Christmas in Vienna – Christmas lights on Kohlmarkt
© Christian Steinbrenner

Vienna's most sparkling Christmas lights

Every year, Vienna wraps itself in an especially festive cloak of lights. The first lights are switched on at the beginning of November. Once all the Christmas illuminations have been installed, over two million LED lights sparkle in 33 of Vienna's shopping streets. What's more, around 190 kilometers of cable are needed for this. No wonder that the Advent illuminations in Vienna already have cult status and successfully get residents and visitors alike in the mood for Christmas. We therefore present a particularly lovely and Christmassy tour of Vienna and reveal which street illuminations make a wintry city walk especially worth going on.

Annagasse: Christmas as in days gone by

The tour starts right near Kärntner Strasse. In contrast to the turbulent Kärntner Strasse at Christmas, the Baroque-style Annagasse with its heritage-listed houses is all about reflection and peace – which it owes not least to its Christmas lights. Because they present the notes of the first bars of the carol "Silent Night". So bum notes and rushing around are ruled out here.

Graben: grandiose chandeliers

Just a few minutes' walk from Annagasse, the pre-Christmas walker is presented with an elegant sight that simply takes their breath away. Because Vienna's Graben is decorated with Christmas lights in a magnificent chandelier look. At the top end of Graben, more precisely at Stock-im-Eisen-Platz, the illuminations are also celebrated each year with Vienna's mayor – festive choral singing included. Tip: a glimpse into Habsburgergasse is also well worth it. Vienna appears imperial in the side street of Graben. Christmas lights in the shape of crowns recall Vienna's imperial history.

Bling-bling on Kohlmarkt

Can't get enough of the glitter and splendor? That's fine, because Vienna's Kohlmarkt is perfectly suited for a stroll past shop windows. Once used as a marketplace for charcoal dealers, the boutiques of high-class designer brands line the area nowadays. The elegant ambience of Vienna's Kohlmarkt is perfectly rounded off by the Christmas lights, which are presented entirely in a glamorous "shower of gold" look – and does credit to the Kohlmarkt's reputation for luxury.

The red in Rotenturmstrasse

Maximum Christmas ambience awaits city strollers on Rotenturmstrasse. The outsized red baubles have been a fixed item of Advent in Vienna for many years. It's a particularly good place to go for a stroll. The link between Stephansplatz and Schwedenplatz has been transformed into a pedestrian-friendly meeting place, where the pre-Christmas lighting comes even more to the fore.

City Hall Park: Vienna's winter wonderland

If you haven't yet managed to really get into the Christmas mood in the hustle and bustle around the big festival of love, then you should definitely plan Vienna's City Hall Park into the route of your Christmas walk. The park in front of Vienna City Hall wins out with a whole bunch of love for festive decorative details. You're guaranteed to get a warm feeling here. And the absolute highlight in Vienna's City Hall Park is the famous tree of hearts – a Viennese Christmas classic, especially for couples in love.

Neubaugasse: between art district and Christmas

The next part of our walk past Vienna's most beautiful Christmas lights leads from the city center to the artistically presented Neubaugasse, where three-dimensional moons and stars can be seen in Advent. The stars are so-called Moravian stars, whose 25 points are intended to remind us of the star of Bethlehem. We think they're the perfect mix of Christmas tradition and handicrafts.

Josefstädter Strasse: full on blue

If you missed out on the Christmas illuminations on Josefstädter Strasse in the 8th district last year, you'll be more than compensated this time around. Because the giant blue Christmas baubles, dozens of which float artistically over Josefstädter Strasse, are celebrating a comeback. – Although actually it's a premiere: the extraordinary illuminations were made from scratch according to an old model.

From Aspern to Hütteldorf: the secret tips

Vienna also offers plenty of Christmas glamor on the other side of the Danube. The district of Seestadt Aspern is bathed a sea of lights in the form of brightly shining bells. Baubles shimmering in gold and silver await in the west of Vienna, on Hütteldorfer Strasse in the 14th district. Döbling (19th district) looks pretty much the same in the run-up to Christmas. Giant Christmas baubles in red and silver set the scene on Obkirchergasse during Advent. – And if you're looking for new Christmas illuminations this year, then head to the 9th and 12th districts. Währinger Strasse also has a brand new look this year, as does Meidlinger Hauptstrasse. Have a good stroll!

Rotenturmstraße

Rotenturmstraße, 1010 Wien
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Neubaugasse

Neubaugasse, 1070 Wien
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