7 Authentic Austrian Christmas Markets to Visit at Least Once

Smaller Christmas Markets in austria worth visiting

Austrian Christmas markets in Tyrol are known for their authenticity. While the big city markets are sometimes flooded by tourists, the smaller markets have become popular among those looking for a true Austrian Christmas market experience among the locals.

Austrian Christmas Markets

In the Austrian Tyrol, nine Christmas markets have earned the Advent in Tirol hallmark of quality. These markets comply to high standards with regards to their traditional appearance and the products sold at their stalls. We have been lucky to visit five of the nine and try to add one or two more every year.

We can also recommend some other really small markets for a truly authentic experience. The magic of Christmas in Austria is such that even if the local choirs and theatre groups sing and perform in German, you don’t need a translation to appreciate the message.

1. Innsbruck Christmas Markets

Where6 locations in and around the city
When15 November 2020 to 6 January 2021
Opening HoursDaily from 11:00 to 21:00
More InformationInnsbruck Christkindlmarkt

The Innsbruck Christmas Market is by far the biggest in Tyrol although it maintains a small-market atmosphere by being spread out in and around the city. It’s actually made up of 6 smaller markets of which the prettiest, must-visit ones are those in the old town.

Golden Roof Christmas Market
The Christmas market in front of Innsbruck’s famous Golden Roof.

Start your Innsbruck Christmas Market tour before dark in Maria Theresa Street for a view of the Nordkette mountain beyond the city roofs. Then move on to the Golden Roof to experience the magic of Christmas in the heart of the old town.

For a livelier atmosphere, the Market Square Christmas Market on the banks of the Inn River is the place to be. Across the river, the St Nikolaus Market caters to families over weekends. For unusual eats and a unique cultural programme, the Wilten Market is your best bet. And if you’d like to see the city lights instead of the mountains, take the cable railway to the Hungerburg where wonderful views await you.

2. Hall in Tirol Christmas Market

WhereUpper Town Square
When20 November to 24 December 2020
Opening Hours15:00 to 20:00 – Monday to Friday
10:00 to 20:00 on Saturday
13:00 to 20:00 on Sunday
More InformationHall Christmas Market

The Christmas market in Hall is only 10 minutes from our home and the one we visit most during the festive season. It’s also the one where we meet friends and take family because we like it so much.

Hall in Tirol, Austria at Christmas.
Hall in Tirol at Christmas.

The upper town square in this beautiful medieval old town with its cobbled lanes is turned into a lively market place at Christmas. The days left until Christmas are displayed in different coloured lights on the surrounding buildings, bathing the square in soft light.

Trumpeters perform every day at 18:00. For the kids, there’s a petting zoo and daily children’s entertainment. There is always a long line for traditional Kiachl with sauerkraut or cranberry jam, and you’ll find nice gifts at the art and craft stalls.

Buses and trains travel regularly cover the 10 km distance between Innsbruck and Hall in Tirol.

3. Seefeld in Tirol Christmas Market

WhereTown centre pedestrian area
When27 November 2020 to 6 January 2021
Opening HoursDaily from 14:00 to 21:00
More InformationOlympiaregion Seefeld

Seefeld is a small village on a sunny plateau north of Innsbruck. The Seefeld Christmas Market is in a beautiful setting in front of the village church. What we love most about it, is standing around eating and drinking traditional Tyrolean Christmas treats around a fire while soaking in the atmosphere.

Visit Seefeld for Christmas in Austria.
Seefeld Christmas Market.

What makes the Seefeld Christmas Market great to visit from Innsbruck is that it’s just a short (but beautiful) 35-minute train ride away. It means you can indulge in more than one Glühwein or Schnapps without worrying about driving.

Special events at the Seefeld Christmas Market include a Krampus Run at 17:00 on 4 December and The Sounds of Advent on 15 and 17 December.

4. Rattenberg

WhereOld Town of Rattenberg
WhenFridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 22 November to 20 December + 8 December 2020
Opening HoursMostly early afternoon to early evening (official programme)
Entrance Fee€5 on Saturdays
More InformationRattenberg Advent

Medieval Rattenberg, on the Inn River about 46 km from Innsbruck, is officially the smallest town in Austria. What makes this market a highlight on our annual Austrian Christmas Market calendar is the absence of electric lights in the narrow cobbled lanes. Candles, torches, and open fires are used to provide light. There is even a candle labyrinth which is a favourite among the kids.

Rattenberg Austrian Christmas market
Local singers perform traditional Christmas songs in Rattenberg.

While the stalls at the Rattenberg Christmas Market sell mostly food and drink, the town’s shops remain open. This is the place to shop for traditional Austrian dress or the glass art for which the town is famous for.

