There is a Christmas market in the town of Wels, Upper Austria, that you simply cannot miss.

A company called “Christkind Ltd.”, a Christmas post office and a museum called “Welios”. “Why, Elena, the things you discover on your trips throughout Austria”, my mum muses, before we both start to laugh. And realise that great stories lie waiting virtually everywhere, not just at the other side of the world. Even, or especially, in a small Austrian town called … Wels.


This is Wels: A town in Upper Austria that is especially worth seeing at the time of Christmas.


Wels, a city of about 60.000 inhabitants just southwest of Linz, with the nearby alpine upland as a beautiful backdrop, is a perfect city break destination from either Vienna, Linz or Salzburg: By train, it only takes about two hours to reach Wels from Vienna. A very convenient weekend trip awaits, and my friends and I are travelling to Wels for the opening of their “Welser Weihnachtswelt” (Christmas markets).

Yet Wels has a lot more to offer than just Christmas markets. A tour with a historical night watchman, for instance. Or rather: A “watch-woman”. Ursula Laudacher ist the perfect storyteller for the history of Wels, and she easily wraps us up in fascinating “his- and her-stories” about Wels life in the Middle Ages. Before we start our tour, we must, however, pay a visit to the “Christkind”, and post our wishlist at the Christmas post office inside the historical Ledererturm …

Tatsächlich beginnt die Führung mit Nachtwächterin Ursula

… the historical city tower marking the beginning of our tour with Ursula Laudacher …


... am Weihnachtspostamt des Ledererturms in Wels.

… and have you ever visited a true Christmas post office? Well, here it is …!


Weiter geht es schon kurz darauf durch die Innenstadt

We then continue our way through the old town, which Ursula recalls as of 500 years ago …


... uns Details offenbart, die wir so niemals gesehen oder erahnt hätten:

… pointing out details we would surely have missed, had it not been for her exquisite knack for storytelling and local area explanations! Thank you so much, dear Ursula, for taking us out on this unique night watchman’s tour in Wels.


Nun aber ist es Zeit für eine kleine Stärkung, zum Beispiel mit Wolfgang's Feuerzangenbowle hier ...

Surely, you must try the hot “Feuerzangenbowle” mulled wine drink afterwards …


... heiter beginnen wir so unser erstes Vorweihnachts-Wochenende!

… and delight in the company of your friends (from left to right): Wolfgang & Jessica, who share their travel stories on, as well as Manuel & Franziska, of


Wels zur Weihnachtszeit

Wels, I’d say you’re truly beautiful, aren’t you ..?


And Wels has not one, but five Christmas markets altogether, which are open every day from late November until Christmas. The story behind the town’s Christmas company, called “Christkind Ltd.”, is that it basically ensures all Christmas activities are coordinated to present one, coherent experience: From the light shows to the stalls, from the tours offered to the Christmas markets. Wels also has a sound environmental management policy: Virtually all hotels in town, as well as their convention centres, have been awarded the Austrian Eco Label for sustainable management, including water use and electricity, as well as management policies for hosting events and concerts. Helmut Platzer, who is our host at the Hotel Alexandra in town, tells us this and many more interesting stories, including the installation of “smart shower heads” in their hotel rooms (no kidding!), and their help with saving water in the hotel. Go for yourself to find out, and believe me, you will not be disappointed!

Gemütlich im Hotel Alexandra Zimmer bezogen ...

Having arrived at the environmentally friendly, cosy Hotel Alexandra …


... starten wir unsere neuerliche Erkundungsreise durch Wels ...

… we start exploring Wels soon after …


... Gösser Biergarten Advent, anyone?!

… including a stint at their Gösser Biergarten Advent!


Klein aber fein, dass muss man der Gaststätte Gösser Bräu lassen: Auch das Bier und unser Mittagessen hier schmecken sehr gut.

… realising that both food, souvenir items and decoration are truly nicely done out here.


Apart from Wels hotels & businesses, the interactive museum “Welios” is also at the forefront of sustainable management in town, including many an experience for visitors.

If you don’t like museums, surely you will love the “Welios” as it is far from the notion of a passive display of objects. Everything is meant to be touched, tried, and played with, what with the entire museum being only two years old. There are many technical experiments to be done, such as building your own tornado, travelling to the centre of the Earth, using your friends as conductors for electricity and surprising them with magic tricks! I promise you, you will want to come back here for sure!

Auch hier im Helios finden

Welcome to Welios in Wels, the town’s most recent, and very modern museum …


Hinein ins Vergnügen ..

… where truly everything is made to be explored and analysed …


Dazu kommt

… including experiences well related to everyday life.


Wels, Du hast uns wirklich begeistert, und wir wollen hier gar nicht mehr weg !

Wels, we’re not keen on leaving you behind !


Ankommen, abreisen: Besonders gemütlich gestaltet sich unsere Reise mit dem Zug.

And if you must, do consider taking the train: It’s far more convenient than driving.


If you want to see even more photographs, check out my digital photo album of Wels here:


Disclaimer: We have been invited on this trip to Wels supported by the town of Wels as well as the Austrian Eco Label. All opinions are my own.

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