The Danube Island Festival is Europe’s biggest open air festival with free entrance. This year the festival runs from the 27th to 29th of June. The 4.5km festival area will host 11 stages offering rock, pop, alternative indie, punk, hiphop, electro-music, Schlagermusik, folk and caberet.
Hilton has completed its refurbishment of the Hilton Vienna Danube Hotel located 20 minutes from the airport and 7 minutes by metro from the city centre. The hotel has 367 rooms and guests can enjoy Austrian and international dishes made from local ingredients at its Waterfront Restaurant.
The hotel has a spacious terrace and the Pier 269 Bar & Lounge. There is also a new Hilton Fitness by Precor, sauna and outdoor pool.
For more information visit Hilton Vienna Danube Hotel.
From 26th March to 17th May the 20th Viennese Spring Festival will take place including 70 concerts in Musikverein. The highlight will be the opening concert with the unveiling of a new organ built by Rieger, the fourth organ for the Golden Hall.
During the festival there will be eight organ concerts with top casts such as, Vienna Philharmonic and Dame Gillian Weir, ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, Vienna Boys’ Choir, Michael Schade and Robert Holl. Star tenor, Thomas Hampson will perform with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. Violinist Gidon Kremer and the Saxony Staatskapelle will be conducted by Christoph Eschenbach. Finally, Rudolf Buchbinder will play and conduct five Beethoven piano concertos. Finally, the Vienna Symphonic will perform Mahler’s 2nd Symphony and other works.
20th Viennese Spring Festival
26 March – 17 May 2011
Tel. (+43 1) 505 81 90
Last week Vienna’s council transformed City Hall Square into a giant ice rink and paradise for ice-skating enthusiasts of all ages. The fabulous and illuminated façade of Vienna’s City Hall is the perfect backdrop for Vienna Ice Dream, a 6,000 square-metre outdoor ice skating rink. So what’s it all about? It’s simple really! Every day from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. wildly groovy and sweepingly elegant loops can be cut to disco hits of the 1980s and 1990s. Plus, a 600 metre-long dream path leads through the fairytale illuminations at City Hall Park, where four curling lanes await enthusiastic ice-sport fanatics.
When you’ve busted out your final move head to the large, heated marquee with a glazed lounge area where culinary experts indulge guests with Tyrolean Gröstl, farmhouse bread, crispy waffles, Käsespätzle and baked potatoes. Warming drinks – from aromatic punch to hot tea – are also available. I’m famished just at the thought!
Vienna’s Ice Dream
20 January to 6 March 2011
1010 Vienna, City Hall Park
Daily 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Curling lanes Mon-Fri 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Skates can be hired on site
For more information visit www.wienereistraum.com
Love Christmas Markets but looking for something slightly different this year? Why not visit Kubik lightroom installation in Votive Park in Vienna. At this truly exceptional location, architecture, light and sound merge into an unique Advent attraction. Featuring electronic music by DJs, punch and Christmas gift ideas there really is something for everyone. This installation has been hosted by several other European cities but is now open in Vienna until the end of December. The Kubik consists of tanks, filled with water and illuminated from inside, creating a spectacular light effect. Video artists can control each tank individually to create a light performance to the music. Then there is the particuarly novel interpretation of the traditional punch bar! This is definitely THE alternative Christmas Market to visit in 2010.
Open now until 31 December 2010, daily from 5pm to 10pm (closed between 24 and 26 December)
Sigmund Freud Park / Votive Church
Christmas Markets are a true highlight of the advent period and are sure to get everyone into the festive spirit. Head to one of the many markets in Eastern Europe to enjoy some real festive fare including local wine, beers, sausages and artisan crafts. Here’s our top ten…
During Advent Vienna is a city of nostalgia and romance with many concerts, nativity displays and traditional Christmas markets taking place throughout the city. The most renowned markets include the Viennese Christmas Markets on Freyung, at Spittelberg, at Am Hof and in front of the church of St. Charles Borromeo (Karlskirche).
