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 city hall
- Some 9000m² of split-level rinks and ice trails
- Rent skates and curling lanes, too
- Plenty to eat and drink (of course)
- 2022 dates: TBA (usually Jan through to Feb/Mar)
- Smaller version normally takes place during the preceding advent season, too
- See also: Events in Vienna | What to do in February
Rinks and romance
Imagine your woolen scarf trailing behind as you glide gracefully (or not gracefully) across the frosted ice, hands clasped behind your back, warmed by memories of a hot meal and fine coffee.
You can do this on an area of ice bigger than even the largest football pitch. Which is fortunate, because the Wiener Eistraum normally attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors (about 550,000 back at the last full event and even around 200,000 during the early 2021 season with its COVID-related limitations).
The best thing is…it’s not all one broad chunk of ice, although a large rink does sit directly in front of the Rathaus.
This main rink includes the impressive
But the uniqueness of the experience comes from the ice skating routes that wind their way romantically among the park and
You can almost imagine you’re back in the past, strapping on your homemade skates to weave your way through the wooded Austrian landscape (albeit with more lights, flatter ice, safety stewards, and fewer trees).
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 normally free to use, too, unlike the wider complex).
And after 5pm on weekdays, this same beginners rink typically turns into a curling venue, with eight lanes available to book online.
All lit up at night, the Eistraum makes quite a sight, and Radio Wien also provides accompanying musical entertainment to keep your ears happy, too.
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 2020 Eistraum, for example, had a number of stands featuring a range of traditional Viennese and Austrian winter fare. An Alpine-style restaurant even offered shelter from the cold while you relaxed with a beer and goulash soup.
As a certified ÖkoEvent, the Eistraum’s food booths had plenty of vegetarian and vegan options (like baked zucchini in a vegan tartare sauce); organic ingredients and dishes seemed common, too.
2022 dates and tickets
Dates for the 2022 Wiener Eistraum are TBA at the time of writing. Watch this space or the official website (see below).
Opening hours are typically something like 10am to 9pm (weather and climate change permitting).
Prices last time out were €8 for adults, €5.50 for children, with various concessions, special offers and combination tickets. Tickets were only available on site in 2021 but can usually be purchased online, too.
Never fear if you forget to pack your skates, either. The Eistraum has hundreds of pairs available for hire, as well as lockers and even free helmets for kids.
(NB: a mini-version of the Eistraum normally opens during the end-of-year advent season, as part of the Rathausplatz Christmas event.)
How to get to the Eistraum
You can easily reach the ice 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