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Christmas in Vienna? or.....

We will be in Germany and Austria in December this year - doing a tour of Christmas markets via train through December 11:
Wurzberg (1 night), Rothenberg (1 night), Nuremburg (1 or 2 nights), Munich (3 nights) and ending in Innsbrook. Any experiences or suggestions about where to spend the week of and before Christmas? Perhaps Vienna?

Also any recommendations for places to stay in Innsbrook or Vienna. We have our other accommodations booked already.

Posted by
7688 posts

I always thought that Salzburg would be the perfect place to spend Christmas . . .

Posted by
5697 posts

In Innsbruck we have enjoyed staying at Heimgartl -- needs a taxi from the train station, but beautiful location along the Inn River. Walking distance to old town and the funicular up the mountain.
This will be our third (?) Christmas in Salzburg -- love the markets!

Posted by
22 posts

my wife and 4 adult children took a train from munchen to Vienna on Christmas day and spent 2 days in the city. Walking through the city center, sitting outside the opera house sipping local coffee and having snow fall while we watched the nutcracker on the big screen was one of the most magical times we will never forget.

Posted by
44 posts

that sounds magical. So it sounds as if Salzburg and Vienna will be a wonderful place to spend the last two weeks of December! We've been told that shops and restaurants close in many cities the days around Christmas. Did you find that in Salzburg or Vienna?

Posted by
800 posts

Most everything closes Christmas day in Europe. Even those that don't close will have minimal staffing.

My brother will be taking his wife over for 3 weeks over the Christmas/New Years holidays this year. They went over 3 years ago (her first time) and she really wants to see the Christmas markets and other festivities. They will spend Christmas near Salzburg based on my recommendation with plans to take part in the Advent in Oberndorf.

I highly recommend Boutique Hotel am Dom in Salzburg!

In Vienna I have used Pension Wild and been very happy. It's very safe, located between the city hall and a major Gov't building, on a backstreet in a good part of the central city.

I'd like to point out that to really see the Christmas markets you need to do them at night. Daytime is for tourists. Locals come out after dark and that's when the party really starts. In Nurnberg you should also plan to walk the path along the Pegnitz through town and look at the displays in the windows. Bonus points if it's snowing.

Posted by
32 posts

My husband and I spent Chrstmas in Vienna and Salzburg in 2015. We loved it so much we are going back this year!

As for Christmas closures, we were in Salzburg on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. It was very sleepy. We found lots to do walking around and visiting the fortress, but lots of eateries were closed. We stayed at Hotel Auersperg and liked it very much. This time we are spending those days in Vienna.

Have a great trip!

Posted by
44 posts

Thanks for all the recommendations. We will start looking at the suggested accommodations and make reservations now. We are excited!

Posted by
613 posts

Christmas in Vienna is remarkable. We went to Christmas morning Mass at St Stephensdom out of curiosity, not faith, and it was an amazing hour or two. If you ale acquainted with classical music, you probably know that all the great composers created a bunch of music called something or another Mass. Here's how that worked on Christmas morning in Vienna. A bunch of guys down front on the alter dressed in weird costume chanted away in Latin for a while, and then the full orchestra, chorus and soloists up in the balcony in the rear of the church perform the same section of the mass (which I think the Catholics call the Ordinary) from one of Bruckner's musical Masses.

This was a cultural experience in several ways: a chance to see a 17th-19th C full blow Catholic Mass; a chance to hear an excellent performance of Bruckner in Vienna, and a chance to see today's religious ceremonies in full flight.

Observing the locals behavior, we had no problem getting up and leaving after an hours or so because the faithful kept coming and going throughout the service

Posted by
613 posts

Vienna is the #1 city in Austria, and one of the top 5 in the EU. Graz is # 2, Salzburg is a distant # 3. Do the math.