14 Things you must do at Christmas in Vienna

We always wanted to spend Christmas in Vienna because it’s the most magical time of the year celebrated from around mid-November until December with traditional Christmas markets, advent concerts, festive treats, and gifts. The streets are adorned with twinkling lights, and towering Christmas trees decorate the town squares. This time of the year the entire city comes to life in a stream of Christmas lights, Christmas markets, and of course, the smell of Christmas trees, glühwein, and roasted chestnuts fills the air.

The Capital of Austria is home to nearly one-third of the county’s residents. This metropolitan city hosts the United Nations organization and it is a major center for Austria’s culture, economy, and Politics. Vienna has a plethora of stunning historical buildings, gardens, and establishments.

Vienna is ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world with its inhabitants enjoying a high quality of life. Vienna is situated in central Europe and it is a popular tourist destination with over 17 million visitors each year.

Let’s find out the 14 best things to do in Vienna at Christmas.



How to Visit

Where to eat

1. Visit the Rathausplatz and the Christkindlmarkt Chistmas Market

The city hall in Vienna has one of the most impressive examples of Ringstrasses architectural design of the late 19th century and is today a center of numerous cultural activities. The city building is situated on the Rathausplatz near Ringstrasse. It has an impressive facade and is clearly among Vienna’s top 10 attractions. You should not miss a visit to the Rathausplatz Vienna. Nearly all the year you can find here some special events (such as Vienna ice world and film festival) but the best time of the year is from mid-November until Christmas when the Christkindlmarkt (Christmas market) takes place. Christkindlmarkt is Vienna’s largest Christmas market and part of the wider Christmas landscape which fills Rathaus park with bright lights and other wintry treats.


Opening Hours

Open from Friday 19.11. to Monday 26.12.2022.
Daily from 10:00 to 21:30 o’clock,
Fridays and Saturdays till 22:00 o’clock,
24.12. only till 19:00, 25.12. and 26.12. till 21:30 o’clock
For more info visit the official site.

Metro U2 U-Bahn station Schottentor

2. Visit St. Stephen's Cathedral and the Christmas Market

Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, also called Stephansdom, or Stephanskirche, is the symbol of Vienna. This Gothic cathedral with Baroque fittings and an iconic multicoloured tiled roof is the most important religious building in Vienna. The cathedral was burned in April 1945 in the Battle of Vienna and was reconstructed by 1952.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral has four towers: The south tower at 136.44 meters, the tower room, from which there is a gigantic view across Vienna, is reached via 343 steps (a total of 13 bells hang here) and the best-known bell of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Pummerin, which is located in the 68.3 meter-tall north tower. It is the second-biggest free-swinging chimed church bell in Europe. 

Saint Stephen’s Cathedral is a must for every visitor.

Opening Hours

Open from 11.11. to 26.12.2022.
Daily from 11:00 to 21:00 o’clock,
on 24.12. from 11:00 to 16:00 o’clock,
25.12. and 26.12. from 11:00 to 19:00 o’clock
Metro U1 and U3 U-Bahn station Stephansplatz


3. Visit historic Hofburg


The Hofburg Vienna is an enormous palace complex in the heart of Vienna in the Heldenplatz at Vienna’s splendor boulevard, the Ringstrasse, and is reachable from there through the Burgtor gate. This impressive building includes fascinating museums, a church and chapel, the Austrian National Library, and the Spanish Riding School, as well as the office of the President of Austria.



Imperial Silver Collection

This is the best way to learn about the court dining culture of the former imperial dynasty. You will see a phenomenal collection of precious porcelain and crystal glasses, ornate centerpieces, and simple copper kitchenware. The most impressive exhibit is the 30 meter-long “Milan centerpiece”, which was created for the coronation of Emperor Ferdinand I as king of the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia in 1838.

