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Highlight of the ball season in Vienna: the opening ceremony of the Vienna Opera Ball.
The snow-covered Theseustempel in Vienna's wintry Volksgarten.

Christmas magic & Wintertime activities

Winter in Vienna

Think there's nothing to do in Vienna in winter? Think again! First of all, it's Christmastime – which means the whole city twinkles with lights, and the sweet smell of Christmas biscuits wafts through the air. In January and February, the ball season ramps up in Vienna. 

You couldn't ask for a more stylish place to celebrate carnival! Or maybe you'd like to lace up your skates and take a few spins on the rink, or stroll through the snowy city. If it gets a bit cold out, head to one of the countless coffee houses in Vienna... winter in Vienna means all of this and more. So – what are you waiting for?

Winter in Vienna in …


  • A trip to Vienna at Christmastime without a stop at a Christkindlmarkt? Unthinkable! You could visit Vienna from 1-24 December and hit a different Christmas market every day. We put together a list of Henriette's favourite Christmas markets in Vienna for you!
  • Treat yourself to a Fiaker, or horse-drawn carriage ride through the illuminated city. Whilst this is certainly one of the most romantic winter activities in Vienna, a carriage ride is also perfect for families – enjoy a tradition-filled sightseeing tour complete with the clopping of hooves and a bit of typical Viennese humour.
  • Want a little lesson in the Viennese language? Buying a "Stanitzel" of roasted chestnuts is the perfect way to get a taste of the real Vienna. (A "Stanitzel" is a paper bag that chestnut sellers package their treats in. Or did you know that already? ;-)
Christmas decorations at the Christkindlmarkt between museums in Vienna.
Winter in Vienna in …


  • Lace up your skates and hit the ice! The 9,500 m² Viennese Ice Dream against the beautiful backdrop of the Vienna City Hall, the Engelmann artificial ice rink above the rooftops of Vienna, or the traditional ice skating club at Heumarkt are sure to make your winter trip to Vienna so much fun!
  • Discover magnificent crown jewels and legendary treasures in the Imperial Treasury of Vienna, located in the oldest part of the Hofburg former imperial palace. Here, it's not just the gemstones that sparkle – the eyes of visitors do, too!
  • Viennese comfort and attitude towards life in a nutshell: the coffee house. It's not without reason that Vienna coffee house culture is a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. No matter if you choose a traditional or modern café: you simply have to spoil yourself and order a sweet treat!
Ice skating on Rathausplatz.
Winter in Vienna in …


  • Carnival season is also the famed ball season in Vienna. From November, women in glamorous evening gowns and men in tails or tuxedos glide through magnificent ballrooms to the rhythm of the Waltz into the wee hours of the morning. This is something you have to experience yourself at least once – reserve your tickets early!
  • Speaking of the Waltz: left-right-left, right-left-right... or is it the other way around? Before hitting the ball, why not freshen up your footwork by taking dance lessons? Sometimes classes are even more fun than the ball itself!
  • Have you ever seen a horse dance? Pay a visit to the Spanish Riding School. There you can watch the Lipizzaner horses during their morning training or catch a performance of the Ballet of the White Stallions.
The opening waltz of the Vienna Opera Ball.
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