You simply cannot beat the setting.
So the Schönbrunn Easter market already has an advantage over its colleagues elsewhere in Vienna. Then add in that it’s the biggest and you have – in my opinion – the clear number one.
I like, for example, the organic foods on the Freyung and the art of Am Hof, but there is something special about meandering past truffles and trinkets in the shadow of the great summer Habsburg palace. See for yourself in this (promotional) YouTube video from the organisers:
Two rows of market stands curve around one side of the giant square, with huge Easter eggs at each end.
Most of the stands are arts and crafts, offering jewellery, glassware, wooden toys, crockery, ceramics, textiles and more. But there are plenty of stands selling Easter decorations – including the inevitable painted eggs – to ensure the Easter feeling flows through the market.
And there are also wonderful assortments of regional meats (like game sausages), jams, chutneys, oils and vinegars, not to mention wine, schnapps and liqueur. I was very taken with the stand of Italian delicacies with its cheeses, salamis and basket of fresh truffles – a snip at 90 cents a gram (!).
Not all the food is to take away and enjoy later, either.
Who could say no to wild boar Leberkäse, some hot soup served in a crusty roll, sweet dumplings, fried potatoes with Easter ham, Kaiserschmarrn (shredded pancake), crepes, waffles or dark bread served with gherkins, horse radish and cold roast pork?
(Actually, I can say no to horse radish).
There are more seats than usual at a seasonal market, so you can relax with your food and wash it down with a traditional drink, like a white wine Spritzer, or a not-quite-so-traditional one, like a mango fruit punch (German: Bowle).
The market also makes an effort to keep the kids happy. For example, there’s an Osterhasen Werkstatt (Easter rabbit workshop) offering various activities for children and I spotted some poor fellow on stilts riding a giant chicken.
Of course, given the location, you’re unlikely to be alone. On the Good Friday afternoon I visited it was already quite full, though there was still enough space to get close to the wares and the only real queues were at the food stands.
How to get to Schönbrunn market
Follow these directions, or:
Subway: U4 (either to the Schönbrunn or Hietzing stations, then a short walk).
Tram/bus: Take tram lines 10 and 58, or bus line 10A, to the Schloss Schönbrunn stop.
Address: Schloss Schönbrunn, 1130 Vienna
Website: http://www.eastermarket.at/ (in English)
View all Easter market locations on this map: