New Year’s Eve in Vienna, Austria: tips and suggestions

Tours to Vienna for New Year’s Eve – a veritable firework of entertainment

It is believed that the welfare and success of the coming year depends in no small measure on the place where it will meet. Following this omen, we can safely say that the best place to celebrate New Year’s Eve than “the old Vienna” with its ancient cathedrals and palaces. Musical capital of Europe, romantic and pragmatic, prim and unbridled cheerful, imbued with charming sounds and its unique flavor allows Muscovites to spend there an unforgettable wonderful Christmas vacations. So, a review of the best tours to Vienna for New Year and prices from all tour operators who offer flight options from Moscow.

When is the best time to buy a tour for New Year’s Eve in Vienna?

If you are firmly decided to celebrate New Year in Vienna, you need to look through the offers of tour operators before the trip (4-5 months) to book the best version of the tour and buy tickets for a cheap flight. Early booking – the key to a quiet trip with a comfortable stay in the hotels in Vienna + substantial savings. Tour operators open tours with discounts up to 50% 7-8 months in advance. Count on hot tours to the Austrian capital is not necessary – they do not happen, so early (August-October) in the design of a trip to Vienna is very important.

Buy a tour to Vienna

Where to buy a tour for New Year’s Eve in Vienna

Vienna in winter

Well-proven level.travel.ru and onlinetours.ru already now offer great deals on New Year’s Eve in Vienna. You can book a tour for 5-14 nights. The price includes comfortable flights, transfers to and from the hotel, and accommodation in the best Viennese hotels. You can pay for the selected tour in the office. But it is much more convenient, without spending too much time and money for a visit, to do it online. The site contains detailed information about the tour to be booked, phone numbers of consultants, with whom you can discuss all the details of the forthcoming trip, express your personal wishes.

You can also fill out an online application to select a tour. When you get an offer you choose the best variant and leave your request for it. The agency specialists will contact you (by e-mail or phone), and you begin to make a tour offline. The operator sends you an email with all the documents after you pay for the trip with your credit card over the Internet. You print the contract, insurance, hotel and transfer vouchers, and airline tickets. You are ready to travel, provided you already have a visa. If you don’t have a visa, you need to arrange for one. Ahead of you waiting for the fabulous meeting of the New Year in the Viennese style, a lot of unforgettable impressions and vivid emotions.

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How to celebrate the New Year in Vienna

New Year in Vienna

New Year’s Eve in the Austrian capital is a popular festivity, when it seems that all Viennese took the “New Year’s Path” (the route from the square to the square). Colorful fireworks, theatrical performances, splashes of champagne everywhere, bright illumination, fun without borders. The changing of the year at midnight on Stephansplatz is announced by the colorful ringing of the main bell of the Pummerin, mounted on the Stephansdom cathedral to the shouts of joy of citizens and tourists. And then music plays until morning: Viennese waltzes, classical symphonies and sonatas, gambling rock, folk songs, and the festivities last all night long. A giant screen on the facade of the Vienna State Opera shows Strauss’ beloved Die Fledermaus operetta.

Socialites, sumptuous balls, and concerts. Simultaneously with the popular festivities, a spectacular aristocratic retro ball takes place in the Hofburg. The glitter of lady diamonds, the elegance of ball gowns and tuxedos of gallant gentlemen, footmen in fancy livery and the waltz dance takes one back to the romantic Habsburg era. A sumptuous dinner with truly royal service will be a wonderful complement to the dancing, and the subsequent gala concert will give the most exciting experience. A magnificent ball also takes place at Vienna’s City Hall with a gala dinner, grand gala concert, and large dance program. Popular operetta soloists are invited to sing popular compositions. High-class hotels also organize balls and gala concerts with opera and pop stars.

New Year in Vienna

Virtually all of Vienna on New Year’s Eve becomes a music venue for the great Viennese orchestras: the Strauss Festival, the Residenz Orchestra, the Hofburg Orchestra, and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. The culmination of the holiday musical performances is a concert by the world-famous Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in the Golden Hall. Strauss’ immortal musical masterpieces are broadcast around the world. More than 45 million people around the world listen to them with bated breath on New Year’s Eve. In general, the New Year’s Eve spent in one of the most wonderful cities of Europe, will be the best meeting of the New Year.

Buy a tour to Vienna for the New Year - a real fireworks showBuy a tour to

What to see and do in Vienna

Vienna for the New Year

The opportunity to find New Year’s Eve in Vienna is a good luck, to be part of the celebrations is twice as good. In the city, which is turned into a huge colorful stage, no one gets bored. You can take part in a mass procession of cheerful, jubilant crowds of people marching to Stefasnplatz to drink a glass of champagne in honor of the new year to the sound of bells ringing. And then waltz to the sounds of Strauss melodies and watch the graceful dancers. Listen to classical music performed by brilliant musicians from famous orchestras (you’re lucky to hear them live). And what the fantastic spectacle of unbelievably beautiful fireworks blowing up in the sky over the whole city is worth!

