9 Best Things To Do At Christmas In Vienna, Austria - Updated 2024

things to do in vienna at christmas
Pallavi
Pallavi 
Contributing Writer
Updated
| 6 min read

Vienna seems to have to all, from opulent palaces and historic city squares to interesting museums and large open spaces. Not to forget the world-famous Vienna State Opera, an absolute must when visiting this beautiful city. You can enjoy exciting rides on the giant Ferris wheels at Prater and explore a variety of museums to immerse yourself in the Viennese culture.

During Christmas, the city transforms into a truly magical place and it is one of the most popular times to visit Vienna. A holiday spirit takes over the city as it is bathed in twinkling Christmas lights, and visitors enjoy vibrant markets and concerts all over the city. And the best part is that public transport continues to run smoothly so you can enjoy all the Christmas festivities the city has to offer. Continue reading to find out the best things to do at Christmas in Vienna, Austria.

1. Enjoy the marvelous Christmas & New Year's Concert at St. Peter's Church (from USD 51.0)

A visit to Vienna cannot be complete without experiencing its famous concerts. Treat your ears to the melodies of Mozart, Beethoven, and Vivaldi at the 18th-century St. Peter’s Church. The Classic Ensemble Vienna plays the melodic renditions of world-renowned artists in the Church’s crypt. Aside from the incredible music, treat yourself to the gorgeous interiors of the Church, with its intricate details.

Audiences are expected to dress up in smart-casual attires for the event. The best part is that the concert is disability-friendly, with wheelchair-accessible surfaces.

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Christmas and New Year Concert at St. Peter’s Church in Vienna

Duration: 60 to 70 minutes

55 reviews

2. Explore Viennese customs by embarking on a Magical Christmas Markets and Old Town Tour (from USD 551.37)

things to do in vienna at christmas | explore viennese customs by embarking on a magical christmas markets and old town tour

Vienna comes alive with numerous Christmas markets where in addition to finding souvenirs, you can try some traditional mulled wine to truly feel the Christmas spirit. The 12 main markets are centered around the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Vienna Old Town and allow visitors to experience the best of the city. Put on your walking shoes and be prepared to be completely mesmerized as a local guide leads you around the historic town center while you learn about Viennese traditions and customs.

You can choose from four different time slots to best suit your needs: 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm, or 7 pm. However, it is probably best to book this tour during the evening to experience the markets in their full glory.

Tip from Content Creator

Austria's Christmas market Austria's Christmas market Austria's Christmas market

Photos of Austria's Christmas markets shared by content creators from the United States, Mel & Tim.

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Exploring Vienna in Christmas Period – Private Walking Tour

Duration: 3.0 hour

3. Jump on the exciting Christmas Segway Tour (from USD 103.03)

things to do in vienna at christmas | jump on the exciting christmas segway tour

After a quick 20-minute training, you will be all set to board your Segway and explore the historic city center. You will ride to and explore various Christmas markets that are set up in Vienna around the holidays, such as the Christmas Village at Maria-Theresien-Platz. Breeze past famous monuments in the city center and stop to explore the markets on foot. If the winter chill gets to you, you can warm yourself with a cup of hot chocolate or traditional mulled wine.

The three-hour tour begins at 1 pm and requires two participants to make a booking. It is not suitable for children under the age of 12, pregnant women, and people weighing over 120 kg (264 lb). At the end of the tour, all participants receive a complimentary Viennese Christmas market mug as a holiday souvenir.

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Vienna: 3-Hour Christmas Tour by Segway

Duration: 3.0 hour

19 reviews

4. Indulge in a classic Christmas Concert & Dinner in the Kursalon (from USD 214.48)

things to do in vienna at christmas | indulge in a classic christmas concert & dinner in the kursalon

Vienna was home to great composers and a visit to this beautiful city is incomplete without experiencing their music. Be enthralled with a classical performance as the premier Salon Orchestra Alt-Wien brings to life the works of Mozart and Strauss. You will also be captivated by opera singers and ballet dancers coming alive on stage and complementing the music.

End your evening with a four-course themed dinner at Das Johann Restaurant with the menu celebrating Imperial Vienna. Your evening will begin at 6 pm and will definitely be an event where you would want to dress to the nines. This is a popular activity in the city and seats fill up fast, so book early and spend an enjoyable evening in the city.

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Vienna: Strauss & Mozart Christmas Gala at Kursalon

Duration: 4.0 hour

64 reviews

5. Be mesmerized by the light displays and giant chandeliers of Graben

Christmas Lights on the Graben in Vienna, Austria
Source: Photo by Flickr user traveljunction used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The first lights of the holiday season begin to turn on in early November, and soon, the entire city is swathed in twinkling lights making it one of the best places to spend Christmas. And the pedestrian-friendly Graben street is the most magical of all the streets in Vienna, as giant chandeliers, up to 6 m (19 ft) in height, are suspended over the street. These spectacular chandeliers are made from numerous tiny LED lights.

