From the incredible architectural masterpieces to its rich and sophisticated culture, there is plenty to discover about Vienna, Austria and its locals. My roommate and I thought we were unlucky because of the rain during our stay but in the end we found it only added to the fairytale-esque of the city. We had an amazing time wandering the streets of the city and getting lost in the parks and gardens. If you are lucky enough to visit in the winter, you will be put in the holiday spirit with mulled wine from the beautiful Christmas markets. We hope this travel guide will help you create your own list of what to explore in this magical city.
Before You Go:
- When to go: April-October (However, there are great Christmas markets and activities in December)
- Currency: Euro
- Language: German
- Getting around: You can buy one-way tickets at any U-Bahn station or a Vienna Card gives you unlimited public transport use for 24, 48 or 72 hours with some benefits.
Things to Do:
Schönbrunn Palace & Gardens
As Austria’s most visited attraction, this palace from the 15th century is still in perfect condition. The palace was the summer residence of the Habsburgs, who were the Austrian emperors. Guided tours are available for those who want to fantasize about living in a palace or you could actually spend a night in the palace suites! The gardens are a great place to wander and admire the beauty of the many rose gardens and extravagant fountains. A definite must-see for those visiting Vienna.
St Stephen’s Cathedral
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is arguably one of the most iconic landmarks of Vienna. This 12th century church that stands 136 meters above the ground also has beautiful colored tile roof interior. For many, the best part of visiting the Cathedral is the amazing panoramic views of Vienna from climbing the 343 steps to the tower room. If those stairs don’t appeal to you, you can explore the beautiful interior through the guided tour options.
With over 70 cultural facilities to explore, the MuseumsQuartier is the eighth largest cultural area in the world. From art museums such as the Leopold museum to contemporary exhibits, there is something for everyone to see or do.
Prater is not only the largest and most famous public park in Vienna, but is also home to ‘Wurstelprater’, which is actually the oldest amusement park in the world! Many people know this park for its famous Ferris wheel built in 1897, called the Weiner Riesenrad. Riding the Ferris wheel also the perfect alternative for a great panoramic city shot if you missed out on the 343 steps to the top of St Stephen’s Cathedral! I got some amazing views of the city as it drizzled on the windows of the ride.
This brightly colored apartment house in Vienna was built from the concept of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The nearby arts village is also a great place to walk around and shop in.
State Hall in the National Library
This room in the heart of the Austrian National Library, is something straight out of a book-lovers dream. Fun fact, it is also the biggest Baroque library in all of Europe and dates back to the 18th century.
Vienna State Opera
Located in the center of Vienna, this is one of many examples of landmarks that demonstrate the beautiful Austrian culture. The building dates back to the 19th century but today they still continue to put on incredible opera shows and other performances. Tickets can tend to be pricey, but checking out the inside of the opera house is still worth doing. I was able to see another performance not at the famous Opera House (pictured below) but I still found it to be very enjoyable.
This extravagant public park is full of monuments, fountains, and of course its famous rose garden that is home to over 3,000 rose bushes. I found this to be the best place to spend a sunny day in Vienna.
St. Francis of Assisi Church
This beautiful basilica-style church is something straight out of a fairytale. It makes for a great place to stop and watch the sunset or to take some awesome pictures!
This architectural masterpiece located in the middle of Vienna is home to the city hall. In the winter, the forecourt is turned into an ice rink along with beautiful Christmas markets. Guided tours are also available to those who would like to admire the beautiful interior.
What to Eat/Drink:
Sacher Torte is a rich, dark chocolate cake usually filled with orange marmalade. A great treat and a must to try when visiting the city.
You can’t visit the birthplace of schnitzel and not try this traditional meal whilst you are here!
I hope you enjoyed my guide to this beautiful city. I hope to be back soon to enjoy the Christmas markets or to daydream about palace living…Let me know in the comments below if I missed any of your Vienna favorites.