Home to incredible food, architecture and activities, do not miss these things when you are in Vienna! Here is all you need to know to have a fantastic time when you are in Vienna (or Wien as the locals call it). I fell in love with Vienna when I visited, follow these simple tips and you will fall in love with it too. I visited Vienna for 5 days in October 2021 as part of my big Europe Road trip.
Why Visit Vienna
Vienna is a beautiful city with incredible architecture and so much to do. Famous for it’s cafes and restaurants you will not be disappointed with a trip to this incredible place. Austria’s capital city has so much to offer and should be top of your list for your next trip.
How to Get to Vienna
Vienna is extremely accessible by train and plane from most European cities. Fly into Vienna International airport, easily accessible to the city centre from either train or bus. Long distance trains arrive to Hauptbahnhof, Vienna central station. I drove into Vienna as I was on a long Europe road trip at the time. Parking was a bit tricky to find but I left my car in my Airbnb that had parking and used public transport to get around the city.
Where to Stay in Vienna
To be closest to all of the attractions, stay in Innere Stadt (1st district). Cheaper options but still central are Leopoldstadt (2nd District) and Landstrasse (3rd district). There are lots of options of hotels, hostels and Airbnbs all over the city. I stayed in an Airbnb in Landstrasse and it was the perfect mix of central but still budget friendly.
How to Get Around Vienna
Vienna has a great public transport system of metro, trams and busses. You can buy a short-term ticket which is valid for 24, 48 or 72 hours. They are available at machines at metro stations and give you unlimited travel for the validity of the ticket. I used this throughout my trip to Vienna and it made getting around completely hassle free.
The Unmissable Top 13 things To Do When in Vienna
1. Lipizzaner Horses
Ever seen a horse dance?? Neither had I! The Lipizzaner are world famous for incredible movements and even keeping up on their hind legs. There are 2 options to see them: in training or in performance.
I saw them in training and really liked it (and I am not a particularly horsey person). In the training session you see both the older and younger horses and get an insight into the work behind some of the best trained horses in the world.
Book tickets online to make sure you don’t miss out when you turn up. You can choose seats up on the balconies or in the stand. The building alone is beautiful – definitely worth the trip!
2. Classical music concert
This is a lovely way to spend a relaxing evening after a busy day exploring the city. Many concerts are held in beautiful old buildings or churches which really adds to the atmosphere. I personally went to the Peterskirche (St Peter’s Church) and watched the classic Ensemble. It was truly a magical evening.
3. Ferris wheel Wiener Riesenrad
Go on the oldest Ferris wheel in the world! A great way to get a view of the city. The Ferris wheel is in the Prater amusement park in Leopoldstadt. You can ride the wheel just to see the views but you can also dine in one of the carts! I chose to just take a ride but I saw people eating lunch in the car next to mine and it looked really special.
4. Relax with Coffee and Cake
The culture of coffee and cake in Vienna is one of my favourite things about the city. There are so many cafes to take a rest and a delicious cake in. I met up with a friend from Vienna in café diglas (top tip from a local!). I also went to Oberlaa which have many locations over the city and the cakes are dreamy.
5. Eat Schnitzel
The Austrian classic. A schnitzel is a meat in breadcrumbs fried, often served with chips (fries for my American friends) or potatoes. The best way to explore any place in my opinion is through the stomach, do not miss this delicious dish!
6. Explore the Danube
Take a boat trip down the danube to see the city from a different viewpoint. Or, as you prefer, talk a walk down the path that goes along the river. This is a really lovely and relaxing activity if you need some more calm if you have spent too much time in the hustle and bustle of the city. Vienna is also home to the Danube canal and the river Wien. The full explanation of the water ways can be found here.
7. Belvedere Art Museum
One of the most beautiful museums from the building alone. The museum used to be a palace and is now home to an extraordinary art collection. The highlights of the artwork include Gustav Klimts most famous pieces. This is one of Vienna’s top attractions so it is a good idea to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
8. Explore Vienna’s Many Parks
Vienna has some beautiful green spaces to walk around or to spend some more relaxing time to take a break from all of the activities. My favourite green space was the Prater park. I visited in October to the autumn colours of the trees were out and it was stunning. As well as this, there is Donaupark which is a very large green space and home of the Donau Tower.
9. Eat at the Naschmarkt
Stop off at the Naschmarkt to grab some groceries or to have a meal. With food from all over the world, this is a perfect place to eat. I ate dinner at Neni and had some falafels and hummus and it was delicious yummmmyyyyy. You will definitely find food to your taste here.
10. Marvel at the Hofburg
Some of the most impressive buildings in Vienna, the Hofburg is a must-see in Vienna. The Hofburg is a complex of buildings with courtyards and statues to appreciate. It is also home to the crown jewels of Vienna as well as the national gallery. The Hofburg complex is home to the Spanish riding school where you can see the Lipizzaner horses.
11. Visit St Stephen’s Cathedral
Vienna is home to one of the most beautiful but also distinctive Cathedral in Europe. It has beautiful colourful patterned roof, this is a must visit during your trip to Vienna. It costs 6 euros to enter the inside the church. You can pay extra to visit the top of the towers or even the catacombs.
12. Enjoy Vienna’s Night Life
Vienna has a bustling and lively night scene. It has such a wide variety of places to go to whether it be a calm wine bar or a rooftop concert. Try the Neubau district for lots of independent bars and night clubs. I went to The Loft in Neubau and had a great time.
13. Danube Tower
The Danube Tower has a 306degree viewing platform which gives you not only views of the whole of Vienna but the surrounding countryside. You can even eat at the restaurant at the top of this tower, perfect place for a schnitzel I say.
Now you know exactly what to do when in Vienna. Have the best time and let me know what you loved most!