austria Europe in winter

A Complete Guide to Visiting Vienna in the Winter

Have a glass of Christmas punch, treat your self to a spa, and explore the city´s museums – these are some great ways to make the better of a stunning Vienna in winter.

It’s onerous to find a city that appears as fairly as Vienna in winter. The old-world appeal of the streets, the imperial structure basked in twinkling lights and the metropolis’s coffee culture make for the good winter break. I head to the Austrian capital virtually every year earlier than Christmas and up to now haven’t obtained bored; there are simply so many things to do in Vienna in December.

Each winter, Vienna’s prettiest squares turn into magical Christmas markets, featuring countless stalls promoting souvenirs and scorching mulled wine. The environment could be very totally different than different occasions of the yr – winter in Vienna is just superb.

vienna in winter altstadt

Discovering Vienna in winter
Once I still lived in the Czech Republic, I used to journey to Vienna typically: it was my closest airport and the gateway to the world.  Typically I just actually went there just to catch my flights, but I additionally incessantly visited the metropolis to go to my Austrian good friend Sonja who lives there. She never appeared to run out of ideas for things to do in Vienna in winter.

Together, we all the time went to discover a new a part of the city, a brand new museum, or new café. Visiting the city with the local individual is all the time very particular: you got to see locations you’d miss in any other case.

In case you are considering visiting Vienna in winter, I might eagerly advocate it. Regardless of whether or not you catch the Creation season otherwise you come later and experience Vienna in January, I’m positive you’ll like it. This publish is full of sensible ideas, exercise and accommodation suggestions, and other helpful information to plan your trip!

Touring to Vienna

Thanks to its worldwide airport, it is straightforward to get to Vienna from any part of the world. Use my favorite flight search Kiwi.com to discover the least expensive flights. Vienna airport is about 16 kilometers east of Vienna in Swechat: it takes about half an hour to reach the metropolis middle by public transport – the least expensive method is by S-Bahn practice, on which the single fare is €four.00.

Swechat is, by the approach, certainly one of the smartest places to get lodging when visiting Vienna in winter: the inns in the middle all the time like to improve their worth throughout the Creation. In Swechat, you will get good value on the cash you’ve gotten spent. Later in this article, I’ve put collectively suggestions on the place to stay in Vienna, to be able to discover the favorite place on your own.

vienna in winter

Getting around Vienna in Winter

Vienna is claimed to have the best public transportation techniques in all of Europe. Based mostly on my quite a few experiences getting round Vienna, each the trams and metro are clean and reliable. Typically they even function little tables, making them really feel like little cellular coffee houses.

Getting round in Vienna is fairly handy. Regardless of where you’re heading, the single journey all the time prices 2,20 Euros. I extremely advocate getting the Vienna Customer Card on your journey – it has all forms of transportation included plus you get discounts in any respect major museums and sights. Considering that Vienna is just not precisely low cost, this can be a great money saver.

And another good news: some of the previous trams have heaters situated immediately underneath the seats. So all you need to do is to find the proper heated seat and unfreeze your….again half 🙂

vienna in winter

Things to find out about visiting Vienna in December and January

  • Austrians rejoice Christmas on Christmas Eve. So in the event you arrive on December 24, you will see the Christmas market closed and the streets emphty. Most locals will probably be at house with their households.
  • Anticipate lots of restaurants and cafes to be are closed around Christmas.  If you need to focus your go to on food and have a want listing that you want to go to, it’s higher to plan your trip for early December. No all locations will probably be closed for Christmas, but is all the time the greatest to examine earlier than going.
  • In the event you keep until the New Years, prepare for an enormous road celebration. There’s A giant firework held on City Hall Square and in the Prater at midnight. There are special boat excursions on Danube for this occasion. And if you want, there’s the New Yr’s Eve Ball at the Hofburg Vienna (Imperial Palace) and numerous galas held in the city’s main inns.

