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 partially-covered courtyard
- Take a tour of the palais, too
- Only opens for a couple of days
- 2024 dates: TBA (was Dec 1-2 in 2023)
- See also:
The So Schmeckt NÖ Adventmarkt
(View through the entranceway)
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, numerous 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; 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 typically fill up with such delights as game ragout, dumplings, hot spiced cider, and cheese noodles. Choirs and brass bands usually provide musical accompaniment.
All of which is wonderful. 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).
(Outside Palais Niederösterrerich on Herrengasse)
A tour is the only way you get to see, for example, the Renaissance chamber from the late 16th century with its gorgeous wooden décor. And I believe the guide also uses English, based on the ads I saw for the tour at the previous event.
Which reminds me…if you do go to the market, 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.
2024 dates & tips
I don’t have dates for the 2024 market yet. The previous market took place on December 1st and 2nd, opening each day from 10am to 9pm.
The building sits between two historical institutions.
Over the road, Café Central inside Palais Ferstel is possibly my favourite coffee house for impressing guests, thanks to its gorgeous interiors and an equally gorgeous cake counter (expect queues to get in, though).
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.
Two outdoor Christmas markets set up stall close nearby, as well.
How to find the Adventmarkt
Palais Niederösterreich practically has its own subway station at Herrengasse on the U3 line. For travel tips, see the main Palais article.
Address: Palais Niederösterreich, Herrengasse 13, 1010 Vienna