The “Silvesterdorf” is possibly the largest New Year market in Vienna, spreading across a beautiful square and enticing visitors with a post-Christmas bonanza of food, arts, crafts, and…pigs.
- Very strong on quality wares, with a delicious variety of food stalls, too
- The 2019 punch came in special mugs covered in New Year motifs
- 2020/2021 dates: Dec 27 – Jan 6
- See also: New Year markets
NB: Events, markets, etc. continue to be subject to public health restrictions in late 2020 and likely beyond so be prepared for (possibly significant) changes. Check with official sites.
The New Year market
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 Natural History Museum sold food and drink, while those nearest the Art History Museum sold creative handicrafts and similar. A doff of the hat to the planners.
Incidentally, if it all gets too cold for you, both 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 few differences I found were:
No borrowed mugs from the Christmas market. Instead, New Year symbols decorated the mugs used by the punch stands. You could keep your mug after finishing your drink – that’s why the deposit is around €4. I imagine 2020/2021 will be the same.
(The special 2019/2020 New Year mug)
- 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.
Most of the Christmas stock was not discounted when I visited, but there were exceptions. For example, 25% off seasonally-themed chocolate.
(If you want cheap Christmas items, visit the city’s department stores, who usually sell off their unwanted 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. Not to mention the fried sausages, langos, and roast chestnuts.
And 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 letdown on my visit was the Christmas music piped in quietly over loudspeakers. Apparently, Santa Claus was coming to town. Probably not, unless he got very drunk early on Christmas Eve and had only just resurfaced. Better late than never, I suppose.
Opening times 2020/2021
Here the provisional details for the 2020/2021 market:
- December 27 to January 6
- 11am to 7pm (6pm on December 31)
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 not serve these stops on the evening of December 31st, though (too many people around for them to do so safely).
Address: Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Vienna | Website