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Vienna or Munich for Christmas...Your opinion please

Hello Everyone,

I also posted this under Germany but got only one response so I am trying under Austria too.
We are planning to go to either Vienna or Munich for Christmas. We want to visit the Christmas markets, of course, but also want to spend Christmas with our family in a place that feels "Christmasy" and celebratory with our three adult children, ages 23, 21 and 18. If you could please weigh in on which you'd prefer given our wishes and demographic it would be much appreciated!

Posted by
4462 posts

Well I like Vienna so much more than I like Munich, so I would vote for Vienna. The old town seems so regal and all reports of the Xmas decorations and lights paint magical pictures. Going to the Xmas markets there is on my bucket list, and I believe the markets continue past Xmas.
However, I'd recommend checking what shuts down in each area from Dec 24-26.
Perhaps watch some u-tube videos of the markets in each location and see which area speaks to you. Also, on Facebook, many of the Xmas markets have pages you can follow and join, as folks are actively planning their 2024 trips.
Have a great time.

Posted by
175 posts

My wife, adult daughter and I spent this past Christmas and the three days before it in Vienna. We also spent three nights in Munich and several other places as we did a self guided tour of Christmas markets in Europe. We have also visited Vienna on a previous pre-Christmas trip- we liked its Christmasy atmosphere so much the first time that we decided to make it our culminating stop this time. To my mind, its wealth of things to see and do year round- museums, concerts, cafes etc- combined with its multitude of Christmas markets makes Vienna my choice for the top city in Europe to spend a week or so at Christmas. That being said, we also loved Munich’s Christmas vibe. There were some really wonderful markets there too. But I think Munich has (slightly) less to offer besides the markets. One advantage Munich does have is its proximity by train to other fascinating cities with great Christmas markets. We day tripped to Nuremberg, and spent a night in Salzburg, which can also be done as a day trip from Munich. The single day Bavaria pass makes train really affordable for a family of five and includes both of these cities (even though Salzburg is not in Bavaria). One last point: if you are looking to stay in an apartment as a family, Munich seems to be far more restrictive in terms of vacation rentals than Vienna is. Happy holidays!

Posted by
17335 posts

If you want a German Christmas then Munich. Besides Munich there ares so many other places you can easily hop a train and visit in Germany.

If you want something with a little broader cultural appeal then Vienna as Bratislava and Budapest are next door. I always choose options that broaden my horizon, but thats just me.

There is always concern expressed here about things closed 24, 25, 26 Decembeber. Maybe that true in some places. Ive only spent Christmas day in London, Rome, Budapest, Lviv and was never an issue. But does require some advance research, or maybe a reservation. Go and enjoy.

Posted by
1251 posts

For a chance of snow and relatively easy public transport to other cities and markets it is München. Just about every Bavarian city will have a Chritmas tree thru Three Kings Day 6 Janurary. 26 December is a holday too the second Chtistmas Holiday. Good chance for a party evening on the town on the 24th. Quiet on the 25th and a Goose Mittagessen on the 26th.

Posted by
121 posts

Thank you all for your responses. It sounds like either place is a win.

Posted by
17335 posts

The snow photo was on Andrassy ut, across from the Opera House. I live about 200m from the photo point and snapped the photo on the way home one evening.

Posted by
303 posts

We've only been to Munich in the summer, but Vienna at Christmas was absolutely magical. There were plenty of indoor activities around town as well, and several Christmas markets. Gorgeous decorations in the center of town (walkable, not too touristy). Also, as Mr E says, Budapest is only a few hours away. On our trip we spent a few days in Vienna and took a bus to spend a few days in Budapest. What an incredible Christmas that was!