Austrian Christmas Markets & Swarovski Crystal World
Austrian Christmas Markets & Swarovski Crystal World
Come celebrate the twinkling traditions of Christmas in the magical Austrian cities and towns of the Tyrol. From the fire-lit streets of Rattenberg to the fairy lights of Innsbruck Christmas market and the breath-taking brilliance of Swarovski Crystal Worlds, this holiday offers glitter at every turn.
Tyrol is home to many pretty Alpine towns and our expertly curated, intimate tour takes you to some of the best.
As an added treat and some extra magic, you will also visit the AMAZING – Swarovski Kristallwelten – home of the world's most famous twinkling crystal. A seasonal show of festive creations made from millions of glittering crystals and a Chamber of Wonder awaits!
Swarovski's Eternal Winter Magic in the Chamber of Wonder
What we love
- The sparkle!
- The architecture!
- The food and the gluhwein!
- The snow-capped mountains!
- The horse and carriage sleigh ride with local Haflinger horses!
Experiences you will treasure
- Discovering how the Tyrolean’s celebrate Advent in the candle and fire-lit streets of Rattenberg
- Visiting the home of the Christmas song Silent Night
- Exploring the spectacular crystal rooms at Swarovski Crystal Worlds, named as one of the 500 most 'unmissable sights and attractions' in the world by Lonely Planet 2020.
- Drinking schnapps in a 500 year-old cellar and sipping an aperitif in the VIP lounge of Swarovski Crystal Worlds
- Listening to traditional Advent music in the pretty town of Hall
- Watching the glass blowers of Kisslinger at work
- Travelling through the magnificent Tyrolean scenery aboard a carriage sleigh drawn by a team of Haflinger horses
- Travelling in a small group with our expert guide
What people say
Everything was a best bit. We started off with a Schnapps tasting at the hotel as soon as we arrived - we were certainly a happy group after three glasses! The outdoor sculptures Swarovski Crystal World were very special and the markets were everything I'd been hoping for, filled with traditional handmade decorations, gifts and chocolates. There were also lots of little concerts in the streets which really helped to capture the spirit of Christmas.
How much is it?
Swarovski Crystal Worlds is a glittering addition to your Tyrolean holiday. Described by leading travel guide Lonely Planet as one of the most 'thrilling, memorable and interesting" places on earth, this unique and dazzling crystalline world was created by Austrian artist André Heller to mark the 100th anniversary of Swarovski Company. Discover the Crystal Cloud that floats above a black Mirror Pool—a mystical masterpiece bejeweled with 800,000 hand-mounted Swarovski crystals, the iconic giant’s head that dramatically greets you on arrival and a subterranean labyrinth of crystalline chambers exhibiting intricate, colourful, and surprising installations which change with the seasons.
A Deeper Dive
The region’s capital Innsbruck boasts six Christmas Markets, each with its own unique atmosphere. Maria-Theresien Strasse’s market, for example, is a sparkling sea of modern Christmas lights, while Nikolaus Market offers an authentic taste of traditional Tyrol.
Rattenberger Advent, in the tiny town of Rattenberg, is Tyrol’s most romantic market. Taking place on all four Sundays in Advent, it is a celebration both of the season and the region’s traditional culture and is filled with stalls selling local, seasonal foods and crafts. However, rather than being lit with fairy lights, the entire town is illuminated with fires and candles and, as you browse the stalls or enjoy a glass of mulled wine, you will be joined by a group of travelling players telling the story of the Nativity.
Tyrol is home to many pretty Alpine towns and our tour takes you to three of the best. Hall boasts the region’s largest medieval centre which, come Advent, blazes with Christmas lights. Rattenberg, the smallest town in the Tyrol, also has a beautifully preserved medieval townscape. Tucked between a 10th Century hilltop fortress and the banks of the River Inn, Rattenberg is known as a centre of traditional glassblowing. Our tour takes in a visit to the 70 year-old Kisslinger Glassblowing shop where guests can watch craftsmen blow glass objects in the traditional way. (It may also be possible to take part in a workshop where you will be taught to blow your own Christmas bauble. Please note, this is subject to availability and carries an extra charge.)
Café-Konditorei Hacker is another local institution - the homemade Apple Strudel is not to be missed!
With its mix of historic and contemporary buildings, cosmopolitan culture and Alpine views, Innsbruck is an exciting and varied city. Our tour includes a two hour guided tour taking in the key sites from the imposing, 16th Century Imperial Palace and magnificent Golden Roof with its 2, 657 fire-gilded copper tiles, to Zaha Hadid’s iconic Bergisel ski jump.
No trip to this region would be complete with a glass of Schnapps. We will visit the Schnapps Museum, based in a 500 year-old vault beneath the Plankenhof Hotel, for a guided tour, talk and tasting.
The landscape here is quite breathtaking and one of the best ways to experience it is by horse & carriage. The ride begins in the small village of Pertisau on Lake Achensee, (known as the Tyrolean Sea) and a warming glass of Glühwein awaits when you return approximately an hour and a half later.
This family-run hotel occupies a fascinating Gothic building dating back to the 15th century. As well as comfortable, contemporary rooms, it boasts a sauna, an excellent restaurant and its own Schnapps museum. The family has been providing hospitality over many generations in a pretty and tranquil setting.
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