6 dream cities for Advent

With handicrafts, cultural events and culinary delights, Advent lasts too short a time in the cities of Lower Austria.

Whether the Christmas markets, pop-up stands, wine cellar alleys or the natural scenery, thermal baths and stage shows, there is always a full and varied program of events at Lower Austria’s cities during the Advent season. Get into the Christmas spirit!

1. Advent charm in Krems

Whether wine or art, Krems can give you plenty of both. During the Advent season, the medieval alleys of the old town shine with Christmas lights and market stalls, together with music from brass ensembles and horse-drawn carriage rides to create a pleasant festive atmosphere. The Advent market is held in the magnificent nave of the Dominican Church, where you can find lovely handicrafts. Charity is not neglected here either, with a traditional decorated Christmas tree and also an Advent market in the Krems Schlüsselamt. You can expect the opportunity to enjoy a glass of regular or mulled wine there, too. If you are in the mood to exercise, the best way is to take a winter hike from Krems to Dürnstein on the Wachau World Heritage Trail 01. When you arrive at your destination, yet another Christmas market awaits you at the Wachau Dürnstein Castle Advent. Tip: There is a special train leaving on 10 December out of Vienna to the Wachau Advent.

Near Krems: Visit the little and quite cozy Advent market in the Jaidhof Castle and its courtyard.

2. Baden Enchantment FAIR

Baden is charming and the Enchantment FAIR is dazzling, too. Advent in the Park starts on 18 November and sustainability is once again this Christmas market’s theme. It covers both the regional cuisine and the effort to reduce waste, as well as the products at the pop-up huts of rotating exhibitors. The Baden Roman Baths promises rest and recreation during the Advent season, too. The spa and saunas feature 14 healing springs and chances to relax in water, such as in the outdoor sulfur pool, to take away any Christmas stress you may have. A romantic winter walk along the Vienna Woods History Trail (Stage 1) also relieves the pressure quite well. From Baden, it winds through the Helenental to Alland.

3. St. Pölten Advent steeped in tradition

The capital of Lower Austria knows how to keep the Christmas spirit throughout Advent. The St. Pölten Christmas Market at the city hall invites you to enjoy down-home culinary delights and to do some shopping, too. Live performances and puppet theater shows are also planned. Concerts and theater performances in the city promise a carefree evening for the entire family such as Somebody’s knocking on Wanja’s door tonight (Es klopft bei Wanja in der Nacht) at the Festspielhaus or Pippi Longstocking at the Landestheater.
Would you rather go somewhere else in the region? How about taking a Christmas trip on the Mariazellbahn train? Depending on the date you come, you might meet St. Nicholas (accompanied by Krampus) or Kris Kringle on the Ötscherbär Train. Look out the window of the Advent Panorama Coach at the winter landscape as you drink mulled wine and enjoy fried dough pastries.

4. Christmas season in Wiener Neustadt

No less than four Advent markets on the four Advent weekends are presented at the New Wiener Neustadt Advent. They include music, entertainment for children and charity events at different locations such as the Christmas market at Advent am Dom (Advent at the Cathedral). It is also not too far from the Christkindl market at Johannesbach Gorge. Enjoy the magic of Advent among the rocks, forest and water of the gorge, with a Christmas tree more than 20 meters high, a nativity scene, handicrafts displayed in a wooden barn, a blacksmith exhibition and certainly traditional food and drink, all to make for an enchanting Advent.

Tip: Kick back and take a leisurely hike in the fresh air, like on the trail from Katzelsdorf Castle to Eichbüchl.

5. Time to contemplate in Retz

The Retz Advent Market takes you above and below ground on the 3rd and 4th of December. Both the main square and the underground Retzer Erlebniskeller will put you in the Christmas spirit. Punch, chestnut stands and traditional food contribute to the fun, along with a gift boutique, a nativity scene and Advent café. Especially on 2 December, even a long night of shopping will only take a few euros from your pocket. The Retz wine cellar trail is well-recommended for everybody that enjoys the Weinviertel’s press houses and vineyards.  Anybody wishing to travel a little further afield can have fun at the Advent market at Europe’s longest lane of wine cellars in Hadres, not at all far away and quite a festive occasion, too!  

6. Advent joy at Weitra

Mark your calendar for Weitra Advent Days on the 26th and 27th of November. The Christmas market has everything your heart desires in the old town, at the town hall, on the church square and even in the castle. You can also visit hut villages for regional handicrafts right in the huts. This winter, experience the joy of cuddling and petting animals not far from Weitra, something not to be skipped. How about hiking with an alpaca at Sonnseitnhof or riding a horse-drawn carriage or a donkey trek at the Holzmühle Guest House and Pony Stable?

All Advent markets at a glance