Chestnut seller at a Christmas market in Vienna
© WienTourismus/Christian Stemper

It's a kind of magic: Advent in Vienna

What does Advent in Vienna have in common with coriander? Clearly the polarizing force. Either you're a proud defender or a strident opponent. It's the same with Christmas: while some people change radio channel at the sound of the first Christmas song, others can hardly wait to fill their home with the aroma of freshly baked cookies. Our tips for Advent convince even the biggest of Christmas grouches.

Good all round: the Viennese snow globe

They're known around the world, but the snow globe was invented in Vienna. If you're looking for the right Christmas mood, you should pay a visit to the Original Vienna Snow Globe Manufactory. Snow globes have been produced here for over 100 years. St. Stephen's Cathedral, the Giant Ferris Wheel, Schönbrunn Palace, and many other motifs can be found in the flurry of snow. By the way, the recipe for the snow's composition is a strictly guarded secret...

Choosing the best chestnuts in the city

Hot chestnuts are as much a part of Advent as Christmas cookies and punch. Every corner in Vienna smells of this wintertime street food. To obtain their characteristic flavor, the chestnuts continue to be roasted over coal. What's more, the chestnut roasters are a historic relic. In the 18th century, Maria Theresa permitted a German minority in Slovenia to sell the edible chestnuts from their homeland as itinerant traders. Chestnut roasters define the city's streets in winter to this day. Your mission during the run-up to Christmas in Vienna: to choose your favorites from among the city's chestnut sellers.

Floral Christmas atmosphere in Hirschstetten

A magical Advent ambience extends throughout the Hirschstetten Botanical Gardens in the pre-Christmas period in Vienna. A highlight is the floral Christmas exhibition, at which everything is based on popular Christmas songs. If you've had your fill of Feliz Navidad and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, you can enjoy charity punch and organic treats, browse for gifts at the traditional Christmas market, while the children do crafts and bake cookies.

Demel show bakery: pleasure voyeurs take note!

The sight of it is sure to get everyone's mouth watering: the Demel show bakery creates artworks of Advent pleasure right in front of the guests' eyes. On Kohlmarkt, in the 1st district, baking is done at the former imperial and royal court confectioner for all its worth. In the run-up to Christmas, you can look over the shoulder of the confectioners as they bake cookies in the glass-walled show bakery. "To some extent, it's like a kitsch TV commercial," is the verdict of one visitor. And what would Advent in Vienna be without a hint of kitsch?

Self-made: vanilla croissants, gingerbread and more

Everyone who wants to serve up real handicrafts at Christmas rather than reach for ready-made baking mixes can attend a range of Christmas baking courses in Vienna. For example, the high art of Viennese baking is taught on courses at the ichkoche.at Cookery School in the 6th district or at the Julian Kutos Cookery School. The ideal activity for the run-up to Christmas in Vienna – and a hot tip for everyone who wants to be popular with their colleagues and friends.

Secret tip: Off to the garden.

Away from the bustle of the Vienna Christmas markets, the Kleinod Winter Garden is completely devoid of kitsch. Situated in the Stadtpark and decorated for winter, the Kleinod Winter Garden is a true oasis. There are sophisticated creations such as gin tea and tonic to drink, and the sounds ranging from house to techno fire up the guests.

Original Viennese snow globe maker & snow globe museum

Schumanngasse 87 , 1170 Wien
  • Opening times

    • Mo, 09:00 - 15:00
    • Tu, 09:00 - 15:00
    • We, 09:00 - 15:00
    • Th, 09:00 - 15:00
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Hirschstetten Botanical Gardens (Blumengärten Hirschstetten)

Quadenstraße 15, 1220 Wien
  • Opening times

    • 19 March to 13 October
    • Th - Su, 09:00 - 18:00
    • In the winter months, only the Palm House is open (Tuesday to Friday, 10 am – 6 pm, Sunday 10 am - 6 pm).
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Demel K. & K. Hofzuckerbäckerei

Kohlmarkt 14 , 1010 Wien
  • Opening times

    • daily, 08:00 - 19:00
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • no steps (Double swinging doors   115  cm  wide )
    • Elevator available
      • 115 cm wide , Door 75 cm wide
    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
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Kleinod Winter Garden

Johannesgasse 33/Stadtpark, 1010 Wien
  • Opening times

    • 14.Nov.2019 to 21.Dec.2019
    • Th, 17:00 - 22:30
    • Fr, 17:00 - 22:30
    • Sa, 17:00 - 22:30
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