New Years Eve in Vienna is about music, mulled wine, balls, parties and traditions. Many travellers either know too little about what is going on there, or they are overwhelmed with the choice they are presented with. You should have it easier with my top list of the best things to do to celebrate the new year 2016/17 in my hometown.
The Silvesterpfad (‘New Year’s Eve Path’), an annual grand street party, is the main event at New Years Eve in Vienna. The event lines up several free open air New Years Eve concerts in Vienna’s historic city centre. You can listen to everything from folk music, waltz and operetta to pop and rock tunes.
The Silvesterpfad officially starts at 2pm. Subsequently, the whole pedestrian area and other historic squares turn into one big party area where tens of thousands of Viennese and visitors celebrate. You can have tea, mulled wine, beer, champagagne and warm food at the many New Year’s Eve booths in town. Many booths sell New Year’s Eve lead casting kits, a popular Austrian tradition performed at midnight of the New Year.
The largest fireworks are at Heldenplatz close to the Imperial Palace and at the Vienna Prater in front of the Ferris Wheel. Do consider wearing ear protection at those locations, and at Stephansplatz in front of Stephansdom.
My tip: The Viennese dancing schools provide free lessons in Vienna waltz dancing in front of Stephansdom between 2pm and 4.30pm.
New Years Eve In Vienna. Celebrate the new year with a glamorous ball and gala dinner at the Viennese’s own town hall. The neogothic building and halls are a fantastic and authentic place to dine, waltz, and ‘chin-chin’ your glasses to live orchestra tunes of Vienna waltz king Johann Strauss, and a modern live band. A few dozen young Viennese debutants dressed in white and black will open the ball. Then it’s your turn to dance, or just watch. Half an hour before midnight international soloists will sing the best songs from Viennese operettas my local grandparents and mum love so much. The warm buffet is cooked up by the town halls popular historic tavern, the ‘Wiener Rathauskeller’. Highlight of the evening: At midnight you can step out on the balcony of the town hall with a glass of champagne to watch the fireworks, while the Blue Danube Waltz is being played.
Get tickets for the New Year’s Eve in Vienna Gala.
New Years Eve In Vienna. The operetta Die Fledermaus (The Bat) is a long New Years Eve tradition in Vienna. Die Fledermaus is hugely popular because it is hilariously funny and full of catchy tunes. Many Vienna balls play the famous Fledermaus quadrille at midnight. And some of the operetta lyrics are regularly referenced in our every day usage. The best way to watch this popular operetta is at the Vienna State Opera.
Performances: 1.30 pm; 07.00 pm
Tickets: Book tickets
New Years Eve In Vienna. You know Mozart and a few of his works. But like me, you may not have a great clue about Viennese theater life at Mozart’s time. The musical Schikaneder unrolls it brilliantly through the life and work of Emanuel Schikaneder, Vienna’s greatest theatrical impresario of the 18th century. Triple Oscar winner Stephen Schwartz was heavily involved in the musical’s production, a.o. Schikaneder created the plot for Mozart’s Magic Flute. His turbulent love story with his wife Eleonore made local history and left its mark on the Magic Flute story.
Location: Raimund Theater, Wallgasse 18-20, 1060 Vienna;
Performances: 3.00 pm, 7.30 pm; in German with English surtitles;
Tickets: Book tickets
New Years Eve In Vienna. Vienna’s best classical orchestras like the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra perform New Years Eve concerts. In addition, there are regular classical concerts taking place on the 31st December, and a few contemporary concerts. Read more in New Years Eve Concerts.
New Years Eve In Vienna. The New Year’s Eve gala and ball at the Imperial Palace focuses on presenting Viennese ball tradition, as it is very popular with visitors from abroad. Since 2012 it has improved a lot on the quality of presenting this tradition. You will not only have the chance to dance waltz, fox trot and free style (jazz) at the Imperial Palace but experience singers and ballet dancers from the Vienna State Opera and the Volksoper. The gala dinner is good. Read more on best Vienna balls.
New Years Eve In Vienna. If you want to escape from the crowds, go to ‘Am Himmel’ (‘in the sky’). This green space in the Vienna Woods is a highly popular weekend spot and offers fantastic views of Vienna. May locals love to dine at the down-to-earth restaurant Oktogon on New Year’s Eve, then visit the ‘Lebensbaumkreis’, a rather spiritual style tree-lined circle on the hill, and welcome the New Year from there.
Location: Am Himmel, 1190 Vienna; corner of Hoehenstrasse/Himmelstrasse;
Opening times restaurant: from 7pm
Book a table: firstname.lastname@example.org