The “Silvesterdorf” is the largest New Year market in Vienna, spreading across a beautiful square and enticing visitors with a post-Christmas bonanza of food, arts, crafts, and…pigs. Lots of pigs.
- Very strong on quality wares, with a delicious variety of food stalls, too
- The 2018 punch comes in pig-shaped mugs. You can’t help but like pig-shaped mugs
- 2019/2020 dates: TBA
- See also: New Year markets
The New Year market
The market sits between two of the most prestigious buildings that popped up in the great period of construction that marked the second half of the 19th century.
Perhaps it’s coincidence but, when I visited, the stalls nearest the Natural History Museum sold food and drink, while those nearest the Art History Museum sold linocut prints, watercolours, shaped candles, and more. Nice.
The Silvesterdorf New Year market is essentially a continuation of the Christmas market on the same site. Same stands, more or less; same contents, more or less.
The main differences I found were:
! No borrowed mugs from the Christmas market. Instead, the mugs used by the punch stands were pig-shaped (more on pigs later). You can keep your mug after finishing your drink – that’s why the deposit is around €4. mugs
- New motifs! Various stands added traditional New Year motifs to their wares. This meant pigs, clover, mushrooms, chimney sweeps, and horseshoes. All of which count as lucky charms that the Viennese exchange with friends and family at New Year. Pigs, in particular, appeared in various forms: Lebkuchen pigs, glass pigs, wooden pigs, ceramic pigs, etc.
- Discounts! Most of the Christmas stock was not discounted when I visited, but there were exceptions. For example, 40% off chocolate decorations for the Christmas tree. If you want cheap Christmas items, visit the city’s department stores, who usually sell off their stock after Boxing Day.
Punch was, as at every Christmas and New Year market, ubiquitous. But the food was quite diverse. Goulash or a garlic soup served in bread rolls. Giant doughnuts and choux pastry rings. Waffles and crepes with sweet or savoury fillings. Sweet apricot dumplings and Kaiserschmarrn. Baked potatoes and stuffed rice balls. Not to mention the
And the arts, crafts and other items were pretty impressive, too.
Since writing is my first love (narrowly beating chocolate), I fawned over the leather-bound notebooks and planners with handmade paper. Elsewhere, there were beeswax candles and alpaca wool socks, regional schnapps and liquors, wintry decorations made from cinnamon sticks, dried fruits and bay leaves, jewellery, toys, and much (much) more.
The only letdown on my visit was the Christmas music piped in quietly over loudspeakers. Apparently, Santa Claus was coming to town. Probably not, unless he got very drunk early on Christmas Eve and had only just resurfaced. Better late than never, I suppose.
Opening times 2019/2020
The 2019/2020 dates are not yet available, but I expect them to be something like the previous year:
- December 27 to December 31
- 11 am to 7 pm (6 pm on December 31)
How to get to the Silvesterdorf
The market is positioned quite perfectly for public transport.
Subway: the U2 station “Museumsquartier” is on one side, the U2/U3 station “Volkstheater” on the other.
Trams: the Silvesterdorf borders the Ring, which hosts a continuous stream of trams. Take the 1, 2, D, 46, 49 or 71 lines to “Ring/Volkstheater” or the 1, 2, D or 71 to “Burgring”. The 1, 2, D and 71 services will not serve these stops on the evening of December 31st, though (too many people around for them to do so safely).
Address: Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Vienna | Website