We have to admit that winter is not our favorite season, but strange enough, we are still looking forward for winter to come. We do like the landscape, which becomes romantically beautiful covered in snow, but the right answer is hiding in Christmas markets.
Christmas markets have the longest tradition in Europe, where towns and cities transform into festive and joyful places. Beautiful lights decoration, colorful stands filled with chocolate, cookies, sweets, mulled wine, sausages, sauerkraut and roasted potato…. Mmmmm, now tell us, if you would not be looking forward for this time of the year too?
If you are planning to visit any of the Christmas markets in Europe, but don’t really fancy huge crowds, head to Carinthia in Austria. The region, comparing to other places, offers Christmas markets in smaller towns, but definitely not less beautiful. In fact, one of their towns can brag with the biggest and most beautiful Christmas market between Alps and Adriatic region.
TOP 4 Christmas markets in Carinthia, which you should not miss
1. Villach Christmas market
If you are looking for tradition, old feel and history, head up to Villach old town center. You will find its Christmas market right in the center. The main street and square (Hauptplatz) is picturesque already by itself, but adding more than 50 wooden stands, looking like small cottages, makes everything even better. Right in the middle of Villach, there’s a tall bell tower, which belongs to Villach main church. During the Christmas market the tower looks especially beautiful, as it is covered in lights. Not to mention the ice-skating area looks amazing with its ceiling made out of lights.
Villach Christmas market is opened from 25th November. until 24th December 2016
2. Pörtschach Christmas market
This Christmas market is the smallest we visited, but even though it is worth stopping by and feel the holiday spirit. The Christmas market can be found on the promenade along the Woerthersee, which offers unique feel. We loved the fact they have open fires, which bring complete strangers closer together, what Christmas is really all about.
Pörtschach Christmas market is opened from 25th November until 18th December 2016
3. Velden Christmas market
Comparing the Velden Christmas market to the one in Pörtschach, we did like this a little bit better. Not only because it is bigger, but also because much more is going on here. No matter if you are young, old or if you travel with children, everyone can find something for themselves here in Velden. While you sip the aromatic mulled wine and feast over the typical holiday food, your children can take a pony ride or make Christmas decorations in its many craft rooms. Walk along the Worthersee coast and marvel the symbol of Velden and its Christmas decoration – Schlosshotel. To top it off, don’t forget on the floating Advent Wreath and Nativity Scene.
Velden Christmas market is opened from 25th November until 18th December 2016
4. Klagenfurt Christmas market
It is no surprise that Christmas market in Klagenfurt is known as the most beautiful one between Alps and Adriatic Sea. It was the most beautiful among all we have visited for us too. Klagenfurt has whole areas decorated with lights, numerous stands which you cannot pass by and not buying at least a chocolate candy. Everything about Klagenfurt Christmas market is eye-catching and that is why, this Christmas market gets the biggest number of visitors. If you want to avoid the crowds, don’t go there for lunch, but rather in the evening, when the bus guided tours are gone. Not to mention that true beauty of the Klagenfurt Christmas market can only be seen in the evening, when all the lights start to shine.
Klagenfurt Christmas market is opened from 19th November until 24th December 2016. Afterwards follows the silvester market, which is opened untill 31st December 2016
Some prices at Christmas markets in Carinthia, Austria
You cannot leave Christmas market in Carinthia without trying a glass of mulled wine, candy or sausage:
- Mulled wine: 2,80-3,20€
- Mulled apple cider: 2,50€
- Punch: 3,00€
- Hot chocolate: 2,50€
- Tea: 2,30€
- Mineral water: 2,30€
- Sausage, sauerkraut, roasted potato with bread: 8,50€
- Fruit covered in chocolate: 3,00€
Make your Christmas markets in Carinthia even more interesting – climb up to the Pyramidenkogel
If you are already in Carinthia and driving along the Worthersee, you should definitely stop at the viewing tower Pyramidenkogel. Pyramidenkogel offers amazing views over the Worthersee and its surrounding. Unfortunately we did not have the view, we were hoping to, but if the sky is clear it must be stunning! If you like adrenalin, you have to take the slide on your way down – fantastic!
Entrance fee for Pyramidenkogel viewing tower:
Children 6-15 years: 5,50€
Children untill 5: free
Worthersee is ideal for a weekend getaway and not only during Christmas markets. We definitely recommend you to stay at least one night here, to really get the feel for the place. You can find numerous accommodation possibilities here, but we stayed at Romantik Hotel Post (Villach) and Hotel-Restaurant Dermuth (Klagenfurt).
Christmas markets in Carinthia, Austria – video
We have visited Austrian Christmas markets as a press trip organized by the Carinthia Tourism Board, but all opinions and recommendations are our own.