Belvedere (or: beautiful view) Castle is “just” a museum most of the year and famous for its collection of Gustav Klimt paintings, until it hosts a charming Christmas market in late November/December. The castle actually consists of two parts, the Upper and the Lower Belvedere. The christmas market is situated in front of the Upper (Oberes) Belvedere, facing a big fountain which has stars in it that light up at night. It is another one which is really more impressive because of the setting. The market itself if not too trashy-kitsh fortunately, and you can surely find nice hand-made decoration items or gifts there. Luckily it is also not too full compared to some of the other markets. At this point I need to mention that the book shop in the Lower (Unteres) Belvedere is stunning!
The mix of stalls in the market is rather broad – you can get a lot from South American drums to Venetian glass and bacon from Austria. There are also more Christmassy things to get there. My tip for this market is to get some “gebrannte Mandeln” (burnt almonds). Of course, they are not really burned, but covered in crispy caramel. You can also get other kinds of nuts – covered in chocolate, fresh and hot.
When you visit the market, make sure you have got enough time to walk the grounds as well. You’ll have a great view over the city center from the Upper Belvedere. When you walk to the Lower Belvedere, you should at least check out the bookshop (which I never get tired of mentioning) with the beautiful ceiling as well. It sells a lot of touristy things and Klimt-y items, but the shop itself is worth a visit. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside.
Christmas Market Belvedere Castle: Website
More Photos at: Flickr
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