14 Dec On the first day of Christmas… visit Vienna
Looking for a post-Christmas getaway before the New Year kicks in? In the run up to December 25th and beyond, we’ll be counting down the best spots for a festive break – so go on, soak up the atmosphere whilst the lights are still sparkling and the festivities are still in full swing…
With snow often falling onto the streets of the city during the Christmas holiday season, Vienna turns into a winter wonderland with markets held throughout the city.
The main Viennese Christmas Market is located in front of the City Hall, with the hall itself lit up with festivities and a large Christmas tree placed in the centre. Market stalls cover the square, serving everything from roasted chestnuts to Weihnachtspunch (aka punch), which is served in a collectible mug.
The second main market is held on the grounds surrounding Belvedere Palace. The lights from the market stalls reflect on the water in front of the palace, creating a beautiful and scenic destination.
Vienna Prater, the city’s theme park, really does become a winter wonderland with rides, stalls and live performances. Take a ride on the giant Ferris wheel for the best view of the Christmas-themed park down below.
The city’s famous church, St. Peter’s, holds a live performance of the nativity scenes. The church itself is stunning, with extremely detailed sculptures lining its exterior walls and its brightly coloured dome adding colour to the streets of Vienna.
Another festive activity whilst in Vienna is ice skating. Locals of Vienna love ice skating and rinks are set up at numerous locations across the city. If you’re lucky enough to visit Vienna whilst its particularly cold, then why not try skating on the frozen over river Danube along with the locals?
Whilst in Vienna during the festive period you must also visit the extravagant lights on the Graben and Kärntner streets, where giant chandeliers dangle across the road creating a ballroom atmosphere in the main pedestrianised area of Vienna. What better way to feel festive? The Ring in Vienna is filled with luxury hotels and stores that have breathtaking Christmas displays in their window fronts. Walk the ring yourself, or use trams to keep warm and hop on and off to visit your favourite displays.
(Image credit – The National Student)