Should you enjoy a glass of vino at the Am Hof Christmas market, you’re following in some very old footsteps. The same location hosted a wine market as early as 1358 (the main difference being a lack of an ATM back then).
- Lovely market with a section dedicated to unique arts and crafts
- Particularly good for the variety of food and drink available
- Popular with locals and close to the Freyung market
- 2020 dates: Nov 13 – Dec 23
- See also: All Christmas markets
Am Hof means “at court”, but is also the name of a large central square in Vienna with a column dedicated to the Virgin Mary (the Mariensäule).
Henry II, the Babenberg Duke of Austria, resided at Am Hof in the 12th Century, so it’s no surprise to find a fair few historical buildings surrounding the market stalls.
The first Christmas market appeared on the site in 1842. At the time, Charles Dickens was still working on a story about a miserly old fellow named Scrooge, and it would be another 12 months before someone invented Christmas cards.
Today’s Am Hof Christmas market is ideal for those who like their sights and activities packed together, being close to Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral) in the city centre and a short walk from the Freyung Christmas market as well.
Think of the market as two parts.
The first part is the Kunsthandwerkmarkt (arts and crafts market), which features just over 20 huts selling, well, “arts and crafts”. This is not your run-of-the-mill craft market, though.
Unlike most market stands, you can go into these ones. You essentially have a wide aisle of miniature shops – handy for lifting your spirits if the weather turns grim.
Those wishing to sell their wares have to pass a jury-led selection process. Which means the items on sale possess a certain level of artistic quality and are not mass-produced. So, if you’re looking for unique gifts, this is a good place to start.
The jury process ensures plenty of variety, from art deco candle holders and alternative paintings to beer bottle clocks, stained glass cats, and miniature wooden draws made from Austrian stone pine.
The second part is the more-traditional Christmas market, featuring the usual seasonal classics, like punch, jams, ceramics, candles, and decorations. And the all-important ATM.
There is plenty to eat here, of course, and perhaps more variety than at many of the other markets. You won’t go hungry.
When I last visited, for example, there was a champagne bar and a hugely-popular stand selling traditional langos and Feuerflecken (a kind of bread-like pastry with toppings).
Other stands offered baked potatoes, roast nuts, chocolate-coated fruits, waffles, gingerbread, sweet dumplings, pumpkin soup, great slabs of cheese in different colours, Baumkuchen (cakes baked on a spit), French nougat, Tyrolean specialities like Gröstl (fried potatoes and mincemeat), and more.
I loved the stand selling great strings of sausages in all their forms, which added a medieval feel to that particular corner.
My tip: visit at dusk, as there’s a trail of lights above the market like the roof of a circus tent. And head toward the very centre of the city from here to see the wonderful Christmas lights in the pedestrianised zone.
Opening hours 2020
The 2020 dates are:
- November 13 to December 23
- 11am to 9pm (Mon-Thurs)
- 10am to 9pm (Fri-Sun and public holidays)
- Food stalls may stay open until 10pm
How to get to Am Hof
The Christmas market is right in the centre (it used to be the *actual* centre of medieval Vienna).
Subway: U1 (Stephansplatz), U3 (Herrengasse) or U2 (Schottentor). Each is a short walk from Am Hof, or you can catch one of the bus lines below
Bus: The market is within a short walk of various bus stops, including Graben/Petersplatz (1A or 2A), Schwertgasse (1A or 3A) and Teinfaltstraße (1A)
Address: Weihnachtsmarkt Am Hof, Am Hof, 1010 Vienna | Website