Today, the vast majority of Vienna’s Weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas Markets) open, heralding a season of open-air merrymaking

Good for gift shopping or simply soaking up the yuletide atmosphere, visits almost invariably end with a mug (or three) of Glühwein (mulled wine), or Punsch, a heated combination of liquor and juice or tea, giving even normally reserved or chilly Austrians a gregarious glow.

Vienna boasts over 20 markets throughout the city, and each one has something unique to offer. Karlsplatz Market has fine arts and crafts, whereas Schönbrunn is where you can find high-quality Christmas decorations (not the touristy stuff you’ll find at the Rathaus); Spittelberg is known for excellent original recipes served by the many Punschstände.   During Christmas season 2016, the Vienna Tourism Board logged 2.4 million overnight stays – and it’s no surprise. Vienna at Christmas time is magical, even if you gave up on Santa’s existance a long time ago.