Prague, Czech Republic
Christmas is a special time of year in Prague and the Christmas markets (Vanocni trh) are a key ingredient in the Czech festive magic. The Prague Christmas markets bring visitors and locals together to share the holiday spirit in a true ‘winter wonderland’ setting. The main markets can be found at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square with smaller ones at Namesti Republiky and Havelske Trziste. Open 9am to 7pm daily.
The Festive Fair, held in the Town Centre (Breg and Cankarjevo nabrežje embankments, Prešernov trg square) is well known for its vibrancy and cheerful atmosphere. Festively decorated green stalls, designed specially for the fair, sell a fine choice of products suitable for giving as gifts including food and drink, clothes and fashion accessories. Open from 10am to 10 pm daily.
Each festive season Nuremberg’s Old Town is decorated in its Christmas regalia and the tempting aromas of mulled wine, sweet roasted almonds, sausages and gingerbread create a truly unforgettable atmosphere. The Christkindlesmarkt is situated in the heart of the city which is steeped in more than 400 years of tradition providing an international showcase for all Franconian and German Christmas Markets. While younger visitors can enjoy the Kinderweihnacht (Children’s Christmas Market) where historic steam-powered merry-go-rounds and other activities are waiting for them. Open from 9.30am to 8pm Monday to Thursdays, 9.30am to 10pm Fridays and Saturdays, 10.30am to 8pm on Sunday.
Cologne holds an impressive seven Christmas Markets. The four largest Christmas markets are located at Cologne Cathedral, on the Alter Markt (Home of the Heinzel Christmas Market), on the Neumarkt and on the Rudolfplatz (Fairytale Christmas Market). Every year these four markets attract almost 2 million visitors. Open every day from 11am to 9pm.
With well over 50 Christmas Markets and advent bazaars every year, Berlin features prominently on Germany’s calendar of Yuletide events. A popular market is situated next to Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church amidst the bustle of shoppers on the high street between the Kurfüstendamm and Tauenzien. The Berlin Christmas Market shown on the map on the left is WeihnachtsZauber situated on the Gendarmenmarkt. This is probably one of the most popular markets in Berlin and is well sited in terms of nearby hotel accommodation. Open 9am to 9pm daily.
One of the most popular Christmas fairs in Europe awaits the lovers of winter programmes this year again in the heart of Budapest, in Vörösmarty Square. There are more than 100 wooden pavilions, which sell unique high quality folklore and applied arts products. Christmas decorations, small presents, candles, gloves, woollen hats, wrought iron and woven products are also sold here, as well as other special articles that cannot be found anywhere else. You can experience the real wonders of winter while enjoying traditional products that have been evaluated by a jury, and satisfying your appetite at typical Hungarian buffets, which offer mulled wine, kürtoskalács (sweet Hungarian pastry), roast chestnuts and other market snacks. Open 10am to 8pm daily.
Sibiu Christmas Market is one of the most popular events of the year in the city. Being the first traditional Christmas Market opened in Romania, it was first held in 2007, in the Little Square located in the downtown area, with a total number of 38 wooden cabins. In 2008 and 2009, Sibiu Christmas Market took place in the Large Square, one of the best places to be visited in the historical center of the city. Open from 10am to 9pm daily.
Cologne in London, UK
Once again Londoners and visitors to the city can enjoy a taste of Cologne this Christmas at the London Southbank Christmas Market. While wandering about, look for and find unusual Christmas presents such as amber and silver jewellery, hand-crafted toys, fragile glass ornaments for your Christmas tree, hand tatted laces, tin toys, candles in all shapes and sizes, hand-made ceramics and creative metal design. Sip on a glass of glühwein or bottle of Kölsch” and nibble on some gingerbread hearts, roasted almonds and candies or even a delicious crepe. Open 11am to 8pm Mondays to Thursdays, and Sundays, 10am to 10pm Fridays and Saturdays.
Estonia’s medieval capital is inherently festive and though temperatures do dip quite drastically this time of year, the city’s celebratory atmosphere does well to dispel the cold. Tallinn’s Christmas Market may be one of the most recently established but it is now among the most well-loved in Europe. December’s darkness is dispelled with colourful lights, music and an abundance of activity. Head to Tallinn’s Town Hall Square, Raekoja Plats, and visit more than 50 merchant stalls featuring products by local artisans. These stalls surround a beautiful Christmas tree. Open daily from 10am to 6pm.
