Christmas in Austria

All around the world we celebrate Christmas tonight and today we want to explain you how we celebrate Christmas in Austria.


Holy Night – the 24th of December

Maybe this is a bit different to many other cultures but for Austrians the 24th of December is the most important day during Christmas time. Normally we celebrate Christmas among our families. Especially for our kids Christmas is a special day and they enjoy their afternoon normally with great activities. If there is some snow at Christmas time the children go for some bob sledging or they make some hand dipping candles. During this time the Christkind – our counterpart to America’s Santa Claus – is decorating the Christmas tree.

Later the day the children arrive back at home and the whole family visits the Christmas mass at church. After the mass everyone has dinner together. Every family enjoys its Christmas dinner different but in Austria there are many distinctive traditional Christmas dinner. Some families try to have a relaxed evening and have a great traditional Jause – a meal consisting of bread, cold cuts, cheese, and much more – others have a glamorous dinner Many traditional glamorous dinner are turkey, similar to the United States, but also Christmas carp or different types of deer with red cabbage and dumplings. After a long meal it is time to wait for the arrival of the Christkind. The families are playing games and spending a reflective evening, when suddenly the Christmas bell rings. The Christmas bell is a small bell brought by the Christkind and which is ringing when all the presents are laid underneath the tree. Then all the kids jump from their seats and start to run to the Christmas tree. The whole family then admires the Christmas tree enlighten by sparklers and candles and starts to sing some traditional Christmas songs. During that normally all the kids are waiting impatiently to open the Christmas presents underneath the tree. After the gift giving the kids are kept busy by the new presents and toys and the adults have time for a chat or another game before the evening ends. Some of the family members maybe join the midnight mass before they also fall asleep after a long day.


New Year’s Eve in Austria – 31st of December

Whereas Christmas is a family day New Year’s Eve is a day which is celebrated with your friends. People usually meet in the evening and have dinner together. We have some fondue together or we enjoy some Raclette – a dinner where we put a grill in the middle of the table and everyone puts meet, vegetables and much more onto it. Then we spent a lot of time together before we prepare ourselves for midnight. Nearly household in Austria switches on the radio land listens to the radio when the radio stations broadcast live from St. Stephan’s Square. At midnight then the bell of St. Stephan’s Cathedral rings 12 times and everyone is dancing a waltz to the music of the Donauwalzer. Subsequent we start to spark our fireworks and we greet the New Year. We clink glasses of Champagne and celebrate for the New Year. We also give each other lucky charm for the next year and celebrate into the early morning hours.


New Year’s Day – 1st of January

Worldwide known but different than The Sound of Music also Austrians watch the New Year’s concert. The classical concert is held every year at the 1st of January by the Viennese philharmonics and broadcasted to more than 90 countries worldwide. After a long New Year’s Eve we normally weak up pretty late and firstly switch on watch TV. The rest of the day we enjoy a relaxed day and relax after a long night.





Twelfth Day – 6th of January

The last Christmassy day of the year is the Twelfth day on the 6th of January. During that day the three Magi come to your house – normally some children are dressed like them – and bring you blessing for the next year. As a thank you we normally donate some money to the three Magi to support some people who are going to need some help the next year. As a holiday families spend the day together and have a nice winter day but in comparison to other cultures the Twelfth Day is not too important for Austrians.

Christmas Markets in Vienna

Every year at this time it’s happening again. By the mid of November the Viennese Christmas markets open their gates und everyone can enjoy the most festive season of the year with some punch and sausages. There are countless spots where you can enjoy the Christmas magic and due to this we would like to present you some of them.


