This post originally appeared on VICE Alps
Like it or not, Christmas markets are a part of the international holiday landscape. And, much like Starbucks, they are equally bizarre wherever you go. Growing up in Austria, I've always thought our Christkindlmärktes resembled a chamber of horrors packed with things I detest: crappy toys, drunken OAPs, bratwurst with sauerkraut, a constant need to urinate, folk music, and rum punch on the soles of my shoes.
However, now that I've gotten older and less cynical, I realize they are also as much an irrevocable part of the Austrian soul as Schnitzel and big-bosomed ladies, and as good an excuse for drinking spirits after dark as they come.
Here are some photos from this year's market in Vienna.
See more of Stefanie's work here.