A bleary-eyed Vienna stumbles out of Christmas to find itself clutching yet another glass of punch in one hand and, in the other, a plastic pig holding a four-leaf clover. The New Year markets are upon us.
- Traditionally open from December 26th to early January
- Full of arts, crafts, food, and drink
- What opens (and when) changes each year
- Book a concert experience* for New Year
- See also:
Silvestermärkte in 2023
(A Silvestermarkt on Michaelerplatz)
At most markets that literally is what happens: a Christmas market morphs into a New Year’s market (German: Silvestermarkt or Neujahrsmarkt) more or less overnight.
Sometimes the difference between the two is largely cosmetic, but normally the selection of stalls and the wares offered change to reflect the new season.
Inevitably, these year-end markets lack the characteristic Advent flair that comes with their tinselled predecessors.
That said, failing to quite live up to the Christmas versions is hardly a disgrace, and most New Year markets still glow with good cheer and quality wares.
So, if you want to while away the time before (and sometimes after) the New Year celebrations, then pop into a market to enjoy roasted almonds or fried sausages while you browse the collective endeavours of all those artists and artisans.
Which Silvestermarkt should you visit?
The answer depends on which markets open. While the Christmas market scene remains fairly steady, recent years have seen the locations of New Year markets chop and change.
However, the following markets have already indicated they will open post-Christmas for the 2023/2024 New Year…
(The market at night, though energy issues might affect the amount of lighting this winter)
One market that makes a reliable annual appearance is the one at Schönbrunn. This high-class event tops my personal list of favourites.
The New Year market succeeds the hugely-popular Christmas market from December 27th and continues until January 4th, 2024. It fills part of the main courtyard of the Habsburg palace; the location makes a gorgeous setting, and the quality of the stalls reflects the surroundings.
(The building behind is the famous Kunsthistorisches Museum)
Expect around 70 stands with a nice variety of wares to sell and a super location among the historical architecture of the Naturhistorisches and Kunsthistorisches museums on Maria-Theresien-Platz square.
(Another one known for its glorious setting)
The excellent Belvedere Christmas market also morphs into a Silvesterdorf from December 27th through to December 31st.
Upper Belvedere palace provides a rather elegant Baroque background to proceedings, especially in the evening thanks to the tasteful lighting. Be sure to get a photo from the southern edge of the lake (trust me on this).
(The giant Ferris wheel in past New Year colours)
Like Schönbrunn, another dependable option is the Wintermarkt on the Riesenradplatz. This actually opens in early Advent 2023 and continues through to January 7th, 2024.
The booths sit at the entrance to the massive Prater entertainment complex and almost under the iconic giant Ferris wheel (which looks wonderful if lit up at night).
Largely food and drink only, here, with a particularly local feel to proceedings.
Last season’s markets
These markets opened last time out…
(The square with the Hofburg behind)
Another historic location, this time in front of the Habsburg’s Hofburg complex in the very centre of Vienna. A small collection of striking white stands with food, drink, goods and New Year items.
Like all the New Year markets mentioned, the k.u.k Neujahrsmarkt also followed on from a Christmas equivalent. Recent building works on the square make it unlikely we’ll see this one in 2023. But I await info…
(A glass roof keeps rain away)
A pedestrianised road leading away from the state opera house has a small gourmet Advent market which extended through into the night of December 31st in 2022. A place to pick up your prosciutto and parmesan before downing a glass of sparkling wine.
The Gourmetmarkt will next open at Christmas 2024; local building work makes it impractical in 2023.
Markets from previous New Years
Before 2022, other markets also fed and entertained visitors across the New Year period. Check locally or nearer the time to see if they reappear. For example…
(A source of supplies for the surrounding party)
Pre-COVID, the square in front of city hall hosted the city’s biggest New Year’s Eve party and community waltz as part of the formal Silvesterpfad celebrations (the square was not a stop in 2022, though).
At the last full event, seventy market booths paved the way toward the midnight festivities, with over half just there to see you had enough to eat and drink. Most of the rest sold New Year knickknacks and party gear.