Put on your most comfortable shoes and be ready to be completely mesmerized by the twinkling lights against the backdrop of the night sky. And once you have explored the lights and the vibrantly decorated street, you can always make your way to one of the night markets before you end your day.

Chandeliers at Graben

Address: Graben, Vienna, Austria

Tip from Content Creator

Graben Graben Graben

254,000 light points extend over 16 kilometers of light chains along Graben! The light installations here are already 20 years old. And in 2023, completely new festival lighting had to be purchased.

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6. Enjoy the thrills of ice skating at Wiener Eislauf-Verein

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Wiener Eislaufverein WEV on Sunday, October 31, 2021

For a quintessential Christmas experience in the city of Vienna, you have to make your way to Wiener Eislauf-Verein, one of the oldest and largest ice-skating rinks in the world. Feel the cool breeze on your face as you waltz around the ice with your friends and family. The ice skating rink is open daily from October 22nd onwards between 9 am and 8 pm, with reduced hours on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Ticket prices range from 3 EUR (2.96 USD) for children to 11 EUR (10.86 USD) for adults.

The best part is that there are separate areas for advanced skaters and beginners, so you can have a safe and enjoyable time on the ice.

Ice Skating at Wiener Eislauf-Verein

Address: Wiener Eislauf-Verein, Lothringerstraße 22, 1030 Wien, Austria

Website: Wiener Eislauf-Verein

Opening hours: 9am - 8pm (daily); Dec 24, 2022 & Dec 31, 2022: 9am - 3pm; Jan 1, 2023: 10am - 8pm.

Price: 3 EUR (2.96 USD) - 11 EUR (10.86 USD)

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7. Experience the grand Christmas in Vienna concert

Christmas in Vienna
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Žiga used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Visitors are treated to the best voices in classical music with this yearly Christmas-time concert held at the prestigious Konzerthaus in the third district. Be transfixed by the voices of the award-winning Wiener Singakademie choir, which boasts of legendary conductors who have been part of it in the past, including Johannes Brahms. You will surely feel the festive spirit as you enjoy this annual extravaganza just before the onset of Christmas.

Visitors can book tickets for the preview show that will take place on December 16, 2022, or the gala event on December 17, 2022. Both shows begin at 7:30 pm and continue without a break, with the tickets for the preview starting at 56 EUR (55.31 USD) for the preview and 72.50 EUR (71.61 USD) for the gala.

Christmas in Vienna

Address: Wiener Konzerthaus, Lothringerstraße 20, 1030 Wien, Austria

Website:Christmas in Vienna

Opening hours: 7:30pm

Price: Preview: from 56 EUR (55.31 USD); Gala: from 72.50 EUR (71.61 USD)

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8. Have a unique Christmas at MQ Wintergarten

Museumsquartier Wien, Vorweihnachtsstimmung 2014 HDR - 5575
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Hubertl used under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you want a break from the traditional Christmas decorations, you need to head to the MuseumsQuartier - the cultural and artistic center of Vienna. There are traditional Christmas trees and lights adorning the courtyard, but beyond that, you will enjoy an interesting blend of art and Christmas. The cafes and restaurants spill onto the street and the courtyard is transformed with unique and interesting art installations. Experience the incredible ANTopolis, where visitor selfies are transformed into images composed entirely of digital ants.

This event runs from November until January (the dates are yet to be announced), between 4 pm to 11 pm. On the weekends and on public holidays, visitors can enjoy the open-air festivities from 2 pm onwards. And the best part about this experience? It is absolutely free!

MQ Wintergarten

Address: MuseumsQuartier, 1070 Vienna, Austria

Website: MQ Wintergarten

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 4pm to 11pm; Sat-Sun & public holidays: 2pm - 11pm

Price: Free

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9. Have private photo sessions with Shooting-Stars: VIP Christmas edition (From 120 USD)

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Vienna is absolutely magical during Christmas time, and you no longer need to spend time taking photographs instead of enjoying the sights. Instead, you can hire Danijela, who is an experienced photographer and will document your time as you wander the city. This package is for a private photoshoot for two people, but you can contact her directly for large groups and special occasion photography.

The professional photographer will guide you into not-so-crowded Christmas markets for better picture backgrounds and a more intimate experience. Later, you will receive high-quality, edited photographs taken during the session.

Shooting-Stars: VIP Christmas edition

Address: Vienna, Austria

Website:

Opening hours: Timings differ with dates

Price: From 120 USD

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Experience the magic of Christmas in Vienna

Christmas is about carols and lights, and Vienna offers that and more during this time of the year. The city is bathed in twinkling lights, hosts classical concerts and choir renditions, and boasts traditional Christmas markets to welcome the festive spirit. Book your tickets and explore the best things to do at Christmas in Vienna, Austria.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Raised in Bangkok and now living in India, Pallavi loves planning and going on road trips around the country. She believes they are the best way to understand a region!

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