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The best winter activities in Vienna

The days are getting shorter and the weather more uncomfortable? That’s no reason to hole up indoors. Let’s fight the annual winter blues together! Vienna surprises in winter with numerous activities that are only available in the cold season or that are especially beautiful at Christmas time. And no, we certainly don’t mean the countless Christmas markets. Austria’s capital has much more to offer in winter, which is why it’s no wonder that studying in Vienna is so popular. Here are the 12 most beautiful leisure activities and excursion destinations in Vienna in winter.

1) Enjoy the Inner City on a romantic winter walk

Even if you’re more of a summer person: in winter you’ll hardly be able to resist the magic of Vienna. The city is bursting with history, imperial flair and historical sites. Even on cold days, it’s worth exploring. The first district and the Ringstrasse are particularly suitable – also or especially in the evening hours. And if it should snow, you should take the chance. In winter you will see Vienna and all its sights with completely different eyes.

2) Enjoy the Viennese café culture

What could be better than enjoying a good coffee and a tasty pastry on a cold day? Good thing you’re in Vienna. Because the city is known for its countless traditional coffee houses, which are all the cosier in winter. There are charming places to stop off at every corner in the Austrian capital. A small brown coffee with a piece of apple strudel is always good. If you prefer something a little more substantial, you can indulge your taste buds at a cosy brunch and spend some quality time with your favourite people.

3) Walk the city trail in winter

In autumn or winter, the weather is usually less than inviting. But no matter how gloomy and uncomfortable it is outside, you should get some exercise in the fresh air. This stimulates your circulation and provides a good dose of vitamin D. And to make it easier for you to put your plans into practice, we have a special tip for you: the Vienna City Walking Trail allows you to get to know the city in a completely new way over several stages. The individual sections are extremely varied and make excellent day destinations. As the saying goes: there is no such thing as the wrong weather, only the wrong clothes.

4) Check out possible party locations

Autumn or winter is known to be a good time for partying, and in Vienna you’re sure to find what you’re looking for with the huge range of night-time activities on offer. Alternatively, you can organise a party yourself and invite people to your place. For a successful evening, you just need to get the right people together. These party games will ensure that the celebration is a complete success.


5) Take a day trip to nature

If you’re in need of some time off, there are plenty of nature destinations in the vicinity and on the outskirts of Vienna. There you can get some fresh air and enjoy the winter landscape while hiking at any time of the year. For many destinations, such as the Vienna Woods, the Föhrenberge Nature Park or Lake Neusiedl, you don’t even need a car. You can get out of the city in no time from our centrally located student residences in Vienna.

6) Winter sports: skiing and snowboarding near Vienna

And speaking of nature, winter sports are a must during the cold season. After all, you are in Austria and skiing is the national sport here. From Vienna, for example, you can visit the Stuhleck, Hochkar or Annaberg ski resorts, even if you only have one day. If winter sports don’t appeal to you, a trip to the mountains is still worthwhile. Because the sun on the summit is all the more tempting when it’s foggy and gloomy in Vienna.

7) Puzzle fun in one of the many Escape Rooms in Vienna

Escape rooms are one of the best tips for bad weather. Grab your best friends and crank up your grey cells to find the solution together. As there are lots of Escape Rooms in Vienna, the winter will not be enough to see them all. So we have to warn you: between the classic puzzles, the particularly interactive or scary offers, it will be really hard for you to decide.

8) Pamper yourself with a time-out at Therme Wien

What to do on rainy days? Relax, warm up and sweat! Therme Wien makes it possible and leaves hardly any wish unfulfilled. In addition to various themed pools, you’ll find a spacious sauna area with a pretty outdoor area.

9) Ice skating and drinking punch on Rathausplatz.

In winter, Vienna’s Rathausplatz is quite simply transformed into an ice rink. Even if ice skating is not your cup of tea, it’s still worth a visit. The atmosphere here is always exuberant, not least because there are several mulled wine stands to provide you with warming drinks.

10) Enjoy the art and culture in Vienna

Vienna is a true music and culture capital. Thanks to the 200 or so museums, you won’t get bored here in winter. The most famous museums are the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) and the Naturhistorisches Museum Wien (Museum of Natural History). Then there is the so-called Museumsquartier, where the Leopold Museum or the Museum of Modern Art (mumok) await your visit. Of course, curious exhibitions such as the Torture Museum or the Funeral Museum are not to be missed. There are also many opportunities to delve into the history of the former empire. Visit the Sissi Museum or the Imperial Crypt.

11) Take a ride on the Ferris wheel for an overview of the city.

While the Prater is filled with people on warm summer evenings, it is more tranquil here in the cool season. A ride on the legendary Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel is particularly recommended, as it promises a wonderful panoramic view of the city on sunny winter days. And the best thing about it: From the two student residences MILESTONE Vienna Prater and MILESTONE Vienna Campus you only need a few minutes to get to the Vienna Prater and the extensive nature area Grüner Prater.

12) Visit the Schönbrunn Zoo or the House of the Sea

Schönbrunn Zoo is the oldest zoo in the world and is even open in winter. And if you’re already in the area, you can also pay a visit to Schönbrunn Palace and the Palm House. If you prefer to go underwater, you must visit the House of the Sea. You can observe exotic animals all year round.

Conclusion: With these tips, winter in Vienna can come!

Now you are well prepared for the cold season in Vienna. And if you do get wanderlust, a stay abroad might be just the thing for you. Even if it’s not something you can do overnight, you can already look around and find out about the advantages of Portugal in winter.




Nikolina is our Sales and Marketing Intern. She´s an old soul who spends her free time listening to Sinatra and watching old movies. Her dream is to move to New York and make a career in show business.

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