httime view of brightly illuminated Schloss Schönbrunn with its Christmas market in the foreground (c) photo Vienna Tourism / Christian Stemper

Christmas Markets and Winter Magic

5 tips from Schlosshotels for a magical Christmas season

The enchantment of the chilliest season

The scents of cinnamon and mulled wine waft through the streets, sparkling lights swathe the cities in festive radiance, and the anticipation of Christmas increases with each day. As temperatures fall and the first snowflakes gently dance from the sky, a special kind of magic awakens around our historic properties in both city and countryside. And nothing embodies this charm better than the atmospheric Christmas markets at our members in Germany, Austria, and Italy. In this blog post, we take you on a journey to some of the most enchanting Christmas markets around the Schlosshotels. Then, it's off to snowy adventures. Welcome to the world of winter magic and festive joy!

Karlskirche in Vienna with the Advent market in the foreground (c) photo Österreich Werbung / Harald Eisenberger
Nighttime view of the brightly lit-up Christkindlmarkt on the Vienna Rathausplatz with city hall in the background (c) photo Wien Tourismus / Christian Stemper

1. Advent Magic in Vienna and Salzburg

Vienna, Vienna, you alone … as Rudolf Sieczynski once sang about the Austrian capital. And strolling through Vienna's streets during Advent, one finds oneself moving from one Christmas dream to the next. Few other cities boast such a diverse array of Christmas markets as Vienna. Across the city, our members Altstadt Vienna, Hotel König von Ungarn and the Grand Suite at Schloss Schönbrunn serves as the perfect temporary home-away-from-home. From these Schlosshotels, you can immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of the markets and - after an eventful day - find the peace you crave within historic walls.

Christmas markets you shouldn't miss:

The Classic - Vienna Christkindlmarkt on Rathausplatz Square
The Rathausplatz transforms into a Christmas fairyland. A sparkling Christmas tree and numerous stalls selling handicrafts, culinary delights, and mulled wine create a fairy-tale atmosphere.

The Imperial - Christmas Market at Schönbrunn Palace
This market, in the unparalleled setting of Schloss Schönbrunn, is one of the most festive in all of Vienna. It offers artistically handcrafted products, musical performances, and a colorful supporting program.

The Alternative - Christmas Market on the Spittelberg
This charming market, nestled in the narrow lanes of the Spittelberg in Vienna's 7th District, has been the city's best-kept secret for years when it comes to a Christmas market away from the thronging masses. Here, the Viennese public feels particularly at home, reveling in the intimate atmosphere.

Other Viennese Christmas & Christkindl Markets
Christmas Village at campus of the University of Vienna - Christmas Market on Maria Theresien Platz - Belvedere Christmas Market - Art Advent Market on Karlsplatz Square - Christmas Village on the Stephansplatz

Evening mood at Schloss Hellbrunn with the Advent market in the foreground (c) photo Hellbrunner Adventzauber / R. Zauner

Winter Wonderland Salzburg

When the contemplative Christmas season begins in Salzburg, the city turns into a true winter fairytale. The Christmas markets in Salzburg are diverse and enchanting, transporting you to a world full of festive joy and tradition.

Christmas Markets in Salzburg

The historic Salzburger Christkindlmarkt on Cathedral Square is undoubtedly one of the highlights. As one of the oldest and most beautiful Christmas markets in the world, with roots dating back to the 15th century, it offers a unique opportunity to experience this festive tradition in person. A particular favorite of the locals is the charming Christmas market on Mirabellplatz. Local handicrafts and seasonal delicacies can be enjoyed whilst taking in the fabulous views of the city below during Salzburg Fortress Advent. Incidentally, the best way to reach Salzburg's city center from Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron is by bus or on foot.

Hellbrunn Advent Magic just outside Salzburg

South of the city of Salzburg, Hellbrunn Advent Magic awaits you on the grounds of Hellbrunn Palace. Enjoy the atmospheric ambiance, with the lights of Advent illuminating the courtyard. For comfortable accommodations, the Schlosswirt zu Anif is your perfect choice.

Mattsee Advent

Just half an hour from Salzburg, Mattsee Advent Magic greets you on picturesque Lake Mattsee. Saunter through the market square, enjoy the pre-Christmas atmosphere in the inns, at the castle, and along the lakeside promenade. Right on the lake is Schlosshotel Iglhauser, an ideal place to stop by after your Advent stroll. Allow the fairytale mood to enchant you and experience the festive season to its fullest.

Nighttime view of the brightly lit Christmas market in Heidelberg (c) photo Heidelberg Marketing / Thorsten Assfalg

2. Advent in Heidelberg

Discover the magic of the pre-Christmas season while strolling through the picturesque lanes of Heidelberg. The Heidelberg Christmas Market, one of the most beautiful in Germany, extends across five squares and enchants visitors with its unique atmosphere. Amid the scent of mulled wine and festive gift stalls, you can even add a sporty note by visiting the beautiful ice rink on Karlsplatz.
In this same picturesque setting, you will find our Schlosshotel "Das Lamm". With its central yet quiet location, it offers eleven inviting guest rooms and one suite, promising the utmost in comfort and a refined ambiance. A perfect retreat indeed, after a day full of pre-Christmas discoveries.