Sisi Museum

Elisabeth – known as Sisi (1837-1898) was perhaps the most enigmatic of all Habsburg Empresses. Vienna’s Sisi museum is located in the Hofburg, and you can explore numerous personal items which once belonged to Sisi. While you are there, you will have the chance to see around 300 objects such as parasols, fans and gloves, items of clothing, beauty preparations, and even the original death certificate. You can visit the different rooms which tell the story of Sisi’s life and her character.

You will also find breathtaking portraits of this beautiful legendary empress, as well as an assortment of artwork created by Empress Elisabeth herself.  Empress Elisabeth’s mourning dress and six-piece mourning jewelry after the death of her son, Crown Prince Rudolph, are also on display at the museum. Get a peek into Sisi’s troubled life and how she met her tragic death via assassination in 1898 in Geneva.

Imperial Apartments

Here you can explore the private and official chambers of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth. The Imperial apartments consist of around 20 rooms that offer intriguing clues to the character of their previous Habsburg occupants.

Opening Hours & Tickets

The Sisi Museum, the Imperial Apartments and the Imperial Silver Collection are open daily, including public holidays.

September to June: 9 am to 5:30 pm.
July and August: 9 am to 6 pm.

Adults 15
Students (19-25):  14
Children (6 to 18 years old):  9
Vienna Pass holders: free.

4. Explore Imperial Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens & the Christmas Market

The “Imperial Tour” takes you into 22 rooms, including the imperial apartments of Emperor Franz Joseph and his famous wife, Empress Sisi. The “Grand Tour” continues to 18 more rooms and includes the 18th-century interiors from the time of Maria Theresa, who conceived of and built Schoenbrunn. Don’t miss the Mirror Room, where Mozart gave his first concert at age 6.

Beyond the palace, you can visit the large Schönbrunn park and gardens which are in immaculate condition. You can enjoy over a square kilometer of tree-lined avenues, lawns, woods, and landscaped flowerbeds, and next to the part you will also find Vienna’s Zoo. Unfortunately, at the time of our visit, in the middle of the winter, there weren’t a lot of things to see in the gardens but in you are visiting Schönbrunn Place in the Spring or in the Summer, you must also have a walk there.  

Schönbrunn is a little way outside of the city center, but there’s a great Christmas Market there (because of course there is). Plan to eat lunch at the Christmas Market.


Opening Hours

Schönbrunn Palace is open daily, including public holidays!

1 January to 31 March 9.30 am–5.00 pm
1 April to 30 June* 9.00 am–5.00 pm
1 July to 31 August 9.00 am–5.30 pm
1 September to 31 December 9.00 am–5.00 pm

More info on the official site.


Schönbrunn Palace

Imperial Tour with audio guide (22 rooms and roughly 30 minutes): approx. 22,00 Euro
Grand Tour with audio guide (40 rooms and roughly 60 minutes): approx. 26,00 Euro
Grand Tour with guide (40 rooms and roughly 60 minutes): approx. 30,00 Euro


Per person approx. 24,00 Euro, for groups with 10 people and more approx. 22,00 Euro.

Palace Gardens Attractions

Maze approx. 4,50 EuroGloriette Viewing Platform approx. 4,50 EuroCrown Prince Garden approx. 4,50 EuroDesert House approx. 8,00 EuroPalm House approx. 7,00 Euro

5. Kunsthistorisches Museum and Maria-Theresien-Platz

The museum is situated next to the Maria-Theresien-Platz, where the there is the grand monument to Empress Maria Theresa, and opposite the Natural History Museum in near-identical buildings. The museum has works and masterpieces by some of the best-known European artists such as Rubens, Rembrandt, Raphael, Titian, and Durer. One of the most famous works is the masterpiece Tower of Babel.

The museum’s specialties are late Italian Renaissance, Baroque, and Flemish painting, but also displays classical Greek and Roman art and Egyptian artifacts.

English language guided tours are available and can be tailored to your specific interests. The museum’s café is also worth a visit, especially for its atrium setting and tall, elegantly decorated walls and ceiling.


