Vienna is the capital of Austria and is a beautiful and stately city. Vibrant with culture, fine dining and music, there is a lot to do when visiting this magnificent republic. The people we encountered throughout our trip were very friendly and helpful. Nearly everyone we talked to spoke English, which made communication easy.
Transportation is quite easy as they have a great transit system and many areas we visited were walkable. You can take a cab easily as well, for a reasonable price. The city center is surrounded by residential districts and dotted with parks and squares.
We spent 5 days in Vienna and based on my experience, these are my top ten things to do in Vienna.
The famous Naschmarkt is a lovely open-air market with tons of food stalls, cafes, and stores. A must-visit for any food lover, the Naschmarkt is a great place to find some cheese and sausages and wine and set off for a picnic lunch. Hours are longer in the spring and summer than they are the rest of the year.
I loved perusing the market stalls and we stopped here for lunch of chicken schnitzel and fries.
Spanish Riding School
At this equestrian riding school, you can watch a training session, take a guided tour or catch a performance. The Lipizzaner Stallions are Europe’s oldest breed of horses and they are beautiful in movement and stature. Performances fun to watch if you have a love of horses and history. No indoor photography is allowed here.
Similar to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, this street offers luxury shopping fabulous restaurants and a nice view of people walking the city. There are luxury boutiques and department stores. While you will find Gucci and Louis Vuitton here now, these streets were once the home of composers Haydn and Chopin. Walking around in this metropolitan city is a lovely way to spend a couple of hours. Stop for lunch and one of the many highly-rated restaurants and enjoy a good meal.
You can also find plenty of great shopping in the city center on Mariahilfer Strasse. You will find specialty shops, souvenir shops and department stores on this pedestrian only street.
St. Stephens Church
This Gothic church dating back to the 13th century is majestic and sits right in the center of the city. It is a beautiful tribute to the elegance that is Vienna. They have guided tours of the church and its art treasures. You can enter the church for free, but it will cost you a few Euros to get into the main section. The Cathedral is stunning inside and offers tours of their treasury and catacombs with a combination ticket. Check the schedule for choir performances and Catholic services which are offered.
Hofburg Palace Imperial Apartments
These beautiful royal apartments are as lavish as Versailles, though not as big. I suggest you take a tour of the apartments and the Hofburg Treasury collection for an unforgettable glimpse of this long-reigning family. The stories of Franz Josef and Sisi are entirely captivating and tragic. For more information visit http://www.hofburg-wien.at/en.html.
The Opera House
Beautifully magnificent and world-renowned for the classical performances of opera. It has also been the location of movie premiers and musicals. There are Live Opera evenings on the square in which you can watch the opera on a large screen outside of the Opera for free during April – June, and September. You can view the schedule here.
This summer residence of the Habsburgs is another beautiful residence filled with elaborate artwork, furnishings and the Vienna zoo, which is considered to be the oldest zoo in the world. It is also where Mozart gave his first concert at the age of six.
One of the most popular desserts, the Sacher-Torte, was born here. A wonderfully decadent chocolate cake made with apricot jam and served with the most amazing whipped cream deserves a spot on your itinerary. I recommend sitting outside and enjoying your cake while watching passersby. Enjoy it with a cup of Viennese coffee and savor the wonderful moment that it is sure to be.
Cocktails at the Ritz
The rooftop bar at the Ritz Carlton is a fabulous place to enjoy the view and a libation at the same time. We stayed at the Ritz Carlton on our visit and loved everything about it. Wonderful guest rooms, great dining, friendly service and an excellent location make this a great choice if looking for luxury accommodations.
Take a stroll in the Vienna Burggarten in Vienna’s city center or Museum Quarter. Visit the Art Historical and the Natural Historical Museum and gardens for a scenic afternoon.
There are many things to do just outside of Vienna as well, but that’s for another post. For other articles on Vienna, check out:
Thanks for allowing me to share my experiences with you.
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