From mid-November each year, Innsbruck transforms into a colourful and magical festive world. The city’s atmospheric Christmas markets set up at six separate sites, each with a unique character. More than 70 stalls sell traditional products and create an authentic ambience for visitors and locals to enjoy.
Christmas Market, Golden Roof
Beneath Innsbruck’s famous Golden Roof, the city’s Old Town hosts a festive market with a medieval setting. An eclectic array of stalls fill the market square, the snow-capped Nordkette mountains provide the perfect winter backdrop and an impressive Christmas tree makes a striking centrepiece. For musical accompaniment, visit from 5pm when the band, dressed in traditional costume, perform Christmas tunes from the balcony of the Golden Roof.
Tip for families: A favourite amongst children and big kids alike, the alleyways surrounding Innsbruck’s Old Town market are lined with giants and familiar characters from the Grimms’ Fairy Tales. Look up to see them waving at you from the windows overlooking the Old Town and Christmas Market.
Tip for foodies: Don’t miss out Tirol’s authentic Kiachl pastries – buy them at the market stalls near Maria-Theresa Street.
Christmas Market, Innsbruck Market Place
This eclectic Christmas market is packed with traditional Tirol crafts as well as more exotic items from around the world. Expect exciting lighting and sparkling trees at this modern market, with the contemporary Swarovski crystal tree a focal point – at more than 13-metres tall, this eye-catching centrepiece is a real highlight.
Tip for families: Hop on a horse, take a seat in a carriage or ride an elephant – the nostalgic carousel at Innsbruck market place promises fun for the whole family. Animal-lovers have even more to look forward to, with goats, guinea pigs and donkeys in the petting zoo, as well as guided rides in the Pony Arena from 11am until 9pm.
Nativity figurines: Hand-carved Nativity figurines are another enticing feature at this market – unique and ornate sculptures are displayed by Rat Mountain’s Egger wood carving company.
Christmas Market, Maria-Theresa Street (Maria-Theresien-Strasse)
Balance a busy shopping day with traditional Christmas treats at Maria-Theresa Street. Surrounded by a diversity of shops and department stores, the smell of hot chestnuts, mulled wine and seasonal punch can be guaranteed to entice you away from the checkouts and into this popular market on Innsbruck’s main street.
Extra-special lights: Stunning lighting and a unique design make give this Christmas market a unique atmosphere. Scattered throughout Maria-Theresa street, sparkling trees bring the feel of a winter forest into the city and, in the centre of the market stalls, an oversized and brightly-lit rock crystal shines as a symbol of Innsbruck’s mountain Christmas.
Tip for foodies: Taste the best chestnuts this Christmas. Buy them piping hot, peel off the shell and enjoy the warming taste of winter – simply delicious.
Hungerburg Christmas Market
An authentic Christmas atmosphere with astounding winter scenery, this Christmas market’s privileged position on the Hungerburg plateau gives breath-taking views of Innsbruck and the surrounding peaks. Visit at dusk to warm up with mulled wine and chestnuts, peruse the souvenirs and culinary delights, and see the city lights twinkling below. At 5 o’clock in the evening, a wind quartet adds to the atmosphere with a repertoire of Christmas tunes.
Arriving via the Hungerburgbahn: Travelling to Hungerburg market is an experience in itself, with the Hungerburgbahn funicular railway whizzing passengers through the city and up into the mountains. Designed by star architect Zaha Hadid, the Hungerburgbahn departs from Congress Innsbruck, stopping twice before reaching the station at Hungerburg.
Detour to 1905m: If the snow hasn’t yet extended to the Hungerburg (860m above sealevel), stay on the train to Seegrube station where, at 1905m above sea level, magical winter landscapes are guaranteed and the views are unparalleled.
Opening times: Hungerberg Christmas market opens on Advent weekends from Friday to Sunday (12pm -7pm).
Christmas market at Franziskanerplatz (Franciscan Square), Innsbruck
This intimate and atmospheric Christmas market in Innsbruck’s Franciscan Square is lesser known by visitors but is a real local gem. A Christmas flea market of twelve stalls sets up each weekend in the monastery cellar and is a favourite amongst antique dealers.
Tip for cold days: An excellent cold weather option, stoves are lit when the temperature drops below freezing and the seats in the monastery cellar are covered with skins and blankets, so you can look forward to a warm seat while you sip your mulled wine.
Christmas market Wiltener Platz (Wiltener Place), Innsbruck
For a quiet and contemplative Christmas escape, the Christmas market at Wiltener Place is hard to beat. Expect a village-like atmosphere, with the square lit by lanterns and flickering candles to create an authentic advent atmosphere. Smell fragrant apple punch, taste spiced Christmas cookies and shop for traditional Tirol crafts, with gentle music accompaniment – Christmas bliss.
Top tip: Opened in 2013, the small Anpruggen Christmas market in the colourful streets of St Nicholas – Innsbruck’s oldest district – is a new local favourite.