Vienna gets snow every year (at least it has since 1953), ranging from 1cm to over 2m of the stuff.
But will you wake on Christmas morning and gasp in delight as the snowflakes settle on Santa’s sleigh tracks?
(One day’s worth of snow on my balcony from way back in 2013)
I went through the recent 25+ years of December records for the main Vienna weather station and combined them with my own experiences. Here’s the deal:
- It snowed on Christmas Eve in 1996 and 2012
- It snowed on Christmas Day in 2007 and 2021
In other years, we opened our presents under snowless skies.
To be honest, the evening of December 25th in 2021 actually only produced a brief smattering of snow (based on the view from my window). Just about enough to qualify. The few forlorn flakes hadn’t even the heart to settle, although the surrounding hills might have got a bit more.
If that all sounds a little disappointing, remember that it might snow before or after Christmas.
(Snow! Sort of. On the lanterns in front of the Rathaus)
For example, snow lay on the ground on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day a few times across that 25-year period: most recently in 2016.
So you have a better chance of experiencing a white Christmas period than the above suggests. For example, we had a decent snowstorm in early December 2021 and a few days of snow in December 2022, as well.
Having said that, I don’t recall any real snow at all in December 2020, for example. The records show we actually had one day of proper snow in the city that month (the 4th) and some flakes fell on the 3rd: not even enough to make a decent snowball.
Console yourself with the thought that bright white snow quickly turns to brown slush in a city anyway. Although I will say that the Vienna woods, the city parks, and the seasonal markets do look quite wonderful coated in fresh white. Bah humbug!
Of course, you have one promising option if desperate to find the white stuff: a nearby set of small hills has been known to attract the odd snowflake. The mountains of the Alps are just a day trip away by car or public transport.