Rounding out the collection of top Viennese Christmas markets is the one in and around the Spittelberg, a collection of narrow streets in the 7th district.
The area is a classic urban regeneration success story.
In the mid 1980s, Spittelberg and its environs looked set for demolishment to make way for speculative construction projects. Timely intervention by activists and then politicians brought renovation, then rejuvenation, to the area.
It’s now home to a thriving collection of bars, restaurants, galleries and craft shops. And the Christmas market is a potent symbol of its success.
Unlike its competitors for the title of “best Christmas market in Vienna,” the Spittelberg market is not based on a large square or open area. Instead, it winds its way through narrow streets, alleyways and courtyards.
This layout gives it a particularly cosy feel. It also means it can get jam packed at peak times.
The other distinctive element to Spittelberg is the more sophisticated, cultural feel to the stalls. This is a grown-up market, home to an eclectic and extensive collection of arts and crafts, and with a charm unmatched anywhere in town.
Armed with sufficient Euros, you would have no trouble finding any number of suitable and unusual Xmas gifts here – from exotic wares from the far east to locally-produced beeswax candles. Not to mention various culinary delights to keep the winter chill at bay.
If you only have time to visit one Christmas market while in Vienna, then visit this one. You won’t be disappointed.
You can reach it easily via public transport (don’t take the car):
Tram 49 (get out at Stiftgasse)
Buses 2A (Stiftgasse) and 48A (Sankt Ulrichs Platz)
Subway: U3 (station Neubaugasse or Volkstheater)
Address: Spittelberggasse, 1070 Vienna