We have never minded paying the €5 entrance fee to the market on a Saturday. The entertainment in the form of kids games, local theatre and music groups, and the romantic candlelit setting more than makes up for it.

For something different to drink around the log fires, try the Rattenberg Advent wine with a hint of elderberries that is served in the town’s original Advent glass.

5. Achensee

WherePertisau, Lake Achen
WhenWeekends from 24 November to 27 December 2020
Opening Times13:30 to 19:30
More InformationAchensee Christmas

The Achensee is Tyrol’s largest natural lake with 3 pretty villages on its shores. The Christmas experience here is three-fold. There’s the market at Fischergut in Pertisau, a floating Christmas market on the lake, and a very authentic nativity scene experience in the Sixenhof in Achenkirch.

Lake Christmas Markets in Austria
Floating Christmas Market on Lake Achen.

The market at Fischergut isn’t very big, but still worth a visit for a Glühwein next to the lake. There’s also a big shed where local groups perform and where kids are entertained.

While the Christmas cruise on the lake was a bit too expensive for us at €26, we loved our visit to the Sixenhof Museum in Achenkirch. Here you’ll not only learn how Silent Night became a world-famous Christmas carol but also get to sit between cows and sheep in a centuries-old stable and listen to the Nativity Story. Even if you don’t understand German, this is probably the closest you’ll ever get to what it must have been like in the stable where Jesus was born.

6. Bergisel Christmas Market

WhereBergisel Hill, Innsbruck
WhenFridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 22 November to 22 December 2020
Opening HoursFrom 11:00
More InformationKaiserweihnacht

This latest addition to the Austrian Christmas markets in Tyrol is on the Bergisel hill which is also home to Innsbruck’s Olympic ski jump. Called the Kaiserweihnacht, the Christmas market is in front of the Tyrol Panorama and Museum of the Tyrolean Imperial Infantry.

Kaiserweihnach Christmas market in Austria
Bergisel Christmas Market

If you find the Christmas markets in the Innsbruck old town too busy, the Bergisel market is a great alternative. The Sightseer Bus stops here or you can even walk for some fresh mountain air.

The stalls at this market sell high quality handmade arts and craft. After getting your Glühwein in a tin mug, the best place to drink it is while looking across the city toward the Nordkette from the gazebo at the edge of the market.

7. Judenstein

WhereJudenstein at Rinn near Innsbruck
When6 December 2020
Opening HoursFrom 11:00
More InformationJudenstein Weihnachtsmarkt

I’m including the Judenstein Christmas market even if it’s held on one Sunday only. If you happen to be in the area on 6 December, this is probably the Christmas market where you’ll find the most locals in attendance.

Judenstein Christmas market
Braving the cold at the Judenstein Christmas market.

Freshly baked biscuits and bread, handmade Christmas decorations and wreaths, pony rides, and lots of eating and drinking in the shadow of the village church are what give this market a special character.

More Austrian Christmas Markets to Consider

The four Austrian Christmas markets with the Advent in Tyrol seal of approval which we haven’t visited are:

  • St Johann Christmas Market
  • Kufstein Christmas Market
  • Kitzbühel Christmas Market
  • Lienz Christmas Market

Have you visited any of these markets? If so, let us know what you thought of them in the comments.

*Disclosure*

Having fun in Austria, and then writing about it is hard work 😆 . That’s why some links in this article are affiliate links. I may earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you use any of them to make a purchase. It’s totally cool if you don’t. I love to help anyway. If you do, it will help us discover another part of Austria to write about.

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About Linda de Beer 89 Articles
Name: Linda de Beer Profession: Travel blogger and freelance writer
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sam

These all look so cute and pretty! I like the idea of having a more authentic experience 🙂

Alma

Nothing like these Christmas Markets to bring in the festive cheer! Reminds me so much of our time in Bavaria two years ago in December.

galatia savva

I would love to visit such authentic Christmas markets! The only thing i need to do first, is to brave the cold! thank you for sharing this!

katy

Achensee looks amazing. Definitely something a bit different. The smaller town markets seem less commercial which is great!

Lina

I love visiting Christmas markets here in Austria! I’ve only been to the ones in Graz and Vienna, wouldl love to see the ones in Tyrol too 🙂

Runawaybrit

Oh, I love a Christmas Market. I really hope that they will be back this year, but I think they will be very different in the post-corona world 🙁 I have been to the markets in Vienna and Hainburg, but I would happily visit more!

Meghan Emcee

Great list! I’d love to visit a christmas market in Austria one day, I’ve only been in the summer. Saving for later!!

Marguerite

I’ve heard good things about the Austrian Christmas markets 🙂 The list only confirms this. Great to see content about markets away from Vienna.