Our train arrived into Vienna from Innsbruck midday and we walked like a deranged crazy person to get checked into the hotel to see what was in store for us throughout the city. Since day light savings time happens (can we agree the sun going down at 4:30 is just terribly depressing?) the sun was already setting but we made it to the Rathaus, Vienna’s gigantic city hall building, for Christmas Village one of 24 around the city. The air smelled of hot wine and hazelnuts and we took in the amazing buildings with our jaws dropped.
We continued on to Maria-Theresien Platz which lies between the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Art. Naturally the hot wine was a huge hit with us once again at this Christmas village and then we noticed the mugs we got were different than those at the Viennese Village. Turns out that each of the eight different villages around Vienna have their own personalized mugs. Well this meant game on for us.
Belvedere Palace, Former General Hospital, Spittelberg, Karlspatz, and Schonbrunn Palace all had amazing Christmas Villages where we gladly petted animals at the petting zoos, explored the palaces, ate chocolate, and of course slurped down hot wine. The inside of the gothic St. Paul’s church is lit up with amazing lights and colors and the streets are illuminated with different light designs as well as random Christmas trees all over the place to give off that car freshener smell.
Of the Christmas markets I have had the opportunity to visit in Europe, Innsbruck, Munich, Vienna, and Prague, Vienna at Christmas time is the place that I keep playing over and over in my head and feel it is an experience everyone should take in. Oh and if you go, my mom and I collected 21 mugs, so now you have something to shoot for!