The SLMan Guide To Winter In Vienna
THE ICE RINK:
City Hall Square
After the Christmas celebrations are over, Vienna’s City Hall Square will open one of the world’s biggest open-air ice rinks. Open from Thursday January 19th until Sunday 5th March 2023, the 9,500sq m rink is spread across four areas, so there’s plenty of space for everyone. There’s also an ice terrace on the venue’s first floor which has beautiful views over the Vienna City Hall Square. After a session on the ice, stop for a hot drink and Austrian street food at the on-site winter chalet.
Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz 1, 1010 Wien
Vienna is known for its abundance of coffee houses where you can settle down with a hot drink and traditional pastry or cake. Café Prückel is an institution, popular with tourists and locals alike. The original café opened over 100 years ago, but it was renovated in the 1950s and most of its interiors have stayed the same ever since – think olive green sofas and opulent chandeliers. Diners can enjoy breakfast until 2pm, before traditional Viennese lunches are served. The café also hosts regular events in the evening, including exhibitions and live pianist performances every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7-10pm.
Stubenring 24, 1010 Wien
THE CHRISTMAS MARKET:
Christkindlmarkt at Rathausplatz
There are 12 main Christmas markets in Vienna, but Rathausplatz is home to the city’s most famous. One of Europe’s oldest and biggest, Christkindlmarkt attracts around 4m people every year. The market dates back to the 13th century, but today you’ll find a winter wonderland with over 100 stalls selling everything from handmade gifts and stocking fillers to gingerbread biscuits and roasted nuts. Visitors can hear German carols sung on the piazza, have a go on the illuminated fairground rides, and skate on the rink at Vienna City Hall. There are plenty of activities for children, including a special reindeer train and various arts and crafts workshops.
Rathausplatz, 1010 Wien; until Boxing Day
The Retrospective Basquiat at the Albertina Museum
American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat is one of New York City’s most important cultural figures. An early pioneer of street art, he rose to fame in the 80s before his tragic death at just 27. This new exhibition at Vienna’s Albertina Museum features 50 works from public and private collections, including self-portraits and some of Basquiat’s most famous paintings commenting on racism in the US. More current than ever, his art is every bit as pioneering and visionary as it was 40 years ago. This exhibition is a unique chance to see Basquiat’s work outside of NYC. Tickets start from €14.
Albertinaplatz 1, 1010 Wien; until 8 January 2023
If you’re spending New Year’s Eve in Vienna, Silvesterpfad is a winter trail that takes in some of the city’s most famous sites. On 31st December, over a dozen venues will offer free music and entertainment lasting into the early hours. With something for everyone, there will be stages for pop, rock, soul, house, waltz and other genres, while 70 restaurants in central Vienna will serve special dishes. The event also sees some of the city’s Christmas markets turn into New Year markets, with different food and drink options, including fried sausages – a traditional Viennese snack on New Year’s Day. When the clocks strike midnight, there’s a 12-minute firework display to ring in the New Year.
This small restaurant is near the picturesque Augarten park in Vienna’s second district. One of the city’s best new openings in recent years, bookmark it for a long lunch or romantic supper. Diners can try traditional Austrian dishes made with seasonal ingredients and local produce – expect the likes of porcini mushroom soup with croutons and thyme, goose with dumplings and red cabbage, and berry crème brulée. There’s a small menu of natural wines, plus Tegernseer beer on tap.
Traunfelsgasse 1, 1200 Wien
Rosewood opened its first hotel in Austria earlier this summer. Set in a restored 19th-century building on Petersplatz, one of the most famous squares in Vienna's old town, the hotel has everything you need to enjoy a special weekend away, from luxury rooms and suites to a spa with a hydrotherapy relaxation room. Guests can dine in the Neue Hoheit Brasserie which serves modern Austrian dishes, and take afternoon tea in the elegant Salon Aurelie. Over the next month, there are Christmas menus, including a special festive lunch on Sundays. If you’re not staying at the hotel, book a table at the rooftop bar for cocktails and live music.
Petersplatz 7, 1010 Wien
Candlelit Concerts by Fever
Vienna is Europe’s capital of classical music. With a heritage that includes composers like Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Strauss, the city has an abundance of historic music venues and opera houses. For something more modern, there are several candlelit performances coming up at venues across the city over the next few months, many of which have never been used for musical performances before. From €20, you can book tickets to see live orchestras play music by the likes of Coldplay.
Flight Time: London to Vienna is 2 hours 15 minutes. The main airport is Vienna International.
Average Temperature: November and December are two of the best months to visit when temperatures average between 1°C and 8°C. January and February usually reach highs of 5° and lows of -2°.
Time: GMT plus 1 hour
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