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Fireworks over Vienna with St. Stephen's Cathedral in sight
© WienTourismus/Christian Stemper

How the Viennese celebrate New Year's Eve

While some spend the change of year with a nostalgic review and make well-intentioned New Year's resolutions, others pull out all the stops and begin the new year jovially in the here and now. Whichever group you belong to: These five tips will guarantee a perfect New Year's Eve in Vienna. With this in mind: Happy New Year!

1. The first step is Russian

A Russian breakfast on December 31 is a lively way to start the last day of the year. For the best Russian breakfast, head to Café Ansari for eggs stuffed with smoked salmon, beetroot salad – and vodka! If vodka for breakfast is too much for you: A decent sparkling wine breakfast is not to be sniffed at.

2. Secret tip: New Year's Eve Trail light

Say "New Year's Eve" and "Vienna" and you also have to say "New Year's Eve Trail". After all, the whole of Vienna city center transforms into one big sparkling party on New Year's Eve, which reaches its zenith on City Hall Square at midnight with a huge firework display. Afterwards, people across Vienna dance exuberantly into the new year. Our tip: Do it like the real Viennese do and try to visit the New Year's Eve Trail in the early afternoon on New Year's Eve. You can enjoy punch, food, and musical entertainment there in a quieter atmosphere without all the hustle and bustle.

3. Experience Viennese culture up close and personal

If you'd like to get to the bottom of the Viennese soul at the change of year, you'll need just two things: a TV and a pack of so-called lucky fish from the Viennese candy maker Manner. Why the TV? Because a proper Viennese New Year's Eve party is nothing without the New Year's Eve episode of the Austrian cult series "Ein echter Wiener geht nicht unter" ("A real Viennese never gives up"). Everything revolves around the working class Sackbauer family and family man Edmund, who to this day amuses young and old with his crackpot, choleric turns. The show is broadcast every year in the evening program of the public broadcaster ORF. And that's where the lucky fish come in, because the biscuit cookies are eaten on New Year's Eve by all Viennese who value customs. But beware: You must start eating them from the fin to stop the good luck for the new year from swimming away – it's a strict Viennese tradition!

4. Open your ears away from the fireworks and other distractions.

The magnificent sight of Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral is probably known to everyone who has ever heard of Vienna. However, only a few are familiar with the sound of its biggest bell, because the Pummerin only rings out on special occasions. One of these is the change of year: Right on the stroke of midnight, the bell in Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral strikes exactly twelve times to herald in the new year. The strike of the bell can be heard almost everywhere in Vienna, although this is mainly because many radio and TV channels broadcast the sound live, before traditionally playing the Blue Danube Waltz. That's when pretty much every dancing leg swings in three-four time: Whether at home, on Stephansplatz, or at a New Year's Eve party.

5 The cherry on top: Splendor at the sausage stand

Like the obligatory New Year's kiss at midnight, the cherry on the top of the perfect New Year's Eve celebration in Vienna is the visit to a Viennese sausage stand. Worth a special mention is the Bitzinger sausage stand at the Albertina. Not only is it a few minutes' walk from St. Stephen's Cathedral but apart from sausage stand classics such as Käsekrainer, Waldviertler or Sacherwürstel also serves up a glass or two of sparkling wine or freshly drawn beer from the barrel – all in the right glasses, of course.

Café Ansari

Praterstraße 15
1020 Wien


1010 Vienna


1010 Vienna

City Hall Square

1010 Vienna

Manner Shop

Stephansplatz 7, Rotenturmstraße
1010 Vienna

St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom)

1010 Vienna
  • Opening times

    • Mo, 06:00 - 22:00
    • Tu, 06:00 - 22:00
    • We, 06:00 - 22:00
    • Th, 06:00 - 22:00
    • Fr, 06:00 - 22:00
    • Sa, 06:00 - 22:00
    • Su, 07:00 - 22:00
    • on holidays, 07:00 - 22:00
  • Guided tours

    • Guided tour of the Cathedral, daily

      • 3 pm, approx. 30 minutes

      Guided tour of the Cathedral english, Monday - Saturday

      • 10.30 am, approx. 30 minutes

      Guided tour of the catacombs, every quarter or half an hour

      • Monday - Saturday, 10 - 11.30 am
      • Monday - Saturday, 1.30 - 4.30 pm
      • Sunday and holidays, 1.30 - 4.30 pm

      Elevator to the Pummerin

      • daily, 9 am - 5.30 pm

      Ascend the South Tower of the Cathedral

      • daily, 9 am - 5.30 pm

      Evening tour including tour of the roof (July - September)

      • Saturday, 7 pm
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • no steps (Doppelschwingtüre 120 cm wide)
    • Side entrance
      • 3 Steps (Doppelschwingtüre 90 cm wide)
    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
    • Comments

      Access to the Treasuries and museum by elevator (warning: steps!), not wheelchair-accessible, daily from 10 am - 6 pm. Closed Sun and public holidays.
      North Tower: access via elevator only (door width: 65 cm) and 12 steps (not wheelchair-accessible). South Tower: 343 steps (not wheelchair-accessible).
      Parking space for visitors with disabilities (Singerstrasse).

      Evening guided tours with roof tour and guided tours of the catacombs are are not wheelchair-accessible.

Bitzinger's sausage stand at Albertina

1010 Vienna
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