Things to do in Vienna January: Museum for Applied Arts MAK

Things To Do In Vienna January 2020: 12 Tips That Matter

Things to do in Vienna January 2020. Usually, January is a quiet tourism season. However, right from day one the 250-year Beethoven anniversary kicks off with a host of amazing concerts. Other than that, watch the New Year’s Concert for free, understand Austrian history after World War I, join a Vienna ball, or do some ice skating.

1. Attend the New Year’s Concert (1st January)

Things to do in Vienna January: New Year's ConcertThings to do in Vienna January 2020. The New Year’s Concert by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is Vienna’s top cultural export. It is also the ultimate glamour treat for any lover of classical music.

Location: Vienna Musikverein
Time: 11.15 am to 1.45 pm
Tickets: Chances to get regular tickets drawn through ballots are less 1 percent.

Three Great Alternative Options

Wiener Konzerthaus

If you dream about attending the New Year’s concert and were not successful watch the free live streaming of the New Year’s Concert outside the Vienna State Opera along Karntner Strasse. There will be limited seats available. 

For a warmer and equally enjoyable concert experience, head for gorgeous Konzerthaus. At about the same time than the New Year’s Concert, ‘Music Made In Austria‘ will envelope you in brilliant music from Johann Strauss, Josef Lanner of Carl Michael Ziehrer. In fact, all of these composers also play their part at the main New Year’s Concert.

Alternatively, why not ice skate to the live tunes of the New Year’s Concert at Wiener Eislaufverein ice skating rink?

2. Laugh Out Loud At Johann Strauss’ Operetta ‘The Bat’

Things to do in Vienna January: Strauss operettaThings to do in Vienna January 2020. New Year’s Day is  quiet in Vienna. But not everything is bordered up after the midday New Year’s concert. If you have missed Johann Strauss’ most loved operetta Die Fledermaus (‘The Bat’) the night before you can usually enjoy it in the first few days of the new year.

Essentially, the operetta portrays 19th century Vienna with its waltz tunes, merry songs and beautiful costumes. Luckily, at both the Vienna State Opera and Volksoper you will follow brilliant English surtitles, so no guessing game.

Date: 1st, 4th and 6th January 2020 (State Opera)
Location: Vienna State Opera or Volksoper Vienna
Tickets: get tickets

3. Grab A Bargain During Winter Sales Shopping

Goessl Austrian fashion storeThings to do in Vienna January 2020. Like in most countries, January is a great time for bargain shopping. In fact, winter sales in Vienna start in most fashion and design shops just after Christmas and last well into the start of February. Even some jewelry shops lower their prices on certain items. For travelers like you, exploring Austrian clothes, jewelry, and homeware from cake tins to table cloths helps get a feel of local culture. If you’d like to know where best to shop, access my Vienna shopping tips.

4. Kick Off Beethoven Anniversary 2020

Beethoven statue in ViennaThings to do in Vienna January 2020. Since the great composer Ludwig van Beethoven was a Viennese by choice, Vienna celebrates him in grand style for his 250th year anniversary. Among the month’s highlights are his Symphonies no 5 and 6 (Pastorale) and piano concerto 4 (click for tickets for 12th, 14th and 21st January from 11th November / 9th December 2019), his piano sonata for piano forte (‘Hammerklaviersonate’, 15th January; click for tickets from 11th November 2019), and the wonderful Symphony no 7 (28th and 29th January; click for tickets from 11th November 2019).

Mostly, you will enjoy either the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra or the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. For more sightseeing tips visit my shortlist Beethoven in Vienna.

5. Join A Naschmarket Food Tour

Artisan vinegar at Vienna NaschmarktThings to do in Vienna January 2020.  With the seasonal hustle and bustle gone, roaming market and artisan food stalls becomes attractive again. A local group of professional foodie guides regularly take small groups on a highly praised tasting tour across Naschmarkt.

Since this market collects food from Austria and specifically the Balkans, you will smell, bite and sip your way through Central and South Eastern  Europe. Find out more about this fun and insightful tour.

6. Learn And Taste At The Coffee Festival

Vienna coffeeThings to do in Vienna January 2020. To feel the buzz of our dynamic coffee culture, head for – a brewery. During three days, coffee lovers and professionals from Vienna and all over the world will show and tell, and taste, at the Ottakringer brewery’s event halls. Explore Vienna’s trendy new coffee scene, learn the tricks of great coffee making from a world class barista, taste gourmet food, and participate in an interactive coffee workshop. 

