5 things to do in winter in Vienna


For eight years in a row, the Mercer Quality of Life study has found Vienna is the world’s best city to live in. From safety, affordable housing and excellent education, to beautiful environments and a rich cultural heritage, the city is a popular place to live as well as to visit. Vienna is steeped in history and has produced artists as iconic as Klimt and Mozart. While of course beautiful in summer, for those visiting the city in winter, there is still plenty to do and see (just be prepared for the inevitable snow and harsh winds). In fact, the winter is the best time to soak up some of the culture in galleries and museums and to indulge in some of the best chocolate the city has to offer. Here, we look at five of the best ways to spend a cold winters day in the Austrian capital.

5 things to do in winter in Vienna

Photo fromWikimedia commons

Museum Quartier

This 4,000 sq metre square is a must see for any tourist. The ground was originally a stables but in 1985 it was used for the Vienna festival and since then has been cited as one of the most impressive arts and culture spots in the world. Key museums include the Leopold Museum where you can see Klimt’s work in all its glory and Mumok for contemporary art fanatics.

Insider tip: all of the museums charge entry fees so if you’re on a tight budget make sure you research before you go.

5 things to do in winter in ViennaPhoto from Wikimedia commons

This market holds the title for Vienna’s most popular market. Located at the Wienzeile over the Wien River, it is about 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) long and has been running since the 16th Century. It’s open all year round and a bit of cold weather doesn’t dampen its spirit.

Insider tip: head over there on a Saturday for the farmers market where you’ll find some of the best cheeses and fish!

5 things to do in winter in Vienna

Photo from Wikimedia commons

Cafe Central

If you can’t indulge in some hearty Viennese dishes in winter, when can you? You can’t say you’ve been to Vienna unless you’ve tried one of their delicious apfelstrudel. Cafe Central favours impressive, grand design over cute cosy coffee house. Past frequenters include Sigmund Freud and the Marxist Leon Trotsky. Enjoy one of their in-house apple strudels while marvelling at the marble arches and over the top interiors.

Insider tip: The café’s namesake pastry is the Café Central Gateau. It’s a moist chocolate cake layered with orange chocolate and topped with marzipan. Worth every extra pound (Vienna is not the place to go if you want to lose weight).

5 things to do in winter in ViennaPhoto from Wikimedia commons
State Opera

Built during the glory days of the Hasburg Monarchy, this state opera house consistently ranks on the top 5 opera houses in the world, and rightly so. It is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations and is the go to place to see some of the finest instrumentalists and singers.

Insider tip: Cheap seats are issued every day 80 minutes before performances.

5 things to do in winter in Vienna

Photo from Wikimedia commons


Get a glimpse into the world of fine chocolate with one of Xocolat’s workshops. Limited to a maximum of twelve people per session, you can learn how to make some of the best truffles and deserts.

Insider tip: their dried coffee beans are also worth a try if you have any room left after all the chocolate.

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