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Christmas in Salzburg or Vienna

My husband and I are hoping to take my parents to Europe for their first time (COVID willing) in December. We are likely going to start with a few days in Germany before heading to Salzburg. We think we'll finish our trip in Vienna. We have been to Salzburg before but this will be our first time in Vienna. We know not much will be open on Christmas Eve or Christmas day so will look for an apartment with a kitchen for that portion of the trip. Any advice on which city we should be in on these days? We won't have a car this trip. Other tips for traveling at that time of year? Thanks!

Posted by
5295 posts

Still no info on whether or not Christmas markets will happen this year. There will be more to do on Christmas in Vienna then in Salzburg as there are more indoor attractions, which you’ll want during those cold days.

Posted by
4079 posts

No surprise-Hallmark has a movie about Christmas in Vienna.

Posted by
114 posts

We're hoping to be in Salzburg over Christmas. Thanks to advice on this forum, we booked a Sound of Music/Halstatt tour for Christmas day. We plan on spending the day after just wandering around, having an easy day.

Posted by
70 posts

Vienna is awesome at Christmas, but I have NEVER been as cold as I was on that trip. Bone-chilling cold. Brutal. But gorgeous!

Posted by
1804 posts

I guess it was the wind which made you feel so cold.
Due to the climate change there was no snow in Vienna at Christmas for a long time and the temperatures were rather mild.

Posted by
850 posts

Much as I love Vienna, I'd rather spend Christmas in Salzburg. It's much more "small town" although it is a fairly big city. Plus the old town is much more compact and easy to walk around. Vienna is much bigger. Even without the markets, Salzburg would be my choice.

Don't look for an apartment. Book with a small family run boutique hotel. Barring that book one of the American chains, because they will be staffed during the holidays.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks, everyone. We decided that we will be in Salzburg over Christmas and are prepared for quieter days. We also have a Sound of Music/Hallstatt tour scheduled while we're there. We'll head to Vienna on the 27th.