Having a great Christmas Dinner and Christmas Day in Vienna isn’t as clear cut for travellers as it seems. In Wien like elsewhere we mostly celebrate with our families at our homes. Here are a few tips for 2017 to make sure you have a great time, too!
Christmas Dinner and Christmas Day in Vienna. There are always a few nice restaurants open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. My top five ‘down-to-earth’ places will be open and provide an authentic local setting. Most of them serve an exclusive Christmas Eve dinner menu.
- Restaurant Plachutta at Wollzeile and Walfischgasse in the city centre
- Brasserie at The Guesthouse Vienna on central Albertinaplatz
- rooftop restaurant Das Schick on Ringstrasse
- traditional Restaurant Hofmeister close to Graben in the centre
- modern EF 16 Restaurant and Wine Bar in the centre,
Unlike a restaurant’s more formal setting, Christmas insider tip Café Museum is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxed setting: When the streets get quiet you will snuggle up to red velvet upholstery in one of the window boxes. On top, the café serves excellent warm Viennese cuisine, not to speak of the mouthwatering selection of cakes.
If you want more glitz and luxury, choose one of the restaurants at five star hotels in Vienna, such as the Bristol Lounge right opposite the Vienna State Opera, Park Hyatt’s The Bank, restaurant Clementine im Glashaus at Palais Coburg, At Eight restaurant of The Ring Hotel, restaurant Anna Sacher at Hotel Sacher (see photo), or OPUS restaurant at Hotel Imperial. Do contact the restaurants well ahead to double check that they are open, and to book a table.
Most Atmospheric Christmas Masses
Christmas Dinner and Christmas Day in Vienna. Traditionally, many Viennese visit the traditional Christmas Mass (Christmette) at 11.00 pm or midnight of the 24th December. Besides hearing the Christmas gospel children’s and adult choirs sing traditional Christmas songs, such as Silent Night, Holy Night. Most masses take around one hour. Here is a list of churches that offer the most atmospheric midnight masses in the Vienna city center and central neighbourhoods:
Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral)
Stephansplatz, 1010 Vienna
University Church (aka Jesuit Church): 11.55 pm; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Coronation Mass; Missa Solemnis in C-Major;
Dr.-Ignaz-Seipel-Platz 1, 1010 Vienna
Augustinerkirche (the Habsburgs’ traditional wedding church): 11.00 pm; Christmas music for brass and organ;
Augustinerstrasse 3, 1010 Vienna
Minoritenkirche (in Italian language): 11.00 pm
Minoritenplatz, 1010 Vienna
Church St. Ulrich: 11.30 pm
Ulrichsplatz, 1070 Vienna
Piaristenkirche (parish Maria Treu): midnight
Piaristengasse 45, 1080 Vienna
Christmas Day in Vienna
Christmas Dinner and Christmas Day in Vienna. Christmas Day is quiet in Vienna, and perfect for relaxing, sightseeing or going on a day out. Just be aware that most shops and restaurants will be closed.
Sightseeing: While some smaller museums and institutions will be closed it’s a safe bet to stick to main attractions. Click to check which sightseeing tickets are still available on the 25th December. To escape the crowds consider joining a small group tour or booking private tours. Especially when you travel with your family or a group, having your own guide works wonders when navigating busy places.
Markets and Concerts: The Christmas markets that will be open on Christmas Day are those in front of Vienna City Hall, at Maria Theresien-Platz in front of the Museum of Fine Arts, in Schönbrunn Palace and in front of Stephansdom. You can also join a Christmas Markets Tour. There are still lots of classical concerts going on. Check this concert calendar for the Christmas holidays.
Day Trips: Some travellers use that quiet day for a day trip to Salzburg, or a castle tour south of Vienna. Personally, I prefer to visit cities and cosy places in the winter since places such as Wachau Valley or Burgenland can get a little grim on a foggy overcast day (and there are a few of them in December). Going to Budapest, for example, will make sure you have lots of amazing indoor places, from museums to cafes and restaurants.