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 9500m² of split-level rinks and ice trails
- Rent skates on-site
- Plenty to eat and drink, too
- 2022 dates: Jan 19 – Mar 6
- See also:
NB: Like all events, the Wiener Eistraum has COVID-related measures in place. Check locally for COVID status, registration, and mask requirements.
Rinks and romance
(Wiener Eistraum 2020; press photo © stadt wien marketing / Johannes Wiedl)
Imagine your woolen scarf trailing behind as you glide gracefully (or not gracefully) across the frosted ice, hands clasped behind your back, perhaps warmed by memories of 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, for example, includes the impressive raised
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 for both small children and large beginners (and it’s normally free to use, too, unlike the wider complex).
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 normally a big part of the experience (at least they were pre-COVID). Actually, in Vienna, food and drink are a big part of just about any experience (ditto).
The 2022 Eistraum, for example, includes an indoor glass-fronted restaurant (Kolarik am Wiener Eistraum) serving all-organic food. So you can shelter from the cold while relaxing with, for example, a beer and a knuckle of pork.
Outdoor stands feature a range of traditional (and non-traditional) Viennese and Austrian winter fare that also includes vegetarian and vegan options.
2022 dates and tickets
Dates for the 2022 Wiener Eistraum are January 19th to March 6th.
Opening hours are 10am to 10pm (weather and climate change permitting).
Tickets can be bought on site, but online tickets will be available and make a lot of sense: you get a 10% discount and avoid counter queues.
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. Not last year in 2021, but perhaps again in future years.)
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