The Best Christmas Markets in Innsbruck

For a mountain-view Christmas like no other

There is something special about a mountain view Christmas market. That’s why the Christmas markets in Innsbruck are great spots from where to wrap your hands around a warm cup of glühwein (mulled wine) while keeping an eye on snow-covered Alpine peaks.

Golden Roof Christmas Market Innsbruck
A fairytale Christmas market setting in front of the Golden Roof in Innsbruck.

Our visits to the Innsbruck Christmas market are somewhat predictable. In fact, it has become an annual outing for my birthday. We start with lunch at Restaurant Posidonas, a Greek restaurant near the old town, before spending the afternoon and early evening at the three markets in the city centre.

Here is my Innsbruck Christmas market review to convince you there is nothing better than a mountain view Christmas market in the Austrian Alps.

The 6 Christmas markets in Innsbruck

1. Innsbruck old town

15 November to 23 December 2018

Daily between 11:00 and 21:00

Golden Roof Christmas Innsbruck
The giant tree and the Golden Roof make for a pretty Christmas picture.

The Christmas market in the heart of the Innsbruck old town makes traditionalists like me happy. How can it not with a giant Christmas tree sparkling right next to Innsbruck’s most famous sparkling object – the Golden Roof with its 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles. I mean, one would think Kaiser Maximillian had it built especially for Christmas.

HOT TIP FOR INNSBRUCK CHRISTMAS 2018

Speaking of Kaiser Maximillian, visitors to the Innsbruck Christmas Market in 2018 can watch an entertaining 3D light show about the emperor on the inner court walls of the Imperial Palace. The Lightshow Max 500 commemorates the 500th anniversary of Maximillian I’s death. The 20-minute “open-air cinema” is only a 2-minute walk from the Golden Roof, making it part and parcel of the Innsbruck Christmas Market festivities.

Dates: 20 November 2018 to 20 January 2019

Times: Monday to Thursday and Sunday at 18:00 and 19:00. Friday and Saturday at 18:00, 19:00, 20:00 and 21:00. No shows on 24 and 31 December.

Ticket Prices: €10 for adults and €3 for kids between 6 and 12.

A great time to be in front of the Golden Roof with a Glühwein is around 17:00 from 24 to 28 December. That’s when groups of trumpeters appear on surrounding balconies to play traditional Austrian Christmas songs. There is even a viewing platform from where to enjoy the music away from the hustle and bustle around the 70 market stalls.

Christmas market stall Innsbruck
Fancy one of these unique Santas?

Allow yourself time to simply stroll through the narrow alleys of the Innsbruck old town. Don’t forget to look up at the beautifully preserved facades of the medieval buildings, because you might miss the 28 life-size characters from fairy tales and legends looking down at you. On the other hand, the four giants of Riesengasse (Giant’s Alley) are hard not to notice.

Innsbruck Christmas Market = Generous Father Christmas

Watch out for the Father Christmas/Santa Claus with his beautiful old street organ. He is very generous when it comes to handing out biscuits and sweets to his small fans. He even hides some gifts in the basket under his organ. Simply drop a few cents into his tin.

Innsbruck Santa Klaus
This Father Christmas has a real beard, plays beautiful tunes on his street organ and gives out hands full of treats to the kids at the Innsbruck Christmas market.

Of all the Christmas markets in Innsbruck, the old town market is where we normally have something to snack on. My favourite is the sweet Kiachl (deep-fried dough with a place for a filling in the middle), while C likes the savoury one with Sauerkraut. M enjoys the strawberries dipped in chocolate and we all can’t get enough of the sugar-coated nuts.

Schneeballen Innsbruck Christmas Market
Schneeballen or “snowballs” are very sweet biscuity treats.

EVENT TIP: A highlight of the Innsbruck Christmas Market is the Christ Child procession, which falls on 16 December in 2018. More than 500 local children will accompany the Christ Child with shepherds, angels, and sheep through the old town – from Maria Theresa Street via the Marktgraben to the Landestheater.

The Christ Child or Christkind is the one who secretly brings the presents to Tyrolean homes on Christmas Eve, which is officially Weihnachten (Christmas) in Austria. For the procession in Innsbruck, the angelic-looking figure travels in a beautiful carriage.

