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Enjoy Christmas in Austria like a local

Christmas in Austria

It`s getting cold in our area – winter is coming up! Time for skiing, snowangels and some tasty hot mulled wines at the xmas markets called gluehwine. But as nice and picturesque as this is, it`s pretty much the same all over Europe. All over? – no. Austria is different.

What’s a Krampus-run?

The Krampus-run is a typical Christmas custom in the alpine area. The ancient germanic word “krampen” means “crawl” in the English language. In our local dialect the word “krempn (or krampn)” can be translated as “withered”. There are many names for a Krampus depending on where you are. In our area we call them “Perchten”.

The Krampus are usually followed by Saint Nicholas, the good guy who brings little presents to the local people. It is very common for kids to go “Krampus-hunting” when it´s getting dark to show courage. An official group of Krampusse is called a “Pass”. It’s hard to describe these special costumes, in three words: scary, loud, unique.

Typically, alongside the magnificent masks, Krampusse wear big bells on their backs used to send the winter devils to hell. Officially the runs can be seen starting end of November until mid December, later only in a view nights called the “Rauhnaechte” until mid of January. It takes a long time to create these wonderful masks. Therefore it is not seldom that fully equipped costumes cost more around 1,500 Euro. A tipical Krampusgroup in Austria is the Ares Pass, not too far from Salzburg. For any specific questions about the custom, just send them a mail via facebook.

What you should eat and drink: Lebkuchen and Glühwein

Emmerge yourself on the christmas markets and bakeries along the streets! Austrians love to bake cookies and cakes during the Christmas season. If you want to get into Austrian Christmas atmosphere you must try to eat the famous german biscuit Lebkuchen. You should also combine it with the heartwarming and delicious Glühwein, also known as the glow-wine. If you are interested to know more about Christmas Markets in Europe you can read our article.

Ball season in Vienna

Viennese people love to dance and each winter there are over 400 balls in the city that brings over 300 thousand dance lovers from all over the world. These balls were reserved for the noble cass during the 18th century. The main idea was to wear masks and costumes giving a carnival feeling for the balls in Vienna. Later on, the Emperor Joseph II opened the palace to everyone who would like to dance and not only people for the nobel class. But Viennese Balls are for tourists too! If you want to participate in one of these balls you may know that are strict and formal dress codes, should probably learn to Waltz and some etiquette. You can also get some tickets on the internet!

Skiing season in Salzburg

Well, when you think of the Alps you think about winter sports, right? There are several options for you to enjoy the best season in Austria for winter sports lovers such as snowboarding, cross-country skiing, sledge riding and so many others! But skiing is Austria’s number one passion even from the younger ages. Just pick a place and let the adventure begin!

Where to stay in Austria

If you’re looking for a genuine backpacker experience and explore Christmas season in Austria like a local, the best places to stay are YoHo International Youth Hostel in Salzburg and Hostel Ruthensteiner in Vienna.


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