Like all Easter markets, the one on the Freyung has a challenge to compete with the Christmas market on the same spot, but it does have one major advantage…
- Usually great for finding decorated eggshells
- Typically adjoins a small organic food market
- Close to the Am Hof Easter market
- 2024 dates: March 15th to April 1st
- Book a concert experience* for your Vienna trip
- See also:
The Freyung Easter market
(The “Altwiener Ostermarkt”)
When I say the Freyung market has eggs, I mean more eggs than an omelette factory that’s just opened new production facilities. Eggs in a myriad of colours and designs, ready to hang on your Easter tree (an Austrian tradition).
An Ostereistand traditionally dominates the centre of the square, offering box after box of painted eggshells and egg-shaped decorations.
On my most recent visit (2023), you could even buy ostrich eggshells there.
It’s worth taking a few moments to browse the displays and appreciate the variety of egg designs: painted scenes; Easter, imperial, floral, and animal motifs; lacework decor etc. etc.
(Craft stalls in the lee of the neighbouring Schottenkirche church)
I was impressed by the sheet-music themed eggs I spotted one year, which seemed particularly appropriate for a city like Vienna given the concert & music heritage.
The egg-filled centrepiece, together with a giant revolving painted egg, certainly gave the market a genuine Easter feeling.
The other market booths featured a mix of arts and crafts that included the usual crockery, jewellery, clothes, and other items.
Stands selling Easter-themed decorations appeared more often in 2023 than perhaps in previous years. If that trend continues, expect even more eggs, egg-shaped candles, and similar than usual in 2024.
And no seasonal market in Vienna is complete without its food and drink, particularly such traditional fare as local beer, Langos, raclette and Kaiserschmarren (try Schönbrunn market for even more variety).
Be sure to also cross the road to see if they have the small organic farmers’ market that normally adjoins the Easter event. Youthful acolytes and wizened old mountain folk serve up a cornucopia of organic products: pickles, hams, breads, cheese, sausages and salami.
Austria has a strong small-scale traditional agricultural landscape, so the Ostermarkt should make a good spot to sample the efforts of the farmers’ endeavours.
(And those of the winemakers, too: try a glass of Austrian wine, which always seems to dominate proceedings.)
(Appropriately musical eggs)
I’ll admit to being particularly partial to the sharp Bergkäse alpine cheese they typically sell on the Freyung. And when I say sharp, I mean eye-poppingly so: the kind of cheese that leaves a visceral lasting memory.
The Freyung square actually represents one of the oldest parts of the city.
The wall marking the upper boundary of the market, for example, is the Schottenkirche church (originally consecrated in 1200, many centuries before chocolate reached the shores of Europe and not that long after the first chickens did).
The next square down also hosts another major Easter market: the Ostermarkt Am Hof tends to open across the same time period. And one of my favourite coffee houses is just up the road: Café Diglas im Schottenstift.
2024 dates & times
Scheduled dates for 2024 are March 15th to April 1st with daily opening times of 10am to 8pm.
A small stage hosts kids entertainment most mornings and live music most afternoons (or you can take in the market by day and enjoy an evening concert at one of Vienna’s many historical venues).
How to get to the Freyung
(The host square with the Schottenstift church at the back)
The market is very central, about a five-minute walk from a sizeable station (Schottentor), and not far from the cathedral and main tourist trail. So you might come across it on your travels anyway.
Subway: Take the U2 to Schottentor (go south down Schottengasse) or the U3 to Herrengasse (go north up Herrengasse).
Tram: The lines 1, D, 37, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44 and 71 all stop at Schottentor.
Bus: Take the 1A bus to Teinfaltstrasse (the stop is practically in the middle of the market).
Address: Altwiener Ostermarkt, Freyung, 1010 Vienna | Website