Unlike most Easter markets, this one takes place largely inside. And a good thing, too, since Palais Niederösterreich is one of Vienna’s most historic buildings.
- Arts, crafts and regional food and drink from Lower Austria
- Very high quality of products
- Chance to see inside the beautiful palais
- Next dates: TBA (if it repeats)
- See also:
(The venue front, as reached by suitably historical transport)
Like all of Austria’s rural provinces, Niederösterreich (Lower Austria) takes pride in its regional traditions, culture, and cuisine. And, every now and then, it turns up in Vienna to give locals and tourists a taste of all three.
The Easter market (Oster-Erlebnismarkt) is one example. Around 60 exhibitors sit inside Palais Niederösterreich and offer a broad range of food and drink from the province, together with local arts and crafts.
The quality bears comparison to any other seasonal market. In fact, having gone round, I’d venture to suggest only Schönbrunn Easter market comes close to the standards set in Palais Niederösterreich…shame it’s just a two-day event.
On the culinary front, for example, you might find organic craft beers, giant loaves of crusty bread with homemade pastries and biscuits, organic goats cheese and smoked fish, hams, sausages, multiflavoured (and multicoloured) pasta varieties, and much more.
Lower Austria has an excellent reputation for wine, so look out for samples of that fine beverage. Part of the province actually bears the name Weinviertel, which means “the wine quarter”.
On the arts and crafts front, perhaps handmade soaps and uniquely-decorated silk scarfs, glass and silver jewellry, porcelain cake stands, organic clothing, painted goose eggs, and even (on my visit) ostrich feather dusters.
The event offers more than a passive feast for the eyes and stomach, though.
The central courtyard hosts a stage for music and other entertainment while you dine on Lower Austrian fare and a glass of fine wine (perhaps served by a portly gentleman with a moustache you can hang your coat on).
The palais itself
Palais Niederösterreich rarely opens so fully to the public, so the Easter market counts as a genuinely golden chance to get a look inside this remarkable building.
The market occupies rooms that date back centuries.
Be sure to go into the Landtagssaal, for example. This former seat of the provincial parliament has gorgeous Baroque frescoes covering the ceiling, and it once hosted the likes of Liszt, Beethoven and Schubert for concerts.
You can normally take a tour of the palais during the Easter market (albeit in German last time I visited). This takes you inside the perfectly-preserved renaissance chambers with their glorious carved wooden ceilings; they still use the rooms for official functions.
The Easter market at Palais Niederösterreich traditionally runs for two days just a couple of weeks before Easter, opening from 10am to 9pm.
I don’t have dates for the next event, yet, assuming it takes place again. Entry is usually free.
The same palais and province normally offer an equivalent (and equally excellent) market for Christmas, typically held at a weekend around the turn of November/December.
How to get to the market
Herrengasse is right in the centre of Vienna, close to the sights you’re probably passing anyway and home to its own subway station.
Once you’re done with the market, can I strongly recommend you pop into Palais Ferstel for a coffee at Café Central (if the queue outside isn’t too bad)? Look for the coffee house’s entrance opposite the portal leading into Palais Niederösterreich.
Subway: Take the U3 to Herrengasse
Tram/bus: Take the 1A or 2A bus lines to the Herrengasse stop
Address: Herrengasse 13, 1010 Vienna