Over the years I have spent Christmas in many different parts of the world. To get everyone into the spirit this holiday season I have decided to write a series of short posts on my Best Christmas Holiday experiences. I hope you find one that inspires you to travel and see the world this holiday season!
An Austrian Christmas
Vienna is a beautiful place to spend the Christmas holidays. Strings of lights are draped across pedestrian walkways like glowing chandeliers. The cathedrals and hotels are festively decorated with Christmas trees, garlands, ribbons, and candlelight. I loved sitting in a cafe on Christmas morning, sipping coffee, watching the horse drawn carriages trundle past.
In Salzburg, a light dusting of snow covered the cobblestone streets of the old city. A traditional Christmas market, stalls filled with ornaments, holiday decorations, and chocolates, added to the festive atmosphere. We strolled along the Salzach River enjoying the soft glow of ferry lights hung in the trees that lined the river’s banks.
Vienna Christmas Concert
Austria is the birthplace of many famous composers including Mozart, Schubert, and Strauss. So it only made sense to do something musical while in Vienna for the holidays. The Vienna Residence Orchestra puts on a concert every year on Christmas Day at the Palais Auersperg. The Palais Auersperg is baroque in style and was built between 1706 – 1710. Our evening in this historic venue was filled with the sounds of Strauss and Mozart and the thoroughly enjoyable sight of traditional ballet.
An Evening with Mozart in Salzburg
On Boxing Day, a dinner concert is held at Europe’s oldest restaurant – the Stiftskeller Saint Peter in Salzburg. Nestled inside the walls of Saint Peter’s Abbey, this gorgeous location comes as a surprise after walking through the dark alleys that lead up to it.
Mozart’s compositions filled the air between dinner courses. We listened to orchestral pieces as well as excerpts from The Magic Flute and The Marriage of Figaro – two of Mozart’s more famous operas. Our evening was long but enjoyable and a fitting conclusion to the Christmas holidays in Austria.
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