Christmas markets in Vienna: part III.

The time has come, Christmas is around the corner, and everyone’s getting ready for the big holidays. I’m staying with my family over the holidays, and I’m really looking forward to some – hopefully – quiet time at home. Especially in the past few days, the city has been crazy – people on the hunt for their last Christmas gifts or just leisurely strolling around. Both can be pretty annoying to someone who has to go to meetings and zig-zag through the crowd. But I totally get it and I wish every single one a joyful day in Vienna.

This post will be part III and thus the final one of the mini-series on Viennese Christmas markets. I’ll show you two of my favourites, the Art Advent at Karlsplatz, and the Christmas Market Schloss Schönbrunn. If you’re interested in more – check out the previous parts here and here :)

Continue reading

Christmas market in Vienna: part II.

In my last post I already showed you the most popular and the most famous Christmas market of Vienna – the Viennese Christmas Market in front of the city hall. In this episode of the mini series of Christmas markets in Vienna I will show you two other markets of Vienna. One is almost equally popular to the one in front of the city hall but smaller and more romantic – the Christmas market at Spittelberg. And the second is even smaller, but situated right between two grand, old buildings (museums to be precise) – the Christmas Village Maria-Theresien-Platz.

vienna_christmas-market_weihnachtsdorf_6

Christmas market at Spittelberg

The Spittelberg Christmas market has a very unique atmosphere because it is set in the charming Biedermeier lanes of the 7th district. The market has an arts and crafts focus, and you can buy many delicious treats from there which are sometimes sold by the local cafés. And of course, you’ll also find your mulled wine and punch there!

This market is definitely one of my favourite ones. Because of the lanes it exudes a romantic feeling, and I just love walking through the streets while looking at all the things that are offered there and stopping for a bite to eat once in a while. Unfortunately, the narrow lanes are prone to be quite crowded as well, especially on weekends, so I actually hardly ever go to this one.

vienna_christmas-markets_spittelberg_street_lane

vienna_christmas-markets_spittelberg_street

vienna_christmas-markets_spittelberg_street_door

 

vienna_christmas-market_spittelberg_8

 

vienna_christmas-markets_spittelberg_stall_deco

vienna_christmas-market_spittelberg_4


Where to find it
At the Spittelberg, in the 7th district of Vienna

Opening times
Mon–Thu 14:00–21:00 | Fri 14:00–21:30 | Sat 10:00–9:30 | Sun 10:00–21:00

Duration
November 17 until December 23

For more information – check the website


Christmas Village Maria-Theresien-Platz

This market at the Maria-Theresien-Platz is one out of four Christmas Villages that can be found in other locations in Vienna as well. There’s the usual Christmas market knick knack that you’ll find at any other market, so the Christmas Village isn’t that special when it comes to market stalls. However, the location of the village make the market especially unique in my opinion.

This cosy little village (in German it’s Weihnachtsdorf) is situated in an imperial setting right between the museum of art history and the museum of natural history, and you’ll also get a glimpse of the Hofburg imperial palace through the Äußere Burgtor on the Ring side (the Ring is an important street in Vienna), and at the Museums Quarter on the other. So the visitors of this little village are surrounded by some great pieces of architecture.

vienna_christmas-market_weihnachtsdorf_1

vienna_christmas-market_weihnachtsdorf_2

vienna_christmas-market_weihnachtsdorf_3

vienna_christmas-market_weihnachtsdorf_4

vienna_christmas-market_weihnachtsdorf_5

 

vienna_christmas-market_weihnachtsdorf_7


Where to find it
At the Maria-Theresien-Platz between the KHM & NHM (museums of art history & natural history)

Opening times
Sun–Thu 11:00–21:00 | Fri–Sat 11:00–22:00 | special opening times December 24–26

Duration
November 22 until December 26

For more information – check the website

There will also be a Silvesterdorf there from December 27–31! Check here fore more information

Christmas markets in Vienna: part I.

