Christmas in austria

Old May 3rd, 2006, 06:39 PM
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Christmas in austria

is this a good time to visit Austria/
what is the weather like?
are there christmas events going on/
what would christmas day be like?
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 07:01 PM
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Austria around Christmas time is the best! It's what Christmas should be like. There are Christmas Markets in about every town. The weather is nice (20's at night mid to upper 30's during the day, night snow and no wind!). We go back every Christmas to Austria. I highly recommend it.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 07:11 PM
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I had the good fortune to spend a few days in Austria last December, and it was like being in a living Christmas card. I can't wait to return.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 07:27 PM
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I also agree that Christmas is wonderful in Europe (I used to live in Zurich), everything is so beautifully decorated, it is cold and often snowy, you can buy Glühwein from streetvendors while shopping in the Christmas markets. However, you need to be prepared for certain things.

Try to go a few days before Christmas to you can see some of the great Christmas markets, which tend to close around the 23 or early in the day on the 24th. If you arrive on Christmas Eve, you will not really get a chance to see them. As Vienna is such a musical city, check for musical events prior to Christmas, which are probably going to be more frequent than after Christmas.

You may not find much open in the way of restaurants on Christmas Day, the day after Christmas or New Year's Day. Hotel restaurants may be the only thing open, so be prepared to have Christmas dinner and/or New Year's Day dinner in a hotel. For that reason, you may want to consider renting an apartment with a kitchen so you can cook up your own feast (another reason to go early, so you can do some shopping).

The day after Christmas is usually a holiday as well, so shops may be closed, although some restaurants may be open. You may find smaller restaurants and shops will close for the entire week between Christmas and New Year's. Christmas is a huge holiday in Europe and many people take the entire week off.

Museums and most tourist sights other than churches will be closed on Christmas Day and possibly on New Years Day. Check the websites and tourists books.

Try to attend a church service, esp. a service at one of the cathedrals as they have choirs and organs, even if you don't understand the language, the spectacle and music is wonderful.

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Old May 4th, 2006, 04:10 AM
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other than vienna, what are good choices of cities to visit?

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Old May 4th, 2006, 09:27 AM
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I was in Munich and Salzburg for the Christmas markets last year. Salzburg is truly a special place to be.

Stay close to the Altstadt and you can walk virtually everywhere.

I am going back for my honeymoon this December and spending 5 nights in Salzburg, 2 in Berchtesgaden and three in Munich.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 07:50 PM
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It's not Austria, but Prague's Market in the Old Town square stays open after Christmas. The wares this year were a cut above those offered in the past - more handicrafts and traditional products.

Also not Austria, but we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day in Regensburg Germany in 2002 and 2005. Beautiful city, but when the stores closed at 1:00 pm on Christmas Eve, it was all closed for a few days. Even the hotel restaurants weren't serving. The church service in the Dom was amazing - the boy choir sounded like angels.

We have spent New Year's Eve in Austria: Salzburg in 2002 and in Vienna in 2005. Salzburg has quite a fun festive atmosphere, and Vienna is one huge street party! There was little snow in Europe in the winter of 2002, unusually warm, and the skiers were leaving the mountains and coming into the towns for something to do. This past winter was another story! Lots and lots of snow in Germany and Austria. It was absolutely beautiful. The lights were still up in the Austrian cities and in Prague through New Year's at least (we flew home each time on Jan. 2, so I don't know how long everything stays decorated).
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Old May 5th, 2006, 05:33 AM
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surely december is a great time to go to the cities (the mountains are good for skiing at this time); try Salzburg for a highly traditional christmas market, it is also where "Silent Night" was composed. Great atmosphere in december with mulled wine and snow! for more information see:
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Old May 27th, 2006, 08:51 AM
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Our family has spent two Christmases in Salzburg-- 1999 and 2003. It's a truly magical place to enjoy the holiday season, and we hope to return for another Christmas sometime soon. On both trips we spent several days in Oberammergau, Germany before driving to Salzburg. You could also spend a few days in Munich and enjoy the Christkindlemarkt. In 2003 we did a day trip over the mountain to Innsbruck.

The Salzburg Christkindlemarkts close soon after noon on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve is a special time, and our hotel hosts a special dinner. On Christmas Day we have gone for a long walk, enjoyed lunch at the Stadtkrug, and attended an evening concert.

I have photos posted here of our 2003 Christmas trip to the Bavarian Alps and Salzburg. (This album is titled "Christmas in a Postcard," which it truly was)

Old Jul 18th, 2006, 03:24 AM
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We are scheduled to spend Christmas in Vienna, then 3 days Salzburg and Lucerne for New Years. Any suggestions for the best Christmas Eve and Day Dinner options. Money is not a big issue.

Also, Vienna hotel choices:
Hotel Roemischer Kaiser (150euro)
Hotel Bristol (250)
Hotel Imperial (340)

The last two look nicer on the internet. Do you think there is that big a difference between all three. Was thinking of taking the Bristol based on price and amenities. Any suggetions? Thanks!
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 03:29 AM
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If money is not a big issue, you should take a look at the Palais Coburg. THE most luxurious hotel in Vienna at the moment. Of the other "palace" hotels, my favorite is the Grand, which close to both the Bristol and Imperial.
The Coburg's restaurant is closed on Christmas, but the staff would make sure to find you someplace to eat well.
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Old Jul 20th, 2006, 06:45 PM
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My family and I went to Prague the week before Christmas and the Christmas market in the Old Town Square was one of the best highlights of any of our trips to Europe. We were in Vienna for 3 days leading up to Christmas and really enjoyed the Xmas markets there along with all the pastries and local foods at the markets. If you go to Midnight Mass, most of the old cathedrals have no heat, so you can see people praying from the steam coming from there mouths. We went to Midnight Mass in Bratislava, Slovakia at St. Martins, 14th Century Cathedral. We drove to back into Austria to Salzburg and spent the days leading up to New Years there. It snowed so heavy most everyday but I was amazed how well the roads were maintained. There were two mountain passes that had closed from Austria into Germany because of an avalanche, but for most part driving is safe. We are going back to Prague this Christmas 2006 and to Vienna for a few days. Christmas will be the perfect time for you to go.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 04:56 PM
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Not sure if you're only interested in cities, but my family and I spent the week leading up to Christmas in Innsbruck several years ago, and it was fabulous. One bonus is that if you're at all interested in skiing etc, I remember the day we left (26th) there were TONS of people driving into the area we were leaving, so pre-Christmas and Christmas itself is a good time to be there. There was a beautiful Christmas market, Christmas concerts, etc; we took day trips to Oberammergau and Neuschwanstein castle (others I'm sure, but i was in high school and my memory is vague), and I remember one or 2 days before christmas we went up to a little village above Innsbruck and there was a lovely Christmas pageant parade. One of my best Christmas memories. I'm spending Christmas in Europe this year for the first time since then, and I'm hoping to come up with something to match it!

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