In early November, all over Vienna, Christmas markets started going up. And I do mean all over the city – it seems like every available inch (centimeter?) of public space was turned into a market. Each market has stalls that sell a variety of things: homemade ornaments, handcrafted gifts, purses and wallets or toys, among many other things. There are also the food stalls: selling bratwurst, baked potatoes, pretzels the size of your head and a variety of other delicious things in addition to the mulled wines and other hot beverages. There’s always a non-alcoholic Kinder punsch as well. The shops charge a €2-3 deposit for the mugs in which they serve the punsch, and it’s up to you whether to keep it or return it for your deposit back. On my brother’s last night in Vienna, we were fortunate enough to catch a few of the markets that had just opened for the season.
The market in front of the Rathaus is the biggest in Vienna. They don’t just decorate the market itself, but all of the trees nearby are also decked out with lights and other Christmas decorations. With the Gothic Rathaus towering in the background, it makes for quite a romantic scene.
Title quote: Mary Ellen Chase