Top Things to Do and See in Vienna during New Year’s Eve
The countdown to 2020 has officially started and with a few days to go until the new year, we can guess you will be putting off the formulation of your resolutions to January next year and leave these days to answer the more salient question: how to spend New Year’s Eve?
Whether you are visiting Vienna at this time or you are a local in need of some ideas, we have prepared a list of top things to do and see in Vienna on New Year’s Eve.
Wiener Silvesterpfad (New Year’s Eve Trail)
Topping our list on account of its popularity, the Silvesterpfad has been around for thirty years, becoming a turn-of-the-year Viennese tradition. For about 12 hours starting in the afternoon of 31 December, people can enjoy various performances and concerts, all in several key locations in the old city center. Crowds of people gather closer to midnight and all have the opportunity to start together the midnight countdown and watch the fireworks show, then continue the street party.
This year, the slogan of the event is “Vienna Connects” and true to its slogan, it will see the introduction of an encounter zone, to be set up between Café Landtmann and Burgtheater, where it is expected that people can meet and socialize, thusly not spending New Year’s Eve alone. Additionally, there will be a moderated speed-dating lounge (“Bussi Bar”), where you can meet new people in a fun, uncomplicated way.
Another unique feature touted for this year’s Pfad is the addition of a visual jockey to each stage. Musical performances will be accompanied and enhanced by visual artistry created from lights real-time and projected on large LED screens.
The Teinfaltstrasse will once again become the “Street of Luck”, where the main attraction is divination in an entertaining fashion, for those that want to hear about the year ahead. Expect to find all forms of fortune telling at no extra cost.
True to Viennese tradition, at Graben, people can turn up for waltz lessons in Europe’s biggest ballroom and later at Herbert-von-Karajan-Platz, they can view the opera “Die Fledermaus”, playing on the stage of the Vienna State Opera, which will be broadcast live on a projector. And, of course, at midnight partygoers in the street can expect an impressive and breathtaking display of fireworks.
New Year’s Market Schloss Schönbrunn
From 27 December to 5 January, the Ehrenhof section of the Schönbrunn Palace premises hosts the lively extension of the Christmas market, the New Year Market, with all sorts of themed handicrafts, against the charming backdrop of jazz concerts. Be sure to check out the small and cute items associated with good luck, primarily the Glücksschweinchen (lucky piggy), which are always a welcome gift to give to friends, family and coworkers, as a token of your wishes for their good fortune and abundance in the year to come. On the 31 December, the market will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., so if you are looking for a day activity, check out the market at Schönbrunn.
Silvesterball New Year’s Eve Balls
If dressing to the nines, waltzing endlessly and sipping champagne is more of your thing or you simply wish to experience new year’s eve sumptuously with a salute to one of the most cherished Vienna traditions, then it is still not too late to get your ticket to one of the balls hosted around the city. Of course, we will include here only the venues, which still have available tickets.
Basically, synonymous with the word ‘ball’, the Hofburg Palace hosts the annual New Year’s Eve Ball and kicks off the ball season in Vienna with a selection of ballet, waltzes and an instrumental interlude. At midnight, the guests can look forward to the fireworks, the ringing of the Pummerin Bell at St. Stephen’s Cathedral, dancing to the traditional Blue Danube Waltz or to the quadrille in the imperial state rooms. The starting price of a regular ticket (Circle), which covers the admission and a glass of sparkling wine on arrival, is 170 Euro per person, while a Star Ticket with seat reservation will start at 250 Euro.
The Ball at the Palais Auersperg is definitely an understated New Year’s Eve event. With waltzes from the strings of the Wiener Residenzorchester and later in the evening, dance music, you can opt for an early arrival and enjoy the five-course menu, or a late arrival and simply join the party in full swing. At midnight, you can enjoy the fireworks from the palace park and continue your party until the early hours of morning. A basic package, with admission after 10.30 p.m., including three drinks of choice and a glass of sparkling wine at midnight will cost 95 Euro per person, while a concert and dinner package will be 290 Euro per person.
The Burlesque Ball at the Concordia Schlössl promises to be an exciting and unforgettable event. With a Roaring Twenties theme to celebrate the upcoming 20s and a three-part burlesque show, things are bound to get heated up fast. The ticket will cost you 98 Euro and will include the admission after 8 p.m., sparkling wine and canapes, dinner and the burlesque show, the firework show and the opening of the absinth bar.
Dinner Galas and Receptions
If a ball is too much and you prefer ending your year with an unforgettable culinary experience, then perhaps one of the numerous receptions organized by the heritage hotels in Vienna is better suited for you.
For a nighttime view of Vienna and all its firework shows at midnight, probably the most interesting offer will be that of the Hotel Kahlenberg. The New Year packages start at 129 Euro per person, with the rates differing based on admission times, and will include a range of beverages (non-alcoholic drinks, wine beer, coffee and tea), a buffet and welcome prosecco and a shuttle transfer to Schwedenplatz.
