Habsburg opulence, timeless beauty, and coffeehouse culture in Mozart’s hometown


Ever fancied donning your tuxedo and waltzing the night away with as many as 6000 delighted ball-goers, all dressed up to the nines and ready for fun? Now’s your chance – deep in the heart of central Europe, and steeped in history, the Austrian capital keeps alive its unique traditions conjuring a romantic mix of 19th century elegance with a modern twist. The height of Viennese ball season falls conveniently into the city’s low season for tourism. With fewer overseas visitors in the chilly months of January, February and March, low season travellers have the chance to enjoy a winter wonderland at great prices without short-changing on a feast for the senses.

History on every corner
Whatever you thought of the subject in school, you’ll be hard pressed to avoid it in this beautiful historic centre. You’ll spot Habsburg Imperial nostalgia at every turn with the indulgent baroque architecture, and the later work of Maria Theresa, who fancied herself as a bit of an interior designer, dominating the cityscape. Get to know the family better with a tour of the central Hofburg Palace, originally a 13th century castle, or their stunning summer residence, Schönbrunn Palace, on the edge of town. The latter was added to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list in 1996, worth a visit for its magnificent gardens alone, which are free to enter during palace opening hours.

Musical Footsteps
Vienna proudly claims more composers living among its residents, than any other city. Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Strauss and many more all worked in and were inspired by Vienna. Download a walking tour that allows you to follow the trail of musicians and taking you around their haunts, including Mozarthaus, one of the abodes of Vienna’s famed son. Believe it or not, 10,000 people every night are treated to concerts, recitals and operas throughout the city! The Vienna Boys’ Choir continues to enchant music lovers in their new state-of-the-art concert hall, MuTh, in Augarten Park. Or visit the House of Music where an ultra-modern walkway of virtual organ pipes allows visitors to create their own compositions. For those with more modern tastes, Flex, Grelle Forelle, Pratersauna or Volksgarten Disco offer late night on-trend dance tunes.

Indulge yourself
Take your time people watching over a large coffee and an even larger piece of cake or strudel in one of Vienna’s famed coffeehouses, before moving on to a wine tasting tour around the city’s heuriges or wine taverns. Yes, Vienna is a city that actually produces its own wine, with urban vineyards within the city limits and more than 100 cosy family run taverns where you can sample the, mostly white, produce. Wines are served of course with snacks of cold meats, pickled vegetables, or crispy pumpkin seed bread. Heurige lifestyle is so ingrained within the city, that it has recently been acknowledged by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage. Continue for a dinner in a Michelin starred restaurant or a Wiener Beisl local neighbourhood bistro for a mouth-watering Weiner Schnitzel.

Low Season Months

Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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Top Experiences

Viennese Dancing Ball

Huge ticketed affairs, you’ll need to book in advance and make sure all your preparations are in order. Brush up on your waltzing skills, rent a gown and arrange your horse-drawn carriage. If you’re lucky enough to get the chance, balls are a winter highlight.

City Hall Ice World

See the vast square transformed into a massive terraced illuminated ice rink. Fun for all ages, and open 10am until 10pm, the 9000 square metre fairytale landscape includes a 120 metre ice ramp. Stagger round best you can or pirouette with the rest.

Amazing museums

The modern Museum Quartier set in the Baroque style Imperial Stables houses amazing exhibits including works by Klimt and Schiele in the Belvedere & Leopold, while elsewhere the smaller funeral, snow globe and Third Man museums are no less fascinating.

Insider Tips

  • St Stephen Cathedral is the city’s stunning Gothic landmark. You can visit the exquisite interior, the catacombs and the cathedral treasure, and don’t miss the lift to the roof, where colourful tiles create the city’s symbolic double-headed eagle.
  • Vienna’s balls have a significant economic impact. With around 520,000 guests, spending on average €290 - €180 for ticket, food, drink & €110 on hair, clothes, dance lessons – the tradition generates an annual income of about €151 million.
  • Riesenrad, Vienna’s giant ferris wheel, built in 1897 to celebrate the a Jubilee of emperor Franz Josef I, is renowned for its role in the film noir masterpiece The Third Man. Quiet in winter, its elegant carriages remain open for stunning city views.

Good To Know

  • The Vienna City Card is the perfect way to explore including 24, 48 or 72 hours of public transportation plus discounts in numerous attractions and museums. It can be upgraded to include airport transfers and a hop on hop off tour.
  • Many visitors, attempting to guzzle an afternoon strudel report slow service. Don’t be fooled. In Vienna the idea is to take your time and make your café stop worthwhile. Expect to ask for service rather than be approached.
  • You can now search 10,000 events online ahead of your arrival. Go to and filter by date and category to find your perfect ball, exhibition, opera, concert, market, fair or family event.

Food & Drink

Central café, Herrengasse 14


Opened in 1876 this institution was once a gathering spot for intellectuals, writers and revolutionaries, including Freud and Trotsky, who lingered under the beautiful arched ceiling. Serves up an amazing selection of cakes and tortes.

Griechenbeisl, Fleischmarkt 11


Historic upscale rustic venue that been serving the likes of Beethoven, Strauss, Mark Twain, Johnny cash and Pavarotti since the 15th century. Classic home-cooked dishes including Wiener Schnitzel, Tafelspitz Beef and Stelze Roast pig leg.

Würstelstandl, Viennese Sausage Stands


On every street corner, the best ones have the longest queues but are worth the wait. Choose from bratwurst, currywurst, pork and veal options, all dripping in condiments. Don’t miss trying a Käsekrainer, sausage with chunks of cheese inside.

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