Classical & touristy – the Viennese Christmas villages


Selling stand at the Viennese Christmas village

The Viennese Christmas villages are three different Christmas markets in Vienna and they are definitely some of the most famous one in Vienna. Every one of the three Christmas villages has its own character but the Christmas market between the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Cultural History is definitely the most famous one. Every year numberless visitors enjoy the great atmosphere with punch, mulled wine and Christmas music. More than 70 stands, Christmas trees, decoration and the tempting aroma of ginger bread and cookies create a great ambience. One can stroll around and purchase some Christmas gifts. If you still want to do something good this year you have the chance to do so there. The pavilion is an inherent part of the Christmas market and there you can donate 2 Euros which support kids in need of help. Two other Christmas markets you can find at the old hospital and at the Belvedere Palace. A horrifying highlight of the Christmas village at the old hospital is the “Perchtenlauf” – an Austrian tradition where scary horned figures bring the winter to town. A more royal atmosphere you can find at the Belvedere Palace. Directly in front of the palace you can enjoy mulled wine and sausages while you let your gaze wander over the Christmassy decorated pond and palace garden.


Royal & impressive – the Christmas market in front of Schönbrunn palace

Schönbrunn palace in Christmassy splendor

Directly in front of Austria’s biggest palace und only a few minutes away from Hostel Vienna Hütteldorf you can find one of the most impressive Christmas markets of Vienna. Dominated by the metres high Christmas tree and in front of imperial setting a wonderful Christmas wonderland with great products and warm drinks is built up. The varied concerts on the stage in front of the Christmas tree offer you a diverse cultural program. Beside of the diversified selling stands you can find a Christmas crib and a Christmas workshop at the market. At the workshop you can model and decorate marzipan figures with guidance. Furthermore you can tinker angels made of wood and sleaze for a good cause every Wednesday.


Christmas mood with great views – Christmas charm at the Wilhelminenberg

Small but nice – the Christmas charm at Wilhelminenberg

A real insider tip is the small Christmas market at the Wilhelminenberg. The Christmas charm awaits you directly at the Palace Hostel Schlossherberge and offers you a great view over the city. During punch and Raclette bread – dark bread served with melted Austrian cottage cheese – you can enjoy the Viennese sea of lights. Moreover the Christmassy music guarantees a great atmosphere. Beside of Christmassy music visitors can also listen to live music. No matter if you like Jazz or traditional Viennese sounds there’s definitely something for everyone.



Christmas Shopping in Vienna

It’s that time again. Every year around this time all the shops at Kärntner and Mariahilfer Straße prank themselves and attract their customers to have a look on their offers. At the middle of November at the latest you recognize that Christmas comes up. Mostly the pre-Christmas period then passes by so quickly and just a few days before Christmas you then realize that you still need some small gifts for your friends and relatives and you hectically start your final shopping tour through the shopping malls of your home town. To save yourself from this and to make your shopping a bit easier this year we want to betray you some of Vienna’s shopping hot spots.


The classics – Mariahilfer Straße & the golden U

Kärntner Straße illuminated in Christmas splendor

If you come to Vienna for shopping you can not miss out those two places. No matter if you walk along Mariahilfer Straße or you stroll around Kärnter Straße, Graben or Kohlmarkt those four streets give you endless possibilities. The easiest way to reach the Mariahilfer Straße from our hostels is by taking the metro. In the big shopping malls of the Mahü – that’s how Mariahilfer Straße is called in the vernacular – you can find every famous brand. No matter if you search for a small gift or something bigger you’ll find it at the Mariahilfer Straße. Because at the 2 kilometres long shopping stores and shops line up next to each other and you can find everything which fits under the Christmas tree from clothing, books to electronics.

The golden U however is the place to be if you search for something more expensive and elegant The three pedestrian zones Kohlmarkt, Kärntner Straße and Graben create in the centre of Vienna the golden U. Here you can find the most famous shopping boutiques, restaurants, hotels but also affordable stores. Here you can find nearly every brand. If you want to spent a bit more this year you can also visit the boutiques of Gucci, Armani and other high-end brands. Really close to the Graben you can take a break during a long shopping day. At the Café Central – one of the oldest and most traditional Viennese Cafés of the city – you can have a traditional coffee break – coffee, maybe a typical Viennese Melange and a piece of cake – and recover yourself for the rest of the day. For your shopping trip to Vienna the Palace Hostel Vienna has put together a great package including a coffee break, the ticket for the public transport and much more.