It’s that wonderful time of the year again: Christmas time! I’ve been in a very Christmassy, festive spirit for quite some time now, and it’s the first time in 3 years that I can actually enjoy the Christmas spirit here in Vienna. So I took my chances and went straight to all of the bigger Christmas markets, or Christkindlmärkte in German, already shortly after they opened at the end of November.

So for the sake of this year’s Christmas spirits I will show you some of the Christmas markets of Vienna. The first episode of this mini series brings us to one of the classics when it comes to Christmas markets in Vienna: the Viennese Christmas Dream in front of the City Hall.

vienna_christmas-market_rathausplatz_sign

Viennese Christmas Dream

The Christmas market at the Rathausplatz in front of the City Hall, also called Viennese Christmas Dream, is probably the biggest one in Vienna, and also the one with the most kitsch. The surrounding of the market – the trees and the park – are lavishly decorated, and there is even some kind of fun fair at one part of the park and an ice skating rink at the other.

vienna_christmas-market_rathausplatz_city-hall

vienna_christmas-market_rathausplatz_evening-5

vienna_christmas-market_rathausplatz_evening-2

You’ll find all sorts of stalls there where you can buy the typical like wooden kids toys, beeswax candles, knitwear, Christmas tree decorations, and all other sort of knick knack. There are plenty of food stalls, and there are many different varieties of punch and mulled wine.

vienna_christmas-market_rathausplatz_evening

 

 

vienna_christmas-market_rathausplatz_evening-4

This market is usually bustling with people (mostly tourists), and trying to find your way through the market can be a dreadful undertaking, especially during the weekend.

vienna_christmas-market_rathausplatz_decoration_1

vienna_christmas-market_rathausplatz_decoration_2

vienna_christmas-market_rathausplatz_people

With this one I definitely have a love-hate relationship. I mostly avoid this one, as it’s just too busy with people, and the trade stalls don’t attract me that much. However, I like walking or driving past it, the gloomy looking city hall with the beautiful lights of the market are looking really beautiful. And in general, I just like the scenery with all the grand, old buildings located next to the market. So there’s definitely always something to look at, be it the bits and bobs on the stalls, the beautiful architecture, or the many people walking around. It never gets boring.

vienna_christmas-market_rathausplatz_sign_frohe-weihnachten


Where to find it
Directly in front of the City Hall on the Rathausplatz

Opening times
Sun–Thu 10:00–9:30 | Fri–Sat 10:00–22:00 | special opening times on December 24 & 25!

Duration
17th November to 26th December 2017

For more information – check the website

Christmas feeling in Moscow.

Christmas and especially the advent season has become my favourite time of the year. So I was really looking forward to experiencing this in Moscow.

Russians do not celebrate Christmas on the 24th or 25th of December but on January 6th and 7th. This is due to their Orthodox religion and the Julian calendar. Religious people start a fasting period 40 days before Christmas in which they don’t consume any animal products such as meat, eggs or dairy products.

Novy God (Новый Год) – New Year – is the New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebration, which represents the start of their Christmas celebrations. January 1st involves a lot of joyous entertainment, fireworks, large meals and other festivities. It combines secular traditions with the Christian Orthodox Christmastide customs. Russians usually take the week between New Year and Christmas off – which they call the Новогодние каникулы “New Year’s holidays”.

Grandfather Frost – Дед Мороз / Ded Moroz – is their version of Santa; he brings the presents to children on New Year’s morning. He is accompanied by Snegurochka (Снегурочка), who is his granddaughter and helper. As opposed to wearing robes in red, they wear blue and silver. As a result of the Russian Revolution, Christmas traditions were discouraged due to being ‘bourgeois and religious’. Even Ded Moroz was considered to be evil. Regardless of that, Ded Moroz took his form during the Soviet era and became the main symbol of the New Year’s holiday which replaced Christmas.

