Things to do in Vienna December 2016. If you have high expectations of Vienna in December you are right. Christmas in Vienna is packed with fantastic things to do. Use this page to find out about the best street markets, musical events, city ice skating venue and what to do on Christmas Eve.
Things to do in Vienna December 2016. Christmas in Vienna is about markets, mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, Christmas baubles and trumpet concerts. My favourite market is the Alt Wiener Weihnachtsmarkt at Freyung, because of its beautiful ceramics, wooden toys, candles and Christmas decoration. Don’t miss the mulled wine with orange juice at Demmer’s Teehaus. Second on my personal list is the one in front of Schönbrunn Palace. To plan your Christmas market tour in Vienna, use my Vienna Top 9 Christmas markets map and opening time info below.
Things to do in Vienna December 2016. This year, you can do both Christmas market hopping and sightseeing in one go. The tour groups are small and the local guide loves sharing Austrian Christmas traditions. Find out more.
View Christmas Markets in Vienna Austria in a larger map
Opening times: Altwiener Christkindlmarkt and Belvedere Castle (1th November to 23rd December, from 10am) Christmas market in front of Vienna City Hall (12th November to 24th December, from 10am); Altes AKH (12th November to 23rd December, from 2pm, and from 11am on weekends); Am Hof (11th November to 23rd December, from 11am); Spittelberg (12th November to 23rd December, from 3pm, and from 12 noon on weekends), Church St. Charles Borromeo (18th November to 23rd December, from 12 noon) Maria-Theresien-Platz (between Museum of Fine Arts and Natural History; 16th November to 26th December, from 11am); Schönbrunn Palace (19th November to 26th December, from 10am)
AUTHENTIC CHRISTMAS SPIRIT: Watch out for a group of local craftspeople from Bethlehem exhibiting their wares at Altes AKH (booth 33) and Schönbrunn Christmas markets (booth 18): The nativity sets in polished warm olive wood (see photo) are charming and have that authentic touch that is hard to find anywhere else. Look closer at their wooden, mother-of-pearl and stained glass decorations and they tell a story of hours of dedicated measuring, cutting, carving, hammering and shaping. By the way, the booth in Schönbrunn closes earlier on December 24th (4 p.m.), 25th (6 p.m.), and 26th (6 p.m.). The craftspeople belong to Bethlehem Treasures, a creative cluster supported by UNIDO, which is headquartered in Vienna.
Things to do in Vienna December 2016. The best seasonal classical concerts take place in churches, such as St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Malteserkirche, Minoritenkirche, Peterskirche, and the small baroque jewel of St. Anna Church. The annual highlight of the season is the ‘Christmas in Vienna’ concert at Wiener Konzerthaus.
As with all Christmas season events, try to book early. Read more about Advent and Christmas Concerts in Vienna and where to book tickets.
Things to do in Vienna December 2016. Neil Armstrong took a recording of the ‘New World’ symphony to the moon in 1969. You will participate in classical Vienna music tradition with Antonín Dvorák’s serene masterpiece. The following day, its the annual sparkling Italian Opera Gala, including Mozart and Strauss opera tunes. Expect to hear lots of the best arias in opera history. The concerts are a perfect opportunity to study the golden waffle-slab ceilings, rich paintings and delicate sculptures of the Golden Hall of Vienna’s Musikverein. These one-off events should sell out quickly.
Things to do in Vienna December 2016. Edmund de Waal, British artist and author of The Hare With Amber Eyes, stages an exhibition at the Kunsthistorisches Museum called During The Night. (De Waal’s grandmother Elisabeth belonged to the Ephrussi family, an influential Jewish dynasty wiped out during the Nazi regime in Austria.) For this exhibition, de Waal selected a number of intriguing objects from the museum’s storage rooms. Key topics are dream, anxiety and disquiet and the transition between waking and sleeping. The netsuke Hare With Amber Eyes will also be on display.
Date: 11th October 2016 to 29th January 2017; Tuesdays to Sundays 10am to 6pm; Thursdays 10am to 9pm;
Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum, Maria-Theresienplatz, 1010;
Tickets: get tickets
Things to do in Vienna December 2016. What do Viennese kids love? See Hänsel and Gretel. Each year around Christmas, the Wiener Volksoper stages the famous opera for children. It’s funny, spooky and has wonderful costumes and tunes that you as an adult will enjoy as well. Alternatively, take your kids to watch a child-friendly, shortened version of Mozart’s Magic Flute.
Things to do in Vienna December 2016. This event may become the highlight of your trip. The Vienna Coffeehouse Conversations, a monthly series of small social dinners, let you connect with a local Viennese in an informal way, over a meaningful conversation in a traditional coffeehouse, in English or German. You can take your other half or family members with you. Find out more about the Vienna Coffeehouse Conversations.