Think about Vienna and images of waltzing, coffee houses and St. Stephen’s Cathedral are most likely to be conjured up in one’s imagination. However, the fiakers, two-horse-drawn carriages are just as much part of the city’s culture and there is arguably no better way to see the city. The term actually originates from the French hackney carriage stand in Paris. The carriages were referred to Janschky until they were renamed fiakers in 1720. It was at this time they were also numbered.
With more than 1,000 fiakers on the road in the late nineteenth century the trade began to boom. Drivers were born entertainers and often performed as singers. Nevertheless, it was their discretion for which they were most appreciated, particularly by elite gentlemen and their mistresses.
Enjoy a little old-time luxury yourself from any of the fiaker stands in Vienna: Stephansplatz, Heldenplatz, Albertinaplazt, Petersplatz and Burgtheater. A short tour, taking about 20 minutes and travelling through the centre of the Old City, costs € 40. Alternatively, the long tour, which takes 40 minutes and travels through the Ringstrasse as well as the Old City, costs € 65.
A Top Tip: If you wish to enjoy a particularly romantic journey, ask the fiaker coach for a “porcelain ride”, which is a particularly calm and steady drive. This term originated from the time of transporting precious porcelain safely from one place to another. Today, it’s a nice way to enchant your beloved!
More than 2 million visitors are expected to revel at Europe’s largest free party from the 25th to the 27th of June on Danube Island. With over 2,000 artists offering live music across 13 stages: pop, rock, hits, Latin, soul, jazz, blues, hip hop, electronic, hard rock – the festival is once again set to be the place to party this June.
The open-air spectacle will see successful international musicians such as Kim Wilde, Adam Green, The Dubliners, Hot Chocolate, Amy McDonald, Aura Dione and Pendulum perform with Vienna as their stunning backdrop.
Locals including, Austrian superstar Rainhard Fendrich will also perform his greatest hits, while the Seer are a tip for their fan community. While DJs such as DJ Tom Snow will provide the right house sound.
In addition, there will be more than 250 catering stands on the 4.5 km-long party strip, offering a range of culinary delights and accompanying drinks – from juicy steaks and crispy grilled chicken to freshly drawn beer and cool cocktails.
This is partying, but not as you know it.
Danube Island Festival
25-27 June 2010
This April the impressive Palais Coburg will welcome leading international wine producers when it hosts the World Wine Festival for the third time in 2010. Participants include Smith-Haut-Lafitte and Lascombes from the Bordeaux region, Champagne producers Pol Roger and Ruinart, Meo Camuzet from Burgundy, Ornellaia from Italy, Roda from Spain and Egon Müller from Germany. Half a dozen leading Austrian wine producers will also attend.
A presentation format with fine wines and excellent food gives the event additional cachet. Diners can experience the interplay between the wines and gourmet dishes first hand at a series of exclusive wine dinners. German Michelin-starred chef Christoph Rainer from Villa Rothschild in Königstein and Swiss cook of the year Marcus G. Lindner from Mesa in Zurich will be serving up the culinary delights at a gala evening on 23 April, 2010.
Film clips are the stars of the show in an unusual exhibition, `Vienna in Film’, 27 May to 19 September 2010, when the Wien Museum takes a look at Vienna’s role on the silver screen. The exhibition at the Wien Museum shows the city in cinema clips dating back a century. Changes in the fabric of the city and the way it is perceived are highlighted in sequences from popular and lesser-known movies from the early days of cinema to the present day. The exhibition also takes a fresh and at times critical look at the way some established city landmarks are portrayed.
Clips from Austrian and foreign films form the backbone of the show and make for a refreshing new take on the exhibition format. Clips are sourced from works including Erich von Stroheim’s drama The Wedding March (1928), post-war masterpiece Abenteuer in Wien (1952; directed by Emile Edwin Reinert), Willi Forst’s Wien, du Stadt meiner Träume (1957) and more contemporary works such as Nordrand by Barbara Albert (1999) and Antares by Götz Spielmann (2004).
Vienna in Film
27 May – 19 September 2010
Wien Museum Karlsplatz, Karlsplatz, 4th district