Vienna. Home to schnitzel, Freud, Mozart, the Hapsburgs, opera, artwork, coffeeshops, and a lot extra. Over the last decade I’ve been coming in and out of this metropolis, I’ve watched it change from a stiff capital metropolis to a cool, hip, foodie, and arty paradise.
Ok, it’s at all times been an arty paradise and possibly the “stiff capital” was simply my incorrect first impression. See, after I first visited Vienna, I wasn’t a fan. It felt too stiff. Too correct. It had the air of a metropolis too lengthy steeped in imperial historical past. Despite being taken round by a neighborhood good friend, I stored evaluating it to Prague and Budapest and went “mehhh.”
But, over time, I’ve come to respect town and all it has to supply. In brief, I used to be mistaken about Vienna (and that goes to the essential level that first impressions are not at all times appropriate). The metropolis has numerous museums, palaces, markets, eating places, quirky artwork reveals, scrumptious meals halls, neighbors a beautiful wine area, and is a fast prepare journey to Bratislava.
With a lot to supply, right here’s how I’d set up per week lengthy go to to Vienna:
Free strolling tour
(Neubaugürtel 54, +43 6645544315, www.goodviennatours.eu) – Start your journey off with a free strolling tour. It’s a cool means to get a way of the capital, offer you a style of its historical past and tradition, and allow you to discover and orientate your self town on foot. Plus, you may ask your information any and all questions you could have! Three wonderful free excursions are:
Just be certain that to tip your information!
(Michaelerkuppel, +43 15337570, www.hofburg-wien.at) – Built within the 13th century, it is a big complicated with a number of sights. You can simply spend half a day right here. First, there are the Imperial Apartments, which is admittedly three actions in a single: the silver assortment that includes hundreds of royal dinnerware, the Sisi exhibit highlighting the lifetime of the beloved Empress Elisabeth of Austria, and the really royal residences themselves. Additionally, you may as well try the butterfly museum and the National Library the place you may see the ornate baroque fashion State Hall with its tens of hundreds of books.
However, my favourite is the Imperial Treasury. You’ll discover tons of royal artifacts, crowns, scepters, and a extremely detailed historical past of the Hapsburg household and empire. And, although not free, it’s best to positively get the audio tour. It provides a ton of context to the reveals. Honestly, should you simply see this attraction, you’d study sufficient!
Opening hours: Daily (9am-5:30pm) from September to June, and 9am-6pm in July and August. Admission is 14 EUR for adults and Eight.20 EUR for youths. Just ensure to keep away from the weekends should you can, because it will get crowded.
Additionally, you may pay attention to the Vienna Boys Choir throughout mass on Sundays on the Royal Chapel (which is positioned on the Imperial Palace). They are probably the most well-known choirs on this planet. There are round 100 boys within the choir. (Seated tickets begin at 11 EUR, although you will get free standing room tickets should you line up 30-45 minutes earlier than the efficiency.)
(1060 Vienna, +43 1400005430, www.naschmarkt-vienna.com) – This is Vienna’s largest open-air meals market. It’s been working for a whole lot of years and has quite a lot of eating places, avenue stalls, and grocers. It’s somewhat touristy (don’t go meals purchasing right here) but it surely has a cool vibe and, on a heat sunny day, it’s good to sit out with a meal and a glass of wine. Despite its fame, you’ll nonetheless discover a whole lot of locals right here. Be positive to hit up Umarfisch for seafood and wine.
Opening hours: Monday-Friday (9am-7:30pm), Saturday (9am-5pm). Restaurants and cafes are open later.
(Museumsplatz 1, +43 15235881, www.mqw.at) – Once the imperial stables, the Museumsquartier is now dwelling to three totally different museums: the Leopold Museum for Art Noveau and Experessionism; Kunsthalle Wien, an exhibition middle with rotating exhibitions; and the Museum of Modern Art, which has the biggest assortment of recent artwork in central Europe. The Museumsquartier can also be dwelling to a variety of festivals all year long.