Opening Hours & Tickets

Tue – Sun, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Monday closed

Adult: 18 €
Vienna City Card: 17 €
Reduced Admission: 15 €
Child/Young Person (0-19): Free

The following transit lines have routes that pass near Kunsthistorisches Museum:
Train: REX 4, REX 41, S1,S3, S50, S7
Subway: U1, U3,U4
Bus: 48A, 59A, 69A, N25, N38

6. Hunt for Christmas Lights

The city put up a dazzling display of lights every year. The first lights are switched on at the beginning of November. Once all the Christmas illuminations have been installed, over two million LED lights sparkle in the shopping streets of Vienna. There’s nothing better to get you in the mood for Christmas.

From Graben, you can walk to Stephansplatz to look at the cathedral and the Haas Haus illuminated facade. The Christmas market is a good spot to warm yourself up with some mulled wine.


6. Try Viennese Christmas Market Food

Christmas in Vienna is not complete without visiting the Christmas Markets. The Christmas markets in Vienna truly are an age-old tradition. Numerous Christmas markets pop up across the advent period, varying in size from a couple of stalls selling food to the dozens of stalls that make up the famous Christkindlmarkt on the central Rathausplatz square.

These Christmas Markets is the best places to try the local street food and also don’t forget to try the famous Glühwein.

Here are a few of the best Christmas Markets in Vienna:

Christkindlmarkt on the Rathausplatz: The biggest Christmas Market in Vienna. You won’t be avoiding any crowds here, but the backdrop is absolutely stunning and it’s centrally located in the middle of Old Town.

Weihnachtsdorf in Maria Theresian Platz: Between the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Naturhistorisches Museum, this is another Christmas Market with a beautiful backdrop but few crowds. It is open longer than most, turning into a New Year’s Market just after Christmas.

Weihnachtsmarkt Stephansplatz: Located at the base of the St. Stephens Cathedral, this market is tiny but conveniently placed, because at some point you’ll definitely end up at St. Stephens Cathedral.

7. Belvedere – A baroque Palace and Museum

The Belvedere Palace is one of Vienna’s top attractions and it’s an important UNESCO site. The Belvedere contains Baroque and Austrian art from the 19th and 20th centuries with the world’s largest collection of Gustav Klimt paintings, including the world-famous The Kiss.

The Belvedere palace consists of the Upper Belvedere,  Lower Belvedere, and Belvedere 21.



Upper Belvedere | OB:
Regular: € 15,90
Seniors over 65: € 13,40
Students under 26: € 13,40
Children and youth under 19: FREE
Visitors with a valid Vienna City Card:€ 14,50
Visitors with a Disability Card / Assistance: € 4,00
Belvedere 21 | B21:
€ 8,90
Seniors over 65: € 6,90
Students under 26: € 6,90
Children and youth under 19: FREE
Visitors with a valid Vienna City Card:€ 7,00
Visitors with a Disability Card/Assistance: € 3,00

Lower Belvedere | UB:

Regular: € 13,90
Seniors over 65: € 10,90
Students under 26: € 10,90
Children and youth under 19: FREE
Visitors with a valid Vienna City Card:€ 12,00
Visitors with a Disability Card/Assistance: € 4,00


Opening Hours & Tickets

Upper Belvedere | OB: Monday to Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
Belvedere 21 | B21: Tuesday to Sunday, 11 am – 6 pm, Late Night: Thursday 11 am – 9 pm (Open Mondays on holidays.)
Lower Belvedere | UB: Monday to Sunday 10 am – 6 pm

8. Visit the Vienna State Opera House (at night)

Vienna State Opera

The Vienna State Opera dates from 1869. The Staatsoper is a magnificent and storied building. It’s played host to some of the world’s best singers and conductors.

You can take a 40-minute guided tour several times a day but we also recommend visiting it also in the night and enjoy a concert. If you want to see opera live in person, you’ll pay for an exorbitantly priced ticket.

Next to State Operate, the famous Café Sacher is located, and while you are there, join the queue outside the Café and try the original Sache Torte.

9. Enjoy the Coffee and Sweets in the numerous Cafes

Sachertorte & Apfelstrudel

There are numerous Cafes in Vienna where you can enjoy the famous Sache Torte or the Apfelstrudel. 

