Christmas markets in the AustrianTirol

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The Christmas market in Innsbruck's main shopping area

The Christmas market in Innsbruck’s main shopping area

Although Christmas markets are traditionally linked with Germany, Austria also celebrates Christmas with markets that concentrate on local produce, crafts and traditions. None of this is more apparent than in the Tyrol which manages to have snow on hand to the markets a real Christmassy feel.

Here are a few of the markets that you can visit in the run up to the big day.

Lienz Christmas Market, 27th November – 24th December 2015

One of the oldest Christmas Markets in Tirol, takes place in Lienz, the capital of OstTirol (East Tirol). Situated in front of the historic Liebburg Castle, the main square plays host to the colourful and decorated stalls, offering everything from intricate decorations and traditional handicrafts to mulled wine and festive delicacies. Lienz Christmas Market also lays on a host of festive events, which range from nativity scene exhibits and craft sessions, to folk stories and workshops focusing on regional traditions. At 18:30 each evening in Liebburg Castle, a new advent window and piece of artwork is revealed by the clock in front of the Town Hall.

Old Town Christmas Market, Golden Roof, Innsbruck 15th November – 23rd December 2015

Beneath the city’s famous Golden Roof, with the snow-dusted Nordkette mountains as a backdrop, the Old Town is the most well-known market. The city stages a total of five Christmas Markets each with a different take and unique appeal. With over 60 stalls, one of the largest takes place at the Marktplatz, right next to the River Inn. Inspired by the stories of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson, you will find figures of well-known fairy tales hanging in the surrounding alleyways, such as Little Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty.

The Christmas Market on Innsbruck’s main shopping street offers a more contemporary and modern take. The Maria-Theresien Strasse provides festive lights, glass and crystal and over 30 stalls offering a range of international Christmas products.

The Christmas Market on the Hungerburg takes place in one of the more unusual locations. From the city centre take the Hungerburg funicular up the mountain to Innsbruck’s highest market and enjoy panoramic views over the city. The most recent addition is the Christmas Market at Wiltener Platzl which is known as the artistic market, with a display of hand-made crafts and festive delicacies from days gone past.

Seefeld Christmas Market – 27th November 2015 – 6th January 2016

The ski resort of Seefeld, high in the mountains, is one of the atmospheric resorts during the festive period, with a magical Christmas market filling the pedestrianised square. Offering some of the most picturesque skiing in Austria, the attractive village of Seefeld boasts an enviable position in the heart of the Tirol, just half an hour from Innsbruck airport. One of the features is a torch-lit chapel trail in neighbouring Leutasch and walking at night with lanterns whilst listening to traditional folk tales and songs.

Rattenberg Christmas Market – 27th November – 20th December 2015 

The medieval and glass-making town of Rattenberg, located at the entrance to the Alpbach Valley, harks back to a time of peace and tranquillity. Find Christmas tree decorations and fine examples of decorative handicraft, as well as sample some traditional fare such as Kiachln and Glühwein’

making Prugeltorte

making Prugeltorte

Christmas Market at Kufstein Fortress – 27th November – 23rd December 2015

The Christmas Market in Kufstein takes place in two locations with festivities in the town centre and also up in the Kufstein Fortress. There’s a programme of events to join in, including a guided forest walk  to the old Thierberg chapel with its beautiful nativity scene or, at the Kufstein Fortress, learn how the  traditional “Prügeltorte” is baked over an open fire and have a go yourself.

For more about the Tyrol, click here.


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