Salzkammergut: Christmas Market at St Wolfgang

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Continuing on our road trip from Salzburg to the Salzkammergut Region, we left the charming village of Hallstatt and drove to another lake town called St Wolfgang im Salzkammergut.  St Wolfgang sits on the northern shore of Wolfgangsee (Lake Wolfgang), and if you have seen my previous blog (Road trip to Hallstatt), you would have read that we had passed Wolfgangsee on our way to Hallstatt from Salzburg.  Our route back to Salzburg was  basically just the opposite and so making a short detour to St Wolfgang was not a difficult decision, in fact, it turned out to be a great one because we loved our time there!

St Wolfgang is not as popular with tourists from our part of the world (Asia), that would be Hallstatt, which is in every travel agent’s best selling packages.  But from my research I got know that St Wolfgang is a favourite among the locals during the summer and is a lovely destination during the advent season.  (I’ve attached our home video at the end of the blog if you’d like to jump straight to it 🙂  )DSC_0459

When we arrived, the first thing that caught our attention was the chiming of bells from horse-drawn carriages.  There was suddenly that sense of joyful anticipation.

The Christmas market in St Wolfgang was held all throughout the compact streets of the town market.  From Pilgergasse all the way to the lakeside square beside Hotel im Weissen Rössl, there were stalls upon stalls selling traditional and modern Christmas ornaments, cheeses, preserved juices, beers and Gluhwein. There was a life-sized nativity set, with Jesus’ visitors coming from all walks of life.   The colourful and artistic facades of the shops and hotels in the town were also something we marvelled at.

The cobbled roads were lined with fresh fir trees and we realised that we just had to follow them to get around and not get lost.  And along way there were open fires, candles and heaters that kept us warm.

What we liked about this Christmas market was the location.  It was by the lake which added to its peaceful, although clearly festive, atmosphere.  On the lake was a floating wooden lantern with a giant red candle.  This, along with floating golden stars, light up the lake at night.  The whole place was quite a scene.

And of course, as always, our Joaquin would find the best spots and things to amuse himself.  While we were browsing items at the stalls, he was befriending the swans on lake and finally dragged the rest of us to do the same…

Festive, peaceful, cold and unforgettable time for our family – that sums our afternoon at St. Wolfgang…

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This was the life-sized nativity. But bad bad photo, I didn’t have one with the Holy Family.

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At the centre of the town was the St Wolfgang Kirche, but we did not get to go inside anymore.
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The end of the market lead to the lake.  This was our favourite spot and we spent some time here admiring the view, the lantern, and the swans.
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That’s the floating lantern as seen from the Christmas market
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Ah yes, Joaquin always knew the perfect spot to chill out.  Thanks to my hubby for this lovely shot.
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We had pastries, hot chocolate and latte first at Cafe Gandl before heading back to Salzburg.

Tips from our family:

  1. Spend a day for the Wolfgangseer-Advent.  We were only there from 1:30pm to about 4 or 4:30pm and only got to visit the Christmas market at St. Wolfgang.  The three villages on the shores of Lake Wolfgang – St Wolfgang, St Gilgen and Strobl each have their own charming Christmas markets.  Do check the open and days-off of each market.  I remember one of them were closed during our visit to Salzkammergut.
  2. We parked at Parking P5 along Robert-Stolz Strasse.
  3.  Dress warmly! Walk slowly. And enjoy your time. It’s Christmas after all 🙂

Here are the other posts on our Munich and Austrian holiday:

  1. Munich: Start of our family’s tales from last winter
  2. Munich: Viktualienmarkt Biergarten
  3. Munich: BMW Museum and BMW Welt
  4. Munich: Theatine Church and Odeonplatz
  5. Munich: Christmas Markets
  6. Munich: Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall
  7. Munich: City Aparthotel München
  8. Salzburg: Birthplace of Mozart and Silent Night
  9. Salzburg: Hohensalzburg Fortress 
  10. Salzburg: Residenzplatz Christmas Market
  11. Salzburg: Salzburg Cathedral
  12. Salzburg: Silent Night 200 at Salzburg Museum
  13. Salzburg: Silent Night Tour by Bob’s Special Tour
  14. Salzburg: Silent Night at Oberndorf and Laufen
  15. Salzkammergut: Road Trip to Hallstatt

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