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 the top markets, together with a location map.
- Traditionally open from December 26th to early January (in normal years!)
- Full of arts, crafts, food, and drink
- See also:
Let’s hope pandemic issues are a thing of the past by December 31st, 2022. If not, bear in mind that COVID-related restrictions may affect all of the below.
What are the New Year markets?
(The Silvestermarkt on Michaelerplatz)
At all the important markets that literally is what happens: a Christmas market morphs into a New Year’s market (German: Silvestermarkt or Neujahrsmarkt).
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 artists and artisans.
The top markets
The New Year market landscape seems to change each year, so check back nearer the end of 2022 for more details. In 2021/2022, for example, the Christmas market on Stephansplatz continued as a New Year market for the very first time.
The three outstanding Silvestermärkte in recent years have been:
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 on Maria-Theresien-Platz. (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. The Upper Belvedere palace provides a rather elegant Baroque background to proceedings, especially in the evening thanks to the tasteful lighting.
The market and 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 opens in early Advent and typically continues through into early 2022.
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 particularly local feel to proceedings.
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 pick up your prosciutto and parmesan before downing a glass of sparkling wine.
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.
Like all the New Year markets mentioned, the k.u.k Neujahrsmarkt also follows on from a Christmas equivalent.