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This post covers a Christmas Market Itinerary.
7-Day European Christmas Market Itinerary
Most cities in Europe go all out for Christmas; hosting incredible Christmas markets, decking their streets out in beautiful decorations, and having truly festive atmospheres. Europe really is the BEST place to get you in the Christmas spirit!
You NEED to experience the magic of visiting Europe at Christmas, and this is where this 7-Day European Christmas Market Itinerary comes in. It doesn't disappoint!
This itinerary takes you to three of the most incredible cities in Europe; Munich, Salzburg and Vienna. These European cities are amazing to visit year-round, but at Christmas they are even more special, and have some of the best Christmas markets in the world.
Sounds dreamy, right? So, what are we waiting for - lets send you on a magical Christmas adventure around Europe this year!
This post is about a European Christmas Market Itinerary.
This blog post will cover:
- 7-Day European Christmas Market Itinerary Overview
- Things To Do In Munich At Christmas
- Things To Do In Salzburg At Christmas
- Things To Do In Vienna At Christmas
- How To Get Around Europe
- Recommended Restaurants In Each City
- Accommodation For All Budgets
- More Blog Posts You'll Love
7-Day European Christmas Market Itinerary Overview
Things To Do In Munich At Christmas
1. Visit The Magical Christmas Markets
The oldest and largest Christmas market in Munich is called Christkindlmarkt, and takes place in the city's main square, Marienplatz. This market has a long history as it has been held in the city every year since the 14th century.
Christkindlmarket is one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe; packed with charming Bavarian stalls selling delicious food, with the backdrop of the picturesque neo-Gothic town hall, and a huge Christmas tree in the square.
Christkindlmarkt is open from the last week in November through to Christmas Eve. However, Christkindlmarket isn't the only Christmas market in Munich. In fact, the city is actually home to over 20 Christmas markets.
Other popular Christmas markets in Munich include:
- Krippler Christmas markets outside St Peters Church
- The Tollwood Christmas market at Theresienwiese
- Residenz Christmas Village at Residenz Palance Courtyard
- Medieval Christmas market at Whittlesbachplatz
- Square of Stars Christmas market at Rindermarkt
- Pink Christmas at Stephansplatz
You could join a 2-hour guided tour of the Christmas markets in Munich, in which you'll learn about typical Bavarian Christmas traditions, taste Christmas delicacies, and drink mulled wine. If you've like more information about this tour, click here.
2. Go Ice-Skating at Münchner Eiszauber
Münchner Eiszauber on Karlsplatz is the largest mobile ice arena in the city. The ice rink opens in winter, usually in late November. So grab your skates, or rent them there, and go ice-skating this Christmas in Munich.
In addition to the ice rink, there is also beautiful Christmas lights, delicious food, and parties every night.
3. Travel On The Famous ChristkindlTram
The ChristkindlTram is a tramway, which dates back to 1957. The tram is decorated in Christmas lights and still has its old wooden seats. Whilst on board, you are served gingerbread and mulled wine.
During the festive period, the famous tram travels through the city's historical centre, taking you past all the most important sites. So, it's an excellent way to see the city during Christmas.
You can buy tickets at the ticket office in Sendlinger Tor, where the tram route departs from and ends.
4. Join The Krampus Run
The Krampus is a Christmas monster that dates all the way back to the 16th-century. According to old folklore, he used to capture misbehaving children (and sometimes their parents) and drag them to hell.
A truly frightening character that is very popular in Germany and Austria. Every Christmas, there is a Krampus-themed costume parade and race in Munich. The only stipulation is you need to be dressed as Krampus to take part.
The event takes place this year on Saturday 10th December at Marianplatz. Even if you aren't taking part, I'm sure it would still be entertaining (or terrifying) to see!
5. Try Curling on the Nymphenburg Canal
Nymphenburg palace is a beautiful Baroque palace located 40-minutes from the city centre in Munich's western district, Neuhausen-Nymphenburg.
