Vienna is possibly the most civilised city in Europe and one that takes Christmas very seriously. Vienna weekend breaks make for the perfect Christmas getaway, with an array seasonal markets, museums and coffee shops, providing cultural entertainment to keep any festive weekend break packed.
The Yuletide markets, which can be found all around the city, highlight the festive spirit, which takes over Vienna at this time of year. One of the best is in front of the Karlskirche (a baroque church south of Karlsplatz), where the smell of Glühwein wafts from many of the stalls and keeps shoppers warm while they choose between handmade ornaments, snow globes (which were first patented in Vienna), sweets and other presents for their friends and family. Another favourite food market is the Naschmarkt, which offers an incredible array of food from all around the globe and tickles the taste buds.
Anyone indulging in Vienna weekend breaks can’t miss a trip down the fairy-light lined streets and cobbled alley ways of the Austrian capital and its ‘Golden Quarter’. You should also take a peek inside the magnificent St Stephen’s Cathedral. And when you tire of walking and start to get hungry there is nothing like a traditional tafelspitz, a dish of boiled beef to satisfy your hunger, and why not try washing it down with a local Grüner Veltliner wine.
For art lovers, there is the Museums Quartier, which is home to the Leopold Museum that houses work by many of the most famous Austrian artists, including Klimt and Schiele. Or if opera is more your thing, the mid-19th century State Opera House offers some 300 performances each year, making it one of the busiest houses of opera and ballet in the world. The collections of the Kunsthistorisches museum are another must-see for lovers of classical art, with the collection of paintings by Rubens being especially impressive.
Finally, a trip to Vienna wouldn’t be complete without a trip to one of the many coffee houses. Why not try Café Sacher opposite the Vienna State Opera House, where you’ll find a very elegant post-opera crowd sipping hot chocolate, eating strudel and smoking cigarettes. The goulash also comes highly recommended and is the perfect dish to combat the winter chill this Christmas.