Top 5 things to do in Vienna, Austria

To my mind, Vienna is easily one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. With stunning architecture, a rich cultural scene, beautifully maintained green areas and a serious passion for cake, you really can’t go wrong. Here are my top 5 tips for how to make the most of your time there.

Beautiful sunset in Vienna

Natural History Museum in Vienna

Yes, that’s right, just walk! Vienna has an amazingly efficient public transport system, but the best way to see all of the sights up-close is simply to walk and savour the city slowly. On pretty much every corner, you will be wowed by how majestic the buildings are. In fact, it’s so stunning that it’s hard to catch your breath sometimes! Be sure not to miss the Museum Quarter, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Hundertwasser Haus and the Naschmarkt.

Relaxing in center of Vienna

Another advantage of walking is that you come across things that aren’t mentioned in any guidebook. For example, on sunny days, it seems that the whole city takes to the “beach”. Order a Spritzer, sink into a comfy deckchair, and enjoy some fantastic people-watching.

Riding in fiaker

When you’ve had your fill of walking, consider a jaunt through the city in one of the famous two- horse carriages. They are as much a part of Vienna as any of the major sights and lend the city a charming, old world feel. There is almost certainly no cosier way to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

In the old days, the drivers were often characters who were well-known throughout the city and sometimes also performed as singers. They were particularly appreciated for their discretion, especially when one or other “gentleman” was entertaining his mistress in the back. So, even if you’re in Vienna with someone you shouldn’t be, you’ll be in safe hands...

Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace is a World Cultural Heritage Site and the most visited sight in Austria. The baroque-style work of art, consisting of the palace and gardens, was for centuries the property of the Habsburgs and is today largely in its original condition. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the colourful gardens and prepare to have your jaw drop as you emerge into the promenade between the palace and the obelisk fountain.

Schönbrunn Palace gardens

There is no shortage of things to do here - from a tour through the authentically furnished residential and ceremonial rooms in the palace, to the maze and the labyrinth in the gardens, and a separate Children's Museum.

Delicious Sachertorte

You can’t come to Vienna and not try the famous Sachertorte. A delicious, chocolatey creation, it was invented by Franz Sacher in 1832 for Prince Wenzel von Metternich. This particular cake is so revered that the Austrians even have a National Sachertorte Day on December 5th!

Café Landtmann visitors

There are amazing coffee houses all over Vienna so you won’t have any trouble finding somewhere to sample it. We chose Café Landtmann which is a bit of an institution in these parts. It was also a favourite of Sigmund Freud and, while it’s not cheap, it’s definitely worth it for the experience.

Amazing view of Vienna

Catch a bus to Kahlenberg, a hill which offers the best views of Vienna. The bus ride alone, up winding cobbled streets with views of forest, vineyards and glimpses of the city, is well worth it. From the lookout point, the whole city is spread out before you and, although a little misty when we were there, it’s truly spectacular.

Wine village

Instead of going straight back to Vienna, I suggest stopping off in Grinzing, the most famous of Vienna’s wine villages and pretty as a picture.

Listening traditional folk tunes

Sample the local wine, enjoy some hearty Austrian fare and, if you’re lucky, you might even catch a local band playing traditional folk tunes and yodelling melodiously. 

A perfectly authentic end to the perfect city break.

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I fell in love with traveling much earlier than I fell in love with my first man. And I'm still faithful to that love (But I have exchanged some men since my first one). I have never had a reason to regret my passion. I constantly dream of going further, it gives me indescribable emotions and meaning to my life.

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