During winter, the Nymphenburg palace canal can become completely frozen over due to the canal being quite shallow, and the cold temperatures. This makes it the perfect place to play winter sports including ice-hockey, curling, and skating.
Afterwards, the palace grounds are a wonderful place to take a winter stroll.
6. Sample The Local Delicacies At Viktualienmarkt
Located behind St Peter's Church is the Viktualienmarkt food market. This is one of Munich's most famous landmarks, and has more than 100 stalls selling traditional produce.
At Christmas, the food market is decorated in Christmas trees, and there is also Christmas gift stalls, Christmas carols, and typical Christmas food.
It's open from Monday through to Saturday, typically between 8am-8pm. However, just check the opening hours closer to when you visit as the times might change around the festive period.
7. Enjoy A Christmas Concert In The Hercules Hall
Hercules Hall is located only 10-minutes walk from Marianplatz. It was originally the throne room of Ludwig I, and after the building's reconstruction, it was used as a concert hall.
It is one of the most beautiful halls in Munich, and has incredible acoustics. During December, they put on Christmas Concerts featuring classical music and Christmas carols.
You can check the dates for the Christmas Concerts here. If none of these dates suit you, I'm sure you'll be able to find other Christmas concerts around Munich.
Things To Do In Salzburg At Christmas
1. Visit The Picturesque Christmas Markets
The city's best known and oldest market takes place at the foot of the fortress, in the cathedral square, and has been mentioned as far back as the 15th century.
The beautiful Christmas markets in cathedral square are filled with wooden chalets draped in fairy lights, selling delicious mulled wine amongst other things to help heat you up on a cold winters evening.
There are also other smaller markets scattered around the city too, including in Mirabell square and in Hohensalzburg Fortress Courtyard.
Salzburg Christmas markets normally open late-November until the start of January.
2. Take A Tour Through The City And Christmas Markets
If this is your first time in Salzburg, then it is a good idea to get acquainted with the city and a great way to do this is by going on a walking tour.
On this 2-hour walking tour, you will be guided around all the main spots in Salzburg by a knowledgeable host who will teach you all about the city's history, culture, music, and more!
The guide will also take you to the Christkindl and Mirabell Christmas markets, where you can listen to and even, participate in Christmas carols. If you would like to book a space on this tour, click here.
3. Go Ice Skating on Mozart Square
In winter, the Mozartplatz in the heart of Salzburg's Old Town is home to the Eiszauber ice rink.
The ice rink has a beautiful location as it is right at the foot of the Mozart monument, and close to Residenzplatz and the Cathedral, which provide the perfect backdrop.
If you've got skates bring them with you, but don't worry if you don't as you can rent a pair when you are there.
4. Attend A Mozart Fortress Concert
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a famous composer, was born in Salzburg. Whilst you are in the city, you can experience a classical evening in the incredible Hohensalzburg Fortress, and listen to Mozart's most beloved work.
The Hohensalzburg Fortress provides the most incredible atmosphere for this Mozart concert, and as the fortress is perched high above the city, you will be treated to breath-taking views over Salzburg.
If you book this concert at Christmas, you'll even get to hear traditional Salzburg Christmas Carols. Click this link to book your ticket to this unforgettable event.
5. Go On An Unforgettable Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride
You can go on magical day-trip from Salzburg to Ramsau am Dachstein, allowing you to discover the breath-taking winter landscape of Styria.
On this tour, you will stop-off for lunch in a traditional restaurant and take a stroll through a beautiful Alpine town, before embarking on a romantic and magical horse-drawn sleigh/carriage ride through the snow-capped woods.
This may just be the ultimate Christmas experience in Salzburg. If you'd like to book it, follow this link.
6. Experience Advent Magic At Hellbrunn Palace
Located about 20-minutes from Salzburg city centre is the incredible Hellbrunn Palace. The gazebo from the 'Sound of Music' film is actually located in the grounds of the Hellbrunn Palace.
