Open Markets in Vienna
Vienna's boasts a lot of open markets that are very typical for the "melting pot" of people who are living in this city. Many Austrian families are originating from the Balkans, Turkey, Arabic States and former Soviet Union - so it is very common to get confronted with a sort of "bazaar feeling" while exploring these markets - and you find just about anything you would get in those countries, mostly food, spices and vegetables. The two most famous markets are Naschmarkt and Brunnenmarkt. The Naschmarkt is the largest of Vienna's markets - be aware that it gets quite crowded on Saturdays! This is because it is complemented by a huge and very popular flea market.
During the past decades the Naschmarkt has become a very hip place to visit in Vienna - many trendy bars and ethnic restaurants are popping up all over the place - so it definitely is part of our TOP ATTRACTION list - check it out!
Another open market is the so called "Brunnenmarkt". It is much smaller and cheaper and has a distinct Turkish/Balkan flair - it feels like being in Istanbul rather then Vienna! There are plans to "renovate" it, which unfortunately has already been the death blow to several other markets in Vienna - so let's see what happens - so far it is still as original as it can get!
The name "Brunnenmarkt" means "Fountain Market". It refers to the fountain that was the main reason this market developped so quickly in the 18th century and became one of the most important landmarks of its time. The market vendors exhibiting their goods needed access to water urgently. The Emperor was generous enough to allow the traders to take water from his very private pipeline transporting fresh water from the Vienna Woods to the Imperial Hofburg Palace in the centre of the city - so the fountain was built - hence the name Brunnenmarkt. In 1880 the fountain had to be removed when the first tram was built - only the name Brunnenmarkt still recalls its existence.
Nearby the Brunnenmarkt you'll find the "Yppenmarkt", another small, cozy market located at Yppenplatz. This little square has developed into a hip place in the past 10 years or so. Yppenplatz has attracted a young and arty/intellectual crowd which comes here on weekends, alongside with great bars, pubs and independent stores. Definitely a place to hang out and stroll around if you are in the area! The danger is that it is becoming nearly a tad too fashionable to still be cool (and now rather pricy) but the market is still worth a closer look. The Yppenheim, by the way, is the main building at the core of the Yppenplatz - it was a community shelter of the army in the 19th century.
Another option is the "Karmelitermarkt" in the 2nd district. It is one of Vienna's oldest markets and has a lot to offer. It tends to be less busy then the popular Naschmarkt, to be honest...less crowds always make shopping and sightseeing much more pleasurable...It is situated in a large square and the closest tram station is at Karmeliterplatz, 2 streets away. Especially on a sunny Saturday it gets very lively - a good way to explore is to first enjoy a coffee or a decent meal, then get your bags filled - the cafes are really cool! Note that some of the small market stalls consist of just one or two rooms which function now as a restaurant or café, like "Marktachterl" or "Madiani", a great place for Georgian food - and a personal favourite! The history of this very old market and the district itself is quite interesting: apart from the 1940s the Karmeliterquarter has always been a multi-ethnic place with a huge Jewish community - still today this is where most of Viennese Jews live and shop for kosher food. But as we said, you can also find many Turkish or Serbian stores and the Georgian Madiani restaurant mentioned above.
The last option to mention here is the "Rochusmarkt", just outside the Landstrasser Hauptstrasse metro station. It is a small market - some 30 permanent stalls offer mainly fruit, vegetables, flowers and fresh meat, but on Saturdays the Rochusmarkt increases to almost double the size. Farmers from further afield come to offer their delectable home grown crops and products - really delicious and purely organic. So if you are in the area and would like to get a good quality snack, or have a rest in one of the several cafés and restaurants around the market - this is an excellent choice!