Although winter is the coldest season, it is in winter that Vienna has the most to offer. Apart from the gigantic range of cultural attractions that Vienna offers all year round, in the cold season an enormous range of leisure activities awaits all those who wish to learn German here. At the beginning of Advent, the countless Christmas markets open. The best are to be found on the Town Hall square on the Ringstrasse, on the Spittelberg behind the museum quarter, and by the Schönbrunn castle in the 13th community district of Vienna. They provide a romantic mood and offer, as well as Christmas decorations and small Christmas gifts, good punch and Glühwein. Some tourists even travel to Vienna just for the Christmas markets.
January in Vienna is the season for balls. Beautiful big balls such as the Viennese Coffee Roasters’ Ball take place in the Vienna Imperial Palace. But the most famous ball of all is the Vienna Opera Ball in the Vienna State Opera, opposite the DeutschAkademie. It is regarded as the ball of all balls, and takes place every year on the last Thursday of Carnival. It is opened every year with the words “Alles Walzer bitte!”-Nothing but waltzes please!
Another winter highlight is provided by the ice-skating rinks in Vienna. One of the most impressive skating rinks is on the Vienna Town Hall square and is opened in January: the “Wiener Eistraum” (Viennese Ice Dream). One of the oldest and most legendary skating rinks is in Hernals, the 17th community district of Vienna. Here you can ice-skate over the rooves of Vienna and try your hand at waltzing on ice. Vienna has a long ice-skating tradition: artificial ice was invented in Vienna.