It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? Which can mean all things festive and often many colder destinations to travel to. The capital of the Alps, Innsbruck, certainly knows how to celebrate the run up to Christmas, in true shopper’s paradise style. So if you’re looking for a trip to a Christmas market this year, then Innsbruck could be the place for you.
From the hustle and bustle of the city centre to awe-inspiring views from mountain-side markets, and family-friendly stalls on the banks of the River Inn, there is entertainment for all at no fewer than six Christmas markets. The traditional Christmas magic lights up Innsbruck from November 15th right through to January 6th, making the city a festive must-visit venue.
In addition, the seasonal spirit is complemented by traditional Advent concerts, Krampus parades (when demon-like creatures from Alpine folklore parade through the streets in elaborate costumes), nativity scene displays, and regular visits from St. Nicholas.
The six markets in central Innsbruck are (www.christkindlmarkt.cc):
The Old Town (Altstadt)
Seventy colourful Christmas market stalls are nestled between attractive medieval buildings beneath the famous Golden Roof. Explore a treasure trove for Christmas tree decorations, handicrafts, woollen goods and souvenirs while sampling a mug of mulled wine or hot punch specialties. Open daily 11am – 9pm, from November 15 to December 23, 2017.
Lined with trees covered in tiny sparkling lights, and a showstopping illuminated mountain crystal, Maria-Theresien-Straße is the perfect backdrop for thirty winter cuisine and gift stalls. Open daily (except Christmas Day) 11am – 8pm, from November 25 to January 6, 2018.
Advent in the Market Square
Perfect for families with children: the “Marktplatz” market square by the River Inn is home to 60 charming Christmas market stalls with a Tyrolean village feel. The market also includes a varied children’s programme during the festive season, with pony rides, a petting zoo, carousel rides and puppet shows. Open 11am – 9pm daily from November 15 to December 23.
Christmas at Hungerburg
For the best views of wintery Innsbruck, visit the tranquil Panorama Christmas Market at Hungerburg. Simply take the Nordkettenbahnen funicular from the city centre to sample hot punch, delicious snacks and market stalls filled with lovingly crafted Christmas tree decorations and Christmas accessories. Open Monday to Friday 1pm – 7pm, plus weekends and holidays 12pm – 7pm from November 25 to December 23.
St. Nikolaus market
With a district called St. Nikolaus, Christmas is just made for Innsbruck. Cross the River Inn to experience the tranquil and reflective side of Advent, with market stalls in historic squares, traditional music and delicious Austrian biscuits. Open daily, 4pm – 9pm from November 24 to December 23.
Small is Beautiful
Wiltener Platzl is an enchanting square that’s home to a small Christmas market featuring many specialties. Organic mulled wine and delicacies from Sardinia are just waiting to be enjoyed. The Christmas market combines handicrafts, short concerts and culture with puppet shows for children. Open daily, 4pm – 8pm (2pm – 8pm on Saturdays) from November 27 to December 23.
Have you been to any before? Would love to hear what you think!
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