Vienna has a delightful habit of taking traditional experiences like ice skating and giving them a glorious setting that combines modern convenience with ambience and authenticity. So it is with the Wiener Eistraum (Vienna ice world)…
- Open-air ice skating across the park and square in front of
- Some 9000m² of split-level rinks and ice trails
- Rent skates and curling lanes on site
- Plenty to eat and drink, too
- 2020 dates: Jan 22 – Mar 1 (and a mini-version from Nov 15, 2019 to Jan 6)
- See also: What to do in Vienna
Rinks and romance
Imagine your woolen scarf trailing behind as you glide gracefully across the frosted ice, hands clasped behind your back, warmed by memories of a hot meal and spiced wine.
(Or, in my case, glide less than gracefully into the barrier, arms flailing in a desperate attempt to stay upright.)
You can do this on 9,000m² of ice, which is bigger than even the largest football pitches. Which is good, because the Wiener Eistraum attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors (780,000 in 2019).
The best thing is – it’s not all one broad chunk of ice.
True, there is a main rink directly in front of the Rathaus, made even more impressive thanks to the
But the uniqueness of the experience comes from the ice skating routes that wind their way romantically among the park and
If you’re uncomfortable on skates, help is at hand. The main square usually has a rink reserved at weekends – and during the day on weekdays – for both small children and large beginners (and it’s free to use).
And after 5pm on weekdays, this rink typically turns into a curling venue, with 8 lanes available to book online.
All lit up at night, the Eistraum makes quite a sight, and there’s also musical entertainment courtesy of Radio Wien.
Skate and eat
Like most events on the Rathausplatz, such as the summer film festival, food and drink are a big part of the experience. (Actually, in Vienna, food and drink are a big part of just about any experience.)
One side of the Eistraum has a number of stands featuring a range of traditional Viennese and Austrian winter fare. At the last event, there were plenty of vegetarian and vegan options and an emphasis on organic ingredients. An indoor Alpine-style restaurant even offered shelter from the cold while you relaxed with a beer and grilled pork.
2020 dates and tickets
The dates for the 2020 Wiener Eistraum are Wednesday, January 22nd to Sunday, March 1st.
Opening hours are 10am to 10pm, excepting the first day, when it opens at 7pm.
The 2020 prices were not out at the time of writing, but the opening day is usually free. The 2019 prices were €8 for adults, €5.50 for children, with numerous concessions, special offers and combination tickets.
Never fear if you forgot to pack your skates, either. There are always hundreds of pairs available for hire, as well as lockers and even free helmets for kids. Children on the practice rink can also use penguin supports for free as they get used to the ice.
A mini-version of the Eistraum opens during the end-of-year season (November 15th, 2019 to January 6th, 2020), for example as part of the Rathausplatz Christmas event.
How to get to the Eistraum
The event is easily reached by public transport. The trams 1, 71 and D stop right outside (the stop called Rathausplatz / Burgtheater). Alternatives requiring a short walk are…
Tram: Lines 49 and 46 (both Ring/Volkstheater), 37, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43 and 44 (all Schottentor), and line 2 (Rathaus)
Subway: U3 (get out at Volkstheater) and U2 (get out at Rathaus or Volkstheater)
Bus: 1a (get out at Schottentor) and 48a (Ring/Volkstheater)
Address: Wiener Eistraum, Rathausplatz, 1010 Vienna | Website