Trend shopping – the small boutiques aside the mainstream

Le Shop at Kirchengasse

If you have passed by all the big shopping malls and you still need some small, extraordinary gifts then you should find yourself at the small side streets of the Mariahilfer Straße. Not far away from Mariahilfer Straße you can find the Kirchengasse. Here you find a huge collection on a small area. No matter if you search for young fashion design, streetwear, rarely sneakers or something unusual for kids the small shops here offer you nearly everything aside the mainstream. At SIGT and at Disaster Clothing you can find young fashion design from Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Spain. If you search for extraordinary sneakers you have to go for Zapateria. Beside of the massive collection fans of sneakers also love it because of the seldom items you can find. The fair trade collection of Göttin des Glücks is also located at Kirchengasse and if you are still searching for something for your kids you have to go to Herr & Frau Klein. Here you can find unusual baby clothes and cool romper suits.

Also at the trendy Gumpendorf you can find many small shops which are worth to visit. In the small sidestreets between Mariahilfer Straße and the Naschmarkt you can find nearly everything like furniture, fashion or cosmetics. If you search for modern furniture das Möbel is the place to be but if you like retro furniture from the last century you should take a look at the Lichterloh. At Gumpendorf you can also find organic and fair trade fashion. If you particularly search for that you have to visit Vivendi, Anukoo and Anzüglich. Beside of fashion and electronics one can also find cosmetics underneath many Christmas trees. If you are sceptic about the cosmetics in the mainstream shops you should take a look at St. Charles Apotheke and St. Charels Cosmothecary. Here you can find high quality natural cosmetics made of domestic herbs and plants.


Culinary from the Naschmarkt and the Brunnenmarkt

Christmas shopping at the Naschmarkt

Not far from Gumpendorf you can find a real culinaric institution in Vienna. The Naschmarkt exists since the 16th century and countless stores, restaurants and stands line up on a length of 1.5 kilometres. If you search for some extraordinary herbs, teas or other temptations for Christmas this is the place to be.

The a bit less touristy alternative is the Brunnenmarkt in Ottakring. Only 20 minutes away from the Palace Hostel Vienna you feel like you would be in another world. At Brunnenmarkt you can find Turkish stands and specialities from the Balkan Peninsula but also Austrian delicacies. But the atmosphere is totally different in comparison to the Naschmarkt. Here you feel like you would stroll around one of the many markets of Southern Europe. The offer is huge and you can find many delicacies from all around the world. If you are tired of all the hustle and bustle after a while you can relax at one of the many cafés and restaurants at Yppenplatz directly at the end of the Brunnenmarkt.

Nightlife in Vienna

After engaging with a calm and relaxing topic last week we want to present you another side of Vienna this week. It does not matter if you would like to have a nice cocktail evening with some friends, a great club experience in one of the mainstream clubs or if you want to experience something pretty special – in Vienna you can find it! Vienna does not offer you countless possibilities at day – but also at nighttime.

A cocktail evening with your friends

Those bars suit perfectly if you want to spend a great cocktail evening with your friends. Every one of the three bars offers delicious cocktails and a superb atmosphere.

TGI Fridays

American bar at TGI Friday’s

The TGI Friday’s awaits you with hearty American classics and a great cocktail selection directly at the Ring Street in the city centre. From the Hostel Vienna Hütteldorf you can get directly to the bar by metro. Just hop on the metro at Hütteldorf and get off at Karlsplatz. The TGI Friday’s is just a stone throw away from the station. If you arrive there you can appease your appetite with burgers and spare ribs and satisfy your thirst at the American bar. The bar offers you countless cocktail variations. You can choose of seven different Mojito cocktails for example. Between 5.00 and 7.00 p.m. you get all your cocktails for half the price and if you stay at Hostel Vienna Hütteldorf you get a € 5 free voucher as well!

