Magical Christmas Season in Vienna
Make yourself the best Christmas present by registering for the upcoming VII SWS conference on Social Sciences (ISCSS) – Sessions “When Science meets Art”. Then you will have two presents - first, the opportunity to share your research with scientists from all over the world as well as to enrich yourself scientifically with their work and second- you will feel the miracle of Christmas sweeping over the whole city of Vienna surrounded by the rich aroma of warm cinnamon cookies and sweet red wine.
Combine science with pleasure and join us for the SWS Vienna ART Sessions and a magical Christmas experience. We have selected for you the 10 things you must do in Vienna in between the plenary sessions!
1. Viennese Christmas Markets
Vienna is а top destination to go any day but during Christmas, it is a must-see city. The Christmas markets are world famous. You will have the opportunity to visit several, each one unique on their own, offering delicious treats and а chance to learn more about the history of this old tradition. One of the most magical Christmas markets is exactly in front of the conference Halls - Enjoy the Schönbrunn Christmas Market!
2. Drink Weihnachtspunsch
Each country and city has their trademark food and the same goes for Vienna. Apart from the Viennese schnitzel you will be able to taste, the perfect Christmas drink for the chilly weather is Weihnachtspunsch (Christmas punch). Not only will it keep you warm but it is served in a collectable mug with a unique design depending on the Christmas market you visit. You will be allowed to keep the mug and of course learn more about the interesting stories beneath the mug’s decorations from the native people.
3. Christmas lights on the Graben and Kärtner Straße
With its long history and extraordinary architecture Vienna becomes a fairy-tale place during the most wonderful time of the year. Take a walk in the evening, starting from the State Opera building, moving down Kärntner Straße to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, then along the Graben and up Kohlmarkt to the Hofburg palace all the while enjoying the breathtaking view of one of the oldest cities in Europe dressed in festive twinkling lights.
4. Evening trip around the Ring
Another way to admire the beautiful city in its Christmas attire is to walk around this Ring boulevard which encircles the city taking the “hop on, hop off” buses.
5. Take a walk through the Rathausplatz
One of the most famous Christmas markets along the Ring is Christkindlmarkt on the Rathausplatz (the square in front of town hall). It a beautiful place, perfect for a night walk with a mug of Christmas punch in your hand.
6. Visit a roast chestnut stand
One of Vienna’s trademark things about Christmas is the chestnut tree. In the winter, there is a stand literally on every street corner, as well as at the Christmas markets. You can enjoy roasted potato snacks and roast chestnuts all the while hearing about the history of this treats dating back to the medieval ages.
7. Nativity scenes in St. Peter’s Church
If you are a true fan of art in its truest form Peterskirche (St. Peter’s church) is a must see. It is the tumult of decorative Baroque opulence, where each brick has been touched by an artist or a sculptor’s hand. During that time of the year it hosts an exhibition of nativity scenes which make the atmosphere even more magical.
8. Visit Schönbrunn Palace
The lake in front of the palace is magical, the view breathtaking. Not only will you get to learn about the history of the iconic palace but if you go there in the evening when the sky becomes twilight blue, the reflection of the Christmas market’s lights makes for a picture-perfect place.
9. Listen to an Advent concert
What is Christmas without carolers and festive music. The top places for an advent concerts include Stephansdom (St.Stephen’s cathedral), the Peterskirche, and the Minoritenkirche (an Italian church).
10. Enjoy a sausage
Everybody has heard tales of the famous sausages. You should definitely visit a stand at any of the Christmas markets and treat yourself to a traditional Käsekrainer stick or a Bratwurst stick.