Friday, May 3, 2013

Weihnachtsmärkte in Vienna

Just before Christmas, my friend Jenn and I decided to go to Vienna, Austria to spend a weekend celebrating the season with the Christmas markets. Christmas markets are a traditional part of the Advent celebrations throughout Europe but perhaps the most famous are held in Germany and Austria. Vienna was recommended as the place to see by several friends so we went for a weekend trip. Vienna has several markets and we managed to hit up five of them. Each market offers several gift and craft items, food such as sausages and cheeses, baked goods, pretzels, and of course, plenty of drinks. The most popular drinks are hot punch and gluhwien (mulled wine). Each variety is offered in several different flavors and comes in its own souvenir mug. Market revelers must pay deposit for the mug which is returned when the mug is, or as in our case, is a small price to pay for a great souvenir. Below are some of the highlights of the markets.

Our first stop after our arrival by train and a stop at our hotel when the Maria-Theresien Platz market in the center of the city. This market had many ornaments and crafts for sale and we had our first gluhwein. 

Perhaps the prettiest setting for a market is this on at the Rathaus (or city hall) with the beautifully lit building behind us. Here we have a photo of my friend Jenn and I with out mugs. 

The trendiest market in Vienna is this one is in the courtyard of the Museumsquartier. This is a complex that was next to our hotel and houses several museums, included the Museum of Modern Art and the Leopold Museum. This market didn't sell anything but drinks, but had these igloo like tents that each had a different theme complete with furniture, decor, and music. 

We did visit some of the markets during the day to do a little bit of shopping. Below is a picture of a few wooden puzzles I bought for my niece, Lucy.

In the end, we visited five different markets and I now have five different mugs to haul back to America.

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