The Christmas market at the Habsburg’s summer palace is pretty special. And after December 25th it morphs into the Neujahrsmarkt, which is a somewhat smaller, but also rather fine, New Year market.
- Beautiful setting; lovely selection of wares, food and drink
- Nice way to experience a seasonal market without the Christmas crowds
- 2019/2020 dates: Dec 27 to Jan 5
- See also: New Year markets | Schönbrunn Palace
Call me a sucker for Imperial grandeur, but I do like the Schönbrunn approach to a New Year market.
It’s big and expansive, like a well-fed courtier dressed in fine robes and just enough jewellery to make their status clear without resorting to vulgar showing off.
Given the wide-open space it occupies, you spend less time dodging other visitors than at most markets. And someone has given the layout thought.
The huts encircle the forecourt of the palace, but the food booths are either standing alone nearer the centre of the circle or are located at the broad entrances, thereby keeping the rows of arts and crafts booths clear for browsing and shopping.
The New Year market (Neujahrsmarkt) follows on from the Christmas market. Not all booths survive the change – those that don’t are covered by a uniform screen wishing you a Happy New Year in various languages.
With the palace surrounding the market, it is, of course, a fantastic setting. The Christmas lighting continues through New Year, and the piped music is classical, adding to the grandeur of the atmosphere.
The variety and quality of the stands create the flair of a top-notch arts and crafts market, where the transition from Christmas to New Year is near seamless. A couple of places still sell decorations, but most that have some kind of motif on their wares have switched to the colours and shapes of New Year: pigs, horseshoes, chimney sweeps, mushrooms and more. And the materials aren’t plastic, but rather wood, ceramics, and glass.
But there’s much more than just New Year motifs. On my visit, I spotted booths full of handmade pottery, delicate glass decorations, wooden toys echoing bygone days, specialist schnapps and liqueurs, mustards and organic honey, baroque-style decorations, regency-style writing materials, pressed flowers on handcrafted paper…the list goes on.
And, of course, there were the ubiquitous snow globes, strong on Viennese motifs such as cityscapes and Gugelhupf cakes. Incidentally, you could buy miniature versions of the real cakes, wrapped in transparent gift foil.
Which brings me to the food side of the market.
Dotted among the
Even the standard Leberkäse had a certain panache, with the meatloaf coming in wild boar, chilli, Emmentaler and Mangalitza flavours (the latter is an old pig variety). And if that all sounds meat heavy, I spotted vegan goulash and vegetarian stew, for example.
All-in-all, then, probably the city’s best New Year market experience.
Opening times 2019/2020
- December 27,
2019to January 5, 2020
- 10 am to 6 pm
How to get to Schönbrunn
I have a whole article on how to get there.
Address: Schloß Schönbrunn, 1130 Vienna | Website