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The period before Christmas is among the best times to visit Vienna. German speaking countries in general are known for being able to create a very special pre-Christmas atmosphere in their cities, and only a few places in the world can match the Austrian capital in this. From approximately the middle of November (the exact start date is different for individual markets) until Christmas you can find Christmas markets of various sizes all over Vienna.
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The best known Christmas market in Vienna is the Christkindlmarkt at Rathausplatz in front of Vienna City Hall. Christmas markets in Vienna are usually called Christkindlmarkt (Christ Child Market), Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market in German), or Adventmarkt.
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At the Christkindlmarkt in front of Vienna Rathaus and at other Christmas markets in Vienna you will usually find decorated Christmas trees and stands with all kinds of things to eat, drink, or buy. You can drink Glühwein (sweetened and heated wine) or hot punch (sweet hot drink made of fruits and rum) and taste Heisse Maroni (hot chestnuts), gebrannte Mandeln (roasted almonds), Lebkuchen (gingerbread), baked apples, potatoes, or sausages.
Of course, one other thing you will find at Viennese Christmas markets is a lot of people.
The Christmas markets are great place to find original Christmas tree decorations or Christmas presents for your family and friends. Usually the smaller the Christmas market, the more original the things to buy. Go to the big Christkindlmarkt at Rathausplatz for the atmosphere, but also visit the less known places (like Spittelberg) for quality shopping.
The period before Christmas is one of the peak periods for Viennese tourism and also for the hotels. The good hotels, especially near the popular Christmas market locations, are often fully booked. It is highly recommended to book accommodation in advance.
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