Christmas_Moscow_daylight_1733.jpg

Even though Christmas is celebrated later and not in December, Moscow started to look very Christmassy very early on. Especially the shopping centres were full of decorations. Everything was very pompous and full of Christmas knick-knack. The early fall of snow at the end of October was the icing on the cake. It made everything look like a winter wonderland and was perfect for the season. I am not used to having this much snow so early and for such a long time (we had snow almost throughout November and December).

christmas_shopping-centre

Red Square Christmas market during the day

The most beautiful and most christmassy place in Moscow was definitely the Red Square. In mid-November they started setting up the market and a small ice rink. The market offered the usual touristy stuff such as matryoshkas, but they also had food such as blinys and mulled wine there. Oh and they also had a few other attractions such as a merry-go-round. My sister and I insisted on going on one during the day, and together with Madlene I tried another one in the evening. Very exciting!

christmas_moscow_daylight_8665

Christmas_Moscow_daylight_1726.jpg

christmas_moscow_daylight_1765

christmas_moscow_daylight_1775

christmas_moscow_daylight_1774

christmas_moscow_daylight_1778

christmas_moscow_daylight_8640

christmas_moscow_daylight_8658

christmas_moscow_daylight_8694

christmas_moscow_daylight_8690

christmas_moscow_daylight_8739

Saying goodbye in the evening

As I wasn’t spending Christmas in Moscow my friends and I decided to go to the Red Square shortly before I left the country. Even though I had the flu we spent a few hours enjoying the beautiful lights and Christmas decorations.

christmas_moscow_evening_9168

christmas_moscow_evening_9191

christmas_moscow_evening_9188

christmas_moscow_evening_8928

christmas_moscow_evening_8939

christmas_moscow_evening_8958

christmas_moscow_evening_8972

Bliny in the making

christmas_moscow_evening_9182

christmas_moscow_evening_9206

christmas_moscow_evening_9154

christmas_moscow_evening_9205

 

Adventure in Germany: Hamburg.

Last week I went to Germany to have a little Erasmus-reunion with an Australian and a German friend. One of my friends from my exchange semester got the opportunity to work in Germany for a few weeks and another friend is living in Germany, so we all decided to meet up in Berlin. Carina has also never been there, so she came along as well :) As the best way for us to go to Berlin was by taking a bus via Hamburg, Carina and I stayed in Hamburg for a couple of days before meeting the rest of the gang in Berlin.

Our adventure started off with a >1h delay of our bus in Copenhagen. It was early in the morning and we had to wait in the cold outside. Yay. We could have gotten coffee instead, but you never know… However, we safely arrived in Hamburg and after checking-in at our hostel, we went straight to the Christmas markets and strolled around in the city centre.

IMG_9214

Christmas market at Rathausplatz

IMG_9219

IMG_9259

IMG_9253

Christmas market at Jungfernstieg

You could see all the people enjoying themselves. The markets were really really beautiful, even though a creepy Santa was apparently reading stories in a sledge over our heads (it sounded more like he was telling scary stories, but whatever). The whole city was decorated in Christmas lights (sometimes they went a little bit overboard with them though).

IMG_9269

Speicherstadt

12355274_10204536668091461_566384389_n

Pure excitement (or not) *

On the second day we explored the city itself. We spent a lot of time wandering around in the HafenCity quarter, especially in the Speicherstadt. This warehouse district is the largest one in the world, and has quite recently been awarded as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

IMG_9279IMG_9274

IMG_9292

After spending a lot of time in this district, we walked along the river to get to the Landungsbrücken (St.Pauli Piers), a landing place in the port of Hamburg. However, we were rather unimpressed by the buildings of the Landungsbrücken :D The port itself was very impressive, though.

