Most things that happen in the MuseumsQuartier (MQ) complex are like driving down a little motorway exit that takes you away from the mainstream into alternative landscapes.
The WeihnachtsQuartier is no different: an exhibition and market with a focus on independent design.
- Free entry
- Dozens of independent labels and designers showcase and sell their wares
- Products include art, fashion, food, jewellery, accessories, and more
- High quality and good for gifts
- Next dates: TBA (last one was Dec 1-3 in 2023)
- See also:
Design at Christmas
(The entrance at the MQ; press photo © FOTOFALLY)
If you take around a hundred independent labels and designers and give them a bit of space to display and sell their work, then you’ve pretty much described the WeihnachtsQuartier. Billed as a “Christmas” design exhibition with sales, the name refers more to the timing rather than the content.
Typically held over the first weekend of the Advent season, the event offers a chance to pick out something different that wasn’t mass produced or advertised by an unnaturally slim model on TV.
Both the quality (excellent) and diversity (ditto) of the products for sale impressed me on my visit. Everything from specialist mustards to handmade baby shoes: we got a lot of Christmas shopping done here.
Exhibitors have to convince a jury of their worthiness, which eliminates any possibility of the event becoming a junk-filled free-for-all.
Expect a wide range of products and materials: from leather handbags to Limoges-style porcelain, beeswax cloths to body butters…jewellery to jams.
Don’t think of this as some high-nosed design fair, either. The atmosphere is casual and friendly.
(Typical view of the market & exhibition space © weihnachtsquartier.at / photo: Monika Saulich)
Most of the designers at the event are local to Austria, so you can add central European flair to the list of product qualities.
In fact, you can often speak to the designers themselves if you want to learn more about what you’re buying. And all those we spoke to seemed very forthcoming and friendly.
Dates, tickets & tips
Well, the good news is the event is free, so no tickets are required. You’ll find the market in the western parts of the front MQ tract; when you’re facing the MuseumsQuartier main entrance from outside, go left and walk down until you find the signs.
I don’t have details for any future edition(s) yet, so watch this space or the official website (see below) for news. Dates for the last event were December 1st to 3rd with times of:
- Day 1: 2pm to 8pm
- Day 2: 10am to 8pm
- Day 3: 10am to 6pm
If you visit a little earlier in the year, the same organisers also hold the Pots und Blitz design market: a similar concept to the WeihnachtsQuartier but centered around ceramics and porcelain.
And don’t forget all those Christmas markets, of course, with their arts and crafts stalls.
For example, pop over the road from the WeihnachtsQuartier location to find one of Vienna’s largest and more traditional ones: the Weihnachtsdorf on Maria-Theresien-Platz.
How to get to the design market
The simplest route is to take the U2 subway (or equivalent tram service during construction work) to the MuseumsQuartier station. For other public transport tips and directions, see the MuseumsQuartier article.
Address: Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna | Website