[R189R, Innsbruck] not only boasts 285 kilometres of pistes, but sackfuls of traditional Christmas charm.

Innsbruck's snow-capped mountain peaks provide the ideal backdrop for a spot of Christmas shopping. Every year the medieval Altstadt square, in front of the city's infamous Golden Roof, is transformed into a traditional Austrian Christmas market.

Decorated stalls will be set around a tall Christmas tree in the old town from Nov. 21-Dec. 28 this year.

Visitors can buy old fashioned Christmas presents like wooden handicrafts, taste typical Tirolean food, and experience traditional folk music. Highlights include the ‘Fairy Tale Alley' and the ‘Living Advent Calendar.'

A second Innsbruck Christmas market will be held at Innsbruck's Marktplatz and is particularly popular with children. The traditional ‘Rattenberger Perchten' (wild spirits) will visit the Christmas market Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m., and on Dec. 6 St Nikolaus will arrive at the Marktplatz by helicopter and bring all the children a surprise. Other highlights include the carousel and petting zoo. The Marktplatz market, in front of the Market Hall, takes place Nov.17 -  Dec. 23.

For the first time a third Christmas market will also be held in Innsbruck's main shopping street, Maria Theresien Strasse, Nov. 23 - Jan. 6, 2009.