IMG_9290

IMG_9296

Landungsbrücken

IMG_3100

As we’ve been walking around for hours we were pretty hungry and cold, so we sat down in a cafe and had a cup of hot chocolate and a delicious bagel. Oh how I’ve missed this. Just sitting in a good bakery, with a delicious sandwich (in my case a bagel) with cheese, salad, cucumber and pumpkin seeds. Besides, finally being able to know how much something costs was great. I am still not accustomed to the different currency in Copenhagen and can never tell if something is ridiculously overpriced or just Copenhagen-expensive :D

IMG_9299

Jungfernstieg

IMG_9305

On the Lombardsbrücke

IMG_9323

Christmas tree!

After the break we walked around for a bit, went across the Lombardsbrücke, where we had a nice view over the Jungfernstieg and Hamburg in general, we did a little bit of Christmas shopping and had Raclettebrot/Bratwurst & Heidelbeerglühwein (Blueberry Mulled Wine) at the Christmas market at the Rathausplatz.

We also went to the Christmas market at St.Pauli and had a look at the Reeperbahn, but as it was a Wednesday night, there wasn’t much going on there :D

IMG_3125

IMG_3123

IMG_3117

Decoration at the main train station

On our last day in Hamburg, we only had breakfast at an Italian place on Mönckebergstraße. As both Carina and I were not feeling very good, we didn’t do much else than going shopping for a bit (everything’s so much cheaper in Germany!). The only exciting thing we did that day was trying Crêpe with Kinderschokolade. Very interesting choice. Later in the afternoon we took a bus to Berlin… So stay tuned, you’ll read more about the Berlin adventure in the next blogpost ;)

IMG_9329

Hamburg was a lovely city, too bad we could only spend 2.5 days there. We were amazed by all the Christmas lights, the whole place was just full of them. As you’ve read above, we spent a lot of time exploring various Christmas markets. I really felt the Christmas spirit there and can’t wait for Christmas to arrive :)

IMG_9331

* Credits: Carina Wiesinger

Christmas spirit in Copenhagen. or not.

It’s that time of the year again where Christmas markets are open!! Finally! My friends and I decided to go to a few Christmas markets in town. Unfortunately, we picked the wrong time/day as it was snowing and raining at the same time and it was quite windy as well. Very wet, very cold. However, we got to try Glögg for the first time and we could have a look at various markets.

IMG_3002

Christmas trees!

IMG_2993

12309155_10204497058181238_2002988547_n

Group picture in front of the Hotel d’Angleterre

IMG_2999

Christmas decoration in the city centre

IMG_3005

Gløgg = mulled wine

The markets were really beautiful, the Glögg was just like our Austrian mulled wine; however, they also put raisins and almonds in it. It tasted good, though :D As we were staying inside of one of the huts (I guess it was a German stand), we got to listen to very beautiful songs from Helene Fischer (note the sarcasm). They also played a lot of typical Apres Ski hits :D Not very christmassy, but it was funny. We decided to go home after one hour due to the cold and our wet clothes. I hope that the weather will be slightly better next time! :D

12312430_10204497058581248_827578848_n

And another group picture with perfect lightning


For a long time I’ve wanted to go to “Det Kongelige Bibliotek” (Royal Library) and I have only seen it a few times from my side of the town. One day I was trying to be productive and had a look at it. Finally. The library is located on Slotsholmen and is (with 35.1 million items) the largest library of the Nordic countries.

It turned out to be rather unproductive after all as I only managed to read a couple of pages for one of my courses :D Also, I did not really see the whole building as I only had a closer look at the Black Diamond (waterfront extension to the old building). The place is different than the usual study places that I go to in Copenhagen and I got to see a very beautiful building (which reminded me a bit of the library from my university in Vienna).


Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t really improved since (with that I mean no beautiful snow) and it’s gone back to being just cold, windy and rainy. However, some days were quite nice and I had to take advantage of it and went out for a long stroll around my neighbourhood.

IMG_3036

View at Christianshavn

IMG_3028

View at Amager

IMG_3039

Bird.

IMG_3034

Norwegian church on Amager

IMG_3049

Beautiful Christianshavn

IMG_3051