Rounding out the collection of Viennese Christmas markets is the one in and around Spittelberg, a collection of narrow streets, galleries, art stores, organic grocers, and similar in Vienna’s 7th district.
- Street market integrated into the surrounding shops, too
- Very big on food and drink
- More than the usual number of clothing stands
- 2020 dates: Nov 13 – Dec 23
- See also: Christmas markets
The Spittelberg market
The Spittelberg area is a classic urban regeneration success story.
In the mid-1980s, the area looked set for demolishment to make way for speculative construction projects. Timely intervention by activists and politicians brought renovation, then rejuvenation.
A thriving collection of bars, restaurants, and shops has since sparked Spittelberg to life, and the Christmas market is a symbol of this success.
(Press photo © Reinhard Podolsky / mediadesign.at)
Unlike its competitors, the Spittelberg market doesn’t occupy a large square or open area. Instead, it winds its way through narrow streets, alleyways and courtyards, flanked by lighted doorways that lead into galleries, craft shops, or busy bars.
This layout gives the market a particularly cosy feel, a sense that the stands are embedded in the life of the area. It also means it can get absolutely jam-packed at peak times.
The other distinctive element to Spittelberg is the more random, organic feel to the stands. The booths do not all share the same design, as is usually the case elsewhere, and they’re scattered across the area, growing out into a sprawling mini-metropolis of lights, scents, and the noise of Christmas revellers.
The market was once famous for its eclectic and extensive collection of arts and crafts, but that accolade has pretty much passed to the Art Advent market on Karlsplatz. Now food and drink dominate, though plenty of art and craft stalls certainly dot the area (with more clothing booths than most markets).
It might also just be my perception, but it feels like the market took a big leap of quality in 2019 compared to the previous year. Which makes me happy, because Spittelberg was my first ever Christmas market way back in 1994 and I have a big soft spot for the event.
Opening times 2020
The 2020 dates and times are:
- November 13 to December 23
- 2pm to 9pm (Mon-Thurs)
- 2pm to 9.30pm (Fri)
- 10am to 9.30pm (Sat)
- 10am to 9pm (Sun and public holidays)
How to get to Spittelberg
You can reach Spittelberg easily via public transport (don’t take the car – street parking is scarce):
- Tram 49 (get out at Stiftgasse)
- Buses 2A (to Stiftgasse) and 48A (to Sankt Ulrichs Platz)
- Subway: U3 (station Neubaugasse or Volkstheater)
Address: Spittelberggasse, 1070 Vienna | Website