For members


IN PICTURES: The best places to see snow in and around Vienna

If you are looking for snow in Austria, Vienna is definitely not the first place you should go, but when it snows, the capital can look absolutely beautiful. Here's where to go to get the best views.

IN PICTURES: The best places to see snow in and around Vienna
The Schoenbrunn Palace is seen during snowfall in Vienna on January 23, 2023. (Photo by Alex HALADA / AFP)

Vienna is a surprising city when it comes to weather and snow.

You can spend a week in the city in December amid sub-zero temperatures but not see any snow at all  – something that often surprises foreigners from warmer countries who associate Austria with mountains and skiing.

But then when snow comes the sight of Vienna under a white blanket is a sight to behold – even if the locals (not us) don’t seem to appreciate it.

A tram drives by a snowy Vienna (Photo by Saikat Bhuiyan on Unsplash)

Austrians themselves love to hate the Viennese snow, joking that it is actually just “mud”. The truth is, it really doesn’t snow that often in the Austrian capital (the Hohe Warte measurement centre in Vienna recorded ten snow days in 2022, compared to 52 in Klagenfurt, 27 in Salzburg and 26 in Innsbruck). 

READ ALSO: Austria set for more snow as winter weather continues

It also doesn’t snow that much: the winter of 2021/22 saw only 31 centimetres of fresh snow, something that could fall in a day in a ski resort in the Austrian Alps. 

However, when there is enough new snow to turn (parts of) the city white, certain areas are certainly better to explore than others.

Classic touristic spots

If you want to see the Stephansdom or the Vienna Opera covered in snow, it would have to be a tremendous snowstorm, subzero temperatures and even better if the snow was still falling. This is because the city centre is heavily urbanised and the asphalt and streets are treated so that snow melts faster. 

The number of people walking by makes it harder to see that picture-perfect white snow. 

READ ALSO: Why Vienna is a haven for wild animals – and where you can find them

However, some classic tourist attractions are greener and, therefore, can become whiter more easily.

For example, the palaces and parks of Vienna look beautiful when it snows. Schönbrunn, with its hundreds of square meters of gardens (plus a fantastic panoramic view up from the Gloriette), is always a popular spot when the snow falls, just as Belvedere, Stadtpark, the park in front of Rathaus and Prater.

Best places to play around

If your dream is to slide down a snow hill or build a snowman, Vienna’s many parks are the best places to go. Some beautiful examples in or around the city centre include Augarten, Prater, Schwarzenbergpark, Türkenschanzpark and Stadtpark. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by GRÄTZLeben Hietzing (@graetzleben)

By the outskirts, places like Roter Berg (you can check the video above) are very popular with kids, but even your small neighbourhood park might have great sledging spots, so don’t be shy to ask your neighbours. 

READ ALSO: Six things to expect when you move to the Austrian mountains

Spots in the outskirts of Vienna

Other popular spots are in the Viennese surroundings or just a short drive away from the capital. 

For example, the official trails of the City of Vienna lead you to several nature spots with panoramic views and guaranteed beautiful snow.

The Stadtwanderweg 8 is one of the best, with an observation deck and awesome spots to slide down from. The Stadtwanderweg 4 and 4a lead you up to Gallitzinberg, almost an Alpine peak (ok, not so much, but still beautiful).

READ ALSO: The best spots to recharge on the weekend in Vienna

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Sonia Marska (@prosiacek)

Pictured is the view from Kahlenberg.

The mountains surrounding the city are also very popular, including Anninger, where you can walk through snowy forest paths and roads, and the very popular Schneeberg. Or, accessible via the city transport, the Kahlenberg.

Finally, a short trip leads you to spots such as Semmering (where the Viennese go for a quick ski trip) and the Rax, which you can go up via cable car. 

Above, pictures posted on Twitter of a trip to Semmering on a snowy day.

READ ALSO: Discover Austria: Five beautiful hikes and destinations south of Vienna

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


Five lesser-known tourist spots in Austria that you should visit

Whether you are exploring a new city or visiting a familiar one, seeking out sites off the beaten path can be a great way to add excitement to your travels. If you find yourself in Vienna this weekend, here are five hidden gems to explore.

Five lesser-known tourist spots in Austria that you should visit


Vienna’s Butterfly House occupies two levels of the Hofburg Palace. Just a short trip away from the city’s famous opera house, this greenhouse offers a different kind of music: the sound of 400 butterflies flying through their lush tropical environment while small waterfalls trickle in the background. Watching the butterflies can be relaxing on its own, but you can even get an even closer look by holding out an outstretched finger and allowing them to land on your hand. 

Lost Garden of Schloss Schönbrunn

The Irrgarten (Lost Garden) on the grounds of the glamorous Schönbrunn Palace is often overlooked in favour of the castle’s interior splendour. But this maze, which was rebuilt in 1999 according to the original design from 1686, can be a fun and challenging way to explore the park surrounding the former Habsburg palace.

Schloss Schönbrunn in Vienna.

Schloss Schönbrunn in Vienna. Look out for the ‘lost garden’ maze. Photo by Philipp Deus on Unsplash

Porgy and Bess Jazz Club:

Vienna is famous for its classical music, with the likes of Mozart and Beethoven once calling the city home. But that is not the only music on offer in the city: if you spend an evening at Porgy and Bess in the city centre,  you will be sure to catch some excellent jazz music. This weekend’s performers include two trios: Michael Wolff, Francois Moutin, and Jeff Bordeaux take the stage on Saturday while Sven Regener, Richard Pappik, and Ekki Busch will perform on Sunday. 

READ ALSO: Five beautiful hikes and destinations south of Vienna

Setagaya Park 

Tucked away in the north of the city centre in the Döbling district, this garden designed by Japanese landscape architect Ken Nakajima in 1992 brings elements of a traditional Japanese landscape to the city. Cherry and maple trees, densely planted gardens, and many streams, ponds, and fountains create a relaxing and beautiful atmosphere to spend the morning or afternoon. You can also grab a bite to eat at the teahouse in the park. With spring upon us, now is a particularly great time to visit as the weather warms up and the flowers begin to bloom. 


Finally, you can’t go wrong by exploring some of Vienna’s outdoor markets, which can fly under the radar given there is so much else to see. Pay a visit to the Brunnenmarkt in the Ottakring district. It is Vienna’s biggest street market, featuring 170 stalls that stretch 948 meters, where you can grab food and search for clothes, household items, toys, and more. The market is also considered the city’s most diverse: you can get fresh fruits and vegetables, munch on Austrian or Turkish street food, or enjoy a meal at the nearby Turkish, Vietnamese, and Mediterranean restaurants.