People in Austria love Advent Season. Christmas markets, Mulled Wine (Glühwein), Christmas cookies, Advent wreaths (Adventskränze) and other traditions add to the magic of the "most beautiful time of the year".
Thousands of visitors from around the world flock to the cities and small towns from mid-November every year to join in the celebrations leading up to Christmas Eve.
In Advent you can organise a ski trip to Tirol and enjoy the typical Christmas Markets too.
And one of the best places to enjoy "Christmas in the Mountains" (Bergweihnacht) is the City of Innsbruck, and the ski areas in Innsbruck land.
Christmas Markets tradition stretches back centuries. The Christmas markets in Austria are an age-old tradition. The first one date back to the Middle Ages, when in 1296 Albrecht I granted Vienna's citizens the privilege of holding a "Krippenmarkt" or "Nativity Market".
Christmas street markets have been especially popular in German-speaking countries.
The Christmas Market in Munich was first documented as a Nikolausmarkt (Saint Nicholas) in 1310.
The first documented open-air Christkindlmarkt took place in the 14th century in the eastern hilltop town of Bautzen in Saxony. The Bautzen Wenzelsmarkt bears the name of the Bohemian King Wenceslaus IV, who granted Bautzen its market rights in 1384. From St. Michael's Day onwards, the butchers were allowed to sell his meat publicly on the market on Saturdays until Christmas.
These early meat markets evolved over time into the popular festive markets of today, from the ancient Christmas tree markets, where fir and spruce trees were and are sold as decorations at Christmas.
The Christmas tree tradition dates back to the early 19th century. One night before Christmas in 1815, court bookseller Johann Wilhelm Hoffmann placed the first public Christmas tree in Germany in front of his shop in the Cranach House on Weimar's market square.
Under the influence of the Enlightenment and the growing importance of Protestantism, there was a change from St. Nicholas to the Christ Child as a gift bringer - and with it to the Christmas market.
I want to invite you this winter to immerse yourself in the joy of Christmas in the city of Innsbruck with its beautiful mountains as your backdrop.
Already in the 17th century, the first Christkindlmarkt was held in the heart of Innsbruck. However, the market as we know it today has only existed since 1973.
Seven different Christmas markets in Innsbruck, each with its own character and singularity, give you the perfect opportunity to experience a memorable time in Tirol.
The most visited and famous Christmas market in Innsbruck is the Traditional Market in the Old Town.
The market -open this year from 15th November until 23rd December-, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Located in the historic old town, between attractive medieval buildings and the Golden Roof, a large Christmas tree dominates the centre of the scene with colourful Christmas market stalls offering a variety of delightful Tyrolean seasonal treats like "Kiachln" -freshly baked farmers’ donuts traditionally served with Sauerkraut-, burnt almonds, chestnuts and "Glühwein".
The Modern Market on Maria-Theresien-Strasse, Innsbruck's splendid main avenue, has a very special vibe with Christmas articles from all over the world, shimmering trees and giant Christmas balls ornaments creating a lovely Christmassy atmosphere.
The Family Market on the market square "Marktplatz", with the glittering Swarovski crystal tree and its unique sparkling star has a homely atmosphere and lots of exciting attractions for children.
The cosy Panorama Market on the Hungerburg with stunning views of of the city Innsbruck is one of our favorites and highly recommendable.
Christmas Magic on Wiltener Platzl, in the pretty district of Wilten, includes genuine arts and crafts, outstanding food and a select cultural programme including short concerts and culture with puppet shows for children.
The Christmas market in Innsbruck’s oldest district of St. Nikolaus shows the tranquil and reflective side of Advent. In the Hans-Brenner-Platz square, a small square on Innstraße, you will experience advent with traditional Christmas music and delicious Austrian biscuits.
And last but not least, the Christmas market on the Bergisel Hill. The Kaiserweihnacht is centred around genuine products and traditions with a focus on regional products and Tyrolean craftsmanship.
This vintage tram only runs in the run-up to Christmas, allowing visitors, free of charge, to immerse themselves in the magic and wonder of the Christmas season.