Date: 14th December 2016
Timings: 7pm to 9.15pm
Location: Café Ministerium, Georg-Coch-Platz 4, 1010 Vienna
Things to do in Vienna December 2016. Why is Vienna the world’s musical capital? Not because of countless Vienna-born star composers. It is the international crème of classics that is being performed to perfection in Wien. Off regular mainstream concerts, Wiener Konzerthaus will pay tribute to three musical maestros during a one-off performance: Frédéric Chopin, Sergey Rachmaninoff and Mikhail Glinka. Prepare for an amazing piano concerto, a romantic Valse Fantaisie and a powerful symphony. A great opportunity to experience internationally celebrated conductor Vladimir Jurowski.
Date: 19th December 2016
Timings: 7.30 pm
Location: Wiener Konzerthaus, Lothringer Strasse 1, 1030 Vienna
Tickets: get tickets
Things to do in Vienna December 2016. Christmas Eve (24th December) can be a sobering experience in Vienna, as most restaurants and venues shut down. Head for lovely Weikersdorf Castle in Baden in the Vienna Woods (where I grew up) for a traditional Austrian Christmas celebration evening. The Renaissance Castle is a cosy four star hotel, offering brilliant views of the town’s Doblhoff Park and the hilly forest of Kurpark. You will be served a four-course Viennese style Christmas dinner (I have eaten at Weikersdorf before, it is yummy), get a little present, and then head off through the Biedermeier-style city centre of Baden to our local church of St. Christopher where you will attend Christmas mass.
The event usally sells out quickly. Check for available spaces and further information.
Things to do in Vienna December 2016. When you celebrate Christmas abroad you often have to choose between a pure hotel experience or roaming empty streets while locals party behind closed doors. In Vienna, most Christmas markets close on the 23rd December, along with many restaurants and attractions. I wrote this page about Christmas Dinner And Christmas Day in Vienna in response to various enquiries from Vienna Unwrapped readers over the last years. I hope it’s useful to you.
Funky Christmas At Museumsquartier
Things to do in Vienna December 2016. Welcome to the contemporary side of Vienna’s outdoor winter parties. The Museumsquartier’s winter installations are architect designed. Prepare for live ‘MQ Court Music’, sip mulled wine in six beautifully illuminated ‘ice pavilions’, and join fun remote control car races and curling competitions. From dusk, the courtyard is filled with magical light projections.
Location: Museumsquartier (opposite Museum of Fine Arts and Museum of Natural History)
Dates: 3rd November to 23rd December 2016;
Opening hours: Mondays to Fridays 4pm to 11pm, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays 2pm to 11pm;
Things to do in Vienna December 2016. Ice skating is popular and one of the best things to do in Vienna in the winter. The ice skating rink of the Vienna Association of Ice Skaters spreads across 6,000 square metres between the Wiener Konzerthaus (Vienna Concert Hall) and the Vienna InterContinental Hotel close to Stadtpark.
Dates: end of October 2016 to 5th March 2017
Opening hours: Monday 9am to 8pm, Tuesdays to Fridays 9am to 9pm; Week ends and public holidays: 9am to 8pm; (24th Dec: 9am to 3pm; 31st Dec: 9am to 3pm; 1st Jan: 10am to 8pm)
You can borrow ice skates on site for a few Euros.
Things to do in Vienna December 2016. If you want to go as far away from mainstream Christmas as possible, have your ear on the ground and head for a Viennese folk concert within the Musical Advent Calendar (scroll down on the site). You will unearth original local bands re-interpreting their heritage of Viennese tavern songs and jazz artists such as Paul Gulda and Marwan Abado (photo). This is a great opportunity to visit insider locations such as Konzertcafé Schmid Hansl, Kulturcafé Tacheles and Schutzhaus am Heuberg, or experience well known places such as winery Hengl-Hasselbrunner from a new perspective.
Dates: 1st to 23rd December 2016
Things to do in Vienna December 2016. I like New Year’s Eve in Vienna because the whole city turns into a party without leaving smashed windows and scorched earth. People also love to attend classical concerts, theatres and operettas, before they fall into each other’s arms for the traditional Vienna waltz at midnight. Learn more about what to do on New Years Eve in Vienna.
Check things to do during other months:
Things to do in Vienna, January
Things to do in Vienna, February
Things to do in Vienna, March
Things to do in Vienna, April
Things to do in Vienna, May
Things to do in Vienna, June
Things to do in Vienna, July
Things to do in Vienna, August
Things to do in Vienna, September
Things to do in Vienna, October
Things to do in Vienna, November