Vienna in winter: The best winter activities

Written by Christina Pichler, Nov 3, 2022

The days are getting shorter, the temperatures drop and the sun takes some breaks: The cozy and comfy time of the year is here! Time for your sofa, bed and a warm blanket.  However, if you are in the mood to do something or take a break from university and ask yourself: “What can I do in Vienna in winter?”, we have the best activities, sights and ideas for cold winter days in Vienna in this article! Get inspired by these tips and discover Vienna in winter!

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1. Ice skating at Rathausplatz

Address: Rathausplatz, 1010 Vienna

Opening hours: see homepage

Tickets: see homepage

Each year the Wiener Eistraum attracts ice skating lovers between the middle of January and the beginning of March onto the 9,000m² ice skating surface. Practically you can borrow ice skates there and also try curling on nine curling tracks. Numerous snack booths and a restaurant provide you with delicious treats.

Tip: If you buy your tickets online in advance, you save 10% and bypass the queue at the entrance with your QR code.

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2. Drinking punch at the most beautiful Christmas markets in Vienna

Punch, mulled wine, gingerbread, chestnuts, regional specialties, handmade jewellery, creative gift ideas and more await you at the many Christmas markets in Vienna. Here is a short list of Christmas markets that you should visit on the weekend or after university:

  • Rathausplatz: 19th of November 2022 – 26th December 2022 (19th of November to 23rd of December 10am to 9:30pm; 24th to 26th December from 10am to 6:30pm)
  • Castle Schönbrunn: 19th of November 2022 – 4th of January 2023; daily 10:00am-9:00pm until the 23rd of December 2022 (24th of December: 10:00am-4:00pm), daily 10:00am-6:00pm until the 4th of January 2023
  • Old Viennese Christmas market at Freyung: 18th of November 2022 – 23rd of December 2022; daily 10:00am-9:00pm
  • Christmas village at castle Belvedere: 18th of November 2022 – 26th of December; Mon-Fri 11:00am-9:00pm, Sat-Sun 10:00am-9:00pm (except 24th of December 11:00am-4:00pm, 25th & 26th of December 11:00am-7:00pm)
  • Christmas market at Spittelberg: 11th of November 2022 – 23rd of December 2022; Mon-Thu 2:00pm-9:00pm, Fri 2:00pm-9:20pm, Sat 10:00am-9:30pm, Sun 10:00am-9:00pm
  • Christmas market at Altes AKH: 11th of November 2022 until 23rd of December 2022; Mon-Wed 2:00pm-10:00pm, Thu-Fri 2:00pm-11:00pm, Sat 11:00am-11:00pm, Sun 11:00am-8:00pm

Tip: The Austrian Student Representation (ÖH) organises punch booths at many universities! Enjoy a warm punch after an exhausting day at university!

3. Summer feeling in the palm house

Address: Schönbrunner Schlosspark

Opening hours: 10:00am-5:00pm

Tickets: €7

The Palm House in the Castle Park in Schönbrunn is the biggest one in Europe and the ideal destination to warm up for a few hours. The temperatures range from eight to 17 degrees Celsius in the three climate zones (cold house, temperate zone in the pavilion, tropical zone). There you can escape the cold and contemplate exotic plants!

4. Enjoy the pre-Christmas atmosphere in the inner city

The inner city of Vienna is immersed in a magical pre-Christmas atmosphere starting in the middle of November. Big shopping streets are lit up with beautiful LED Christmas decoration. This year, you can enjoy the bright beauty from 3pm to 10pm. The Christmas lights at the Christmas market at Rathausplatz are only turned on by darkness. Thanks to many punch and chestnut booths, it smells delicious like sweets and invites you to try warm beverages and other delicacies.

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5. Feuerdorf: Barbecue evening with friends

Address: Donaukanal (Freda-Meissner-Blau-Promenade 1, 1010 Vienna) & Prater (Antifaschismusplatz 2, 1020 Vienna)

Opening hours: Donaukanal: Wed-Sun from 11:30am; Prater: Wed-Fri from 6pm, Sat-Sun from 12:30am

Prices: €120 rent for the cabin + dinner package per person (€35-53)

„Barbecue with friends. In winter. In Vienna.“ The slogan of Feuerdorf perfectly captures the essence of this experience. You can make a reservation for 8-12 friends in the cabin at Donaukanal or Prater and choose a culinary topic for your evening. There is nothing standing in the way of a cozy evening with delicious specialties. Furthermore, there is also a bar and a curling area at the Feuerdorf.

A delicious dinner and a few drinks with friends or colleagues is always a great idea, therefore you’ll find the best student pubs in Vienna here!

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6. Relaxing in the thermal spa Oberlaa

Address: Kurbadstraße 14, 1100 Vienna (U1 „Oberlaa“)

Opening hours: Mon-Sun 9:00am-10:00pm

Tickets: €24 (3h), €33 (day ticket)

Relaxation is the motto at the thermal spa Oberlaa! There are different areas and pools that offer everything from relaxation (sole pool, relaxation pool, sauna, etc.) to adventure (slides, diving platform, active pool, etc.). During winter, you can enjoy punch and other delicacies directly at the pool. Find some peace and quiet in the sole pool or outdoor pool with a warm beverage.