2. Market Square Christmas Market

15 November to 23 December 2018

Daily between 11:00 and 21:00

The Christmas market next to the Inn River on the market square or Marktplatz is where children feel most at home. An old-fashioned carousel and a 14-metre tall Swarovski crystal Christmas tree lend a nostalgic flair to this market. It’s just a beautiful setting in general with the row of colourful houses across the river and the mountains in the background.

Read more: Your complete Innsbruck sightseeing guide

We always start our Christmas market tour at the Marktplatz, partly because it’s closest to the Posidonas and partly because M will drive us crazy if we don’t. He loves to play the duck fishing game next to the carousel. Each plastic duck he pulls out of the water has points attached to it. He may choose a prize from a selection, depending on the number of points he gets. This doesn’t come cheap, with the starting price being €5 for four ducks 🙄 .

Swarovski Christmas tree Innsbruck Christmas Market © Travel Tyrol
The Swarovski Christmas tree on the market square sparkles with more than 17,000 Swarovski crystals.

Apart from the general food, drinks and craft stalls, the market square is also home to a petting zoo and a puppet theatre.

Accommodation tip: Staying in the Innsbruck old town while visiting the Christmas markets is great but you may want to consider a hotel on the outskirts of all the action. The Hotel Goldene Krone opposite the Triumphal Arch on the far side of Maria Theresa Street is a good option. Or you can consider Hotel Central in a quiet side street.

3. Maria Theresa Street Christmas Market

25 November 2018 to 6 January 2019

Daily between 11:00 and 21:00 (until 15:00 on 24 December,19:00 on 31 December, and closed on 25 December)

Just up the road from the Golden Roof, there are another 30 or so market stalls in the pedestrian zone of Maria Theresa Street. I always get the idea this is where the locals hang out. From here, you have some beautiful views of the Nordkette mountains.

Maria Theresa Street Christmas Market Innsbruck
The mountain background lends a special touch to the Christmas markets in Innsbruck. This is the view from Maria Theresa Street.

The Maria Theresa Street Christmas market is close to two shopping centres – The Kaufhaus Tyrol and the Rathaus Gallerien. You also can’t miss the two impressive sets of knights’ armour looking at you from the second-floor window of the Hardrock Cafe Innsbruck.

4. Hungerburg Christmas Market

25 November to 23 December 2018

Monday to Friday between 13:00 and 19:00 and from 12:00 on weekends and public holidays

With its prime location about 300 metres above Innsbruck, this is a small and intimate mountain view Christmas market specializing in handmade Austrian Christmas decorations.

The Hungerburg market is one of the Christmas markets in Innsbruck.
The Hungerburg Christmas market covered in snow.

The market at the Hungerburg station of the Nordkette cable car offers fantastic views of Innsbruck, the Inn Valley, and the Alps. The Congress station of the cable car, from where it’s less than 15 minutes to Hungerburg, is a 5-minute walk from the Golden Roof. You can buy the ticket online here but it’s also included in the Innsbruck Card.

5. Wilten Christmas Market

27 November to 23 December 2018

Monday to Friday from 16:00 to 20:00, and 14:00 to 20:00 on Saturdays. Closed on Sundays and public holidays.

Organic glühwein and Sardinian delicacies, of all things, are the big attraction on the Wiltener Platzl, a small square on the corner of Leopold and Liebenegg Streets. However, there are also handicrafts and short concerts and puppet shows planned to keep visitors entertained.

One of the Christmas markets in Innsbruck in on the Wilten Square.
The Wilten Christmas Market is small and cozy. ©christkindlmarkt.cc

6. St Nikolaus Christmas Market

24 November to 23 December 2018

Daily from 16:00 to 21:00

The St. Nikolaus district is on Hans Brenner square across the Inn River. It is a quiet market known for its festive music and home-made biscuits. On Fridays and Saturdays in December, a vintage tram called the “Innsbruck Christkindlbahn” takes children on free rides from 15:30 to 19:00.

St Nikolaus is one of the most authentic Christmas markets in Innsbruck.
The authentic local Christmas market at St Nikolaus.