Where to stay in Vienna

Creation is a high season in Vienna, yet there are still lot of varied lodging to select from. I’ve compiled the better of the greatest lodges and hostels in Vienna which might be the good mix of luxury and comfort at the good worth.

BUDGET: AS CHEAP AS POSSIBLE (UNDER 40 EUR)

MEININGER Vienna Central Station
Good for price range travelers. at this hostel, you will get a dorm bed from 10 euros. It’s near the highly beneficial Belvedere Christmas market. In the night, you possibly can chill in the lodge bar. Verify availability and charges right here.

Wombats City Hostel Vienna
Considered one of the best-rated hostels in the metropolis. Big and social, this hostel features an incredible location close to Naschmarkt, which is nice for scrumptious and inexpensive meals. Should you stay in Viennamultiple for a pair days, that is the place to be. Verify availability and rates here.

BUDGET: MID-RANGE (UNDER 90 EUR)

City Lodge Albrecht
This Family-run lodge with wonderful evaluations is situated in Schwechat. I tis the good location in case you are arriving by aircraft. The breakfast is included in worth. You’ll be able to attain Vienna metropolis centre from the The Kaiserebersdorf Practice Station. Verify the availability and charges right here.

Das Reinisch Guesthouse
Another place to advocate in Swechat. This snug visitor home has every little thing you need to take pleasure in your keep in Vienna in winter: spacious rooms, a restaurant and a sauna.  The employees could be very pleasant and you get so much in your cash here. Verify the availability and charges here.

BUDGET: BALLIN’ (170 EUR+)

Novotel Wien Hauptbahnhof
The situation is unbelievable: This snug lodge is simply behind the nook from the lovely Belvedere palace and primary practice station. You possibly can take pleasure in the sauna, restaurant and nice leading edge design.  Some rooms embrace a seating area to loosen up in after a busy day.  Examine the availability and rates here.

BEST WESTERN PREMIER Harmonie Vienna
Pretty lodge where I stayed and actually loved its boutique rooms. It has a terrific central location and is perfect for couples. Particularly great for having great sleep after coming to Vienna or before leaving. The lodge options airport transfers. Examine availability and charges here.

When you nonetheless haven’t decided for the good lodge, then examine fellow travel blogger’s information to The place to Keep in Vienna.

What to do in Vienna in the winter

I often visit Vienna in the month leading up to Christmas, so this text primarily focuses on things to do in Vienna in December. Nevertheless, this is also a high season for tourism. If Christmas markets will not be the most important function of your go to, it is best to contemplate visiting the city after New Yr’s, when the vacationer crowds dissipate. Vienna in January can nonetheless be fairly superb.

So, what are the greatest issues to do in Vienna in the winter?

01| Hit up some Christmas markets

vienna in winter christmas market

The primary Christmas market was held in the 13th century when Albrecht I granted Vienna’s residents the privilege to maintain one. As time passed, Austrians turned fonder and fonder of them. These days, there are about 20 such markets, and they are little question at the prime of the record of things to do in Vienna in December.

The basic and must-see is Wiener Christkindlmarkt, Vienna’s largest Christmas market, situated in front of Metropolis Corridor. It’s estimated that the market sees three,5 million guests annually, so you’d higher be ready for the crowds. It is a good suggestion to comply with up with a visit to a smaller market, which are extra laid again however nonetheless exceptionally lovely.

I might personally advocate both the Christmas market at the Technical College and the handicraft-oriented market at Belvedere Palace. Different nice ones are those at Spittelberg and Karlsplatz. If you need to discover Christmas markets with an area information, this strolling tour takes in four totally different ones. It’s a good means to get an area perspective and luxuriate in the festive environment at the similar time (added bonus: additional rum to improve your scorching punch could also be included 🙂

The perfect time to visit a Christmas market is at night time when the lights and smells emerge to produce the true Christmas market experience you might have seen in films. The punch costs between four,5 and 5,5 Euros (and I might argue tastes higher than Glühwein, the German equal). It is served in a special ceramic cup – you’ll be able to return it and get again the deposit, or do as I did and hold it as a souvenir.

