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5 things to do this fall and winter in Vienna

October 8, 2015 Destination Europe No Comments Email Email

1.    Sleep in the Emperor’s Summer Residence

Live like the Emperor! In Vienna visitors to the city can choose from an exclusive range of accommodation in palaces. A very special one is a heritage hotel suite inside Schönbrunn Palace.

The truly unique 167sqm suite on the top floor of the East wing of Schönbrunn Palace was once reserved for close relatives of the Imperial Court. Today it exudes imperial charm, with the interior and finishing taking their cues from the decorative style running through the rest of the former Habsburg summer residence: gold, black and white provide the colour scheme, which is touched off by luxury wood elements and the court damask design. Delicate stucco work, chandeliers, and herringbone parquet floors complete the imperial ambience.

The one and only suite in the whole Palace boasts two bedrooms, two modern bathrooms, a salon, a generous living room and a kitchenette. The views of the formal gardens and the Gloriette and Neptune Fountain are an absolute highlight.

Guests check in at the nearby four-star Parkhotel Schönbrunn, run by Austria Trend Hotel, which also operates the suite.

Schönbrunn Palace is Austria’s most frequented sight attracting more than 3 million visitors each year.

Schönbrunn Palace Suite,

Arrangements from €699, — per person

2.    See where the TV drama Rak Rae was shot

In July 2015 Vienna for almost two weeks saw the shooting of the Thai TV drama Rak Rae,  as a very special star guest, HRH Princess Soamsawali.

and starring Pancake Khemanit Jamikorn, Akkaphan Namark and The Thai crew consisted of 35 person and was shooting in such idyllic locations as the cobble stoned streets in the old city centre, the University of Vienna, the parks of Schönbrunn Castle and the Viennese vineyards.

Rak Rae is aired in 15 episodes this fall on Channel 7.

3.    Experience first class wines in authentic surroundings

Wine was produced in Vienna since Roman times. The typical Viennese wine is a white wine, the “Wiener Gemischter Satz”. For this kind of wine grapes of different varieties are planted, harvested and vinified together. From the 2013 vintage onwards, Wiener

Gemischter Satz wines have enjoyed DAC status, a quality seal that guarantees their origin. In English, this result of the most natural mode of production is referred to as “field blend”.

Wine tasting in the middle of the vineyards

From Vienna’s city centre the surrounding vineyards can be easily reached. There many small, typical local wine taverns pour wine and serve regional self-produced Viennese cuisine. An even more authentic culinary experience is the visit of a so called „Buschenschank“, where vintners set up tables and benches directly in the vineyards.

Select your choice from the world’s best wine list

A total of six different wine cellars arranged according to different themes are located in the historical vaults of the Palais Coburg. The Palais is also home to the five-star Palais Coburg Residenz hotel. 60,000 bottles are stored here, the oldest one being from the year 1727. The Coburg cellar, one of the world’s best-stocked ones in the world, was given the rare Grand Award by American Wine Spectator, and was awarded “World’s Best Wine List 2014” by The World of Fine Wine magazine. This spectacular wine cellar is also open to the public. Appointments can be made for daily tours and samplings – from the “wine stroll” including a glass of champagne, to samplings of rare wines.

Wine Cellar at Palais Coburg

4.    Attend a Viennese ball

For more than two centuries Vienna has been the uncontested ball capital of the world. A unique blend of age-old Austrian traditions, magnificent court ceremonial and the trademark Viennese waltz has seen the capital’s ball industry turn into one of the nation’s best-loved exports with replica events playing out in around 30 cities worldwide, from New York to Moscow. But nothing beats the original – the romance and charm puts the Viennese ball season in a league of its own.

Ball season starts each year on 11th November and runs until Ash Wednesday/ beginning of Lent. It reaches its peak in January and February.

Specialized shops rent out ball gowns and tuxedos and dancing schools offer blitz courses in waltzing and ballroom standards. A ride in a horse drawn carriage from a grand ball dinner to the splendid ball venue makes your fairy tale night complete.

Next season’s ball highlights

Philharmonic Ball 21st January, 2016

This ball enjoys the reputation of being a ball for artists organized by artists. The quality of the guests is said to be superior. The world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic orchestra holds its ball in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein, one of the world’s most imposing concert halls, and familiar to TV viewers all over the globe as the venue of the New Year’s Day Concert.

Opera Ball 4th February, 2016

The ball to end all balls plays out at the Vienna State Opera each year. It is a major get-together for leading cultural figures, captains of industry and high-ranking politicians from Austria and abroad.

