Christmas at Hotel Sacher

Things To Do In Vienna December 2023: Christmas, New Year And More

Things to do in Vienna December 2023. If you have high expectations of Vienna in December you won’t get disappointed. 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.

Christmas Markets

things to do in Vienna December: Christmas baubles at Vienna City HallThings to do in Vienna December 2023. Christmas in Vienna is about markets, mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, Christmas baubles and trumpet concerts. Throughout the city, each of the 20+ seasonal markets spreads own unique atmosphere and offerings. Some of the most popular markets include the Vienna Weihnachtsmarkt at Rathausplatz, the Belvedere Palace Christmas Market, the Schönbrunn Palace Christmas Market, and the Spittelberg Christmas Market.

Other than sparkling lights, ornate ornaments, and beautifully decorated Christmas trees our Christmas markets offer a wide array of traditional treats and drinks. Among my favourites are fresh gingerbread cookies (Lebkuchen), roasted chestnuts, strudel and Maroni (sweet chestnut) cream, mulled wine (Glühwein) and punch.

Almost all major markets showcase local craftsmanship, with stalls offering handmade gifts, intricate ornaments, wooden toys, and other traditional handicrafts. Many Christmas markets feature live performances, including carol singers, choirs, and instrumental ensembles, adding to the festive atmosphere. Additionally, there are often activities like ice skating, carousel rides, and even nativity scenes to enjoy.

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, which now also boasts a magical light park. Check my Vienna Christmas Market Guide and Map 2023, and my special post about Christkindlmarkt Rathausplatz, Vienna’s largest Xmas market..

Advent and Christmas Concerts in Vienna

Things to do in Vienna December: Christmas concert PeterskircheThings to do in Vienna December 2023. 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 with the Vienna Boys Choir 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.

Operas In Vienna At Christmas

Things to do in Vienna December 2023. This festive season you can choose between a comic Mozart opera, Hansel and Gretel’s fairy tale and Puccini’s bittersweet Italian tragic romance La Bohème.

First, Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio follows the story of Belmonte as he attempts to rescue his beloved Konstanze from a Turkish harem, encountering witty dialogue, charming characters, and delightful music along the way. The opera combines elements of adventure, romance, and cultural clashes, showcasing Mozart’s mastery in creating captivating and entertaining compositions.

Second, Humperdinck’s opera Hansel and Gretel retells the classic fairy tale, filled with captivating music, magical encounters, and the triumph of innocence over evil. Both the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Volksoper will stage this popular seasonal opera.

Third, if you are up for a passionate and heart-wrenching opera follow the lives of a group of struggling artists in Puccini’s La Bohème. By capturing the essence of love, sacrifice, and the bittersweet beauty of youth, the Italian composer’s rich melodies and emotional storytelling bring their experiences to life with profound impact.

Book tickets: securely book a Vienna opera in December.

Opera For Children

Things to do in Vienna December: opera for childrenThings to do in Vienna December 2023. During this festive season many Viennese families introduce their kids to the world of opera. (In the photo my then eight year old daughter was excited about at her first opera visit in Vienna.)

Why? Because around Christmas, the Wiener Volksoper and the Vienna State Opera stage special operas for children, including classics like The Magic Flute and Hansel and Gretel.

In addition, the Volksoper Wien often offers productions specifically tailored for younger audiences, featuring age-appropriate adaptations of popular operas.

Occasionally, the Theater an der Wien presents family-friendly operas, including adaptations of well-known works suitable for children.

Alternatively, take your kids to watch a child-friendly, shortened version of Mozart’s Magic Flute at the historic marionette theater in Schönbrunn. Learn More.

Christmas Dinner and Christmas Day

Things to do in Vienna December: Schonbrunn Christmas marketThings to do in Vienna December 2023. 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.

Need help pulling your Vienna itinerary together? check out what my Vienna Travel Planning services can do for you.

Opening Of New Wien Museum

Things to do in Vienna December 2023. After undergoing a comprehensive four-year reconstruction, the Vienna Museum located at Karlsplatz is set to reopen its doors to visitors on 6th December of this year. The revitalization of the complex not only involved extensive renovations but also included significant expansions, such as the addition of a new suspended floor, a public terrace, and various dining options. At its center, the newly revised permanent exhibition on the history of Vienna stretches across all three floors of the historic building.

Prominently displayed in the renovated atrium will be the ten-meter-long, 1.7-ton whale sculpture known as “Poldi,” which originates from the former Prater inn “Zum Walfisch.” 

Location: Karlsplatz 8, 1010 Vienna
Opening Date: 6th December 2023
Opening hours: Tues to Sun 10.00 am to 5.00 pm (TBC)

Ice Skating

Things to do in Vienna December: ice skatingThings to do in Vienna December 2023. 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 – Wiener Eislaufverein – spreads across amost 6,000 square metres between the Wiener Konzerthaus (Vienna Concert Hall) and the Vienna InterContinental Hotel close to Stadtpark.
Dates: mid November 2023 to March 2024
Opening hours: daily 9.00 am to 8.00 pm; week ends and public holidays: 9am to 8pm; (24th Dec: 9.00am to 3.00pm; 31st Dec: 9.00am to 3.00pm; 1st Jan: 10.00am to 8.00pm)
For a few Euros you can borrow ice skates on site. 

Insider Things To Do In Vienna December

Die StrotternThings to do in Vienna December 2023. If you’d rather avoid mainstream commercial Christmas, have your ear on the ground in Wien. For the 14th time this year,  Musical Advent Calendar will be on various Viennese stages and ‘non-stages’. On December 1st the show starts in the 1st district and ends on December 23rd in the 23rd district.

This is a great opportunity to discover original local bands re-interpreting Viennese tavern songs and jazz. What’s more, many of them play in characterful community cafes, wine taverns, and even former cinemas. Get ready for exploring genuine places you never dreamed of discovering.

Dates: 1st to 23rd December 2023

New Years Eve In Vienna

Things to do in Vienna December 2023. Why I love New Year’s Eve in Vienna? Because the whole city turns into a party. Apart from street festivities you can attend classical concerts, theatres and operettas, before falling into each other’s arms for the traditional Vienna waltz at midnight.

As midnight approaches, fireworks light up the sky over Wien. Especially our iconic landmarks, such as the St. Stephen’s Cathedral, City Hall, and Prater Park, become focal points for the spectacular displays. Many people gather in public squares or along the Danube River to watch and celebrate the arrival of the new year. Learn more about what to do on New Years Eve in Vienna.

Check things to do during other months:
January: Things to do in Vienna, January
November: Things to do in Vienna, November

go to Vienna Tourism Calendar
back to Vienna Unwrapped homepage