Place a hay bale in the Schönbrunn Palace courtyard and it would soon acquire a certain imperial elegance, nostalgic charm, and its own souvenir range of pitchforks. You simply cannot beat the setting. And the Easter market here is a lovely seasonal treat.
- Beautiful surrounds in the forecourt of the Habsburg summer palace
- Top quality wares and edibles, with a fair bit of seating
- The giant Easter eggs make excellent photo motifs
- 2021 dates: provisionally March 20 – April 6, but the organisers have already indicated it’s unlikely to go ahead
- See also: Easter markets
Given the location, the Schönbrunn Easter market already has an advantage over its colleagues elsewhere in Vienna. Then add in that it’s the biggest and you have – in my opinion – the number one.
I like, for example, the organic foods and lovely decorated eggs at the Freyung and the art at Am Hof, but there is something special about meandering past truffles and trinkets in the shadow of the great summer Habsburg palace. See for yourself in this (promotional) YouTube video from the organisers:
Two rows of market stands typically curve around one part of the giant square, with huge Easter eggs at each end. And most of these stands contain high-quality arts and crafts, some familiar from the Christmas market held at the same location.
The stalls offer jewellery, glassware, wooden toys, handmade soaps, crockery and ceramics, textiles and more. But plenty sell Easter decorations, too (including the inevitable painted eggs), thereby ensuring the Easter feeling flows through the market.
Expect to find wonderful assortments of regional meats (like rare breed hams), jams, chutneys, oils, honeys, alpine cheeses, and vinegars, not to mention schnapps and liqueurs.
Not that all the food is to take away and enjoy later.
I spotted, for example, wild boar Leberkäse, poppy seed potato gnocchi, sweet apricot dumplings, fried potatoes with Easter ham, Kaiserschmarrn (shredded pancake), crepes, waffles, and dark bread served with gherkins, horseradish and cold roast pork. Vegetarian alternatives grow in number each year; such options as hummus in pita bread or red bean and lentil salad.
The location offers more seats than usual at a seasonal market and free-standing bar tables, too. So you can relax with your food and wash it down with a traditional drink, like Viennese beer and wine, or a not-quite-so-traditional one, like a mango Bowle (fruit punch).
Be warned, though, that even with all these seats and tables, space can get scarce when the market is busy (and it’s often busy). It was already quite crowded on the early April morning I visited in 2019, though visitors still had enough space to get close to the wares and the only real queues were at the food stands.
The Schönbrunn market also makes an effort to keep the kids happy. For example, an Osterhasen Werkstatt (Easter rabbit workshop) offers various activities for children, and I spotted a little carousel made from items left in lost property.
Once you’re done with the market, wander around to the other side of the palace and see what flowers and colours spring has brought to the landscaped gardens. And consider Schönbrunn zoo, should you wish to see what baby animals the season also put into the world.
Opening times 2021
The Schönbrunn Easter market begins provisionally on March 20th and ends on April 6th, 2021, opening daily from 10am to 6pm. However, the Easter markets were the first events to fall victim to the restrictions and turmoil around COVID in 2020, and the organisers have already expressed skepticism that the event will be able to go ahead as planned.
How to get to the Schönbrunn market
Follow these directions, or…
Subway: U4 (either to the Schönbrunn or Hietzing stations, then a short walk).
Tram/bus: Take tram lines 10, 52, and 60, or bus line 10A, to the Schloss Schönbrunn stop.
The palace does have a large car park located close by: just over the road, diagonally opposite the main entrance to the complex.
Address: Schloss Schönbrunn, 1130 Vienna | Website