02 | Expertise the coffee culture

winter in vienna cafe central

Certainly one of my favorite methods to take pleasure in Vienna in winter is to sit down with a cup of espresso and a tasty dessert. Viennese espresso tradition actually offers infinite opportunities. Viennese cafes are quiet and relaxed, and they are the good place to warm up after hours of sightseeing.

Consider or not, individuals like Sigmund Freud, Egon Schiele, and Gustav Klimt, once patronized the similar cafes. Lots of the coffeehouses are over 300 years previous and house owners do their greatest to preserve the unique fashion.  If you would like to go to the most traditional locations, attempt Café Korb, Café Leopold Hawelka, or Café Central. Don’t be stunned to find a queue at peak occasions; nevertheless, once you’re seated you possibly can take pleasure in an uninterrupted expertise. Cafes are locations for hanging out, studying a e-book, and letting the hours cross.

There is a shocking variety of totally different kinds of coffee on supply in Vienna, and ordering “only a espresso“ often gained’t suffice, so take your time to read the menu:) In case you are lost, go for a Melange, which is a typical Viennese coffee, very similar to the Austrian cousin of the cappuccino.

04| Museums and palaces

Vienna has for lengthy been certainly one of the most necessary cultural facilities of Europe. For 700 years it was the seat of Austria’s ruling Habsburg household. At present, numerous fascinating palaces and museums stay, where you possibly can take in effective collections historical artifacts and masterpieces of artwork.

If it is your first time in Vienna, you need to undoubtedly go to the two most necessary museums: Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Wonderful Arts) and Albertina, each situated in the Innere Stadt. If you need to see plenty of issues in a short time, I might advocate this tour overlaying the main sights and museums in simply 3,5 hours. It additionally consists of a complicated ticket to the Schönbrunn Palace, so you will be able to skip the queue. In case you are interested to visit purely the Schönbrunn Palace, get skip the line tickets right here.

Finally, make sure to make your method to iconic Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral), situated at the fundamental sq.. You possibly can even ascend to its highest point, the 60-meter south tower. There are 343 stairs to climb, which is sort of a challenge, however the reward is you get to see a tremendous panorama of Vienna in winter. The doorway payment is 3,50 Euros.

04 | Take pleasure in a spa

Winter in vienna wellness

Winter in Vienna is chilly – be ready for temperatures properly under zero. Doesn’t a spa sound like a good way to escape from the wind and chilly? Why not spend an afternoon in basking in a steam room, sauna, or whirlpool?

There are a number of inns that includes spas – my pal and I decided on So SPA at Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom because of its superb design. The spa occupies the complete fifth flooring (750 sq. meters!).  It includes a spectacular glass ceiling coated by a colorful mural portray by Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist.

Entry to the spa is 32 Euros, and you may visit the fitness center as nicely (until you are a guest at the lodge, then you will have it all at no cost). Plus, they promote tremendous delicious smoothies for six Euros. If you’d like to keep in this exclusive lodge, verify the rates here.

05 | Go ice skating

things to do in vienna in december ice skating

Ice skating is great fun and certainly one of the greatest issues to do in Vienna in the winter. Both locals and guests alike can take pleasure in this activity. You possibly can select between a contemporary indoor skating rink or go skating towards some lovely backdrops at Vienna’s outside ice rinks, similar to the Vienna Ice Dream in entrance of Vienna Metropolis Corridor.

Another good spot to go is the ice skating rink of the Vienna Affiliation of Ice Skaters, which spans 6,000 square meters between the Wiener Konzerthaus (Vienna Live performance Hall) and the Vienna InterContinental Lodge close to the Stadtpark.). You’ll be able to lease ice skates on website for a number of Euros.

In case you can’t skate, ensure to study it this yr – the bruises are utterly value it1! Ice skating is certainly one of my favourite winter sports activities truly. When it’s cold enough, it’s attainable to ice skate on the Danube.

