Before leaving Europe for the year we had one last fling in Vienna, albeit a much colder one than last time. One experience I knew I had to have was to visit the famous Christmas markets held around the city during the six weeks before the holiday. Vienna's oldest winter market has been on the Freyung since 1764, and today around 20 different markets can be found around town.
The famous Christkindlmarkt at Rathausplatz is the largest in Vienna.
Delicious cookies and other sweet treats are served.
The temperatures were freezing but hot Glühwein (mulled wine) kept us warm.
Another hot treat are the various punsches, like this sweet berry (beeren) one.
The trees around the Rathausplatz are decorated with festive lights and fun animated displays.
It's a shame that I'm a bit too old for a pony ride.
Aside from all the holiday decorations on sale, visitors can buy all kinds of food, from hot Bratwurst and Waffeln to cold meats.
I love whimsical ornaments - such a great place to do Christmas shopping!
We also checked out the night market at Spittelberg, which has a focus on crafts. The narrow streets and little bars and cafes here provide a unique and wonderful atmosphere.
We enjoyed delicious hot soup and a chat with this friendly young woman.
Hot roasted chestnuts and potatoes taste delicious on a cold winter's night.
Wishing everyone a fun, fabulous festive season ahead! What's your favourite way to celebrate the holidays?