Dates: 10th to 12th January 2020
Location: Ottakringer Brauerei, Ottakringer Platz 1, 1160 Vienna
Opening Hours: 2.00 pm to 8.00 pm (10th Jan); 10.00 am to 8.00 pm (11th January); 10.00 am to 6.00 pm (12th January)
Admission: tickets available from October 2019

7. Slippery Things To Do In Vienna January: Wiener Eistraum

Things to do in Vienna January: Ice rinkThings to do in Vienna January 2020. The Vienna Ice Dream (Wiener Eistraum) skating rink is placed right in front of Vienna’s Rathaus. For me, the city hall ice skating rink is the best skating venue in Vienna.

Because it is so centrally located, you can continue your sightseeing while skating as you are surrounded by the neogothic City Hall, Ringstrasse boulevard and the Burgtheater, and the University of Vienna. I’m sharing our family’s skating experience there in Ice Skating Vienna.

8. Go Ice Curling On The Canal

Things to do in Vienna January: curling on Danube CanalThings to do in Vienna January 2020.  Curling has a long tradition in Austria and is a fun winter pastime. This year, Vienna’s leisure boat Badeschiff will let you curl right in its on-deck swimming pool. The pool is 25 metres long and will have two curling lanes. Another lane is available on the shore. The upper deck hosts punch and mulled wine booths with a view across the Danube Canal.

Dates: November 2019 to 15th March 2020 (dates tbc in October 2019)
Opening hours: 12.00 pm to 10.00 pm
Bookings: lanes can be booked for 30 min between noon and 4.00 pm (EUR 25) and between 4.00 pm and 10.00 pm (EUR 45). Call 0043 660 312 47 03 to book or use the online form (German only).

9. Stopover At These Best Coffeehouses

Things to do in Vienna January: Cafe LandtmannThings to do in Vienna January 2020. Clearly I won’t lie about average temperatures in January. When I’m outside for more than one hour, I use my mental coffeehouse map to find the best places to warm up over a Melange or tea. Especially in those that offer coffee specialities including shots of liqueurs to help fight wintery chills!

You can access my list of best Vienna coffeehouses to integrate a few warm stopovers in your itinerary.

10. Dance At The Vienna Philharmonic Ball

Things to do in Vienna January 2020. Whether you like glamour or dancing or both, the Wiener Philharmonikerball is my top Vienna dance travel tip for January. For me, it is the most beautiful and most authentic Vienna ball, taking place in the sumptuous halls of the Viennese Musikverein. It is hardly found in mainstream Vienna event packages and considered an insider tip among Vienna travellers. For further information, go to Vienna Philharmonic Ball.
Other Vienna Balls in 2020.
Date: 23rd January 2020

11. Take A Viennese Waltz Dance Lesson

Vienna waltz dance lessonsThings to do in Vienna January 2020. While the ball season is raging, take the opportunity to learn or freshen up your waltz dancing skills together with your other half.

Essentially, an English dance instructor will teach you the basic waltz steps to music of Vienna waltz kings Johann Strauss, Josef Lanner and Michael Ziehrer in just one hour. The skills you learn there will take you through any wedding, dance tea or ball. Learn more about Viennese Waltz Dance Lessons.

12. Attend an Opera and Classical Concert

Things to do in Vienna January 2020. Throughout the month, the Vienna State Opera calendar holds six of the best operas in store. It shouldn’t really matter which day you are free to go if you love the tunes of Rossini (The Barber of Seville, La Cenerentola), Mozart (Don Giovanni), Bizet (Carmen), Wagner (Lohengrin) or Verdi (Othello, La Traviata). Book tickets.

As for Vienna concerts, I would likely go for Vivaldi’s Four Season’s at baroque church St. Charles Borromeo (Karlskirche). In fact, Vivaldi lived his last year in Vienna, and is actually buried underneath the Technical University a few meters from Karlskirche.

Check what to do during other months:
find out about Things to do in Vienna, February
or more in Things to do in Vienna, March

visit Vienna Attractions – Guide to Hotspots and Insider Tips
go to Visit Vienna – 20 Free Vacation Tools and Travel Tips

find out more about Vienna Unwrapped’s Vienna Travel Planning services for independent travellers

back to Vienna Tourism Calendar
go to Vienna Unwrapped homepage

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