06| Be a part of a walking tour

I actually love cities that can be easily explored on foot and Vienna is one among them. The internal city is sort of compact and there are many cobblestone lanes to discover – all you want are warm clothes, nice footwear and a bit little bit of endurance and endurance. Despite the chilly temperatures, there’s still much life on the streets of Vienna in winter.

There’s nothing easier than doing a tour by yourself paste. Nevertheless, Vienna is a city of historical past so in case you are to know little more than bizarre vacationer, think about taking a tour with a information. If its your first time to go to Vienna, then I like to recommend you to take this tour to get overview of the highlights in Vienna. For simply 16 euro, the guide exhibits you around for two hours which is a superb value.

things to do in viena in december

07 | Go to the opera

Visiting the opera may sound boring to many, however don’t decide earlier than you attempt: in Vienna, it’s also about historical past and about the particular environment. And also you don’t even have to be wealthy to go: shortly before every performance you possibly can line up and purchase low cost standing tickets. Some individuals depart after the break so you possibly can typically even find a place to sit.

Be certain that to pack in your journey one better outfit as you won’t be allowed to enter in the backpacker’s type. You possibly can verify the program of Wiener Staatsoper right here.

08 | Let it snow

With planet warming up increasingly more annually, just isn’t anymore that positive to find a snow in Vienna in winter. Unfortunately. It With snow, every thing seems to be little extra romantic. It particularly the locals, that would really like to have a white Christmas. In case you are lucky to experience the recent snow, be sure that to seize footage of this winter story.

But what to do when it snows and doesn’t stop? Discover the nearest park and make a snowman: Prater Park is ideal for this. It’s also possible to manage a snow battle with your folks.

things to do in viena in december

Day journeys from Vienna in winter

With a location in Central Europe, Vienna is a superb place to visit the different places in Europe as nicely. Relying on how much time to you’ve gotten left, you might want to choose to escape Vienna for a day or even for the entire weekend.

The neighboring Czech Republic gives a number of cities properly reachable by bus and practice. Come to expertise Christmas environment to Prague and decide whether or not it may compete with the appeal of Vienna. Discover scholar town of Brno featuring one in every of the most superb Christmas market in the nation, or head to Olomouc listed by UNESCO.

day trips from vienna in winter

Wanna expertise snowboarding throughout your journey to Vienna? Then you need to keep on the Austrian aspect. Vienna, unfortunately, doesn’t have a ski resorts in the direct vicinity. Nevertheless, there are a couple of places you possibly can reach throughout the at some point trip and still take pleasure in some skiing whereas staying in Wienna in Winter.

The preferred location is Hohe-Wand-Wiese (more appropriate for households and novices) and in Semmering (it’s about 100 kilometers from Vienna, but properly accessible with public transportation). Should you not a skier, tobogganing is all the time a fantastic various.

What to wear in Vienna in December

Rain and snow are both widespread in during the winter in Vienna. . It’s nice to have some layers since it may well get fairly chilly: Warm and waterproof clothing is important.

Be certain to pack:

  • Snug, breathable footwear
  • Scarf, hat and gloves
  • Layers: leggings, long sleeved shirt, coat

What to put on in Vienna in December? It’s   the coldest month, so you’ve got better to be ready. After a couple of hours outdoors you may be joyful to enter a museum, café or anyplace heated to unfreeze your physique elements. Hold in thoughts that when you enter these buildings you’ll in all probability need to take some layers off.

what to wear in vienna in December

Have you ever been to Vienna in the winter?

What are your favourite things to do in Austrian capital? And do you favor to go to it in winter or in the summer time?  You possibly can share your ideas in the comment section. I really like reading your comments!

Veronika Tomanova

Veronika Tomanova is the founding father of award-winning solo female journey blog Veronika’s Journey, that includes travel ideas, guides and tales from around the world. She is from Czech Republic and has been to 30+ nations.

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