Ball of the Coffeehouse Owners 5th February, 2016

This ball is highly appreciated by the local population because of its typically Viennese ambience and is virtually regarded as a smaller version of the Opera Ball. It is the only ball to use all the ballrooms in the Hofburg, including the Redoutensäle and the elegant roof foyer with its view over night-time Vienna. It annually attracts around 5,500 visitors and dancers.

5.   Experience magic winter moments at Vienna’s Christmas markets

Decorations and candles for the tree, toys and handicrafts, punch and cookies: Held on some of the city’s prettiest squares, Vienna’s Advent and Christmas markets get everyone in the Christmas spirit from mid-November. Some of them also stay open over the New Year. The following overview of the capital’s main markets is grouped by district. And then there are numerous smaller temporary markets, punch and charity stalls.

The Christmas Market and Magic of Advent on Rathausplatz is the largest and best-known, with about 150 stalls, a Christmas workshop where kids can bake and enjoy arts and crafts, and the beautifully decorated trees in the Rathauspark. For traditional handicrafts and Christmas music, the Old Viennese Christmas Market on Freyung or the Am Hof Advent Market are the places to be. The Christmas market on Stephansplatz showcases arts and crafts against the impressive backdrop of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. 2014 brought the inaugural K.u.k. Christmas market on Michaelerplatz in front of the Hofburg, which carries a range of products, primarily from Austrian artisans. The Christmas Village on Maria-Theresien-Platz, between the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Natural History Museum offer handicrafts and culinary treats such as punch and mulled wine. After Christmas, the New Year’s Village is the perfect place to pick up traditional Austrian lucky charms and figurines such as pigs, chimney sweeps and so on.

The Prater hosts the Winter Market on Riesenradplatz, while the Baroque palace once owned by Prince Eugene provides the backdrop for the Belevedere Palace Christmas Village. Elsewhere, the Art Advent market in Front of the Karlskirche church specializes in arts and crafts, offering plenty of space for children to play among the bales of hay. Pink Christmas in Vienna on Naschmarkt is Vienna’s gay and lesbian Christmas market. The Christmas Market on Spittelberg is always popular thanks to the romantic cobbled streets and an impressive range of stalls selling handicrafts and excellent food. Winter im MQ in the nearby MuseumsQuartier is a strictly kitsch-free zone with ice pavilions, curling lanes and DJs. At the Culture and Christmas Market in front of Schönbrunn Palace, around 80 stallholders from Austria and neighboring countries offer a range of handicrafts, Christmas decorations

and gifts as well as punch and Christmas cookies. At the turn of the year, it reopens as a New Year’s Market offering lucky charms.

Christmas Market and Magic of Advent, Nov 13-Dec 26, 2015, Rathausplatz and Rathauspark, 1010 Vienna,

Old Viennese Christmas Market, Nov 20-Dec 23, 2015, Freyung, 1010 Vienna,

Am Hof Advent Market, Nov 13-Dec 23, 2015, Am Hof, 1010 Vienna,

Christmas Market, Stephansplatz, Nov 13-Dec 26, 2015, 1010 Vienna,

K.u.k. Christmas Market on Michaelerplatz, Nov 14-Dec 24, 2015, 1010 Vienna,

Christmas Village and New Year’s Village on Maria-Theresien-Platz, Nov 18-Dec 26, 2015 & Dec 27, 2015-Jan 1, 2016, 1010 Vienna,,

Winter Market on Riesenradplatz, Nov 21, 2015-Jan 6, 2016, Prater, 1020 Vienna,

Belvedere Palace Advent Market, Nov 20-Dec 23, 2015, 1030 Vienna,

NEW! Travel more conveniently

With a total of eleven direct flights per week Bangkok and Vienna are very well connected. Austrian Airlines offers daily flight from Bangkok to Vienna, EVA Air offers flights 4 times a week.

Air travel plays a key role in international tourism for Vienna. Vienna International Airport is a major Central and Eastern European airline hub. Passenger numbers for 2014 reached 22.5 million in 2014, up almost three-fold since 1995. At present 66 airlines operate flights to 165 destinations.

With the opening of the ultra-modern Main Station (Hauptbahnhof Wien) in December 2014 traveling to other European destinations by train became even faster: direct trains to other major touristic cities go for example to Salzburg (2h 22 min), the Hungarian capital Budapest (2h 35 min) or the Czech capital Prague (4h 11 min). Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia and only 55km from Vienna, can be reached with 59 min by train or in the warm period of the year by the Twin City Liner Cruise directly from Vienna’s city centre.

Hauptbahnhof Wien, Am Hauptbahnhof 1, 1100 Vienna,

Twin City Liner, Cruise Station City Vienna, Schwedenplatz betweenbridges Marienbrücke and Schwedenbrücke,1010 Vienna,

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