The big outdoor Christmas markets grab most of the glory in Vienna, but the two-day Advent market inside the beautiful Palais Niederösterreich is an excellent insider tip.
- Regional crafts, food, and drink from the province of Lower Austria
- Gastronomy section, choirs, and brass bands in a covered courtyard
- Take a tour of the palais, too
- Only opens for a couple of days
- 2022 dates: TBA
- See also:
The So Schmeckt NÖ Adventmarkt
Here’s another one of Vienna’s little architectural jewels, largely hidden away from the public except at a few choice special events: Palais Niederösterreich, home to 16th-century chambers and painted wooden inlaid ceilings.
Fortunately, one of those special events is a Christmas market showcasing the best of the province of Niederösterreich (Lower Austria), a region full of tradition, fine food, and a welcome willingness to share both.
The German title for the event is the So Schmeckt NÖ Adventmarkt, which translates literally as “A Taste of Lower Austria Advent Market”. Taste is the pertinent word, here.
For two days, around 60 stalls occupy the courtyard, ceremonial hall, and other rooms of the palais.
Chambers that once echoed to the sounds of Beethoven and Schubert now let you sample the products of the region’s craftsfolk, farms, orchards, and vineyards. With the emphasis on food and drink.
The market is a treasure trove for those little gifts you take with you to lunches and coffee mornings at a friend’s house. Organic jams and spreads; sauces, vinegars, and oils; handcrafted chocolates or quail eggs with chili; regional wines, spirits, and liqueurs.
Not all the products are to take away with you, either.
The covered courtyard has various food outlets where you can fill up with such delights as game ragout, dumplings, hot spiced cider, and cheese noodles. Choirs and brass bands provide musical accompaniment.
All of which is jolly fine. But the real insider tip is to join one of the palais tours that only take place during such events (register for one at the entrance counter).
I’m not sure how much would be in English, but a tour is the only way you get to see, for example, the renaissance chamber from the late 16th century with its gorgeous wooden decor.
Which reminds me…if you do go, always be sure to glance up now and then. We sat casually with coffee and cake in one room only to notice the ceiling looked like something from a church in Florence.
2022 opening times
The event usually appears for two days toward the end of November. I await details for 2022.
How to find the Adventmarkt
Palais Niederösterreich practically has its own subway station at Herrengasse. For travel tips, see the main Palais article.
The building sits between two historical institutions.
Behind Palais Niederösterreich is the Minoritenkirche, a working church and concert venue whose rich history dates back to the 14th century. You might catch some Advent concerts there, too, at the same time as the market.
Three outdoor Christmas markets set up stall nearby, as well.
Walk up to the Freyung for a market heavy on decorations and organic food. Walk across to Am Hof for one with a lovely little section devoted to arts and crafts. Or walk down to Michaelerplatz square for another market and a host of rather lovely historical buildings that includes one entrance to the Hofburg palace and an ancient church.
Address: Palais Niederösterreich, Herrengasse 13, 1010 Vienna