From late-November through to Christmas eve, the Hellbrunn Courtyard is lined with lovely stalls serving tempting treats and handmade gifts. You can even enjoy a sledge ride drawn by real reindeer.
The Hellbrunn Courtyard is one of the most charming advent experiences in Salzburg.
Things To Do In Vienna At Christmas
1. Visit Some Of The Best Christmas Markets In Europe
Vienna's most renowned Christmas market is in front of Rathausplatz, the city hall which provides the most beautiful backdrop.
At Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt, there's a large decorated Christmas tree surrounded by over 100 stalls selling handcrafted gifts, delicious food, and of course, mulled wine. The markets are open from mid-November to boxing day.
You can also go ice-skating at Rathausplatz, next to the popular Christmas markets and Rathaus Park behind Rathausplatz is decorated with Christmas lights, which makes it a romantic place to go for a winter stroll.
Vienna isn't just home to the Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt, it actually has a total of 12 Christmas markets around the city.
Other popular Christmas markets in Vienna include:
- Weihnachtsmarkt at Stephansplatz
- Art Advent at Karlsplatz
- Christmas Village at Maria-Theresien Platz
- Am Hof Advent Market
- Old Viennese Christmas Market
- Weihnachtsmarkt at Spittelberg
You could join this 2-3 hour guided tour of the Christmas markets in Vienna, in which you'll hear stories and facts about Christmas in Austria, enjoy sweet treats, and delicious drinks. If you've like more information about this tour, click here.
2. Get In The Festive Spirit At The Beautiful Schönbrunn
Schönbrunn is a wonderful palace, located about 20-minutes by train from Vienna city centre. It was once used as the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers. It is truly a remarkable place to visit year-round.
However at Christmas, you could say it is even more special. As the courtyard is encircled with dozens of Christmas stalls selling high-quality arts and crafts, which make for lovely Christmas gifts for your friends and family.
There's a giant Christmas tree, and a small stage, which usually hosts open-air advent concerts.
The markets at Schönbrunn are open from mid-November through to just after Christmas, and they are not to be missed!
3. Experience Christmas At Belvedere
The Belvedere Palace was the former home of Prince Eugene of Savoy. It consists of two Baroque palaces; the Orangery, and the Palace Stable, and is about a 25-minute walk from the city centre.
During the festive period, Christmas markets come to the front of Belvedere Palace and they tend to be quieter and smaller than other markets in Vienna. You can still find lovely handcrafted items, and delicious food and drink here.
What they lack in size, they make up for in beauty! The markets at Belvedere are open from mid-November through to the end of December.
4. Enjoy A Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride Around Vienna's Old Town
Get to know Vienna a bit better with a relaxing 30-minute horse-drawn carriage ride around the city's Old Town.
The tour will take you to the Hofburg, then you will travel along "The Ring" in Vienna, where you'll get the chance to see the Natural Museum of History and Fine Arts and the statue of Maria Theresia.
You'll then pass by the Austrian Parliament and the Vienna Town Hall, where you'll be able to see the famous Christmas markets, before finishing your tour at St Stephans Cathedral.
A truly unique and memorable way to see Austria's capital city at Christmas. If you've like to book your space for this tour, follow this link.
5. Attend An Advent Concert
Many famous composers have come from Austria including Johann Strauss, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This means that there are a lot of concerts throughout Vienna that you can attend which showcase the incredible masterpieces from these composers.
You can attend a classic concert at Mozarthaus, which is where Mozart himself once played and listen to the very best Classical Viennese Music played by the Mozart Ensemble Vienna.
There's also the Strauss and Mozart Christmas Concert in Kursalon. At this concert, you'll get to hear the incredible Salonorchester Alt Wien and performances by international opera singers, and ballet dancers.
Lastly, there's a Christmas & New Year's Concert in St. Peter's Church. At this concert, you'll be treated to wonderful interpretations of beloved works by Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and many more.
These concerts make for a particularly lovely experience at Christmas time too.
How To Get Around Europe
Traveling around Europe is a relatively easy and straight forward process due to the excellent transport links.
