Just like Germany, Austria is renowned for its historic Christmas markets. Dating back to 1298, Vienna was first granted a December Market “Krippenmarkt” by Albrecht I. Today, Austria’s capital city is home to more than 20 Advent markets, with the main Viennesse Dream Christmas Market (Christkindlmarkt) positioned infront of the charming City Hall, set with festive Christmas illuminations. Be sure to explore the Schönbrunn Christmas Markets, against the elegant palace backdrop. Featuring handmade arts and crafts, peruse the 80 stalls for gourmet produce such as Schnapps, cheese and salami as well as locally made intricate items by potters, glassblowers and candlemakers.
For a smaller Austrian town, travel to Salzburg, the City of Mozart, home to the Christkindlmarkt set at the foot of Hohensalzburg Fortress near the Cathedral. Dating back to the late 15th century, sample the giant pretzels, festive-spiced gingerbread and ofenkartoffel (baked potato), as you stroll through the maze of cute laneways in this charming World Heritage-listed Old Town.