The “Silvesterdorf” is a large New Year market, spreading across a beautiful square and enticing visitors with a post-Christmas bonanza of food, arts, crafts, and…pigs.
- Did not take place in 2022, so check locally for 2023
- Strong on quality wares and a delicious variety of food stalls
- Last time out, had special punch mugs covered in New Year motifs
- Next dates: TBA (if it repeats in the future)
- See also:
The New Year market
(The market in a previous year)
The market sits between two of the prestigious buildings that popped up in the great period of construction that marked the second half of the 19th century in Vienna.
Perhaps it’s coincidence but, when I last visited, the stalls nearest the Naturhistorisches Museum (natural history museum) sold food and drink, while those nearest the Kunsthistorisches Museum (art history museum) sold creative handicrafts and similar. A deserved flourish of the hat to the planners.
Incidentally, if it all gets too cold for you, both those museums have excellent cafés inside.
The Silvesterdorf New Year market is essentially a continuation of the Christmas market on the same site. Same stands, more or less; same contents, more or less.
The notable differences I found on my last visit were:
- New mugs!
No borrowed mugs from the Christmas market. Instead, New Year symbols decorated the mugs used by the punch stands. You could keep them after finishing your drink, which is why they charge a deposit. I imagine any future markets will take the same approach.
- New motifs!
A few stands added traditional New Year motifs to their wares, too. This meant pig-shaped items, mostly, which count as lucky charms that the Viennese exchange with friends and family at New Year.
(The special 2019/2020 New Year mug in action)
Most of the Christmas stock was not discounted when I visited, but with some exceptions. For example, I found 25% off seasonally-themed chocolate at one of my favourite stalls.
(If you want cheap Christmas items, visit the city’s department stores. They usually sell off their seasonal stock after Boxing Day at a steep discount.)
Punch was, as at every Christmas and New Year market, ubiquitous and the food quite diverse. Goulash or a garlic soup served in bread rolls. Doughnuts and choux pastry rings. Waffles and crepes with sweet or savoury fillings. Traditional Kaiserschmarrn, Flammkuchen and Gröstl. Baked potatoes and stuffed rice balls.
(Appropriately-themed snow globes)
The arts, crafts and other items left quite an impression, too.
Since writing is my first love (narrowly beating chocolate), I fawned over the leather-bound notebooks and planners with handmade paper.
Elsewhere, I found beeswax candles and woolly hats, regional schnapps and liquors, wintry decorations made from cinnamon sticks, dried fruits and bay leaves, jewellery, toys, ceramic flowers, and much (much) more.
The only quibble I had was with the choice of music piped in quietly over loudspeakers. Apparently, Santa Claus was coming to town. That seemed unlikely, unless Santa got very drunk early on Christmas Eve and had only just resurfaced.
I don’t have confirmation of any dates for the next edition yet, assuming it repeats in the future. Check locally for information.
How to get to the Silvesterdorf
The market is positioned quite perfectly for public transport.
Subway: the U2 station, Museumsquartier, is on one side, the U2/U3 station, Volkstheater, on the other.
Trams: the Silvesterdorf borders the Ring, which hosts a continuous stream of trams. Take the 1, 2, D, 46, 49 or 71 lines to Ring/Volkstheater or the 1, 2, D or 71 to Burgring.
The 1, 2, D and 71 services will possibly not serve these stops on the evening of December 31st, though, if the Silvesterpfad New Year celebrations mean too many people are walking around their routes.
Address: Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Vienna | Website