How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!

How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!

If you’re looking for any last-minute ideas for a magical and wonderful vacation spot, look no further because I’m sure I have the answer that you’re looking for: Vienna, Austria!

I know you’re probably thinking that you’d rather go somewhere warm. Somewhere with a beach where you can laze around in your red and white bathing suit with a fancy, frilly egg-noggy drink. Personally, I hate egg nogg and much prefer mulled wine (or anything else, for that matter), but if that’s your jam, that’s cool! Vienna might not be warm or beachy, but it has a lot of Christmas spirit, which makes it a really nice winter destination, if I do say so myself.

So, here’s how I think you could make the most of your trip to Vienna should it fall in the month of December!

How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!
Frohes Fest, everyone!

Go to at least one Christmas Market (but don’t be alarmed if you want to go to all of them).

You all know how much I LOVE Christmas markets. Like I’m talking to the point of obsession, here.

How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!
Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt is my favorite Christmas market in Vienna!

Well my love of these markets grew three sizes while we were in Vienna. The city seems to have them on every corner (not true) so whenever you’re walking you just happen to stumble upon one (kind of true). During our few days in Vienna, we went to five different Christmas markets, so that totally makes me an expert on them. I’m joking, or course! You really only need to go to one to be an expert!

How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!
Another Christmas market we stumbled upon.
How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!
Christmas markets at night are super magical.

If you don’t have time to find as many markets as you can, my favorite was Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt. It had the most stalls, as well as a skating rink and a giant snowglobe! If you haven’t checked out my last post about why you should go to all the Christmas markets you can, check it out, and then head out into Vienna to find some for yourself!

Warm up by visiting a museum or two.

There are so many amazing museums in Vienna! We didn’t have enough time to get to as many as we would have liked so we had to be choosy. After weighing some pros and cons (and discussing what museums were coming up in the following weeks in our travels) we went with spending a morning at the Haus der Musik which is a museum dedicated to, you guessed it, music!

When I think of Vienna, I associate it with classical music as I’m sure most people do. While this museum has an entire level dedicated to the life of composers such as Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart, and Schubert, it also has a lot of really fun and interactive exhibits. On the fourth floor you can even try your hand at creating and directing your own opera. I would definitely leave a solid morning or afternoon to really explore and experience this museum.

I really wanted to go to the Leopold Museum, the The Kunsthistorisches Museum (art history museum) and the Naturhistorisches Museum Vienna (Natural History Museum). The Kunst Haus was also high on our list, but time just flew by! So please, go to Vienna and visit all of these museums and let me know how they are. In my daydreams I’m planning a week of just museum hopping in Vienna for a holiday.

Check out this website for more information on even more museums in Vienna!

Adult tickets €13.00.
Haus der Musik: Seilerstätte 30, A-1010 Wien

How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!
I love the lights! They’re so festive.

Bundle up and head out on an architecture walking tour around Vienna.

Once you’ve warmed up by hanging out in a museum, go and get lost in Vienna’s old town. This city has some of the prettiest architecture in the softest, most eye-pleasing colors you’ll see. I’m a big fan of Austrian architecture in general, so I already knew I’d fall in love with the city before we got there.

How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!
The University of Vienna has some gorgeous buildings!

I don’t have any specific places you HAVE to go and see. When we set out on our “crawl” we did so without a planned route. My one piece of advice is to have fun getting lost. One of my favorite things to do is see a pretty building, look it up on Google maps and then see if we can find it’s significance using Wikipedia or other online resources. We learned a lot by making our own little walking tour, plus we didn’t have to pay anyone to tell us about the city!

How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!
Vienna’s Hofburg Palace is seriously gorgeous.

Brave any weather for a visit to Viennese Prater (or Wurstelprater).

Personally, I think no trip to Vienna would be complete without a visit to Prater Amusement Park. This park is so retro and cool, with a lot of fun little details. It’s easy to spend an entire day here!

How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!
A close up of the iconic old ferris wheel. I love the little carts!
How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!
Amusement swings and Christmas markets. What more do you need?
How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!
We could see these swings from our apartment!

