It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Well, it’s here again!  It’s once again one of my most favorite times of year in Vienna.  The maroni stands are open, the Christmas lights are being hoisted over the streets and wound around trees, and … the Christmas markets are starting to open!

004The first few opened up this weekend: Am Hof, followed by the Prater, Stephansplatz (which is new this year) and Rathaus markets.  We stopped by the Am Hof market this past weekend for a quick look around (I’ve found that the kids do better on quick trips and that it’s best if I save the serious shopping to when I can go by myself).

I just love the atmosphere of the Christmas markets.  It’s always chilly (if not downright cold), but there are always so many people out having a snack or a drink, doing a little shopping, or just being social.  It’s so festive and wintry, and I love getting to do some Christmas shopping outdoors, at small shops, instead of at the mall.

007Unlike in past years, I don’t have a Christmas market plan or strategy this year.  We’ve seen most of them over the past few years, we know which ones we like the best, and I imagine we’ll focus on visiting the ones we enjoy the most.  Since I now have most mornings free, I can go to any of the markets for a quick visit or a long stroll, any day I like.  It all feels much more relaxed than it has in the past.

I am so looking forward to my visits to the Christmas markets again this year.  By this coming weekend, they should all be in full swing, and I’m excited to visit all of my favorites again … soon!

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