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Hi. I am going to spend my very first Christmas alone overseas, in both Germany and Austria. I am planning on taking the guided city bus tours as well as attending church there. I hope to see the places where Beethoven rented and lived. I will spend at least a weekend in Vienna, spending one Sunday at St. Stephen's cathderal, hearing the Vienna boys choir sing. I hope some museums will be open, especially ones in regards to antique musical instruments, etc. Does anyone out there have any suggestions as to an itinerary? Also, I am gutsy enough to be travelling without amy tour package, so I still need to make last minute reservations online for accomodations in Germany and later in Vienna.
Also, what is the food like? What would one recommend for transportation during this time of year? I will be walking a lot, but probably be taking the train, subway, and bus.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Posted by
1 posts


I am sure you will enjoy your trip. My wife is meeting me there for the Advent Season as well. The train is the best way around from city to city and public transport is best for inner city travel, as well as the walking. We have been before (in the spring) and loved it. After seen Ricks PBS special on Christmas in Europe, we just had to go to Bavaria for the holiday season. There are numerous hotels available depending on your budget. The Mercur line has hotels in Munich, Salzburg and Vienna. The food is somewhat on the heavy side but very good. We did a tour package last time but enjoyed our wandering around alone time most.

Hope I was able to help some. Enjoy your trip. We will.

Posted by
3428 posts

We just returned from a lovely trip to Austria. We stayed for 3 nights at the Mercure Westbanhof (it is across the street from the West Train station). It was a perfect location. A 10-15 min. walk to the center city, or you can catch the tram or subway. We did a day trip to Budapest Hungary. The train left from the Westbanhof... it was wonderful! There is an absolutely marvelous Chinese restruant just across from the hotel entrance- great food. There are also loads of places to get traditional Austrian dishes like snitchel... tortes... soup.... oh yummmm just remembering.......

Posted by
26 posts

The last time I checked, The Vienna Boys Choir performed on Sundays at the chapel of the Imperial Palace (Hofburgkapelle) about a 10-15 minute walk from St Stephen's within the Ring (inner city). The tickets sell out very quickly and I suggest checking online for their availability.

Another suggestion for Sunday morning is the Mass at the St Augustine Church next to the Hofburg. It is a fully sung mass with choir and musicians (some of them perform fulltime with the State Opera and various other music associations in Vienna). This particular concert is free (donations accepted) but you must get there early for a good seat in the church. I have done this many times and it is not to be missed.
Masses from such greats as Mozart, Haydn and Brahms are often performed.

Also make sure to check out Beethoven's House in Heiligenstadt north of Vienna by S-Bahn and tram. It is where Beethoven composed the 8th Symphony and the Heiligenstadt Testament, where he admitted he was deaf.