The amusement park is open and free seven days a week. The rides cost money to ride, anywhere up to €5, but you can pick and choose what you want to ride, which is nice. There are a couple of restaurants in the park, should you get hungry. BUT if you go during Christmas market season there is one there, so that’s also an option, wahoo!

How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!
A little train that takes you through the Prater.

I really loved spending the morning at Prater, and I think you would too. It’s one of the oldest amusement parks in the world

1020 Vienna, Austria

Enjoy Schönbrunn Palace and Zoo, two can’t miss places in Vienna.

We went to Schönbrunn Palace and Zoo on a cold and rainy day, but the weather didn’t dampen our spirits! Was that too cheesy? Oh well, it’s already out there.

How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!
Looking at Schönbrunn from the entrance.

The land that Schönbrunn Palace was built on was bought in 1569 by Emperor Maximilian II and used as royal hunting grounds. A palace was built on the grounds between 1638 to 1643; the palace that you can visit today was built and remodeled by Maria Theresa in the 1740-50’s. The palace has a total of 1,441 rooms, and while you can’t see all of them on a tour you still see plenty. Included in the price of a ticket is an audio tour, which is both informative and easily understood. Make sure after you tour the palace you take time to walk through the gardens.

And before you head to the Vienna Zoo, have a wee wander around the Christmas market, since you’re visiting in December!

How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!
The Christmas market at Schönbrunn. This is just a glimpse, though, it’s quite large!
How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!
A view of the palace from the gardens.

Another “oldest blank in the world” title that Vienna can claim to their name is the Vienna Zoo. Constructed in 1752 by Adrian van Stekhoven, the zoo houses over 8,500 animals today! It was built by Emperor Franz I for his wife Maria Theresa to serve as imperial menagerie; it was originally just for the royal family, but it was opened to the public in 1765. Even on a cold and rainy afternoon there were plenty of animals out and about to see, so don’t let December weather scare you off!

Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Wien, Austria
Combination ticket (both palace and zoo): €27.50

Check out the Naschtmarkt in Vienna and grab a few pints after!

One of my favorite afternoons was spent walking around the Naschtmarkt and then grabbing some beer at 1516 Brewing Company.

The Naschtmarkt is a can’t-miss in the city. It’s a bustling, exciting food and goods market full of little treasures and yummy bites. We shared a few different foods while walking around! The stalls are open from about 6am to 7:30pm (weekdays) and 6am to 5pm (Saturdays). They’re closed on Sundays. Restaurants located in the Naschtmarkt are open later, so check specific restaurants for their opening times. I wish I had some pictures to show you, but my hands were full of food and there was too much to look at.

1516 Brewing Company is located near enough to the Naschtmarkt that it makes for a nice walk, and they have some really delicious beers on hand to try. I had a shandy (amazing) and a spiced winter beer (even more amazing). I would probably not go back to eat there, as the simple food we had could have been prepared a little better, but the beer makes the trip worth it!

Naschtmarkt is located: 1060 Vienna, Austria
1516 Brewing is located: Schwarzenbergstraße 2, 1010 Wien, Austria

How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!
The Austrian Parliament Building was pretty impressive. It has nothing to do with food or drink, but it’s very pretty!

Marvel at the State Hall at the Austrian National Library.

There is nothing I can possibly say about the State Hall in the Vienna National Library that could possibly do it justice. Literally nothing.

How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!
Oh hello, did I just walk into Beauty and the Beast?
How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!
The State Hall has two levels of books!
How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!
“Yes, who do I speak to about a book I checked out?”

This grand room, home to 200,000 valuable books published between 1501 and 1850 is a highlight of any trip to Vienna. Take a break from the December cold and pay a visit and see all this majesty for yourself!

Adult ticket prices €7.00
Josefsplatz 1, 1015 Wien, Austria


So, tell me, have you been to Vienna? What were your favorite spots? Would you ever consider going in December? Have you already gone in December? The lights, the spirit, the chill in the air, I just think it’s a great place to get yourself in the holiday mood.