Basically, should you love fashionable artwork, you want to come right here!
Museum of Fine Arts
(Maria-Theresien-Platz, +43 1525240, www.khm.at) – This is the biggest artwork museum within the nation, with artifacts from historic Egypt and Greece and work from Raphael, Rembrandt, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, and extra. Most of the objects are from the Hapsburg’s outdated assortment. This museum is extra “classic art” and there’s sufficient to maintain you busy for a number of hours (on the very least).
Opening hours: Daily (10am-6pm; 10am-9pm on Thursdays) from June to August. Tuesday-Sunday (10am-6pm) and Thursday (10am-9pm) from September to May. Admission is 15 EUR.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
(Stephansplatz Three, www.stephanskirche.at) – Built in Romanesque and Gothic types, this cathedral has been standing for the reason that 12th century. Inside, you’ll discover an ornately embellished church with excessive archways, vaulted ceilings, and a plethora of statues and non secular work. Additionally, there are two lovely altars: the High Altar, constructed within the 1640s and the Wiener Neustadt Altar, commissioned in 1447. The cathedral additionally has two towers, although one was by no means completed as a result of they ran out of cash. You pays 5 EUR to climb the a number of hundred steps of the south tower or, if climbing isn’t your factor, you may pay 6 EUR to discover the catacombs under the cathedral.
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday (6am-10pm), Sunday (7am-10pm).
Stroll alongside the Danube
If you haven’t performed so already, take a stroll alongside the Danube. There are loads of bars, shops, and cafes alongside the water so you may seize a drink and chill or simply window store should you don’t really feel like stopping. In the summer season, there are additionally a number of small “beaches” the place you may loosen up and absorb some solar and loosen up on a pleasant day.
House of Music
(Seilerstätte 30, +43 15134850, www.hausdermusik.com) – This is a small however fascinating museum that includes reveals on a number of the world’s most well-known Austrian composers — Mozart, Schubert, Strauss, and Schoenberg. You can view manuscripts, artifacts, and there’s additionally a digital stage the place you may conduct your personal symphony.
Opening hours: Daily (10am-10pm). Admission is 13 EUR.
(Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, +43 1 81113239, www.schoenbrunn.at) – This palace began off as a searching lodge in 1696 earlier than turning into the summer season residence of the Hapsburgs (as a result of on the time this was far exterior town middle). There are over 1,400 rooms within the palace however solely a handful are open to the general public (you’ll see 22 rooms with the imperial tour and 40 rooms with the grand tour). However, there’s sufficient to spend a number of hours right here wandering the exquisitely restored rooms. The gardens are free (you’ll see a whole lot of locals working right here) and there’s additionally a neat maze in addition to the “Schonbrunn Tiergarten” (the Vienna Zoo), which is a superb place to take the children. I really like coming to the gardens, climbing up the hill, and having fun with a bottle of wine with buddies. You can see town off within the distance. There are additionally guided excursions for these notably within the historical past of the palace.
Opening hours: Daily (8am-5:30pm) from April-June and September-November; 8am-6:30pm from July 1-August 31; 8am-5pm from November 5-March 31. The Imperial Tour is 14.20 EUR and takes 30-40 minutes, the Grand Tour is 17.50 and takes roughly 1 hour, the Classic Pass is 24 EUR and takes Three-Four hours, and the Sisi Ticket is 29.90 EUR and lasts a whole day. There can also be an audio information accessible in 21 totally different languages freed from cost.
Vienna State Opera
(Opernring 2, +43 1 514 44/2250, www.wiener-staatsoper.at) – Vienna is just about synonymous with opera. This opera home is without doubt one of the largest and most well-known on this planet and opera is a serious point of interest of Viennese life. For 9 EUR, you may take a 40-minute behind-the-scenes tour of the ability. To see a present, I like to recommend shopping for final minute standing room tickets for round 10 EUR (usually much less) the day of a present, normally round 60-80 minutes earlier than it begins (you may line up sooner than that, however they don’t begin promoting till proper earlier than the present). It’s first come, first serve and you may solely purchase 1 ticket per individual.
