This year I decided to visit two Christmas markets, one which I have visited before and also a brand new destination, Salzburg. Salzburg came highly recommended to me by a family member who had visited the Salzburg Christmas market a few years ago, and I thought a destination in the Alps would make a fantastic Christmas market location.
Salzburg Christmas Market
Flight Time from London: The published flight time from London to Salzburg is 1 hour and 55 minutes, but the actual flight time was around 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Airline & Airport of Operation: I flew to Salzburg Airport on British Airways from London Gatwick Airport on one of their daily services. BA’s fares to Salzburg are currently as low as £62 return in economy and £188 in their Club Europe business class cabin.
Transfer Time to City: Salzburg Airport is located 4 miles from the city centre and takes around 15 minutes by taxi or slightly longer by bus.
Where to Stay on a Salzburg Christmas Market Break:
For my Salzburg Christmas market break I booked a flight and hotel package with British Airways at a cost of £146pp (based on 2 people sharing a room). For this trip I chose to stay at the Salzburg Mercure Central, a four star hotel located in the city centre on a room-only basis. I chose this hotel as it was located relatively close to the city centre, about a 5 minute walk to the central shopping area, with a further 10 minute walk to where the markets were located.
The hotel had a restaurant, bar and leisure facilities but during my trip I didn’t use any of these. The hotel in general could do with a bit of a refresh because the decoration was starting to look quite dated. The rooms were also looking rather dated, however they were clean, comfortable and spacious. The hotel was more than adequate for a one night stay while visiting the Salzburg Christmas market.
The Salzburg Christmas Market
The Salzburg Christmas Market is located mainly in Residenzplatz, Domplatz, Mozartplatz as well as the surrounding areas. The stalls were mainly green wooden cabins decorated extensively with pine trees and pine tree branches, and adorned in beautiful, twinkling Christmas lights. Each stall was unique, selling anything from Christmas decorations and keepsakes to local crafts, candles, cosmetics and clothing. There were also many food and drink stalls so if you visit you would not go hungry! Many of the main streets through the city centre were also decorated with charming Christmas lights.
The markets were very busy during our entire trip, but in the evening they really came to life and looked very beautiful lit up with all the fairy lights. In the evening, while we were looking for somewhere for dinner we stumbled across a more intimate market area in a small square, located just off the main street through Salzburg’s historic old town. Even though this area of the markets was much smaller than the main markets, it was much more beautiful. All the stalls in this square were Alpine style log cabins, all of which were beautifully decorated and contained a stunning range of festive items to purchase.
Food at the Christmas Markets
With Salzburg being located very close to the German border there was a strong German influence to the markets, so as you can imagine there were many food outlets selling a variety of Wursts and other local treats which kept us going throughout the day. There was also many stalls located around the markets selling Glühwein, various warming punches and other festive drinks.
Being on a Christmas market break with friends meant that I didn’t really plan on anywhere specific for dinner, we just thought that we would see what happened in the evening after having a stroll around the markets. We tried to get a table at a few different restaurants, but everywhere was full and had long waiting times for a table. We eventually found a place called Trattoria La Stella, an Italian restaurant in the square where the smaller market was located. When we arrived they also had no free tables, but there was no queue so we decided to wait for the next available table and because it was quite cold outside they invited us in to stand at at the bar and have a drink while we waited.
As well as a very extensive pizza menu there was also a pasta menu and many fish and meat options. After seeing some other customers eating pizza while I was waiting for my table I decided that I just had to have one, and I was not disappointed. We all agreed they were the best pizzas that we tasted in ages! The added bonus was that for four pizzas plus drinks our bill only worked out at £15pp. Needless to say we ended up back at La Stella the following day for lunch.
Currency: Austria’s currency is the Euro and at the time that I visited the exchange rate was around 1.18 EUR to GBP.
Weather: I was expecting Salzburg to be exceptionally cold during the winter, but the temperature during my visit was quite mild. It was a bit overcast on the first day, but the second day turned out to be quite sunny.
Recommended Duration: I spent one night and two days at the Salzburg Christmas market and this was a nice amount of time. I would recommend a 1-2 night stay if you just want to enjoy the markets, but if you want to explore more of the city, or venture further afield you could stay a couple of days longer.
Conclusion: I had a fantastic time at the Salzburg Christmas market and the markets themselves were very beautiful, with some fantastic displays of stunning Christmas decorations and keepsakes. After visiting the Salzburg Christmas market I will definitely update my top 5 Christmas markets to now include Salzburg as it definitely deserves a place on my top 5.