Not every Christmas market in Vienna stands in imperial surrounds with multilingual menu boards and nearby bus parking. One or two spruce up the outer districts. And they offer some surprises. Like the Weihnachtszauber at Ottakringer Brewery.
- Small permanent market
- …plus bonus indoor market some weekends
- Also a chance to sample the brewery’s best beverages
- Music and curling, too
- 2023 dates: Thursdays to Sundays Nov 23 – Dec 23
- Book a concert experience* in the Viennese Advent
- See also:
Indoor and outdoor
(A local alternative to the central markets)
Drop into Vienna’s outer districts, away from tourist trails, and you find one or two local Christmas markets.
The Hirschstetten alternative, for example, in the 22nd district has a lovely Christmas exhibition that showcases the floral art and skills of the Viennese park authorities.
In the 16th district, the Weihnachtszauber contains a small Christmas market, a plethora of beer, bonus entertainments, and special indoor markets on some weekends.
The beer comes courtesy of the host; the Weihnachtszauber occupies the forecourt of Ottakringer brewery.
This family-owned brewery, dating back to 1837, contributes far more to city life than just its (fine) beverages, which include a craft beer line. It also hosts various events throughout the year, not least a summer beer festival.
The Christmas event has a couple of dozen outdoor booths (with some covered areas) offering a small selection of food, beverages, arts & crafts.
The focus in 2023 seems to be mostly on food and drink, particularly the classics for seasonal markets: sausages, organic langos, waffles & pastries, Baumkuchen (spit cake), skewers of chocolate-covered fruit, and similar.
A few booths also sell arts, crafts and gourmet items: we were impressed by the packs of drinking chocolate varieties, for example, and the quality in general is high.
Nevertheless, think of this more as a jovial meeting place with local flair, rather than a large market to browse. On the Saturday afternoon we visited, most of the many bar tables were full of Viennese toasting the season (and snow) with friends.
Additional entertainment comes, for example, though:
- A little ride, slide and small straw play area for toddlers
- Occasional live music: we enjoyed a busker-like performance by a genial singer-guitarist
- A curling area you can rent
Weekends often see the adjoining event hall fill with a bonus market.
A mini Xmas edition of the excellent Vinyl and Market festival takes place November 25th and 26th, for example. Later weekends feature design and delicatessen markets. Treats in the past have included marketplaces for baby products or secondhand & vintage items.
Check the website (see below) for the full 2023 programme.
Any indoor markets might make a worthy trip on their own, even without the prospect outside of a cheeky glass or two of Ottakringer’s Helles beer or a warming punch.
By the way, if you want a fully-fledged sit-down meal before or after a visit, can I recommend the Tasty Asia restaurant opposite on Ottakringer Straße? This is probably the restaurant we go to most often (not that we eat out much).
Dates & opening times
The 2023 Weihnachtszauber opens from November 23rd to December 23rd (Thursdays to Sundays only). Opening times are:
- 3pm to 9pm (Thursdays and Fridays)
- midday to 9pm (Saturdays)
- midday to 7pm (Sundays)
How to get to the brewery
As with most of Vienna, reaching the 16th district and the market is a relatively swift journey.
The last stop on the U3 subway line is Ottakring. Trains leave, for example, from Stephansplatz in the centre.
From the subway station, walk back toward the centre along Ottakringer Straße. Alternatively, jump on the 44 tram for three stops to Johann-Nepomuk-Berger-Platz (outside the brewery). Or take the 46 tram for two stops to Feßtgasse and walk up the same-named street to the brewery.
The Johann-Nepomuk-Berger-Platz tram stop also serves the 9 and 2 trams. Both the 44 (from Schottentor) and 2 (from several stops along the west side of the Ring boulevard) leave from the centre.
Address: Ottakringer Platz 1, 1160 Vienna | Website