5 Ways to Spend a Festive Day in Vienna

Vienna, capital of Austria, is a glorious, grandiose city filled with classical culture and contemporary convenience. Elegant restaurants line one street while modern art galleries decorate another, all connected by buildings that represent various architecture styles from imperial to postmodern.

The Austrian White Christmas Tour gives guests a free day in Vienna to be spent completely at leisure. As you would expect from Austria’s largest metropolis, there is no shortage of wonderful things to do during your free time – especially since Christmas Day is just around the corner! Here are 5 of the most popular activities Albatross travellers like to pursue during this free day.

1. Go Market Shopping

Vienna Christmas Markets

There are plenty of Christmas markets throughout the city, yet each one has its own unique charm or specialty. The largest and most popular of them is located in front of the Rathaus (Town Hall). These markets can get extremely busy around dusk – some say you need ‘steel elbows’ to get through them! But if you can brave the crowds (or if you beat the rush), you’ll be rewarded with handmade decorations, homewares and other goods that make fantastic gifts for family or friends (or lovely mementos for yourself!). Plus, of course, you have to sample the many different flavours of Glühwein!

2. Ride the Ferris Wheel

Riesenrad Ferris Wheel, Vienna

The Vienna Giant Wheel (Wiener Riesenrad in German) is almost 65 metres tall; it was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel until 1985. Situated by the Prater Amusement Park’s entrance in Leopoldstadt, this wheel is a distinct symbol of Vienna and an enduringly popular attraction for visitors and locals alike. Its gondolas are spacious and give you some excellent views over the city. If you can stomach it, you can even pre-book a lunch or dinner in one of the designated meal cars.

3. Walk the Ring Road

National History Museum, Vienna

As with many European cities, Vienna features a ring road that circles its ‘old city’. Without stops, the walk only takes a couple of hours, but you definitely should allow time for stopping! Highlights along the way include the Natural History Museum, the Art History Museum and the Leopold Museum. And then there’s the music history right under your feet – Austria was, after all, the birthplace of many of the world’s greatest composers: Strauss, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, just to name a couple. Consider taking in a concert at the Opera House.

4. Try Some Local Cuisine

There’s no better place than Vienna to eat some classic Vienna Schnitzel! But the gastronomic delights of the city go far beyond that. There are so many restaurants for all budgets, so you simply can’t miss out on trying some local dishes. Pretzels and noodles are must-eats.

5. Visit the Central Shopping Area

Vienna, Austria

Once you’ve had your markets fix, head to the central shopping area to browse department stores and boutiques. It’s not just retail therapy on offer here, though – the mall itself is a beauty to behold with glorious, gorgeous Christmas decorations throughout. It’s simply stunning – the halls are decked with photo opportunities.

If you’re planning to explore the winter wonderland that is festive-season Austria, you can expect any free day to be a highlight. Read more about the Albatross Austrian White Christmas Tour or contact the friendly team to discuss your European tour options.

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Stephen York

Stephen York is the National Sales Manager at Albatross Tours