New Year’s Eve in Vienna (31st Dec. 2012/1st Jan. 2013)

Ok, ok… I know I’m a bit late with my New Year’s Eve report, but if some of you are going to need a hint about your next New Year’s Eve party, perhaps this post will come in handy.

So, this year, we’ve stayed in Vienna during the Christmas and New Year holidays and decided to spend the New Year’s Eve in the city centre, together with hundreds of thousands of other people. We did that twice before, even when the girls were so young that we used a twin stroller. Normally, they are in bed hours before midnight, but New Year’s Eve is only once a year and we do sleep in the following morning, so we tend to make this night an exception and head for the party.

We have started from the Schwedenplatz through Rotenturmstraße towards the Stephansplatz. This is beautifully decorated Rotenturmstraße with large red balls and Zanoni & Zanoni, one of our favourite ice-cream places. The girls were excited to see it – and other places, too – open so late. Although the street was closed for cars, the cabs were still allowed to drive through, but the whole centre was taken over by pedestrians. Quite nice, if you ask me.

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On Stephansplatz there was a stage on which a brass orchestra was playing Radetzky Marsch and similar popular classics to the clapping hands and loud cheering from the crowd.

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The beginning of Graben with the lights from the Haas Haus and an almost full Moon.

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Graben was as elegant as ever. There was a DJ, a dancing and singing crowd, a lot of booths with drinks and food. We made a stop here and drank some mulled wine. Did you know that for each New Year’s party there have been differently designed mugs? Some of them are still available; however, some of the designs have been sold out and are now considered to be collector items.

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This is Kohlmarkt, the most exclusive street in Vienna.

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There were many different stages with different music genres scattered around the centre. There was the Radio Ö3 stage on Am Hof square, where pop hits were played and a stage with Latin American music on Freyung. Further towards the City Hall, on the small plateau between the Burgtheater and the Landtmann coffee house, there was the Superfly stage with electronic music.

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And, finally, shortly before midnight we have reached our destination, Heldenplatz, a large square-meets-park in front of the Hofburg palace. It was a great place for watching the midnight fireworks; besides being able to see the “official” fireworks, there were also numerous smaller ones, one coming from the direction of MAK (Museum für angewandte Kunst), the others from the MQ (Museumsquartier), one from behind the Parliament building and one from the direction of the City Hall. It you like fireworks, this is the place to be.

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And now some practical stuff…

Public transport – Vienna has one of the world’s best public transport systems. During the New Year’s Eve, the underground trains run every fifteen minutes. There are also night buses.

Eating and drinking – if you decide to enter the New Year on the street celebration, there will be numerous booths selling drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, warm and cold) and food. The prices are totally fair, not exaggerated as one might expect. Furthermore, the vast majority of cafes, bakeries and small restaurants are open for business, so that you can buy freshly made food for normal, everyday prices. (However, we did bring some home-made cookies for the children and a bottle of sparkly with glasses for the two of us.)

Weather – Vienna is known for its wind, so it would be wise to wear warm, windproof clothes and comfortable shoes.

If you have any more questions, do not hesitate to ask me!

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