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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...

Snowballs
© WienTourismus/Christian Stemper

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.

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

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.

Entrance to the Christmas market at the Hirschstetten Botanical Gardens
© Wr. Stadtgärten

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?

Vanilla croissants
© www.ichkoche.at

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 Vollpension BakAdemy, where grandmas and grandpas reveal their best cookie recipes. 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.

Three elderly ladies behind the coffee house counter
© Mark Glassner

Original Viennese snow globe maker & snow globe museum

Schumanngasse 87
1170 Vienna
  • Vienna City Card

    • Your benefit with the Vienna City Card: -20%

      Additional information on the offer: 20% discount on the entire purchase in the manufactory and museum store

  • Opening times

    • Mo, 09:00 - 15:00
    • Tu, 09:00 - 15:00
    • We, 09:00 - 15:00
    • Th, 09:00 - 15:00

Hirschstetten Botanical Gardens (Blumengärten Hirschstetten)

Quadenstraße 15
1220 Vienna
  • 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).

Demel K. & K. Hofzuckerbäckerei

Kohlmarkt 14
1010 Vienna
  • Opening times

    • daily, 10:00 - 00:00
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • no steps (Doppelschwingtüre 115 cm wide)
    • Elevator available
      • Door 75 cm wide
    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.

Vollpension

Schleifmühlgasse 16
1040 Vienna
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