El Dorado

At the small and cosy El Dorado you can dance to the rythm of Salsa, Marenque or Bachta while sipping on your cocktail. The El Dorado offers you two dance floors and two bars. All week long the bar arranges dance clases and every day there is a cocktail special!

First Floor

At the famous Bermuda triangle you can find everything you expect of a classic cocktail bar. Cosy chairs and a big bar that defines the whole room combined with great jazz vibes – that is the First Floor. Following the principle if classic – then real classic the bar is designed in the design of the 30’s. The cocktails you can order are classic as well. Here you can get a Martini like you want it, a traditional Whiskey Sour or an old fashioned Tom Collins.

Mainstream clubs in Vienna

Those three clubs offer you everything you expect of the typical nightlife – An enormous party, noisy beats and a dance-crazed crowd who turn the night into day.


Dance floor at U4

The U4 (German) is THE cultclub of Vienna. High societies like Falco, Prince or Kurt Cobain visited the U4 in the 80’s and so it became an established name within the nightlife of Vienna. Nowadays you can dance to different music styles at the U4. It does not matter if you like rock, oldies or mainstream – at the U4 there is something for everyone. Just check program before you go there. The U4 is just a few stops away from Hostel Vienna Hütteldorf. Stay at Hostel Vienna Hütteldorf and get a free cocktail at U4!

Club Couture

Situated in the mall Donauzentrum the Club Couture is a typical suburban club and fulfills all the clichés you expect. Noisy music, music enthusiast and a lot of alcohol is everything that a mainstream night needs.


The biggest club of Austria is directly at the Viennese Ferris wheel und is the Viennese mecca for EDM fans. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday the Praterdome offers you four different floors and 12 themed bars. You can listen to House, RnB, or music from the 90’s. A special highlight is the sensational midnight opening: Accompanied by a spectacular laser show, the moveable walls turn the two main dance floors into a huge uniquedancing palace.

Special Locations in Wien

Finaly we want to present you a real special location you will not see everyday – the Ra’mien!


Asian style at Ra’mien

A cool club with good cocktails and daily Live DJ is maybe not something you expect in the basement of a Chinese restaurant. But exactly there you can find the Ra’mien. The bar is opened from Tuesday to Saturday and everyday there are special discounts and drinks. Characteristically for an Asian club – every Tuesday is Karaoke night!

Wanderlust in Vienna

Vienna is famous as the city of music and for its countless sights from different eras. But beside of sightseeing Vienna offers its visitors something different namely hiking. Surrounded by the Viennese forest Vienna is a real hiking paradise with tracks for everyone. No matter if you want to do a small hike with your family or you want to circle the city on the 120 km long green belt – Vienna offers you the right choice. These hikes will definitely offer you a great balance to the hustle and bustle of the city. Our blog team has been on the track for you and checked some great trail for you.

City hiking path 4 of Vienna

Total distance: ca. 9 km
Duration: ca. 2.5 – 3 hours
Difficulty: medium
More information: Hiking paths of Vienna