STUWO tip: STUWO residents can relax in the in-house wellness area with sauna!

7. Winter wonderland Vienna

You do not have to curl up in your apartment in winter! Grab your jacket, bonnet, scarf and gloves and discover Vienna in winter. If you are lucky, you will find a scenery with fresh snow that is especially quiet and untouched in the morning. Even on sunny days, the city offers beautiful paths and parks. Here are some tips:

Castle Park Schönbrunn

Address: Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Vienna

Opening hours: 6:30am-5:30pm

Tickets: free

Even in winter the Castle Park Schönbrunn is a must-see in Vienna. The snow and wintery atmosphere create a special flair. If you walk all the way up to the Gloriette, you can enjoy a cup of coffee with a gorgeous view!

Prater Main Alley

Address: U1 „Praterstern“

The Prater Hauptallee takes you through the Green Prater from Praterstern to the Lusthaus. The 4.4km long alley is surrounded by chestnut trees and is perfect for a relaxed stroll. Enjoy the quiet and nature in the middle of Vienna. If you start at Praterstern, you can treat yourself to a warm cup of coffee at Lusthaus.

Pötzleinsdorfer Castle Park

Address: Geymüllergasse Pötzleinsdorfer, Schloßpark, 1180 Vienna (41A „Pötzleinsdorf“)

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7:00am-5:00pm, Sat-Sun 8:00am-5:00pm

Tickets: free

Pötzleinsdorfer Castle Park is one of the most beautiful excursion destinations in the 18th district. The park is a beautiful piece of nature with playgrounds, sports areas, animal enclosures and small restaurants. You can toboggan with your own sledge down the hill next to the main entrance in winter. Dogs are not allowed in the park.

Central cemetery

Address: Simmeringer Hauptstraße 234, 1110 Vienna (S train „Zentralfriedhof“, 11 & 71 „Zentralfriedhof 1. Tor“)

Opening hours: daily 8:00am-5:00pm

Tickets: free

The Central Cemetery is not only a final resting place, but also a place for relaxation and contemplation. The park is always worth a stroll. You can discover cenotaphs, a cemetery church, Jewish cemetery and small forests with the Hearonymus app. This app is a free audio guide that is available in English and German and also offline.

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8. Brunch

Start your day with your friends at a brunch. There are many great places for brunch in Vienna. Here are some tips:

  • Café & Pâtisserie Viola: The cute Café VIOLA is close to STUWO Strozzigasse and offers an extensive brunch every Saturday from 9:30am-2:00pm with delicious homemade delicacies. Address: Strozzigasse 42, 1080 Vienna
  • Motto am Fluss: The restaurant in the inner city is perfect for a fancy brunch with your friends. You can get breakfast from Monday to Friday from 8am-11:45am and go for a brunch on the weekends from 8am-4pm. Address: Franz Josefs Kai 2, 1010 Vienna
  • Vollpension: Grandmas and grandpas will treat you with delicacies in the generational Café close to the Technical University of Vienna. The giant breakfast is made with love and will satisfy all your cravings! You can have breakfast from 8am-2pm! Address: Schleifmühlgasse 16, 1040 Vienna

Vienna is also known for its pronounced coffee house culture! An afternoon in cozy study cafés in Vienna is balsam for your soul!

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9. Museums and expositions

Vienna offers you a big selection of unusual, extraordinary, but also classical museums. There is something for everybody, and here are some tips:

Here is a list with all the museums in Vienna!

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10. Ball season

An evening filled with impressive gowns, beautiful music and glamorous rooms is a welcome distraction from life at university. Winter, especially January and February, is ball season in Vienna! Vienna is known for its almost 450 legendary balls. From classics, such as the Zuckerbäckerball and the grand Opera ball to extraordinary events such as the BOKU-Ball and WU-Ball. You’ll get a good overview in the Viennese ball calendar.

11. Winter circus

Address: Oswald-Thomas-Platz 1, 1010 Vienna (U1 „Praterstern“)

Show times: 19th of November until 26th of February

Tickets: see homepage

Each winter the winter circus stops at the Kaiserwiese in the Prater in Vienna. Escape into a romantic world of magic for a few hours and let the artists, clowns and animals enchant you!

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12. ivie – your city guide on your phone

Android and iOS

Use beautiful winter days to discover Vienna! You can plan your personal discovery tour through the capital with the city guide app ivie. Ivie not only shows you the most famous sights, but also shows you toilettes, drinking fountains and city bike stations. Maybe you even discover something completely new with their insider tips!

13. INSPI – daily new tips for fun in Vienna


In collaboration with the experts from, INSPI offers you new tips for your leisure time in Vienna every day. From restaurants, cafés, museums, walking tours to sport events and parties! Furthermore, you can swipe through tips and then save those that you like. Boredom will never come up again!

Vienna has a lot to offer in winter! So grab some warm clothes and discover the capital in the coldest time of the year! If the weather lets you down completely, we have the perfect bad weather programme for Vienna! And if you prefer to spend a cozy day in your STUWO dormitory, here are some quick and easy recipes for Christmas cookies to spread wintery vibes and a lovely scent in the common kitchen.


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