If you’re wandering through the old town in Vienna, admiring the opera and preparing to find your way down the Kärntner Straße shopping street, consider taking 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 pedestrianised part of the street, so good for bad weather
- Only around 11 stands
- 2024 dates: TBA (was Nov 11 – Dec 31 in 2022)
- …skips the 2023 Christmas season because of building works
- See also:
The gourmet market
(The booths run under a glass roof)
The Genussmarkt bei der Oper is organised by Haas&Haas (a lovely tea shop and tea rooms that sit behind Stephansdom cathedral; a bastion of scones, cucumber sandwiches and Earl Grey in a city ruled by cake and coffee).
A handful of huts form a small row along a pedestrianised street opposite the State Opera House, so this small market won’t take much time out of your sightseeing schedule.
The stands almost only sold food and drink on my visit: partly for immediate consumption, partly to take home with you and stare at admiringly in the fridge or pantry. And there were some rather fine specialties to be had.
When I visited in 2022, for example, one stall looked like a Venetian gourmet market stall, piled high with pecorino, parmesan, salami, pasta, pesto and black truffles.
It all felt like an outdoor delicatessen from one of the finer upmarket food stores, but with added Lebkuchen. If you prefer simpler fare, you could still get your punch and chestnuts, of course.
A glass roof covers the booths and offers shelter in inclement weather, so you might cheer yourself up in the wet with a quick langos (a local fried snack).
(Italian culinary flair reaches Vienna)
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 (when not booked for private gatherings). 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 2024
I don’t have 2024 dates yet, but the last Gourmet Advent market ran from November 11th to December 31st with basic opening times of 11am to 9pm. It normally closes on December 24th and stays open longer on December 31st.
(The market is skipping 2023 due to building work in the local area.)
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. On New Year’s Eve, these services may be diverted or cancelled.
Address: Mahlerstraße 6, 1010 Vienna | Website