If you’re wandering through the old town in Vienna, admiring the state opera house and preparing to fight your way down the Kärntner Straße shopping street, take a moment to pop into the Genussmarkt bei der Oper, a small Christmas and New Year gourmet market.
- Sells a range of specialty foods from Austria and Italy
- A covered street, so good for bad weather
- 2020 dates: Nov 13 – Dec 31
- See also: New Year markets | Christmas markets
NB: Events, etc. continue to be subject to public health restrictions in late 2020 and likely beyond. Be prepared for changes (e.g. compulsory face masks at all seasonal markets)
The gourmet market
There are just a handful of huts, forming a small row along a pedestrianised street opposite the State Opera House, so it won’t take much time out of your sightseeing schedule.
A glass roof covers the market, so you can shelter there in inclement weather and cheer yourself up with a quick glass of sparkling wine or a tot of rum.
The stands almost only sell food and drink, partly for immediate consumption, mostly to take home with you and stare at admiringly in the fridge or pantry. And there are some rather fine specialties to be had.
When I visited, for example, one stall featured great slabs of Austrian cheese in various varieties (and colours). Another looked like a Venetian gourmet market stall, piled high with pecorino, parmesan, salami, pasta, pesto and black truffles. Another offered hams and sausages. It was like an outdoor delicatessen from one of the finer upmarket food stores, but with added Lebkuchen.
If you prefer simpler fare, you can still get your punch and chestnuts, of course.
With so few huts, I wouldn’t treat this as a destination in its own right. But if you’re passing, it’s worth popping into for a glimpse of those assorted Italian delicacies and maybe to refresh yourself with a bite to eat before braving the neighbouring shops.
Incidentally, the Haas&Haas tea rooms also has an outdoor courtyard that hosts another Advent alternative. Not a market as such, but Winter in the City has open fires and hot punch to encourage a classic Victorianesque wintry feeling.
Opening times 2020
The provisional 2020 dates for the Gourmet Advent market are :
- November 13 to December 31
- Closed December 24th
- 11am to 9pm (until 2am the following day on New Year’s Eve)
How to get to the Genussmarkt
If you’re wandering the usual tourist trail in the city centre, you’ll probably pass the market. It sits opposite the east wing of the State Opera House at the approach to the Ringstraßen-Galerien shopping mall.
Subway: take the U1, U2, or U4 lines to Karlsplatz and look for the Oper exits (Karlsplatz is a big subway station).
Tram and bus: various tram lines stop next to the opera house at the “Oper/Karlsplatz” stop, including the D, 1, 2, 62 and 71. The 2A bus also stops there. NB: On New Year’s Eve, these services may be diverted or cancelled.
Address: Mahlerstraße 6, 1010 Vienna | Website