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A holiday outdoors. You can go (with a group of friends) to Kahlenberg or Leopoldsberg (suburbs) and from there you can see the stunning panorama of New Year’s Vienna, flooded with bright illumination, a fabulous picture of fireworks. Then come down from the sky, plunge into the intoxicating atmosphere of the holiday in a restaurant or club, or in your hotel (pre-reserved seats at the festive table) until morning. But even outdoors you can have a great time in the Old Town and Prater, where on the squares you can learn how to dance a waltz and take part in various fun competitions. Here you can drink champagne or something stronger and eat Viennese delicacies at the gastronomy stalls.

Night in the Vienna Woods

Photo shoot in Vienna

A day in Vienna

Secular entertainment. If your financial situation allows you to spend a fair amount of money, you can celebrate the holiday with a royal dinner in the palace of the former Austrian emperor, the Hofburg, and be a guest at the New Year’s Eve ball. Provided you have a ticket booked in advance (465 € per person), the price includes 4 courses, 1 glass of champagne and 1 glass of wine. The dinner starts at 6.30 p.m. and ends at 7.15 p.m. A ticket for 365 € entitles you to enter the ball (without dinner) where you will have to wear long evening dresses for women and tuxedos for men. Here you will have the opportunity to see the richest celebrities from all over the world and maybe even to waltz with some of them. No less glittering will be the meeting of the New Year in the Town Hall, the Historical Museum and other palaces, where the tickets are also booked in advance.

Romantic adventures. If you are a stranger to society balls, you can take a romantic trip on the Imperial Express, in a luxurious suite carriage. The train stops at midnight on the Danube Bridge, and passengers can enjoy the spectacle of fireworks after a glass of champagne. The magical journey with a delicious 5-course dinner and lots of positive emotions lasts from 19:30 to 02:15 at night and costs 395 € per person (reservation only). A small river cruise on a splendid Danube river is also an option (the price of the ticket is 159 €). Meet the New Year with a glass of fine sparkling wine, light snacks, dancing to live music and the best impressions.

New Year’s Eve 2022 / 2023 in Vienna

From mid-November to mid-January is the peak tourist season in Vienna. Vienna becomes a city out of fairy tales during this time: Inimitable Viennese architecture expertly illuminated by Christmas lights, Christmas markets with the scents of punch and sweets, numerous concerts, balls and parties, festive store windows – all this really makes Vienna one of the most popular destinations for Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations. Christmas illuminations are lit as early as mid-November and decorate the city until January 7.

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I am a professional historian and conduct guided tours of Vienna and will be happy to help you spend an unforgettable New Year’s Eve in Vienna. Our new 2-bedroom apartment across the street from Schönbrunn Palace is currently vacant for the New Year holidays (reviews).

If you can take a vacation before December 24th, the most popular and affordable way to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve is to go to the different markets. I have already talked about them in the November and December pages.

Millions of tourists flood Vienna on this season to enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of Christmas, waiting for the miracle, gifts and happiness, to go back for a few days to carefree childhood. And the local population is happy to meet at Christmas markets with friends and family over a cup of hot punch or mulled wine. And what a treat it is for the children! For example, in the Town Hall children can bake cookies and make various handicrafts, at Karlsplatz they can make souvenir candles, ride a pony, roll in the straw among pets (here is a mock Holy Vertep, in which Jesus Christ was born). Note that after Christmas (December 25) until New Year’s Eve only a few markets are open, for example, in front of Schoenbrunn Palace (until January 3).

End of December – beginning of January – is also a very good time for shopping – you can combine business with pleasure. After the Christmas holidays (December 24-26) in Viennese stores starts a sale. Prices are still not as low as in February, but not all sold out, and you can easily find your size and color.

But still a majority of Russian-speaking tourists come to Vienna for the New Year. So, you decided to celebrate the New Year in Vienna. How to do it so that the experience will last a lifetime? As you know, there is no match for taste and color, so I’ll give a few very different options from free to very expensive, so you have plenty to choose from.

New Year fireworks on the Town Hall Square

The Graben Street (next to St. Stephen Cathedral) with New Year's Eve lights

Outdoors.

To begin with, it’s often not at all cold at this time, snow is quite rare, but you can’t guess. In good weather and with a good company you can have a great New Year right in the center of the city. On December 31 from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. the Old Town and the Prater become a unified New Year’s Eve celebration area: scenes are set up in all the main squares, concerts, various contests, waltz courses and children’s competitions are held. All of these places of entertainment are united by a New Year’s promenade, along which people go from one site to another. Along this “people’s trail” there is always a large selection of gastronomic options where you can eat and relax.

