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Xmas markets 2012 in Vienna in overview

With wooden huts, trees and lights popping up across the city, it can only mean one thing – the festive season is almost upon us.

The transformation of Vienna into a Winter Wonderland seems to start earlier every year, and in just over a week the official countdown to Christmas will begin. On 17 November the Christmas market in front of the Rathaus will be one of the first of over 20 markets to open. This market is the largest and most famous of Vienna's Christkindlmarkts.

Although winter outdoor markets are popular across Europe, Vienna remains a keen favourite with tourists and each years thousands of visitors from all over the globe descend on the city.

The markets in the Austrian capital are steeped in history, dating date back to the middle ages when Albrecht I granted the citizens of Vienna the privilege of holding an outdoor market.

Selling festive items and seasonal food from wooden huts has since become a staple event in Austrian culture and markets of all sizes can be found spread across the city from mid November right up until Christmas day.

For some, the markets offer the possibility to purchase gifts and trinkets from baubles to snow globes. Others see them as an opportunity to mingle and soak in the festive spirit whilst keeping the cold at bay with a mug of mulled wine.

With so many different markets dotted right across the city it can sometimes be hard to choose which one to visit first. Here are some of the best-known markets:

Rathausplatz (1010, Rathausplatz)
Transport links- U2 Rathaus, lines 1, 2 and D
Open - 17 Nov till 24 Dec 2012, daily 10am to 9.30pm (Sun-Thurs), 10am to 10pm (Fri-Sat)
Website - www.christkindlmarkt.at

Spittelberg (1070, quarter between Stiftgasse and Breite Gasse)
Transport links -  U2/U3 Volkstheater, lines 49 and 48A
Open – 15 Nov till 24 Dec 2012, daily 3pm to 9pm (Mon-Thurs), 3pm to 9.30pm (Fri), 10am to 9.30pm (Sat), 10am to 9pm (Sun)
Website - www.spittelberg.at

Weihnachtsdorf im Alten AKH (1090, Universitatscampus at Spitalgasse/Alserstrasse)
Transport links – lines 5, 33, 43, 44
Open – 17 Nov till 23 Dec 2012, daily 2pm to 8pm  (Mon-Fri), 11am to 10pm (Sat-Sun)
Website - www.weihnachtsdorf.at

Schönbrunn Palace (1130, main entrance Schönbrunn Palace)
Transport links -  U4 Schönbrunn
Open - 24 Nov till 26 Dec 2012, daily 10am to 9pm
Special note: Dogs are not permitted at this market.
Website - www.weihnachtsmarkt.co.at

Weihnachtsdorf Maria Theresien-Platz (1010, Maria-Theresien-Platz)
Transport links – U2/U4 Volkstheater, lines 1, 2, D, 49, 48A
Open – 21 Nov till 26 Dec 2012, daily 11am to 9pm (Sun-Thurs), 11am to 10pm (Fri-Sat)
Website - www.weihnachtsdorf.at

Adventmarkt in front of Karlskirche (1010, Resselpark in front of Karlskirche)
Transport links – U1/U2/U4 Karlsplatz, lines 1, 2 and D
Open - 23 Nov till 23 Dec 2012, daily 12pm to 8pm
Website - www.divinaart.at

Belvedere Palace (1030, Prinz Eugen-Strasse 27)
Transport links – line D
Open – 23 Nov till 23 Dec 2012, daily 11am to 9pm
Special note: Dogs are not permitted at this market.
Website - www.weihnachtsdorf.at

Altwiener Christkindlmarkt at the Freyung (1010, Freyung)
Transport links - U2 Schottentor, U3 Herrengasse
Open -  23 Nov till 23 Dec 2012, daily 10am to 9pm
Website - www.altwiener-markt.at

Weihnachtsmarkt at Wilhelminenberg Palace (1160, Savoyenstrasse 1)
Transport links – lines 146B and 46B
Open – 23 Nov till 23 Dec 2012, daily 4pm to 9pm
Website - http://www.austria-trend.at/hotel-schloss-wilhelminenberg/de/

Weihnachtsmarkt in Türkenschanzpark (1180, Türkenschanzpark)
Transport links – 41, 10A, 37A and 40A
Open – 17 Nov till 24 Dec 2012, daily 12pm to 10pm
Website - http://www.weihnachtimpark.at/

Wintermarkt at Riesenradplatz (1020, Prater)
Transport links – U1/U2 Praterstern, line 5
Open – 12 Nov till 6 Jan 2013, daily 12pm to 10pm (Mon-Fri), 11am to 10pm (Sat-Sun)
Website - www.wintermarkt.at

More information about Vienna's Christmas markets can be found online at http://www.wien.info/en/shopping-wining-dining/markets/christmas-markets

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