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WEATHER

Which parts of Austria will have a white Christmas this year?

Even though Austria is known for cold winters, a white Christmas is not as common as you might think. Here are the odds for a snow-filled festive season in Austria this year.

Snow Austria
What are your chances of scenes like this on Christmas Day? Photo: Daniel Diesenreither/Unsplash

A white Christmas is a dream come true for many, but according to weather forecasts the only places in Austria where it can be guaranteed this year are where there is already snow.

This mostly means areas of Carinthia, Vorarlberg and Tyrol where there is already a decent blanket of snow on the ground from Austria’s record snowfall two weeks ago.

In Carinthia, there is currently 20cm of snow in low-lying areas like Feistritz ob Bleiburg, and in Dellach im Drautal there is 40cm of snow.

FOR MEMBERS: Q&A: What will Austria’s Covid restrictions be over Christmas and New Year?

Meanwhile, in Schoppernau in the Bregenzerwald region of Vorarlberg there is almost half a metre of snow cover.

In Tyrol, ski resort towns in the Alps still have a thin covering of snow which is expected to stay throughout the Christmas period, although fresh snow is not forecast until next week.

Additionally, the snow is expected to stay in some parts of the Salzburg region, such as St. Johann in Pongau, Abtenau and Krimml, and in Zeltweg and Mariazell in Styria.

But in many low lying areas of Austria (including Vienna), there is a slim chance of more snowfall, so residents could be in for another “green Christmas” (in reference to green fields at Christmas).

Weather forecast for Christmas 2021

On Friday December 24th, most of the country is forecast for sunshine and clouds. 

Some light rain is expected in Upper Austria in the morning and the temperature will range from a high of 10 degrees in Vienna to 1 degree in East Tyrol. In the Alps, the high is forecast to be around 7 degrees and there could be some freezing rain.

READ MORE: Five Christmas songs to improve your German language skills

On Saturday December 25th, most of the country will have cloud cover with limited sunshine, and some rain is forecast in the east of the country. Snow is expected between 1,500 and 2,000m.

Has Austria’s weather changed?

In recent years, a white Christmas has become increasingly uncommon in Austria due to climate change and warming temperatures, with the chance of a white Christmas almost halved in the past few decades.

According to figures from the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG), St. Pölten in Lower Austria last experienced a white Christmas in 2007.

Linz, Salzburg, Graz, Bregenz and Klagenfurt haven’t had a white Christmas since December 24th in 2010, and Vienna and Eisenstadt have not had snow at Christmas since 2012.

It wasn’t always this way though and in the 1960s most of Austria enjoyed a white Christmas almost every year.

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DISCOVER AUSTRIA

IN PICTURES: A guide to the main Christmas Markets in Austria

The festive season is coming and one of the main attractions in Austria is its beautiful Christmas markets. Typical decoration, food and drinks ensure tourists and locals alike look forward to them. Here's a guide to the main ones.

IN PICTURES: A guide to the main Christmas Markets in Austria

Christmas markets are undoubtedly one of the best attractions during the festive period. In Austria, they are centuries-old traditions that draw locals, immigrants and tourists yearly.

There are many markets throughout the country – some state-funded, but many privately organised. Adding to that, all the smaller (but super nice and worth the visit) punsch and glühwein stands that you can stumble upon, and it’s clear that Austrians are great at celebrating the season.

Here is a guide with three of the main markets in each state. Remember: many are closed or have special hours on December 24th and 25th and January 1st.

Christmas market in Vienna / Karlsplatz (Österreich Werbung, Photographer: Harald Eisenberger)

Christmas Markets in Vienna

The Austrian capital is home to some of its most famous and beautiful Christmas markets. Here are some you need to know:

  • Viennese Dream Christmas Market 

Where: On the square in front of the City Hall

When: 19 November – 26 December 2022

  • Christmas Market at Schönbrunn Palace

Where: Parade Court, in front of Schönbrunn Palace

When: 19 November 2022 – 4 January 2023 

  • Christmas Village Belvedere Palace

Where: Belvedere Palace, Prinz Eugen-Straße

When: 18 November – 23 December 2022

You can check the complete list of Christmas Markets in Vienna HERE.

Christmas time in Villach (Österreich Werbung, Photographer: Michael Stabentheiner)

Christmas Markets in Lower Austria

Lower Austria has some spectacular places to visit (with impressive views) and many weekend or day events for Christmas enthusiasts. Here are three you need to know:

  • Kittenberger’s Advent magic in the garden

Where: Laabergstr. 15

When: 02 November 2022 – 08 January 2023

  • Badener Advent

Where: Hauptplatz Baden

When: November 18th – December 24th

  • Christmas-decorated Grimmenstein Castle

Where: Burg Grimmenstein

When: 12 November – 18 December

You can check the complete list of Christmas Markets in Lower Austria HERE.

