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Oh how beautiful it is, New Year’s Eve in Vienna

A Blue Danube Waltz – Vienna, you most beautiful city of all

Those who are looking to dance the waltz on New Year’s Eve are best served doing it in the self-proclaimed world capital of the genre – Vienna. When the “Pummerin” – the largest bell in St.Stephen’s Cathedral – rings out, the Blue Danube starts playing from the streets and the stars above engage in a twinkling competition with the fireworks, distinguished men and women of the world know that they are in the right place at the right time.

 At the turn of the year, Vienna is a city full of possibilities. Obviously, the classics aren’t only metaphorically significant but doubly relevant when it’s here where they came from – the classical music of Austria. Snagging a ticket for the New Year’s Concert  is an exceptionally lucky break. Every year, this prestigious event is broadcast to over 90 countries – with 50 million mesmerized (or still slightly tipsy) viewers sat in front of their screens, allowing the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to captivate them. That makes it all the more special to be one of the chosen few to witness these notes played live in the perfect acoustic environment. But getting tickets is not that easy – because they are so highly sought after, one must take part in a raffle on their website in order to gain access to the halls of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

Our dear Mr. Strauss and his Blue Danube Waltz

 Australia has its ostriches. Austria has Strauss. While they may sound similar, they are very different. When we talk about New Year’s Eve, we are definitely talking about Mr. Johann Strauss, no relation to the bird. One thing they do have in common are their songs, Mr. Strauss arguably had a lot more and managed to write one that is known to every Austrian: the world’s most famous waltz, bearing the title “The Blue Danube”. Nobody really knows precisely why, but this piece of music is synonymous with the turn of the year and an honourable dance is just as customary as a sparkling glass of champagne or a peck on the cheek. And so, the old year makes its swinging exit in three-four time as the first few minutes of the new one commenced. At no other time of the year are the hearts of Austrians beating more in unison. It is a piece of culture that also finds its reprise at the New Year’s Concert, as an encore to the main programme.

@ WienTourismus / Peter Rigaud/Couture Vivienne Westwood Vienna

Do-it-Yourself New Year’s Eve

 However, there is still a plethora of alternative ways to spend the last night of the year in Vienna. At the Hofburg for example, the annual New Year’s Eve Ball will elegantly inaugurate the ball season and dance their traditional after-midnight quadrille. The New Year’s Eve Gala at the city hall also needs no introduction. In the ballroom, guests will be treated to operetta music and a multi-course meal. At midnight, people are invited to enjoy the view from the balcony over the city and the Ring Road – a magnificent feeling. Another option that night is the traditional New Year’s Eve run. It stretches around the Ring Road, passes by the Hofburg, the art – and natural history museums, the parliament, and all the other beautiful buildings. After these 5,3 kilometers, you’ll enter the New Year feeling fit. Those looking for more “rural” activities can make their way to Grinzing and enjoy a dinner and wine outing.

 New Year’s Eve at the Grand Ferdinand

Whatever it is that you’re looking forward to on New Year’s Eve, Grand Ferdinand has you in very good hands. As a starting point for activities – clear the ring! And should you prefer to stay at the hotel and indulge in the kitchen’s very own Gulasch & Söhne or the Schnitzel at Meissl & Schadn  or the view from our Grand Etage, the experience is guaranteed to be an unforgettable one.


Happy New Year!

Schubertring 10-12, 1010 Vienna

Grand Ferdinand

+43 1 91 880

Meissl & Schadn

+43 1 90 212

Gulasch & Söhne

+43 1 91 880 500
Or give us a call!

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