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What are the best Christmas markets in Austria according to the locals?

Aaron Burnett
Aaron Burnett - [email protected]
What are the best Christmas markets in Austria according to the locals?
Visitors wait for hot drinks at the traditional annual Christmas Market outside of Vienna's city hall in Vienna, Austria. The city hall market is the most popular in the country, according to a new survey. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Although there’s definitely more than a few Austrian Christmas markets that might well be described as tourist traps – a new survey rates which ones are particularly loved by Austrians themselves.

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The survey, carried out by consumer group HV Consumer Check with Mindtake Research, finds 82 percent of Austrians will make at least one visit to a Christmas market this year – spending around €400 million combined. Furthermore, the Christmas market Austrians most like to visit is one that’s still very well-known and easily spotted.

The Vienna Christkindlmarkt in front of the capital’s city hall at Rathausplatz is the most-visited and most popular Christmas market in Austria.

The capital is saturated with popular Christmas markets – boasting three out of the survey’s top five. In addition to the Rathaus market taking the top spot, the more traditional Weihnactsmarkt am Spittelberg in Vienna takes fourth place. In fifth place is the Christmas market at Schönbrunn Palace.

With 14 Christmas markets in all, Vienna has more than any city in the EU.

Vienna Christmas markets: The dates and locations for 2023

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Vienna seems to have a chokehold on some of the most loved Christmas markets in Austria, but Salzburg and Graz still come in the top five with one apiece.

In second place in Austria overall is Salzburg’s Christkindlmarkt am Dom- and Residenzplatz, just near the city’s main cathedral.

In third place is the Christmas market in Graz’s main square at Hauptplatz.

READ ALSO: When do Austria’s famous Christmas markets open this year?

Why do Austrians visit Christmas markets?

Although there’s no shortage of things to buy, very few Austrians visit Christmas markets to buy gifts – with only 14 percent doing so.

At 79 percent, most do it for the atmosphere. Over half use it as an opportunity to meet friends and family. Around 27 percent buy special sweets or foods that are only available at a Christmas market.

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