I hope you’re having a holly, jolly December so far! Who’s ready for Christmas? I have to tell you, I’ve never been more in the Christmas spirit than I am this year! Even though we’ll be a world away from our loved ones this year, I think it’ll be a good year!

How to enjoy Vienna at Christmastime!

 

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31 Comments

  1. Wow Vienna looks amazing. I just did a trip through Europe and would have loved to visit it but missed it. Definitely will need to return and see it! thanks

  2. It seems Vienna can be enjoyed anytime of the year, but even moreso around the holidays. Beautiful list of spots to check out!

  3. I have been to Salzburg and Klagenfoot I wish I had made time for Vienna.It looks stunning. I love Christmas markets too. You have inspired me to do A trip to Europe during Christmas just so I can visit all the markets

  4. Can’t wait to visit Vienna, looks marvelous! Looks like there is plenty do on a budget but, I wouldn’t mind splurging a little there. I would love to wander through those historic buildings, the architecture is amazing. Nice detailed list so thanks for sharing.

  5. Wow! Looks so picturesque! I’ve never been to Vienna but I had on amazing time exploring the Christmas markets of Munich. The architecture looks stunning. I think I should put this on my list!

    1. I really loved the Christmas markets in Vienna! I hadn’t expected to enjoy them so much, but they definitely added something special to the entire trip!

  6. I’ve only been to Vienna in the summertime, so I’d love to experience it around Christmas as well. The markets look really festive and nice – exactly what you’d want! Also, I had no idea The State Hall was so beautiful, what an impressive place. I’ll be sure to check it out next time I’m there!

    1. The State Hall was my favorite place! I spent a solid 45 minutes photographing everything while Ryan read all of the info boards (and told me about it later).

  7. I am an Australian and I would love to one day spend a Christmas in Europe. It looks Vienna would be a good choice – christmas markets, ice skating and giant snow globe!! Perfect.

    1. I would love to have an Australian Christmas one day! Personally, I think Vienna is an excellent choice for a Christmas destination (obviously ;)).

  8. Although I’ve already visited many of the places mentioned in your post a few years back, you’ve kind of made me want to go back in December! I love Christmas markets and would definitely try and hit every single one.

  9. I live in Australia, it is warm and has nice beaches. No I think I woul rather go to vienna, looks fantastic, a lot of lovely buildings and it certainly looks like Vienna gets Christmas. Nice post and s merry Christmas to you.

    1. Merry Christmas to you, as well! I would love to change it up and visit Australia for Christmas one year. I think it would make quite a nice change.

  10. It looks like the place is soaked in christmas charm. I love those decorated markets and the whole festive mood. Thanks for some wonderful tips on how to enjoy our time here around Christmas

    1. A good question – it can be expensive, but we had planned on it being one of the more expensive destinations we visited. We chose a nicer accommodation a bit further away from downtown, which saved us some money. We also ate in more than we ate out, which saved us even more. When we did eat out we set a budget and were strict with ourselves. So we were able to go and see all of the things we wanted, without feeling like we ruined our budget for the month. It definitely takes some planning, though! You could easily spend all of your money in a place like Vienna.

  11. Vienna looks so resplendent in Christmas. I guess it would be a great time to visit during the festive season and also catch the Christmas Markets, hope to get there some day sooner then later.

  12. Thanks to you I now made it my new ambition to try out create my own opera. Well. I actually haven’t been to Vienna yet, but you put together quite a nice guide here – where you apparently can easily spend all your money in a second, haha. But the streets look wonderful to roam, and a rollercoaster ride in between always brightens my day!

    1. It’s easy to spend all of your money in Vienna. It was so important to us that we made a budget and stuck to it; so while we were able to do most of the things we really wanted to do, it also meant walking everywhere, eating in most days, and no little tchotkies to bring home. Vienna was definitely a city of experiences, which we knew about and planned for in advance (thankfully it wasn’t another Dubrovnik)!

      If you create your own opera, please invite me to opening night!

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