Whether you’re looking for a getaway over the holidays or just need a dose of culture on a buzzing art and literary scene, Vienna has you covered.
Vienna is known the world over for its Baroque charm, and the winter season is no exception. Christmas markets in the Austrian capital date back to the Middle Ages, only adding to the unique charm of the Austrian capital.
These days, fullChristmas villages pop up around places like the Maria-Theresien Platz and the Belvedere Palace, affording stunning backdrops as you wander the stalls selling handmade goods and local delicacies, like the Vanillekipferl, a crescent-shaped cookie made of an almond base.
The City Hall Square also hosts a Christmas World, including an enormous ice rink and its own children’s world, complete with park light installations and a Christmas-themed train. Looking for something more traditional? Head over to the Old Viennese Christmas market on Freyung which has been held since the 1700s.
Once you’ve had your fair share of holiday markets, try another local market: the Naschmarkt offers an excellent alternative, especially for those on the prowl for exotic cuisine. Being the biggest market in Vienna, the Naschmarkt also sells local produce, and it’s a great place to bag a bargain at one of its many flea markets.
Modern coffee houses
Historically, Vienna has been connected with coffee houses and a thriving cultural scene, be that in art, literature or music--and this still remains the case. In fact, in modern times many Viennese coffee shops can boast prize-winning baristas with their own special roasts.
For a great nightlife ambience, stop by the Café Alt Wien for a glass of wine. This hotspot has an interesting--if not downright mysterious history--and today artists and writers still rub elbows. Another great option is the Tanzcafé Jenseits--a former brothel!--where visitors dance to dawn. If you’re up for something a bit more retro, the trendy Phil is both a café and a bookshop, complete with readings by a variety of authors, including some local ones.
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