7 Best Things to Do in Vienna
Let’s talk a bit about one of the oldest capitals in Europe and with a cultural heritage that astonishes both locals and travelers: Vienna.
Vienna has long been considered as the world capital of music since the 19th century and the capital of political debate and philosophy throughout the 20th century. During these golden centuries, Vienna was the residence of many famous people that made history such as Amadeus Mozart, Johann Strauss, Karla Popper, Sigmund Freud or Viktor Kaplan among others.
But Vienna is not only about intellectuals, musicians or philosophers. Vienna was a city of emperors, and its palaces, cathedrals and churches are architectural gems that make this city one of the most beautiful in Europe.
Its historic center was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and last year alone it received about 13 million travellers.
So, now what are the things to do in this beautiful city? Let’s see the 7 best ones!
Stroll through the magnificent Viennese Palaces
Maybe the most famous palace of Vienna is the Schonbrunn Palace, summer home of the Imperial Family to which the Empress Elisabeth, best known as Sissi, belonged. It is one of the major touristic attractions of the Austrian capital. Unesco World Heritage Site since 1996, you can’t miss a visit of this beautiful castle and French formal gardens.
Other former palaces that worth the visit are the Imperial Palace (Hofburg), the winter home of the Imperial Family and now the residence of the Austrian President, and the Belvedere Palace, now a magnificent museum hosting famous paintings from Klimt or Segantini.
Go to an opera
There is no better city to experience an opera. At the Vienna Opera, a beautiful building, it is very difficult to enter but on the days that there is concert, you can go to the ticket booth one hour and a half before where you can get tickets for 3-4 euros. Of course, you’ll not have the best place inside, but getting into the Opera at this price is not such a bad plan, right?
Try a good schnitzel and apfelstrudel
The gastronomic culture of Austria is quite wide but there are some dishes you should try before leaving Vienna.
One of the most known is the schnitzel: this dish is very typical in Austria and consists of breaded chicken but macerated with many spices. One of the best restaurants where schnitzel is made is the “plachutta”. The portions are big, so you can order it up for sharing; also it is always served with karttofelnsalat or boiled potatoes salad.
For dessert, there is nothing better than ordering a good apfelstrudel. This typical Austrian dish made of puff pastry filled with apples and dried grapes is served hot with sometimes a vanilla ice cream ball on its top, delicious!
Visit the City center
Vienna is divided by districts like Paris, it goes from the district 1 to the 23, being the 1 what is considered the old part of the city. You cannot be wrong since it always comes out on maps surrounded by a yellow ring that is called Gürtel or Ring.
One of the best options to know the city of Vienna is by doing a Free Tour.
Free Tours allows you to have a very good overview of the city in only 2h approximately and to ask practical tips to the guide for other days. A Free Tour is based on voluntary donations that are about 10 € per person, depending on your experience and budget.
You can find plenty of Free Tours in Vienna (alternative, biking, street art…) on the online community platform of Free Tours: https://www.guruwalk.com
During this tour, you will approach all the main attractions of the city centers such the old City Hall, the old Jewish quarter, the Sacher Hotel (famous for its chocolate cake (Sacher Torte), the Ring Road (Ringstraße) and many more.
You will also see the cathedral or Stephansdom: Its translation is St. Stephen’s Cathedral and is located in one of the most important squares of Vienna, the Stephansplatz (St. Stephen’s Square).
It is an impressive cathedral and one of the most beautiful in Europe, thanks to its late Romanesque style. You can go to the tower of the cathedral, but in my opinion it is not worth too much, although inside the cathedral is beautiful and I would highly recommend it.
Ride the Great Wheel
Emblematic attraction of the Vienna, don’t miss a tour on this Great Wheel, at least if you don’t have fear of heights. You will enjoy the most beautiful view of Vienna. Built in 1897, it was the highest Great Wheel in the world for 65 years!
Discover unusual architecture
Inspired by Antonio Gaudi, famous from its architecture in Barcelona, Hundertwasser was an Austrian artist and architect famous for the creation of a colorful and unusual building in Vienna. His building, full of plants and trees, attracts tourists from all over the world. If you are a fan of original architecture, don’t miss the visit!
If you like modern art, Mumok, the Museum Moderner Kunst, is definitely the place for you!
Get lost in the Naschmarkt
Naschmarkt is simply the largest market in Vienna, where you can find exotic products from all over the world. On Saturday, the market grows with the presence of a flea market where everything is found, from the camera to the military uniform. Close to the market, you can find Wienzeile streets, where most beautiful buildings in Vienna are present.
I hope that you know want to explore Vienna thanks to this post. This article gave you a first approach of this great city, admired by many, known by few, but increasingly important as a tourist capital. Are there any suggestions or questions you have, please, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.