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.
- Traditionally open from December 26th to early January (in normal years)
- Still awaiting confirmation concerning how many will open in 2021/22 at the time of writing
- See also: New Year in Vienna
What are the New Year markets?
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.
(The Silvestermarkt on Michaelerplatz)
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 the New Year markets at Schönbrunn, Belvedere, and Maria-Theresien-Platz in particular 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
At the time of writing, the main Christmas markets all plan to open, but question marks remain over whether the New Year markets will do so. Time will tell. The three outstanding Silverstermärkte in normal years 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. The organisers have already announced it will not open in Dec 2021 / Jan 2022. (More information)
In 2019, the excellent Belvedere Christmas market extended opening days through until December 31st for the first time, but it’s not clear if this will repeat in 2021.
The Upper Belvedere palace provides a rather elegant Baroque background to proceedings, especially in the evening thanks to the tasteful lighting.
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 (if these are allowed to take place).
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 plans to continue 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 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 probably 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.