Hof, or you can catch one of the bus lines below
Bus: The market is within a short walk of various bus stops, including Graben/Petersplatz (1A or 2A), Schwertgasse (1A or 3A) and Teinfaltstraße (1A)
Address: Weihnachtsmarkt Am Hof, Am Hof, 1010 Vienna | Website