HomeEuropean ToursAustria ToursAustria Guide

6 Best Places to Spend Christmas in Austria

Ratings of Zicasso's Service
Christmas market at night in Vienna

Vienna, Austria

A winter wonderland awaits at any of these best places to spend Christmas in Austria that you can visit during your trip to a country perfectly suited for the joys of the holiday season.

Castles, city lights, and quiet countryside hills covered in sparkling snow create excitement for the most-anticipated festivities. Experience traditional tales and scenes out of storybooks with a blend of contemporary culture steeped in tradition.

Discover the beauty of Austria in a fairy-tale setting as you explore some of the places that can make your Christmas vacation unforgettable.

  1. 1. Vienna
  2. 2. Innsbruck
  3. 3. Salzburg
  4. 4. Graz
  5. 5. Hallstatt
  6. 6. Zell Am See
  7. Explore the Best Places to Spend Christmas in Austria

1. Vienna

Belvedere Palace during Christmas season

Vienna, Austria

Christmas is huge in Vienna, an attractive city and one of the country’s top places to visit. It shimmers brightly during the holiday season as the lights blossom to make it one of the most desired places to be in December. Schönbrunn Palace turns into a fairy-tale castle and the beauty resonates from the grounds through the city.

Visit the Christmas market, have fun on the carousel, and admire the hand-blown glass or other incredible ornaments and crafts. View the magnificent light displays on Graben and Kärtner streets, take in a carriage ride, or simply embark on a winter walk from the Opera House to admire Vienna in all its Christmas grandeur.

2. Innsbruck

Innsbruck during twilight


Christmas in Innsbruck embodies an authentic winter wonderland filled with lights colored gold and silver. Bustling Maria-Theresien Street transforms into a sparkling storybook as stores adorn windows with magical tinsel, accentuated by the opulent Christmas tree set against the famous Golden Roof.

Join the bustle of the Marktplatz Christmas Market as the colorful carousel mesmerizes young visitors, while stalls offering ornaments and gifts dazzle travelers from around the world. Sip gluhwein and savor traditional sauerkraut-flavored kiachln while enjoying the seasonal music that drifts across the town.

3. Salzburg

Salzburg during Christmas season

Salzberg, Austria

Step inside a traditional Austrian Christmas scene as you walk the lanes and streets of the country’s fourth-largest city, a romantic place in Austria for a festive trip. Streets such as Getreidegasse and Goldgasse turn everyday stores into colorful spaces that burst with decorations and delight as the town’s residents prepare visitors for an unforgettable Christmas experience.

Enjoy the local tradition of the Salzburger Adventsingen nativity play sung by children in local dialects and learn about the roots of the famous carol, Silent Night, composed in nearby Oberndorf. You can also indulge in the soothing combination of snow and sauna as you dip into the joys of the local Christmas tradition.

4. Graz

Christmas market shop in Austria

Graz, Austria

Christmas in Austria is a very important holiday, and in Graz, the locals celebrate in joyous style. The markets are magical and set against some of the most dramatic backdrops of Christmas tree lights and bright window dressings.

The Advent Market takes place in front of the Hauptplatz city hall, while the old Christmas Market creates a spectacle outside the Franciscan Church, with a nativity scene adorned with live sheep and opulent toys.

Colorful carousels capture the festive ambiance and the Glockenspielplatz Market demonstrates the skills of local craftspeople. Visit the Schlossberg Hill market above the humming city below to embrace the glistening sight of winter joy.

5. Hallstatt

Hallstatt village in Austria

Hallstatt, Austria

What could be more magical than spending Christmas in the Austrian Alps surrounded by enchanting snowcapped mountains, trees peeking out from white slopes, and a quaint village to call home?

Hallstatt has been noted as one of the most beautiful villages in Europe and during the festive season, this charming winter haven takes on a fairy-tale ambiance.

Take in the lifesize wooden nativity scene in the village square and bask in traditional seasonal music and lights. Enjoy the history exuding from UNESCO World Heritage sites as you embrace the perfect holiday-season getaway.

6. Zell Am See

Skiier in Zell Am See, Austria

Zell Am See, Austria

Romance and tranquility meet lakeside charm in the winter wonderland of Zell Am See in the Austrian Alps. Mix Christmas traditions with winter activities that range from skiing and snowboarding to hiking and wellness escapes.

Enjoy a guided, mystical, torchlight walk and discover the majesty of a landscape blanketed in winter. Stroll the alleys and admire their transformation from ordinary streets to glistening miles in the evenings, accented by the markets and Christmas cheer throughout the town. Board the MS Schmittenhöhe for a starlight cruise and relax in this breathtaking setting for the Christmas season.

Explore the Best Places to Spend Christmas in Austria

Christmas market in Vienna

Vienna, Austria

Find fairy-tale cities and quaint villages, getaways tucked away in the Alps and winter-wonderland holiday destinations that offer authentic experiences. With endless holiday spirit, Austria is undoubtedly one of the top places for an unforgettable experience during the Christmas season.

Explore our Austria tours and vacations to learn more about what’s possible during Christmas in Austria or browse our collection of featured European Christmas tours and our Austria travel guide.

Life-Enriching Travel Designed Just for You

  1. 1

    Trips curated by the world’s top destination experts

  2. 2

    Concierge-level service leading up to and during your trip

  3. 3

    Unique, exclusive experiences and insider access

Get Top Travel Specialists to Help Plan Your Trip