Winter in Vienna
It’s finally winter – the time of the year where snow, laughter and lights abound. And in Vienna, winter is celebrated much more spectacularly than at other cities. Not only do they have special events that take place only in this season, but they’ve also decorated the city so beautifully. Hence, there’s no surprise why many people travel around this time.
For the ultimate Vienna winter experience, we’re recommending 6 activities you must do with your loved ones.
1. Visit a Viennese Christmas Market
Planning on staying for Christmas in Vienna? Visit a Christmas Market, which opens from mid-to-late November until around Christmas. Here, you’ll find numerous stalls selling various items such as handcrafted Christmas decorations and cute knick-knacks. You’ll also find freshly-baked or cooked food such as roasted chestnuts and baked potatoes!
Although Vienna has many Christmas Markets, for the best Vienna winter experience, we suggest visiting the city’s biggest and most famous market “Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt”. While you’re here, watch out for the famous “tree with glowing hearts” and ice skating trail. This market is open from 15 November to 26 December 2019.
2. Listen to a Christmas and New Year Concert
With the city famously known as the city of music, it’s inevitable to have this as one of the must-do activities in Vienna this winter.
Throughout the month of December, discover special advent choir or music performances in churches and concert halls. Some of the most famous Christmas concert venues in Vienna include the Minoritenkirche (Italian church), St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom) and St. Peter's Church (Peterskirche).
Additionally, don’t miss out on Vienna’s most famous concert “Neujahrskonzert”, which takes place on New Year’s Day. Starring the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, hear famous waltz tunes from the Strauss family and Austria’s famous piece “The Blue Danube”.
3. Enjoy the lights around the city
Unlike other times, Vienna winter means the city will be illuminated with thousands of street lights – a breathtaking sight you shouldn’t miss out on. For the best experience, go for a stroll in the city centre, Rathauspark and the Ring area.
4. Try a Weihnachtspunsch
If you’re planning to visit any of Vienna’s Christmas Markets, remember to get a Weihnachtspunsch – a hot and sweet alcoholic punch. These famous drinks are usually served in mugs with unique designs. As the designs differ based on the Christmas Market you bought it from and the year you bought it in (the design changes every year), these mugs are considered as collectables.
Note that each drink requires a deposit (for the mugs). But if you wish to collect the mugs, you can opt to not return the mugs and lose the deposit instead (this behaviour is acceptable).
For those who can’t drink alcohol, order a Kinderpunsch instead.
5. Experience Viennese balls
If you’re in town during winter, remember to partake in one of the most famous events in Vienna – the ball season (from mid-November to March). Here, you’ll be able to dance the waltz while being accompanied by the fine tunes of the orchestra and even watch the debutante procession.
Read about the different Viennese balls here.