Read more: If you’re in Innsbruck in December you may also want to read about the 9 ski resorts in the Olympia Region

Practical tips for your Innsbruck Christmas market visit

  • Traditional Austrian Christmas decorations, handcrafted products, and local seasonal delicacies are sold at the market stalls of all the different Christmas markets in Innsbruck.
  • There is an information counter in front of the Ottoburg restaurant (where you enter the Innsbruck old town from the river) where you can ask the friendly angels everything you want to know about the Innsbruck Christmas market.Angels Innsbruck Christmas Market © Travel Tyrol
  • If you’re visiting the Innsbruck Christmas market with kids, it’s best to go in the afternoon before it gets too cold and too crowded.
  • In Tyrol, a Christmas market is called a Christkindlmarkt.
  • The price of a glühwein at the Christmas markets in Innsbruck is generally €2,50 with a mug deposit of €2. If you like the mug, keep it as a souvenir!

    Glühwein Innsbruck Christmas Market
    Kinderpunsch and Glühwein time!
  • I’m a white wine girl and while most people associate glühwein with red wine, a white wine version is also available at most stalls. Try it.
  • Warm fruit punch is the kids’ version of glühwein.
  • Remember to dress warmly. Feet, hands, and ears quickly get cold when standing around outside. A pair of gloves with fingers that come off are great for handling money and mugs of glühwein.

    Silver Lady Golden Roof Innsbruck
    Look out for the Silver Lady in front of the Golden Roof (and her little dog peacefully lying in his basket at her feet). She may wink or blow you a kiss if you put a few cents in her basket.

I hope my Innsbruck Christmas market review convinced you that this is one of the best mountain-view Christmas markets in Austria. If you like the Christmas markets in Innsbruck, you will also like the Christmas market in Hall in Tirol. It is only 15-minutes away and set in the biggest medieval old town in Tyrol.

Disclosure: My content is intended to help you plan the best trip to Tyrol and Austria. Where appropriate, I include affiliate links in blog posts or pages to help you access relevant services and attractions. I may earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you, to help me maintain the blog if you click through and make a purchase. All support is appreciated!

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Anu

I am not sure if and when I will get to go to Innsbruck but you have taken me on a virtual tour of these lovely Christmas markets. If I ever plan to be there, I would now plan to come around Christmas time.

beverley

Being in the Innsbruck Christmas markets sounds amazing, I associate in winter with the snow, so this is a great place for that. I like the sound of glühwein too.

Clazz

Awesome tips! I’d never considered Innsbruck for a Christmas market trip but I reckon it would be a fantastic option!

Shibani

Wow Christmas is really a time to see glowing Europe. I’m trying to head out to Germany just around Christmas this year, not sure about Innsbruk yet. Just like you I’m also more of a white wine person so I’m going to try that once there. I tried white wine first time ever in Vienna only when the hotel guys suggested me to on recommendation that it’s their speciality..nice isn’t it. Your tips are going to be very handy!

Drew

Love European Christmas market season, especially in places like Austria. For me, it means an endless supply of mulled wine! It is great when cities like Innsbruck have multiple markets sprinkled around the city. Makes for a fantastic weekend getaway around the holidays.

Karen

I really enjoyed Christmas market season in Europe.The wine, the variety of sweets and desserts. The way the city is lit up also makes for a pretty walk on the weekends!My friend and her husband live in Vienna and I would love to visit them for this next year

Megan Jerrard
Megan Jerrard

I love Europe at Christmas, there are so many incredible Christmas markets which are a great insight into the traditional culture of the country you’re in. Innsbruck will make the list this year, excited to say, so have made notes on where to go. The giant tree and the Golden Roof really do make for a pretty Christmas picture!

Sandy N Vyjay

Innsbruck seems to don a dazzling garb, come Christmas. Innsbruck has been on our itinerary that we planned for East Europe, however not yet seen the light of Day. Hope to get there around Christmas time so that we can experience the Christmas Markets. Very helpful post for people like us who have never been there.

Paige

I’m just dying to visit these gorgeous Christmas Markets. I would want to see them all. It’s also amazing to know that there is white glühwein because, like you, I’m a white wine girl. Great guide to the markets!

Maaike

I should probably add Innsbruck to my travel market list. Thanks for sharing. Especially the market and views Hungerburg look magical!

Anna

Thank you for this blog post. It’s good to know the dates in 2018 🙂