Wanderlust in Vienna, Viennese forest near the Palace Hostel Vienna

Viennese forest near the Palace Hostel Vienna

The hiking trail 4 of Vienna directly passes by at the Palace Hostel Vienna and is therefore the perfect hiking path for all of our guests at the Palace Hostel. From the starting point on the trail leads you via the Predigtstuhl directly into the Viennese forest. In a little while you leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind you and find yourself in the middle of greenery. Surrounded by nothing but pleasant silence you will overcome an altitude difference of about 100 meters before you reach the Heuberg, a small hill on an altitude of 464 meters. From there you hike on to the Kreuzeichenwiese. This clearing is a great place for a break and to get in contact with other hikers. After the short break you wander to the Jubiläumswarte. In 1898 the tower was built for the 50 years governmental anniversary of Emperor Franz Jospeh I., husband of the famous Empress Sissi. One year later the Jubiläumswarte was transferred to its actual position. Since then the site has been complemented and in 2012 the tower was renovated. The tower is accessible for free and on a clear day it offers a great view over Vienna, the Viennese forest and the bordering provinces Lower Austria and Burgenland. From the tower your trail leads you via the Otto König tower to the fire house Steinhof. From there you wander on to the cemetery of Ottakring. After passing by the cemetery you turn into the Erdbrust street and hike back to the Wilhelminenberg. Through the neighbourhood of Ottakring you reach the wine tavern of the winery Leitner(German). This tavern awaits you with Austrian cuisine and great wine and is a great place for a final break before you reach the Palace Hostel Vienna again. After the break you range through the vineyard back to the Palace Hostel Vienna where you can recover yourself from the hike.

Green belt, section 5

Total distance: ca. 3 km
Duration: ca. 30 minutes
Difficulty: easy
More information: Green belt (German)


Relaxing at the big gardens of the Steinhofgründe

Just a few steps from the Palace Hostel Vienna away section 5 of the green belt hiking trail starts. The hike starts at the fire house Steinhof. From there you wander through the Steinhofgründe, a big garden, heading to Hütteldorf. For a long time the gardens have been a great local recreational area for many Viennese citizens. In summer you can set your soul free and take a look at the playing kids during a picnic and in winter you can take your cross-country skis and take a ride on the runs through the gardens. From the Steinhofgründe you walk downwards through the Dehne park until you reach a street called Dehnegasse. From there you reach via the two streets Linzerstraße and Bahnhofstraße the railway station Hütteldorf. Just a few steps from the railway station away you will find our Hostel Vienna Hütteldorf. That’s why this track is suitable for all of our guests. If you are already in Hütteldorf it is not far to the Palace Schönbrunn and the Zoo Schönbrunn anymore. Just take the green line of the subway and exit at station Hietzing. Therewith you can combine a great hike with sightseeing and at once reach the Schönbrunn palace in less than 40 minutes from the Palace Hostel Vienna.

Hiking track Lainzer Tiergarten

Total distance: ca. 13 km
Duration: ca. 3 hours
Difficulty: medium
More information: Lainzer Tiergarten (German)


Outlook “Wienerblick” at the Lainzer Tiergarten

Our third track starts at closest quarters to the Hostel Vienna Hütteldorf. The Lainzer Tiergarten is a free accessible nature reserve and home to much wildlife within the city of Vienna. If you are lucky you can see boars, sheeps and also deer during your hike through the reserve. Our route starts at the Nikolai gate in the northeast of the park. From there you pass by the Nikolai chapel and via a small pond and some feeding grassland you reach a small hill called Johannser Kogel. There you can take a break or you directly walk on until you reach the tavern Rohrhaus. Recently the tavern was reopened and it offers a big garden restaurant with a great view over the reserve where you can recover yourself. You can strengthen yourself for the rest of the hike with a typical Austrian “Jause”, a meal consisting of dark bread, sausages, cheese, ham and much more, or one of the other typical Austrian dishes. After the break the path leads you to the “Palace of dreams” of the famous empress Sissi. The Hermesvilla was a present of Emperor Franz Joseph. With this little present Emperor Franz Joseph tried to keep his wife who loved to travel more often in Vienna. During the occupation after the Second World War the villa was heavily destroyed and not renovated until the end of the 60’s. Today the villa is a museum which gives its visitors a great insight into the private life of the former Emperor couple Franz Joseph and Elizabeth. After that interesting insight you will leave the park for a short time via the Lainzer gate before you entre it again at the tavern Lindwurm. At the lookout “Wienerblick” you can enjoy the great view over the city of Vienna before you wander back to the Nikolai gate via forests and one of the many lush feeding grasslands. If you arrive the Nikolai gate it is just a few more steps back to the Hostel Vienna Hütteldorf where you can recover yourself in the big garden.