3. Christmas Magic in South Tyrol

Advent in Merano

When we write about Merano here at Schlosshotels, it's usually in warmer seasons. We sing the praises of the fabulous interplay of palms and mountain panoramas, lose ourselves in daydreams about the outdoor pool of our Schlosshotel Castel Rundegg and swear by the centuries-old tradition of “summer retreats”. But frankly, Merano is well worth a trip at any time of the year. Especially when the magic of winter arrives. The first snow settles on the surrounding peaks, thousands of lights decorate the city, and the traditional huts at the Christkindlmarkt (in German and Italian) on the Kur Promenade invite you to indulge in a feast for the senses. Discover a Christmas market in a setting that combines Mediterranean flair with alpine beauty.

Advent in Innichen

In the enchanting setting of Innichen, you'll find a Christmas market (in German and Italian) unparalleled in its dedication to tradition and attention to detail. Here, you are able to immerse yourself in a fairytale past, admire handicrafts, and enjoy traditional delicacies. In the midst of the city's Advent magic lies our member, the Orso Grigio. Besides an ideal location for experiencing this special Christmas atmosphere, the hotel also features a panoramic rooftop sauna to warm your cockles as needed. With the in-house delicatessen "Flora Gourmet" and weekly wine tastings in the cellar of hotel owner and Schlosshotels President Franz Ladinser, culinary enthusiasts are certain to be thoroughly delighted. Those of you who enjoy peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle will find the perfect oasis for cozy days at Parkhotel Sole Paradiso, located just outside the town center.

Skiers in open terrain in St. Anton am Arlberg (c) photo Tirol Werbung / Josef Mallaun

4. Skiing on the Arlberg

St. Anton, together with St. Christoph, Lech, Zürs, Warth, Stuben, and Schröcken, forms the largest contiguous ski area in Austria, with more than 300 kilometers of pistes and 200 kilometers of freeride terrain. The breathtaking mountain landscapes are a paradise for winter sports enthusiasts and nature lovers. The gateway to the vast world of the Arlberg ski area is located directly behind our member, the Bergschlössl. With its unique location right by the slopes and the gondola station, this Schlosshotel is the perfect place for an active winter holiday. This alpine jewel combines traditional elegance with contemporary comforts and feels more like a private chalet than a hotel. Its welcoming and private atmosphere delights guests from all over the world, who reside in 8 lovingly designed rooms.

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Two skiers enjoying sunset on the Nassfeld (c) photo Nassfeld / Martin Lugger

5. Skiing on the Nassfeld

High above the valleys, in the tri-border area spanning Carinthia, Friuli, and Slovenia, a special winter holiday is just waiting to be discovered. Hotel Schloss Lerchenhof opens its doors to all skiing enthusiasts wanting to explore this magical region. The day begins with a lavish breakfast, where regional products provide the perfect sustenance for your adventures to come. Then it's off to the slopes of the Nassfeld, Carinthia's largest ski area. With 110 kilometers of pistes and 30 modern lifts, it offers first-class skiing enjoyment and breathtaking mountain scenery that is second to none. Reliable snow conditions and perfectly groomed slopes ensure an incomparably glorious skiing experience. Enjoy the sunshine and broad runs right on the Italian border. After exhilaration comes relaxation. As evening falls, the “lord of the castle” and junior owner Johann Steinwender delights guests with an array of culinary highlights from his all-natural Slow Food kitchen.

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Nighttime view of illuminated Landhaus Erna with floodlit outdoor pool, on the estate of Landgasthof Linde in Stumm, Zillertal (c) photo Thomas Schrott, Landgasthof Linde in Stumm im Zillertal
Room “Lavender” in Landhaus Erna at Landgasthof Linde (c) photo Thomas Schrott

And to take with you: Extraordinary Hospitality in Zillertal

New from Gasthof Linde

Nestled in the idyllic mountain world of Zillertal, far removed from today’s constantly bustling times, stands the Landgasthof Linde - a place full of history, cultivated hospitality, and familial friendliness. The Linde charms with its unique atmosphere and a symbiosis of its rich 500-year-old history. Here, in the heart of Stumm, one of the last truly original places in Zillertal, lies a small oasis of relaxation and regeneration.

The new Linde

Located away from the ordinary, Landgasthof Linde offers an unparalleled experience. Overall, the philosophy of "less is more" is clearly reflected here, never sacrificing individuality, familial atmosphere, or Tyrolean charm. The completely new Landhaus Erna welcomes all guests with two lovingly designed rooms and four exquisite suites. The Linden-SPA, likewise new, with a heated garden pool and two saunas, guarantees relaxing moments of pure escape.

The new kitchen: From Senior to Junior

In the heart of the Linde, a culinary masterpiece is unfolding. Here, traditional Tyrolean recipes stand the test of time through innovative interpretations, delighting gourmets and connoisseurs alike. Under the leadership of junior owner, Georg Ebster, the young kitchen team has taken over the reins of the culinary line established by senior owner Hannes Ebster. Together, they thrill guests with their creativity, sophisticated compositions, and masterful craftsmanship. Quality and taste are always at the forefront. At the Linde, you are able to experience the essence of “Tyrol” in an exciting reinvention of tradition.


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