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Before you know it, time will be approaching midnight. It’s better to have a bottle of champagne and a couple of glasses by this time and find a place on Stefanplatz or in front of the Town Hall away from the noisy companies. And you need a man who will open the champagne with the sound of the famous Pummerin bell on the south tower of St. Stephen’s cathedral. There’s something about that, shouting “Happy New Year!” to a huge international crowd!

After that, Vienna begins the many-minute fireworks display, which is best watched from the Town Hall, the Stefansdom, or the Heldenplatz in front of the Hofburg. By the way, public transportation in Vienna runs from December 31 to January 1 all night.

If you are traveling by car, another option is to drive up Mount Kahlenberg or Mount Leopoldsberg on the outskirts of Vienna to welcome in the New Year or watch the colorful fireworks.

A classical music concert and/or dinner at a restaurant or club

On New Year’s Eve, the State and People’s Opera Houses traditionally present the operetta Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss. On December 31, there are also concerts by famous symphony orchestras at Schoenbrunn Palace Orangery, the Kursalon, Mozart House, and other concert halls.

Many not very expensive restaurants and clubs hold New Year’s Eve dinners and parties. This is another option to celebrate the New Year without spending a month’s salary.

The Hofburg New Year's Eve Ball, under the auspices of the Austrian President

Greeting the New Year in high society is a good way to start the year.

The Imperial Express stops at midnight on the bridge over the Danube so that passengers can see the splendor of the New Year's Eve fireworks.

Celebrate the New Year in the imperial style

But if you want something very special and can spend a decent amount of money on this holiday, Vienna also gives you a lot of choice.

New Year’s Eve Ball in the Imperial Palace Hofburg

If you want to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the company of the President of Austria, you need to buy tickets for the ball in the Imperial Palace Hofburg. This year’s program includes stars of the State Opera and the People’s Opera Houses, famous orchestras and performers. When New Year’s Eve comes, to the sound of the famous Pummerin bell of St. Stephan’s Cathedral, you can watch the colorful fireworks at Heldenplatz (Heroes’ Square in front of the Hofburg) from the palace windows and waltz the Blue Danube with the most famous and wealthy people from around the world (last year there were 2,500 guests from 40 countries). Well, you can pay for that, too!

The New Year’s Gala Dinner (4-course menu, wine, glass of champagne) starts at 6:30 p.m. and the ticket costs 465 euros per person. At 19:15 doors open for other guests, ticket with reserved seat, a glass of sparkling wine and a small snack costs €210, admission ticket without seat €155 (for students €70).

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Note the very strict dress code: ladies wear a floor-length evening gown, for men a tailcoat or tuxedo. The administration may not let you into the ball if your attire does not meet the requirements above.

You can also celebrate the New Year in the town hall, Verstel Palace, the Kursalon, the Historical Museum and so on. Many luxury hotels (Bristol, Hotel de France, Grand Hotel, etc.) also organize gala dinners and programs.

For lovers of the exotic, you can “enter” the New Year in the deluxe car of the Imperial Express, which stops on the bridge over the Danube when the hands indicate midnight so that passengers can enjoy the beauty of fireworks (Majestic Imperator Train, tour from 19:30 to 02:15, 5-course menu, price € 395). Another option is a Danube New Year’s Eve cruise on board a motor ship (cruise from 20:00 to 03:00 includes a gala buffet with a glass of sparkling wine, live music – price 159 euros).

So, the New Year’s Eve is behind us. I am sure you got cheerful and good mood for the whole year. What should you do on the 1st of January? If you’re only here for a couple of days, you probably have a long list of things to see. Be careful, some museums may be closed on January 1, but the stores are definitely closed. If you have more time, I like to stop by the Thermae for a full day after the hustle and bustle of New Year’s Eve.

You probably know that tickets to the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Eve concert at the Musikverein are raffled off a year in advance. So it’s almost impossible to get in. I usually watch this concert on TV, but watching it live on the big screen in the square by the Town Hall among the many other classical music lovers is a better option. If you’re in shape by 11:00 a.m. on Jan. 1, take note.

New Year’s Eve mood in Vienna reigns until January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany (Advent of the Magi), which is the day off and which ends the Christmas-New Year’s fever. On this day you can often see children in colorful costumes of the Three Kings (Magi) in the streets.

If you want to book a tour of Vienna during the New Year vacations, it is better to make a reservation at least a month in advance. All guides, myself included, usually have these days booked by the minute. If I am busy, I will try to recommend another guide. Our New Year’s Eve accommodations are usually booked a couple of months in advance. So hurry up, the New Year is just around the corner!

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