We gathered a list for you with the must-visit Cafés:

– Café Central

– Café Sacher

– Café Landtmann

– Demel

– Cafe Schwarzenberg

You can also check our detailed guide about the Cafés in Vienna (including photos).

10. Hundertwasserhaus


The Hundertwasser House in Vienna is one of Austria’s architectural highlights. The house is designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser and draws visitors from around the world. This architecture was considered rebellious and the architect’s vision was a free architecture for all, without standards, specifications, and straight lines. Everyone should have the opportunity to create a small paradise on earth.

There’s a small “village” where there are various small shops where you can buy souvenirs and snack outlets surrounding a central bar, spilling out into the street. 

The Hundertwasser House is located at Kegelgasse 37-39 street, so if you are around that area, it is definitely worths a visit.

11. St. Charles Church (Karlskirche) and its Christmas Market

St. Charles Church (Karlskirche)

Karlskirche is a Baroque church located on the south side of Karlsplatz. It is widely considered the most outstanding baroque church in Vienna, the church is dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo, one of the great counter-reformers of the sixteenth century.

The church, finished in 1739 by his son Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach, was built as the result of a vow taken by Emperor Charles VI during a plague epidemic. The exterior architecture impresses with its great dome and the two giant columns. You need a ticket to enter outside of the church but it is worth it.

We also visited the Karlskirche at night and had the opportunity to try a Glühwein and  Bratwurst in the Christmas Market.  

Opening Hours

Open from 19.11. to 23.12.2022.
Daily from 12:00 to 20:00 o’clock
Metro U1 and U4 U-Bahn station Karlsplatz

12. Albertina Museum

Albertina Museum

Albertina Museum is located in the Albertinaplatz, which is next to State Opera.  This fantastic museum is a veritable treasure of art, with over a million pieces, including paintings by Monet, Degas, and Picasso. The Albertina also hosts temporary exhibitions featuring big art names. 

Some of the permanent collections are: 

The Batliner Collection – from MONET TO PICASSO: One of the largest private collections of classical modernist paintings is shown in the Albertina Museum.

The Graphic Arts Collection: With over 950.000 drawings and graphic artworks, one of the most extensive collections can be found in Albertina Museum. Starting with Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Albrecht Dürer, Paul Rubens, and Paul Cezanne

The Architectural Collection: Plans and models from the estates of famous architects like Adolf Loos, Fischer von Erlach, Otto Wagner, and many more are featured providing comprehensive insights to the visitor.

The Photographic Collection: Complemented by the stocks of the “Langewiesche Verlag” publishers and the Austrian Federal Education and Research Institute for Graphics this collection shows photographs gathered since the middle of the 19th century.

Albertina Museum definitely worths a visit, especially at Christmas when the weather is cold and rainy. 

Opening Hours

Daily | 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday & Friday | 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.


13. Naschmarkt


There are a lot of fruits fruit, vegetables, and various delicacies from every country from dawn to dusk. 

The market is open year-round and even though the best time to visit is in late spring or summer it’s definitely worth a visit at Christmas.

We crafted an ultimate guide on how to get to Nachmarks and what to eat.

Opening Hours

Open every day of the week except Sundays.
Monday to Friday : 6am – 7:30pm Saturday: 6am-5pm.

14. Take a day trip from Vienna

Hallstatt most photographic spot

There are a lot of nice places near Vienna for a day trip but our all-time favorites are the following.

Hallstatt: We highly recommend spending a day in Hallstatt if you are visiting Vienna. Hallstatt is a real-life fairytale village nestled at the edge of a lake and surrounded by snowy alps.

Prague: Prague is a destination on its own and we would recommend at least 3 days to explore this magnificent city with a lot of interesting places. You can get on the train and enjoy the scenic drive through the mountains of Bohemia. The drive takes 3.5 hours. Of course, we created for you our detailed travel guide for Prague.

No Comments

Post A Comment