The train is one of the best options to get around Europe.
The quickest train from Munich Hbf to Salzburg Hbf takes 1 hour and 29 minutes (direct), and can cost as little as €9.90 one-way for an adult ticket.
The quickest train from Salzburg Hbf to Vienna Hbf takes 2 hour and 25 minutes (direct). However, it can be quite expensive as a one-way adult ticket can cost anywhere from €29.90-€59.60.
If you would prefer to travel a different way, then by bus is also a good option.
The quickest bus from Munich Central Bus Station to Salzburg South takes 1 hour and 50 minutes (direct), and can cost as little as €9.99 one-way for an adult ticket. You can buy tickets for this journey through Flixbus.
There is no bus service between Salzburg and Vienna.
Recommended Restaurants In Each City
- Sababa (£) - Sababa is only 5 minutes away from Munich's main square, Marienplatz. It's a favourite in the neighbourhood, and serves up middle Eastern classics including falafel, hummus and shawarma.
- Restaurant Laurin Südtirol (££) - A small, cosy restaurant located right in the heart of Munich, specialising in Southern Tyrolean alpine food and drink.
- Zum Alten Markt (££) - A cosy Bavarian eatery located in a 18th-century dining room on the east side of Munich's biggest outdoor produce market, Viktualienmarkt.
- Restaurant Pfistermühle (£££) - This restaurant is located in the vaults of an old 16-century mill, right in the heart of Munich and serves high-end Bavarian cuisine.
- Little London Bar And Grill (££££) - A British-inspired steakhouse and bar in the heart of Munich. It even comes recommended by the Michelin guide so you know it is going to be good!!
- Mister Le (£) - A budget-friendly restaurant serving up delicious, healthy Thai and Vietnamese food including beef pho, pad Thai and much more!
- Braurestaurant IMLAUER (££) - This traditional and cosy restaurant specialises in Austrian dishes with a modern twist.
- IMLAUER Sky - Bar & Restaurant in Salzburg (£££) - This beautiful restaurant is located right in the heart of Salzburg and has extraordinary views over the city, the fortress and to the surrounding mountains.
- Das Restaurant Wasserfall (£££) - A quaint, down-to-earth restaurant in the heart of Salzburg's Old Town specialising in authentic Italian cuisine.
- Esszimmer (££££) - This elegant, fine-dining restaurant offers a compact menu with inventive and flavourful Austrian cuisine, and it even has a michelin star!
- Vienna Sausage (£) - An unpretentious restaurant with a great atmosphere, close to the centre of Vienna, serving up high-quality sausages and hotdogs.
- LOLA - Spanisches Tapas Restaurant (££) - A beautifully designed restaurant in the first district of the city, offering delicious Spanish specialities and tapas.
- LETO Restaurant Bar (££) - Located in the heart of Vienna, this restaurant offers exceptional Mediterranean cuisine including hummus, seafood plates and gyros.
- ef16 Restaurant Weinbar (£££) - A lovely restaurant and wine bar with a large courtyard garden in Vienna, serving Viennese dishes with a Mediterranean touch.
- Steirereck (££££) - A formal fine-dining Austrian restaurant in Stadtpark, Vienna. Amongst the world's best restaurants, Steirereck has two michelin stars and serves up unforgettable tasting menus.
Accommodation For All Budgets
All the options below were chosen by selecting dates in December (during low season) and with two people sharing.
Budget Accommodation Options (£0-£100 per night)
Munich Budget Accommodation
Salzburg Budget Accommodation
Vienna Budget Accommodation
Mid Accommodation Options (£100-£200 per night)
Munich Mid Accommodation
Salzburg Mid Accommodation
Mid (£100-£200 per night)
Vienna Mid Accommodation
High-End Accommodation Options (£200+ per night)
Munich High-End Accommodation
Salzburg High-End Accommodation
Vienna High-End Accommodation
This post is all about a 7-Day European Christmas Market Itinerary.
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