Vienna: Waltzing on New Year’s Eve

Posted by

We hit the jackpot when we decided to spend New Year’s Eve in Vienna.  The Viennese certainly know how to throw a party-to-remember.  What other country in the world welcomes the New Year with fireworks shooting-off to the tune of a classical symphony?! Emphasis on classical symphony!

My hubby and I danced and waltzed, and danced on the street like nobody was watching, but hey I’m sharing video clips at the end if you don’t mind watching me and my two left feet.

Waiting for the fireworks later that evening

From 2pm of December 31, Vienna’s New Year Eve’s Trail (they call it Silversterpfad) kicked in. The City Centre was literally transformed into one big party place.  Food, music, dancing and fireworks seemed to be the theme.  There were people EVERYWHERE.

The trail included the City Centre and the city hall, all the way to Prater in the 2nd District.  It was in Prater was that we started our trail.   Here’s our blog on Prater if you’ve missed it.

From Vienna’s Giant Ferris Wheel in Prater, our family headed back to the City Centre and our first stop was the New Year’s Eve Mass at Stephansdom (St Stephen’s Cathedral).  The mass was in German but that didn’t matter, I recalled that we were singing ‘Oh Come, Oh Ye Faithful’ in English and nobody complained. 🙂

Inside the 12th-century Gothic St Stephens Cathedral
DSC_0975 2
I was quite fascinated by the modern-looking, colourful tiles on the roof.  This apparently replaced the old one that was destroyed during WWII.
DSC_0987 2
Facade of the cathedral

Less than a block away was Vienna’s most famous street, Graben.  It’s a pedestrian-only street usually visited for mid- to high-end shopping and to pay a visit to the Plague Column.  But on New Year’s Eve, it was the venue for a free-for-all, public waltz dancing lesson.

Johann Strauss II’s famous composition, The Blue Danube filled the air.  I’m sure you’ll recognise it when you hear it.

People were dancing on the street.  Some looked funny, failing miserably trying to imitate what’s probably the most elegant dance in the world.  I and my hubby were two of them. Check us out in the video below. 🙂

An elderly lady requested to partner with Joaquin.  Embarrassed because he’s only familiar with hip-hop and K-pop, Joaquin had no choice but to waltz to the hypnotic symphony.

An hour before midnight, we slowly walked to the City Hall where we planned to do the countdown and catch the fireworks.  There was a band playing inside the City Hall grounds but the venue was way too packed.  We decided to just save a spot across the street.

At the stroke of midnight, fireworks erupted behind the City Hall and I could swear that I heard bells chiming too.  But what pleasantly caught us off-guard was the loud waltz song that followed and accompanied the fireworks display.  We were not expecting that!  It was the sweet, sweet sound of The Blue Danube.

IMG_9904There were a number of outdoor concerts after the fireworks, some were even walking distance from each other.  We decided to stay at the ‘Latino’ concert and there, we danced the night away.  Bailamos!

What a night!

What an awesome way to start the new year.  Our family was in awe.


The fireworks appeared on both sides of the City Hall.
After the fireworks, we walked around and watched outdoor concerts like this one.
DSC_0967 2
Day before NYE, we walked around Graben and had a look at the Plague Column (Pestsaüle).  More than 70,000 people died from the Black Death in Vienna in 1679, and the Plague Column serves as the memorial for that devastation.

DSC_0966DSC_0962 2DSC_0932 2DSC_0933 2DSC_0211DSC_0196DSC_0994 2DSC_0942The following day, we travelled back to Munich.  The last leg of our holiday was a visit to the Porche and Mercedes museums. Let’s see if my kids help me write the blog on this. 🙂


Here are the earlier blogs on our Bavarian and Austrian Holiday:

  1. Munich: Start of our family’s tales from last winter
  2. Munich: Viktualienmarkt Biergarten
  3. Munich: BMW Museum and BMW Welt
  4. Munich: Theatine Church and Odeonplatz
  5. Munich: Christmas Markets
  6. Munich: Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall
  7. Munich: City Aparthotel München
  8. Salzburg: Birthplace of Mozart and Silent Night
  9. Salzburg: Hohensalzburg Fortress 
  10. Salzburg: Residenzplatz Christmas Market
  11. Salzburg: Salzburg Cathedral
  12. Salzburg: Silent Night 200 at Salzburg Museum
  13. Salzburg: Silent Night Tour by Bob’s Special Tour
  14. Salzburg: Silent Night at Oberndorf and Laufen
  15. Salzkammergut: Road Trip to Hallstatt
  16. Salzkammergut: Christmas Market at St Wolfgang
  17. Salzburg: Krampus Run at Hellbrunn Palace
  18. Salzburg: Imlauer Hotel Pitter Salzburg
  19. Obergurgl: A Week in the Austrian Alps
  20. Obergurgl: Chalet Obergurgl Luxury Apartments
  21. Obergurgl: Hohe Mut Alm Mountain Restaurant
  22. Obergurgl: Snowstorm on Christmas Eve
  23. Obergurgl: Day After the Storm
  24. Obergurgl: Snowshoeing
  25. Hochgurgl: Tobogganing
  26. Hochgurgl: Hochgurgl Cable Car Ride
  27. Vienna: First Impressions and Vienna Christmas Market
  28. Vienna: Hofburgkapelle and Imperial Armoury
  29. Vienna: Schönbrunn Palace
  30. Vienna: Imperial Treasury and Hofburg
  31. Vienna: Prater, Before Sunset
  32. Vienna: New Year’s Eve Fireworks and Waltz
  33. Vienna: Hilton Vienna Plaza
  34. Stuttgart: The Mercedes-Benz Museum
  35. Stuttgart: The Porsche Museum


    1. Yes civilised indeed! I didn’t know it was going to be like that – fireworks accompanied by Johann Strauss. So memorable. The Viennese could party really well. Everyone’s still dancing on the streets at 1am, us included 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there A! I have just recently posted their blogs. My 10-year old wrote about the Mercedes Museum, and Benjamin, who’s now 17, wrote on Porsche. They both genuinely enjoyed writing I think, especially with the expectation of a $60 fee hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s