When the smell of punch, gingerbread and biscuits hangs in the air, then you know exactly: It's starting again! The Advent season begins and with it its beautiful Christmas markets. So where can you experience a lot of Christmas spirit? Which Christmas markets are special? And where do you still find real secret treasures? We'll tell you about it in this article!
The traditional ones
Right after Thanksgiving the "Tree Lighting Ceremony" is the official start for the Christmas season in New York. During a big ceremony, the beautifully decorated and well known spruce will be illuminated at Rockefeller Center at the beginning of December and can be admired until the beginning of January. In the immediate vicinity you can take a leisurely stroll and enjoy a delicious snack. You can also go for a spin on the most famous ice skating rink in the USA. Christmas atmosphere guaranteed!
Insider tips: For the ice rink you can book your ticket here in advance. A ticket for adults costs about 19 USD per day, for children about 12,50 USD.
You want to take part in the "Tree Lighting Ceremony"? Then you should arrive at Rockefeller Center at least 2 hours before the official ceremony - the show is very popular!
Austrian Airlines flies you up to 2x daily to the Big Apple. More detailed information can be found here.
Or how about snacking some real Nuremberg gingerbread at the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg's Old Town? As one of the oldest and most traditional Christmas markets in Europe, the Nuremberg Market not only offers a variety of delicacies, but also beautiful crafts and art. At the beginning of the Advent season, the market is ceremoniously opened every year by a real Christ Child. You can find more information here.
With Austrian Airlines you can fly up to 2x daily from Vienna to Nuremberg from January 2020.
Paris - the city of love, romance and excellent cuisine. Where, if not here, is there a better place for Christmas? While in the French capital there are up to 20 different Christmas markets (also called "Marchés de Noël"), you will find one of the most beautiful on the Champs-Elysées.
Along the avenue you'll find many stalls with delicacies and you'll be enchanted by the incredible light spectacle.
Insider tip: If you're in Paris during the Christmas season, don't miss out on Galeries Lafayette. With great dedication to detail, you can admire a huge and colourfully decorated Christmas tree. On the roof terrace you'll also get a free view of all of Paris. We highly recommend it!
Austrian Airlines flies up to 5 times a day directly from Vienna to Paris. Off to the city of love!
Austria also has countless fantastic markets to offer. Particularly in the provincial capitals and in the Salzkammergut, these are particularly splendid and invite you to linger. Be it the Christmas Market in Salzburg's Old Town, the Altes AKH in Vienna or the castles Advent in the Salzkammergut - Austria with its romantic and atmospheric Christmas Markets invites you to stay longer.
Which Christmas markets you should not miss in Austria and where you find our absolute favourites, you can read in this blog post.
The Exotic Ones
Also in Cape Town you can experience Christmas markets of a very special kind. On the southern hemisphere the seasons are the opposite of ours. In December Cape Town has an average temperature of 21°C and you can leave the scarf at home. Our Christmas Market highlights in Cape Town are the Blue Bird Garage Christmas Market in Muizenberg, which offers live music and culinary delights. Another nice market is the Edgemead Christmas Market, where you will surely find some presents for your loved ones. The Slow Market in Stellenbosch is also one of our favourites. Christmas hearts beat faster here: Christmas cakes, Christmas trees, mulled wine and lots of handicrafts.
You want to experience one of the three Christmas markets live? In the winter flight schedule you can take off with Austrian Airlines up to 2x per week directly from Vienna to Cape Town.
How does an Advent market in Beijing’s traditional hutong districts sound? The Hutong Winter Fayre Christmas Market, for example, is located in a typically Chinese house with a beautiful inner court. Don’t miss the view from the terrace while as you comfortably sip your mulled wine. Another lovely Advent market in Beijing is Modernista: Rumble in the Jumble. As well as vintage items, books and jewellery, you’ll find seasonal snacks here, and of course mulled wine.
Want to go to Beijing? Austrian Airlines flies you daily from Vienna to Beijing.
The Insider Tips
Ever thought of visiting an Advent market in Armenia? No? Why not? The national capital, Yerevan, has boasted its own Advent market since 2012, when it started out with 16 small huts. Today, the luxurious Northern Avenue is home to a vast array of stands selling arts and crafts, chocolates, soaps – and Armenian wine, of course.
Up to 4 times a week you can take off with Austrian Airlines to the Armenian capital. What are you waiting for?
Alternatively, how about trying a European destination? The Christmas mood is certainly in evidence in the Croatian capital, Zagreb. A huge Christmas tree graces Ban Josip Jelačić Square, and there’s live music here at the weekend. It's not for nothing that Lonely Planet named the market the most beautiful Christmas market in Europe for the third time in a row. The Christmas Market in Zagreb is also one of the few that is open until January.
Daily you can fly up to 3 times from Vienna with Austrian Airlines to Zagreb.
Our final Advent market is dedicated to Kiev. A Christmas tree from the Carpathian Mountains is lavishly decorated with ornaments on St. Sophia Square, transforming the Old City district into a veritable Christmas paradise. On Mikhailovskaya Square, a variety of fairground rides and attractions are set up for the pre-Christmas period – perfect for young and old alike! And if - when - the snow starts to fall, the Advent market on Poshtova Square, with its ice rink and ice sculptures, is the perfect place to round off a winter’s day.
You can fly to Kiev with Austrian Airlines up to 2x daily.