The best Christmas markets are perhaps those with palatial backdrops, where you sip mulled wine beneath marbled eves of imperial splendour. Step forward the Christmas market (Weihnachtsdorf) at Belvedere.
- Beautiful location alongside a Baroque palace
- Smaller and less frantic than most other Christmas markets
- Particularly recommended for couples
- Often continues as a New Year market after Christmas (unconfirmed for 2021)
- 2021 dates: Nov 19 – Dec 26
- See also: Christmas markets | Belvedere Palace
As the name suggests, the Belvedere Christmas market is located right in front of Upper Belvedere palace, the former home to Prince Eugene of Savoy that dates back to around 1717.
I defy you to enter through the southern gate after sunset and not gasp in wonder at the beauty of the scene before you. Wait for the twilight blue sky to appear for the best background.
Pictures cannot do it justice. For a moment, the world seems a better place.
(The red Christmas tree in the distance was actually constructed from sledges)
Just be sure to stand with a view across the lake and photograph the palace, market and Christmas lights in their entirety. This is what Christmas in Vienna is all about.
The palace itself houses a permanent art collection, including various Klimts. His famous work, The Kiss, would set you back way in excess of €130 million, so you might prefer to pick up something a little more affordable at the market.
(The Kiss is way too big to easily gift wrap, anyway.)
The market certainly has a focus on quality arts and crafts. It’s also smaller than most of the main markets, with a single broad channel flanked by around 20 stands on each side.
On my last visit, I found jewellery from amber, silver, steel and Murano glass; handmade soaps and scented woods and candles to tickle the senses; ceramics, wooden toys and woolly hats, handcrafted decorations, and even drinking horns made from real horn.
And, naturally, you won’t run out of things to eat and drink. As well as the usual chestnuts and sausages, stands offered, for example, cupcakes, crepes, hams and Carinthian cheeses, and much more.
Given the history of Belvedere, one booth even sold food from the Savoy, including raclette and galette savoyarde. Bon appétit mes amis!
If you’ve little ones, they might like the small carousel or a trip on the reindeer train (not using real reindeers). But for me the market is, perhaps, best suited to couples looking to capture the romantic flair of times gone by.
Steal a fleeting kiss before the lake, then share a steaming baked potato and a mug of punch in front of the palace before shopping for Christmas delights (the market has an ATM on hand if you need more cash).
If you turn up following the Christmas festivities, the Belvedere market may continue as a New Year market (largely just a name change) after Boxing Day. Not sure if this will happen in 2021/2022 though.
Opening times 2021
The market currently plans to open for business on November 19th in 2021 and end on December 26th. Opening times are:
- 11am to 9pm (weekdays)
- 10am to 9pm (weekends)
- Closed early on December 24th (11am to 4pm) and December 25th-26th (11am to 7pm)
How to get to Belvedere
Ah, there’s a whole article with travel tips for Belvedere. You want the part telling you how to get to Upper Belvedere. The market is at the front, which means the side facing away from the gardens on the opposite side to the main museum entrance.
Belvedere is a popular tourist destination in its own right. So do consider visiting at least the upper palace during the day to enjoy the various art collections and exhibitions (not to mention the stupendous interior architecture). Then pop into the Belvedere market for a well-earned mug of something hot and a bite to eat.
Address: Weihnachtsdorf Schloss Belvedere, Prinz Eugen-Strasse 27, 1030 Vienna | Website