Vienna Christmas Lights Walk Lockdown Edition
Here we go again… As Austria is currently in its 4th lockdown, it might not be as easy for everyone to get into the “festive spirit”. Unfortunately, we can’t take the strain off the current situation from you, but maybe we can at least brighten up your mood a little by taking you on a stroll to the most beautiful Christmas lights in Vienna. So grab a hot beverage of your choice and follow us to the sparkling lights!
Facts and Figures
This year, a total of 30 Viennese streets in 15 different districts will be lit with gorgeous Christmas lights. Always starting in the second half of November, Vienna’s Christmas lights have become an institution and people wait every year for the radiant glow to light up the darkest months. Approximately 190km of cable are needed to bring the more than 2 million LED lights to life. “When the Christmas lights shine in Vienna, they fill the city with a very unique and positive mood. We can really use that in this difficult time”, says Walter Ruck, president of the Vienna Economic Chamber of Commerce in a press release.
Our Favorite Christmas Lights in the First District
Now that you know a bit about the famous Vienna Christmas lights, we’ll show you our favorite spots to enjoy the sparkling sights! Let’s begin with the district with the highest density of Christmas lights, the first district.
We are starting our walk at Kohlmarkt opposite Hofburg, where you can find one of the most striking Christmas light displays in the first district. Light curtains consisting of more than 130,000 LED lights and 2,500 flashing lights pave Kohlmarkt and the adjacent Wallnerstraße, bathing them in a golden glow. An evergreen that returns every year, they create the impression of a continuous ceiling of light that harmonizes with the downtown flair on the historic shopping mile. Our tip: Walk up Kohmarkt towards Graben, and then look back at the magnificent sight of lit-up Kohlmarkt with the Hofburg in the back. Wow, what a view!
Can you spot the Hofburg behind the shower of light at Kohlmarkt?
Now that we are at Graben, another highlight awaits you! With their warm white LED light, the magnificent chandeliers lend the Graben incomparable radiance and identity. In doing so, they emphasize the Graben’s status as one of Vienna’s most historically significant shopping streets. And who said that chandeliers are for apartments only?
The huge chandeliers at Graben are one of the annual Vienna Christmas light highlights.
Are you already in a festive mood? If you would also like to feel a little royal, interrupt your stroll along Graben and take a right into Habsburgergasse. ‘’Nomen est omen’’ (that’s Latin and basically means “the name says it all”) , and such as the Habsburgs used to be Austria’s imperial family, you get to see giant crowns here that recall Vienna’s imperial history. We have to say, Christmas lights never got more royal than that!
It doesn’t get more royal than in Habsburgerasse.
Before we leave the area around St. Stephens Cathedral, let’s take a left here and explore the Christmas lights at Rotenturmstraße. The street connecting Stephansplatz with Schwedenplatz features gigantic red lights that look like huge Christmas balls and create the impression of standing under a Christmas tree. PS: Do you think that red lights have been chosen here on purpose as the color red, “rot” in German, is already part of the street name? In our opinion, it might be very likely!
Rotenturmstraße might have the biggest Christmas balls you have ever seen.
Winter Wonderland at Rathauspark
Before we leave the first district, we have to make a quick stop at a winter wonderland to visit the spot where you can find the most light installations in town: Rathauspark! In the park in front of the city hall, visitors are taken away to a different world. There are so many cute details waiting to be discovered, and we are pretty sure you have never seen more trees with lights anywhere else. We promise you won’t know where to look first!
There is so much to see at Rathauspark! Can you spot the famous “Herzerlbaum” in the back?
Our absolute highlight and annual evergreen is the “Herzerlbaum”, Vienna’s famous tree of hearts. After it had been gone for two years, it made its comeback in 2018. People even started a petition to bring back their beloved “Herzerlbaum”, so we are glad that there was a happy end after all. The tree of hearts is not the only heart light installation at Rathauspark however, there is also a platform where visitors can take pictures with a red heart in the background. We also spotted a new art installation at Rathauspark this year – surrounded by a golden frame and many decorative hearts, you can also take ‘’hearty’’ images of yourself with the beautiful city hall in the back.
We simply love Advent at Rathauspark!
Our Favorite Christmas Lights Beyond the First District
As we promised at the start, you will find Christmas lights not only in the first district but all over town. Before we let you enjoy your Vienna stroll on your own, we want to take you to two more places that shouldn’t be missing on your Vienna Christmas lights bucket list.
In Vienna’s 7th district, you will find the charismatic shopping street Neubaugasse, which is the place to go if you prefer to shop in artsy, local shops, or vintage stores. Compared to the overloaded lights in the first district, the Christmas lights in Neubaugasse are more subtle and combine Christmas tradition with handicrafts. Here, you can see three-dimensional moons and stars in advent resembling the night sky. The stars are so-called Moravian stars, and the 25 points are intended to remind us of the star of Bethlehem.
Subtle and artsy: the Moravian stars at Neubaugasse
The last part of our walk takes us to stunning Servitengasse in the 9th district. The “Servitenviertel” with its French flair is definitely one of our favorite areas in Vienna, even without the Christmas lights. Away from the hustle and bustle of the first district, the lights in Servitengasse are artistically draped around the trunks and main branches of the trees lining the street. With more than 10,000 LED lights, they bring the Christmas spirit to the district.
The trees in Servitengasse look especially pretty in Advent with all those lights!
We hope we could bring you a little Christmas cheer despite the current circumstances. Stay healthy, stay safe, and enjoy the Viennese Christmas lights with more tranquility and less fuss than usual. Frankly speaking, the effect of the lights is even more radiating if the streets are empty.
For more impressions, follow us on our Instagram, where we will show you more glimpses of the Vienna Christmas lights in our upcoming reels, so stay tuned! If you need more inspiration on how to get into a festive mood, check out our tips for getting into the Christmas spirit in times of social distancing.