There’s no other place like Vienna, home to some of the greatest classical music composers and the formal dynastic capital of the Habsburg Empire. Vienna today is an incredible and exciting mix of what was and what is, making it the ideal holiday location for tourists of all ages.
To visit Vienna from A to Z you probably need a week, but if you only have a day or two at your disposal, here is a brief guide that covers all the main tourist attractions you should see and the things you should do when in Vienna.
08:00 – 09:00 – From the airport to the city centre
Most flights to Vienna land at the Schwechat International Airport. The best and fastest way to get into town is by commuter train, also known as Schnellbahn or S-bahn.
Regular fare – €4.20
Train ride duration – approx. 30 minutes
09:30 – 10:00 – Breakfast
Vienna is famous for its wide variety of pastries and bakeries. If you haven’t already eaten breakfast, we recommend you find a bakery and get yourself a Krapfen, an Austrian doughnut covered in sugar and filled with apricot jam. Still don’t know what we’re talking about? Have a look:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF8OGNePkoY[/youtube]
And the best part about grabbing something to eat at a bakery, it’s always freshly baked and you can take it away and enjoy it on the go!
10:00- 11:30 – Horse-drawn carriage tour
To cover all the main attractions in town in an hour, rent a horse-drawn carriage and let them take you around the Ring (Ringstrasse). From here you’ll be able to see and photograph the city hall, the opera, the national history museum, the Hofburg Palace, the parliament and many other extraordinary structures that should not be missed. The horse ride takes approx. 40 minutes and costs roughly €80 per carriage.
If you don’t like horse-drawn carriages or happen to be on a budget, there are plenty of trams that take you around the Ring, such as tram nr. 1 and nr. 2. Alternatively, you could also walk!
12:00 – 13:00 – Stephansdom
Once your tour around the Ring Boulevard ends, head over to the Stephansdom cathedral, one of the city’s more representative landmarks. Inside, audio guides are available for those who wish to find out more about the history of this spectacular building, or if you’d rather enjoy a panoramic view of the city, climb the staircase in the Gothic Tower (there’s only 418 steps!).
13:00 – 14:30 Lunch
You haven’t tried traditional Austrian cuisine until you’ve had lunch at Figlmüller, Vienna’s most renowned schnitzel restaurant. Due to its location and long standing tradition of excellence, this place is loved by locals and tourists alike. You will never see this restaurant empty, so make sure you book a table in advance.
15:00 – 15:30 Coffee & cake
Naturally, after having lunch you must stop at the Sacher Torte Hotel for a slice of cake and a Wiener Melange, a coffee drink similar to the oh-so-famous Italian cappuccino.
16:00 – 18:00 Shopping
Shops in Vienna are only open until 18:00, so grab your souvenirs and Mozartkugeln (the famous Mozart bonbons) while you still can! Graben and Kärntner are two of the main and most centric shopping streets in Vienna. On Kärntner you can find all the typical souvenir shops, while Graben is all about high end fashion brands and upscale boutiques.
19:00 – 21:00 – Prater
You cannot leave Vienna before seeing the famous Prater Ferris Wheel. And while you’re there, you might as well try out some of the rides in the amusement park!
21:30 – 23:00 – Dinner
Have dinner at the Donauturm restaurant and catch a glimpse of Vienna at night. Enjoy a 360° panoramic view while you try some of the best traditional Austrian cuisine in town.
23:00 – Open end – Nightlife
Fancy a cocktail after dinner? At the Sky Café Restaurant Bar you have an incredible selection of 350 cocktails and 80 different kinds of whisky. If you prefer something a little more dynamic, try Puff, a former red light establishment that has been converted into a modern and picturesque cocktail bar.
Wonder where you can go dancing? Try Flex, Fledermaus or Passage – these are some of the trendiest nightclubs and lounges in town.
Extra Tip: If you can stay in Vienna for more than a day, you should visit the Schönbrunn palace and its gardens.
We hope you enjoyed our brief Vienna guide. Hopefully we’ve inspired you to visit Austria’s magical capital!