Music, balls, coffee houses, cakes and culture come wrapped in a small but beautiful package during a Vienna city break in winter.
“Perhaps I’m still saturated with pleasure and am feeling biased, but if you want to start the year fulfilling lofty resolutions by spending a few days surrounded by great art and architecture, dipping into coffee houses between museum trips and at night going to concerts or the ballet, I think Vienna can beat any of its art-city rivals. Particularly in winter,” Adriaane Pielou, Telegraph
Balls in Vienna
Every winter, Austria hosts hundreds of swish ball nights, with a quite impressive list of balls in Vienna. Some of the most popular ones are held by professional groups, ranging from confectioners, hunters and pharmacists to coffee house owners and engineers. Austrian balls go on until the early hours, and had the Fairy Godmother been Austrian, she wouldn’t have dreamed of ordering Cinderella to leave the ball as early as midnight! Officially, the ball season ends in February with an array of carnival balls.
Vienna is known for its traditional coffee
Coffee houses (Kaffeehäuser) in Vienna, are relics from a bygone era, when artists, politicians, bohemians and army officers convened there to read, philosophise, play chess and engage in intellectual duels while sipping carefully brewed cups of coffee.
Every Kaffeehaus is different, but certain rules and regulations are honoured everywhere. For example, if you order a single drink you can stay at the Kaffeehaus as long as you wish, making it a viable second home. A useful rule of thumb: the more newspapers, games and regulars, the better the Kaffeehaus.
Every decent Kaffeehaus takes pride in its extensive choice of coffees: at least a dozen different concoctions of freshly ground coffee, milk, cream, water, liqueurs, chocolate and even egg yolk (used in the so-called Kaisermelange) are usually on offer and many Kaffeehäuser have their own signature drink, too. Every coffee is served with a glass of water, which the coffee house waiter will top up for free, even long after you have finished your coffee.
Vienna Ice Dream
From January to March, Vienna city hall transforms into a winter fairytale with a 6,000m² lit ice-skating area. Opening on January 23, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
Every year the square in front of the city hall in Vienna is turned into an ice-skating area. In the middle of the town, two large ice-skating rinks are connected by small paths that wind their way through the city hall park and under the trees, as part of the Wiener Eistraum.
Plenty of booths are scattered in between and around the rinks to warm skaters with punch and tea. You will also find plenty of local food specialties to fill the hole once you have burned off all your energy on the ice.
At night the entire square is transformed into a colourful sea of lights, well worth witnessing even if you don’t want to don the skates yourself. Open until 10 p.m. every day, the urban ice landscape provides a wonderfully central evening activity for the Viennese and city visitors of all ages throughout the winter months.
Beautiful Vienna city walks, lectures about Austrian art and culture, Viennese waltz courses, sports and many more can be experienced with the popular programs of the Verbalists language travel network.
Click here and step with Verbalists into the joy of winter with the beautiful streets of Vienna as your backdrop. Punch and chestnut stands await you with seasonal treats 🙂