Reasons for visiting Vienna on the New Year’s Day are numerous, but they could be summarized in several words – great fun, multicultural experience and splendid decoration. During the introductory period to the New Year’s Day, and on the day itself, various programs, engaging shopping and exhibitions magnify the mood of the city, featuring grandiose atmosphere of a great festival. It is never too late to start planning. Read on to discover options of a Viennese New Year!
Where to find the best pastime?
The most joyous evening in Vienna can be spent in clubs, restaurants, opera houses and other establishments, but leaving out the atmosphere in the streets would be an unforgivable mistake. The liveliest zones during New Year’s Eve are concentrated in the Old Town around the Stephansdom (a Gothic cathedral), along the main streets (KärntnerStrasse and Graben), the Am Hof square, and in some sections of the Ringstrasse, around the Burgtheater and Rathaus, to be more precise. Prater, the Vienna’s public park to the east, is yet another area where the party traditionally goes on.
What is going on and where?
During the day, one can attend waltz dancing classes in front of the Stephansdom in the specific time, as well as tour certain interesting museums for free, if not arriving too late. Getting around the streets of the Old Town in a carriage is quite uncommon, but a worthy experience.
Vienna filled with lights!
As the evening descends slowly, stylish and beautiful decoration,combined with the Old Town’s architecture, provides a perfect backdrop for the parties and celebrations that take place throughout the main streets and squares. In the Graben, street stalls sell various sundries, such as homemade figurines and cosmetics, decorations, jewellery, etc.
Along the way, various stages are installed for diverse concert performances, with strategic positioning of disk jockeys (DJs) between them. Each stage performs a different kind of music, as well as DJs, and every type of music can be enjoyed – classical, local and regional folk music, modern dance music, popular pop and rock, and much more. Whoever missed the chance to learn how to dance waltz at Stephansdom, there shall be another opportunity at the stage next to the Burgtheater.
How to stay warm in vienna
This time of the year, the temperature tends to be rather low (as low as below 0 degree Celsius), and the winds will make you feel even colder. The best way to get refreshed and warmed in the cold night is to have a punch, one of the traditional beverages that shouldn’t be missed, or mulled wine. You will not have problems finding refreshments. Stalls in the vicinity of the main party zones sell beverages and various grill specialities. Bars and restaurants tend to be overcrowded, but in various passages, one can have a meal or drink at the table while enjoying, at the same time, the beautiful decoration and a live music performance by a soloist. Certain musical and theatrical venues tend to operate extended hours. Don’t miss their opulent style and elegance!
Highlights of the New Year’s Eve
Spectacular fireworks take place at Heldenplatz, next to the Hofburg, Prater and Stephansdom. Hofburg and Prater will be better choices for enjoying the fireworks because the view at the Stephansdom is limited (mostly depending on the positioning), and the crowd is so dense, making the maneuvering next to impossible for an extended period of time.
Welcome the New Year in Vienna!
Central streets of the Old Town get rather crowded as midnight approaches, particularly around the Stephansdom, and the metro station next to the landmark will be closed. However, the public transport operates all night. You should be aware that stores close earlier during the afternoon on December 31st, and reopen no earlier than January 2nd. Restaurants, bars and churches are open for guests and visitors during the holiday. Most museums are closed on January 1st, assuming standard operating hours on January 2nd.