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.
Read on for details of all the top markets, together with a location map.
- See also: New Year in Vienna
What are the New Year markets?
In some cases that literally is what happens: a Christmas market morphs directly into a New Year’s market (German: Silvestermarkt or Neujahrsmarkt) and the difference between the two is largely cosmetic. In other cases, expect a bit more turnover (and usually a drop in stall variety).
(The Silvestermarkt on Michaelerplatz)
Inevitably, these year-end markets lack the characteristic seasonal flair that comes with their tinselled predecessors. That said, failing to quite live up to the Christmas versions is hardly a disgrace, and the New Year markets at Schönbrunn, Belvedere, and Maria-Theresien-Platz 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 and fried sausages while you browse the collective endeavours of artists and artisans.
The top markets
The three outstanding annual Silverstermärkte are:
The Silvesterdorf succeeds the Christmas market on the same site. It features over 70 stands with a nice variety of wares to sell and a super location among the historical architecture of the natural and art history museums. (More information)
A high-class market which probably tops my list, and, again, the New Year version of an existing Christmas market. The courtyard of the summer Habsburg palace makes a gorgeous setting. (More information)
In 2019, the excellent Belvedere Christmas market extended opening days through until December 31st for the first time, something they planned to repeat in 2020 until COVID interfered.
The square in front of city hall hosts the city’s biggest New Year’s Eve party and community waltz as part of the formal Silvesterpfad celebrations.
On my visit, seventy 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. (More information)
The Wintermarkt that opens in early Advent continues through into the New Year.
The booths sit at the entrance to the massive Prater entertainment complex and almost under the iconic giant Ferris wheel (which looks wonderful lit up at night).
Pretty much food and drink only, here, with a very local feel to it. (More information)
Near the opera house
A pedestrianised road leading away from the state opera house has a small gourmet Advent and New Year market where you can probably pick up your prosciutto and parmesan before downing a glass of sparkling wine. (More information)
Another historic location, this time in front of the winter Habsburg palace in the very centre of Vienna. A small collection of striking white stands with mainly food, drink and New Year items. (More information)