Above the rooftops of Vienna, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the fireworks, after a delicious five-course dinner in Das Schick, at the Hotel am Parkring. At 265 Eur per person, the reception starting at 7 p.m. will include the gala menu, aperitif, accompanying drinks, mineral water, coffee and a sparkling wine at midnight on the roof terrace.
Hotel Bristol will open the new year with the Charleston, inviting you to a 1920s-themed reception. A package will start at 249 Euro per person and will include a three- or five-course menu, accompanying drinks, live entertainment, stage dancing and a welcome cocktail.
The Hotel Sacher, the Grand Hotel Wien, the Hotel Imperial, Palais Coburg, the Vienna Marriott Hotel or the Intercontinental are just some of the hotels which are offering receptions with their own luxurious flavor and are bound to create a memorable night for their guests.
An amazing view of the fireworks all over central Vienna is definitely a once in a lifetime experience worth recounting and talking about. The Riesenrad at the Prater amusement park is open on the 31 December from 10 a.m. and will stay open for another two hours after midnight. After enjoying the breathtaking night views, you can always join in the festivities of the Pfad taking place in the amusement park below. The highlight of the night promises to be the 12-minutes fireworks show, in all colors of the rainbow. So, if you do not mind queuing to make it on the midnight ride on the Riesenrad, you will be treated to an amazing show.
A stylish end of the year on wheels
This is how the luxurious train, Majestic Imperator, styles its gala on wheels and is definitely one of the most unique ways to enter the new year. A luxury nostalgia experience, the train will journey through the Vienna suburban train stations before coming to a grinding halt on a bridge over the Danube five minutes to midnight, allowing the partying passengers a magnificent view of the fireworks in the city. This unique experience costs 398 Euro and includes in this rate a sparkling wine at the welcome reception, a 5-course gala dinner, midnight snacks, beverages on board and the entertainment, including an entire dancing carriage.
On the beautiful blue Danube
DDSG Blue Danube will be offering several boat trips for New Year’s Eve departing Vienna for a few hours and each with their own gala dinners or buffets, music and dance. The MS Blue Danube will host the Silvester City Cruise and will not leave Vienna city limits. For the price of 119 Euro per person, the party which starts at 8 p.m. will include live saxophone music and a 5-course gala menu. As it will be coasting along Vienna, you are certain to enjoy the fireworks from the deck also. Other ships, such as the MS Wien will journey to the floodgate Greifenstein, then back to Vienna. For the price of 179 Euro per person, you can enjoy the party on board the ship with live music and entertainment, a welcome sparkling wine, a gala buffet and midnight snacks.
Dance the night away
If your idea of a good time is dancing the night away, we have a few suggestions to pique your interest and we can only hope you will not have trouble deciding on a venue.
The Loveball in the WUK will not be an actual ball, but possibly the loudest party in Vienna. Under the motto “Love-Respect-Tolerance”, this year’s party theme takes its inspiration from 1001 Nights (Arabian Nights) and already starts off at 11 p.m., where you can dance to pop or house music. At midnight, the main dance floor opens for what promises to be a wild party. Ticket prices start at 20 Euros, be sure to get yours, before all sell out.
Party like Gatsby is another 1920s-themed party powered by Landtmann’s Boothaus. Start your evening off with a glass of champagne and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a buffet and toast at midnight and eat a lucky fish, the in-house prepared pastry to attract luck in the new year. Dance to 80s hits and a lot of swing music. The ticket costs 159 Euro per person.
Keeping with the 1920s theme, but within an accessible price range, the Swing New Year’s Party at Badeschiff is bound to give you an energetic swing into the new year. It starts off at 10 p.m. with punch and mulled wine on deck. Enjoy a midnight waltz on the deck and watch the fireworks. The dancefloor will open half an hour past midnight and will include swing, jazz, soul and many more. The price starts at 20 euro per person. If you wish to opt for the package with a buffet with admission from 7 p.m., the ticket cost will be 89 Euro per person.
An Italian-style celebration with Italian pop, antipasti and panettone, the New Year’s Eve Party at Dachboden 25 Hours is definitely a different theme to celebrate the change of the year. The event ticket will cost 109 EUR per person and will include an aperitif, antipasti snacks, panettone, the midnight toast, as well as the live band and DJ. Not to mention the amazing view of the fireworks over Vienna.
Other famous clubs around Vienna, such as Volksgarten, Pratersauna, FLEX, Grelle Forelle, Passage will be hosting New Year’s Eve parties, so can enter the new year dancing to your favorite music.
This concludes our list of top things to do and see during New Year’s Eve in Vienna, we hope it has inspired you to spend this wonderful night somewhere special, surrounded by your favorite people in the world.
The Vienna Blog wishes you a fantastic time on New Year’s Eve, as well as a prosperous and lucky 2020.
Guten Rutsch to everyone!