Featured image: Fairytale scenes at the Salzburg Christmas Market. Photo: SalzburgerLand Tourismus
Right now, Austria should be in full glow mode. Its snow-dusted streets festooned with glistening chandeliers, acres of twinkling lights, and thousands of visitors flocking to experience some of Europe’s most romantic Christmas markets. Just follow the scent of roasted chestnuts and baked apples …
But this is 2020, and with the season largely on ice we’re dreaming of a white Christmas instead. In fact, we’re picturing the scene in storybook detail — strolling the streets arm-in-arm as the lights start to sparkle, filling our baskets by the soft glow of lovingly decorated stalls, and cosying up with a mug of Glühwein (mulled wine) and fresh-baked gingerbread. Very merry indeed.
Want to dip into a winter wonderland? Here’s the three Austrian Christmas markets we’ve bucket-listed for 2021.
1. With festive treats around every twinkling corner, Salzburg’s Christmas markets are in the mix for their ambience and rich history, which dates all the way back to the Middle Ages. Look out for incredible Baroque architecture and real-life reindeer!
2. For a classic cool yule we can’t go past the charming alpine hub of Innsbruck and its magical Old Town Christmas Market where you can sample seasonal treat, Kiachln, hot doughnuts laced with sauerkraut!
3. For a legendary cloak of lights, see the capital Vienna (we’re talking chandeliers in the streets). The first switch is flicked at the beginning of November and builds to over two million LED lovelies in the shopping precincts.