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 2023 to make sure you have a great time, too.
Christmas Dinner and Christmas Day in Vienna. Although many eateries close on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day there are a few nice restaurants open during the festive season. To give you a headstart, here are my top five places. Most of them serve an exclusive Christmas Eve dinner menu.
- restaurant Anna Sacher at Hotel Sacher
- Restaurant Plachuttaat Wollzeile and Walfischgasse in the city centre
- Brasserie at The Guesthouse Vienna on central Albertinaplatz
- Café Landtmann on Ringstrasse
- restaurant Oswald & Kalb in Bäckerstrasse
Actually, before you head off for dinner you can add some extra sparkle to the day: for example by doing a horse carriage ride with champagne, fine sandwiches and petit fours. Or you keep it for Christmas Day…
Ready to explore the REAL insider tips for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Just where you’d expect Viennese locals to celebrate, you can get bookings at fabulous places from my personal black book! Find out more in Vienna Travel Planning.
Christmas Dinner and Christmas Day in Vienna. On the 25th and 26th December a festive Christmas concert will take place at a truly atmospheric church in the center. If you arrive around the 18th and 19th December, you may even make it to the Christmas in Vienna concert with the Vienna Boys Choir.
On even more dates around Christmas, a couple of really gifted musicians will use Mozart, Beethoven, Vivaldi and others to wrap a baroque church into blissful sound clouds.
If you are not into a church mass, then consider this magnificent trumpet concert on Christmas Eve.
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. To give you an idea, check this list of churches that offer the most atmospheric midnight masses in the Vienna city center and central neighbourhoods:
Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral): 11.30 pm (10.30 pm – brass tower ensemble in front of main entrance)
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
Need a comprehensive trip plan for your Christmas holiday in Vienna and surroundings? Find out more in Vienna Travel Planning
Christmas Day in Vienna, or Elsewhere
Christmas Dinner and Christmas Day in Vienna. In general, 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: Since some smaller museums and institutions will be closed stick to the main attractions. For a broader overviews, do 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: Contrary to what many visitors may expect, quite a few Christmas markets already close before Christmas Eve.
In fact, 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, at Belvedere Palace, in Schönbrunn Palace(photo) and in front of Stephansdom. To navigate smoothly from one to the other you can also join a Christmas Markets Tour.
Day Trips: Some travellers use that quiet day to catch more Christmas glitz during aday trip to Salzburg and Hallstatt. Especially since the Salzburg Christkindl Market at the Dom and Residentzplatz will be open on Christmas Day. Since snow fall in recent years has concentrated on the mountainous regions in December some Vienna Unwrapped travellers have been taking family and friends to Hallstatt and the Austrian Alps.
To explore another key city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the festive season make your way to Budapest. Like Vienna the town of Budapest boasts beautiful Christmas decoration. Some of the city’s iconic landmarks, such as St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Parliament building, are illuminated in festive colors. Don’t miss the Christmas market in Vorosmarty Square.
A couple of years ago my husband and daughter travelled to nearby Bratislava for Christmas Day and loved it. All in all, whether visit cities face winter wonderland in the Alps, you won’t miss too many events in Vienna.
Before And After Christmas
Since you will likely stay in Wien a little longer check out what best to do before and after Christmas in my Things to Do In Vienna in December.