Ekaterina Sharonova

Russian student blogs about her study in St. Pölten

5 things you should do in Austria before Christmas

I love Christmastime! Here's how we, Erasmus students, spent this wonderful time of the year:

How to enjoy the time before Christmas best!

1. Christmas markets <3

The first – and most obvious thing – is going to a Christmas market. Don't miss this great opportunity to indulge Christmas atmosphere! The smell of gluehwein, gingerbread and tangerine gets you in the perfect mood for the holidays!

2. My favorite fairy tale: Ice skating in Vienna 

Ice skating in Vienna is like a fairy tale! The ice rink at Rathaus is spacious (although sometimes it‘s difficult to say that – on weekends it is absolutely packed with people who want to enjoy this magical experience). When it gets darker, the multitude of lights turn everything even more magical! It is definitely worth the cost! I wish I could skate there at least one more time! Lifetime experience! Energy boost and great mood for a long time!

Right next to the rink there is a Christmas market, where you can enjoy the most delicious sausages in the world! (My personal recommendation: Käsekrainer :D). And of course have a punch or hot chocolate! Couldn‘t be better!

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3. Enjoy snow :)

Unfortunately during Christmas time there was none in St. Pölten. At all. But: It was not a big deal! Only 15 minutes from town, in a place called Wilhelmsburg, there was a lot of snow!
So we went for a small hike. After walking up through the snowy forest we had an incredible view of the snow-capped mountains! Playing snowballs, making a snowman – what else do you need on a sunny day?

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4. Buy a New Year's sweater!

It may seem insanely ridiculous, but can be really funny though. Don’t know why it was difficult to find one (maybe we started too late, who knows :D). But we made it!

5. Baking ginger cookies with friends

Last but not least: Everyone dress up in one of these sweaters to bake ginger cookies together… Bake an amount that seems to be enough for the whole world (seriously, this is a great idea for Christmas charity :) ).

I love this Christmas tradition! You can smell cinnamon and ginger at home! Gather together with friends and bake cookies of various shapes, ranging from ordinary stars to figures of snowmen and animals! It took us some time, we had to be careful and patient, but at the end we were happy with the result :) See for yourself: 

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And, of course: Celebrate a Christmas party! 

Of course, we had a Christmas party too, cooked dinner together, had a lot of fun and exchanged our presents that we prepared for each other! For me personally, it was a great experience. In Russia we have absolutely different traditions, we even celebrate Christmas on a different day!

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Saying goodbye...

P.S.: It might be too late (or too early), but anyway – I want to wish to all of you who are reading this: Happy New Year and Merry Christmas!

Frohe Weihnachten! Счастливого Нового года и Рождества! Hyvää joulua!
Joyeux Noël! Feliz navidad! Veselé Vánoce! God jul! Vrolijk kerstfeest!

Tschüß!

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Former international student Naomi Melchers blogs about her stay in St. Pölten:

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