City Breaks to Salzburg for Christmas

City Breaks to Salzburg for Christmas

According to ABTA - The Travel Association, 4.7 million Brits will escape these shores and celebrate Christmas abroad. The peak travel day this year will be 21st December. As you’d expect, 25th December is at the other end of the spectrum. Whenever you’re thinking of travelling, are you looking for Christmas in a sunny climate or a more traditional white Christmas? If you’re going for the latter, why not go to Salzburg? The skiing season begins before December and travellers can expect temperatures of 3 degrees at best. There will be snow on the mountain tops and plenty of Christmas cheer but what else makes Salzburg attractive for a yuletide break?

Christmas markets

There have been Christmas markets in Salzburg as far back as the fifteen century. Today, you’ll still find the Christmas market near Hohensalzburg fortress and the Cathedral of Salzburg, where choral singers create a lot of the atmosphere, although the nativity exhibits in the Residenz courtyard also add a lot of Christmas cheer. The Christmas Market on Mirabell Square is the other one you have to visit. Enjoy mulled wine and great food while perusing the unique items on sale at the beautifully decorated stalls.

Salzburg Advent Festival and the Christmas Eve tour

This open-air event shouldn’t be missed if you decide that Salzburg is the best place for your Christmas holiday. With close to 200 participants on stage, you’ll quite a show if you gather outside the Large Festival Hall. The other special event you have to take part in is the Christmas Eve tour that departs from Salzburg and travels through the foothills of the Austrian Alps before coming to a rest at Silent Night Chapel.


You might like to ski while on your Christmas break. If so, which resort offers the most Christmas cheer. According to holidaymakers on TripAdvisor, St.Johann in Pongau, Hochkönig and Bad Gastein offer the best Christmas atmosphere. They are all within an hour and a half’s drive of Salzburg so why not include a short skiing trip as part of your festive break?

Salzburg in Winter

Even if you choose not to attend nativity events and avoid the Christmas markets, you’ll still be swept up in festive fever because Salzburg really is a fairy-tale village during the coldest months of the year. There’s a castle on the hill, that looks down upon narrow old streets dotted with cosy cafes and interesting shops. Typically, you can expect frost and snow during December so every building is glazed with a surface of the white Christmassy stuff.

Where to Find the Best Deals

There are three main places to look at. The first is apparent to most people – travel sites like and But don’t limit yourself to these types of sites. You should also check out package deals from companies like Tui and Jet2holidays. Your third option is to go direct to the airlines. Don’t discount any one of these ideas. If you’re looking for the best deal you’ll only find it if you keep looking. Don’t buy the first holiday you come across.

To Consider Before Your Purchase

Why fly when you could take a cruise? Most major cruise liners now offer Christmas market itineraries that include a stop at Salzburg.

Our Notes

  • You don’t need to stay long in Salzburg to see all the sights and pick up the atmosphere.  Two or three nights would be enough.
  • Tram and buses are great in Salzburg so you won’t need to hire a car.  
  • German is the language of Austria. Not everyone speaks English so bring a German phrasebook.  

What Do They Say on Other Sites

“The setting was really pretty. The choir sang beautifully.” (Shawna B  reviewing the Christmas Eve Tour on Tripadvisor)

“We covered both holiday traditions and local history, seeing the Christmas Markets as well as local must-see sights.” (Donna H reviewing the Christmas Market tours on Tripadvisor)

Any thoughts? Let us know your comments!

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