This is my first visit to Vienna. Where might I stay to avoid long travel times to get to this market? I am hoping for simple places with prices to match, no hostels please.
How long is "long travel times" in your mind ? Vienna is pretty compact and has good public transportation. We have stayed at K&T Boardinghouse and liked it for friendly owners and central location.
Get acquainted with Vienna's public transportation system. It is everywhere, easy to use, and safe, even in the night. Buy proper tickets, i.e. a pass covering the duration of your stay. So most importantly is that your hotel is close to an access to public transport, not necessarily to a sight.
By the way, the Rathaus Christmas market, even though the biggest, is the most touristy of all. There are several Christmas markets scattered over Vienna, and it is worth to visit more than one.
I actually hate the Rathaus Christmas Market. So many better ones in the city.
It takes 20 minutes to pretty much get anywhere.
I generally like the Pension Wild which is near the Rathaus, comfortable, and good value for money. However, on my most recent trip I was kept awake all of Friday-Saturday night by EDM coming from somewhere nearby - hopefully it was just a neighbour's overly loud party and not a regular happening.