Christmas illuminated town hall and Christmas tree on the Hauptplatz in Graz (Österreich Werbung, Photographer: Harald Eisenberger)

Christmas Markets in Styria

In the capital Graz, the markets are all within walking distance and look stunning.

  • Advent Market in Front of City Hall

Where: In front of the City Hall, Hauptplatz

When: 18 November – 24 December 2022

  • Christmas Market on Glockenspielplatz

Where: Glockenspielplatz Square

When: 18 November – 24 December 2022

  • WonderLEND on Mariahilferplatz

Where: Mariahilferplatz

When: 18 November – 23 December 2022

You can check the complete list of Christmas Markets in Graz HERE.

Christmas market in Salzburg (Tourismus Salzburg GmbH, Photographer: Günter Breitegger)

Christmas markets in Salzburg

Salzburg may be the land of Christmas for many, with its beautiful sceneries and famous spots – not to mention it is the home of what may be the most famous Chrismas carol (“Silent Night” or, as it is known in Austria: “Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht”). Here are some of the best places to be:

  • Salzburg’s Christmas Market in the City Centre

Where: On Cathedral and Residenz Square, in Salzburg’s historic city centre.

When: 17 November 2022 – 1 January 2023

  • Advent Market in the Hohensalzburg Fortress Courtyard

Where: Fortress Hohensalzburg

When: 25 November – 18 December 2022 

  • Advent Magic in Hellbrunn

Where: In Hellbrunn Courtyard

When: 17 November – 24 December 2022

You can check more about Christmas Markets in Salzburg HERE.

Christmas market in Innsbruck’s old town (Innsbruck Tourismus, Photographer: Christof Lackner)

Christmas markets in Tirol

Tirol is also a magical location for a snowy Christmas and Innsbruck, in particular, sets a beautiful backdrop for all the nativity decorations. Here are some places to visit:

  • Old Town Christmas Market

Where: In front of the Golden Roof, in Innsbruck’s historic city centre

When: 15 November – 23 December 2022 

  • The Family Christmas Market at Marktplatz

Where: Marktplatz

When: 15 November – 23 December 2022 

  • Christmas Market Maria-Theresien Straße

Where: Maria Theresien Straße

When: 25 November 2022 – 6 January 2023 

You can check more about Christmas Markets in Salzburg HERE.

Pyramidenkogel observation tower (Wörthersee Tourismus GmbH, Photographer: Gert Steinthaler)

Christmas markets in Carinthia

Carinthia has spectacular Christmas markets by the mountains and cosy places by town squares too. Here are some you shouldn’t miss.

  • A Christmas Market Above the Clouds

Where: Pyramidenkogel tower

When: 25 November – 18 December

  • Christmas Market on Neuer Platz

Where: Neuer Platz in Klagenfurt

When: 19 November – 24 December 2022

  • Christmas Market in Villach – the City of Lights

Where: Rathausplatz in Villach

When: 18 November – 24 December 2022

You can check more about Christmas Markets in Carinthia HERE

Christmas market Linz (Linz Tourismus, Photographer: Alex Sigalov)

Christmas markets in Upper Austria

Austria’s Upper Austria gets fully illuminated during Christmas time, and visitors can enjoy all the local food and beverages in many locations. Here are three of the best.

  • Christmas Market on the Main Square

Where: Main Square of Linz

When: 19 November – 24 December 2022

  • Christmas in Steyr

Where: Steyr Old Town

When: 18 November – 23 December 2022

  • Christmas Market in the Volksgarten

Where: Volksgarten (near the main station)

When: 19 November – 24 December 2022

You can check more about Christmas Markets in Burgenland HERE.

Christmas market in Bregenz (visitbregenz, Photographer: Christiane Setz)

Christmas Markets in Vorarlberg

Austria’s most western state has beautiful traditional markets with typical food and beverages. You can also find local handcraft and produce.

  • Bregenz Christmas

Where: Kornmarktplatz
When: 15 November – 23 December

  • Felkirche Christmas Market

Where: Old Town

When: 25 November – 24 December

  • Bludenz Christmas Market

Where: Mühlgasse 

When: 24 November – 24 December

You can check more about Christmas Markets in Vorarlberg HERE.

Did we miss your favourite Christmas Market? Let us know which one you recommend in the comments below or by emailing us at [email protected].

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