Opening hours: Varies each day for guided excursions and for performances.
(Prinz-Eugen-Strasse 27, +43 1 795570, www.belvedere.at) – This is certainly one of my favourite locations within the metropolis. The Belvedere is definitely two palaces. The northern palace is dwelling to an unimaginable artwork assortment with works by Renoir, Monet, and Van Gogh and a big portrait assortment (which is my favourite). The southern palace is a rotating exhibit corridor. The free grounds function lovely fountains, gravel walkways, ponds, statues, vegetation, and flowers and are prefect for stroll on a pleasant day.
Opening hours: Daily (10am-6pm). Admission is Eight-22 EUR, relying on how a lot you need to discover.
(Dorotheergasse 11, +43 1 5350431, www.jmw.at) – For centuries, Vienna was dwelling to a large Jewish inhabitants. Then the Nazis got here. This space of city options two essential museums: the Vienna Jewish Museum that particulars the position Viennese Jews performed within the growth of metropolis life; and the Medieval Synagogue, which provides a extra genuine have a look at the historical past of Jewish life in Vienna. There can also be the close by sober Holocaust memorial designed by British artist Rachel Whiteread.
Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday (10am-6pm), Friday (10am-2pm). Admission to the museum is 12 EUR for adults, with reductions accessible.
Natural History Museum
(Burgring 7, +43 1 521770, www.nhm-wien.ac.at) – The Natural History Museum options an enormous assortment of minerals, valuable stones, meteorites, fossils, and even some taxidermy as a result of stuffed animals and all! With over 30 million objects, the museum’s assortment is without doubt one of the largest in Europe. The museum can also be dwelling to a digital planetarium the place you may watch motion pictures in regards to the earth and its growth. I extremely suggest going (trigger house is superior).
Opening hours: Thursday-Monday (9am-6:30pm), Wednesday (9am-9pm). Admission is 10 EUR.
(Domgasse 5, +43 1 5121791, www.mozarthausvienna.at) – Though Mozart lived at a handful of various addresses in Vienna, that is the one residence that has survived. He lived right here from 1784-1787, and you’ll study his life, household, music, buddies, and are in a position to pay attention to his work. There’s quite a lot of work, artifacts, letters, and memorabilia from his life right here as effectively. It’s a neat little museum to try.
Opening hours: Daily (10am-7pm). Admission is 11 EUR.
(Berggasse 19, +43 1 3191596, www.freud-museum.at) – Sigmund Freud, the well-known founding father of psychoanalysis, lived on this apartment-turned-museum from 1891 to 1938. The museum was opened in 1971 with the assistance of Anna Freud (his youngest daughter) and is dwelling to the unique furnishings and Freud’s non-public assortment of antiques in addition to first editions of his works. There are additionally movies from his non-public life. It’s small and solely takes about an hour to go to.
Opening hours: Daily (10am-6pm). Admission is 12 EUR.
(Albertinaplatz 1, +43 1 53483, www.albertina.at) – The Albertina is without doubt one of the greatest museums within the metropolis (which says loads as a result of it is a metropolis of museums)! It’s housed in one of many outdated non-public residence wings of the Imperial Palace. It’s most well-known for its print assortment, which is comprised of over a million prints and 60,000 drawings. However, they’ve a whole lot of non permanent reveals that rotate by right here too, which I discovered to be the spotlight (I noticed one on Raphael).
Opening hours: Saturday-Tuesday, Thursday (10am-6pm), Wednesday and Friday (10am-9pm). Admission is 13 EUR for adults and free should you’re below 19.
Do a Wine Tour
(+ 43 12297334, www.discoverviennatours.com) Once you’ve had your fill of museums and palaces, take a motorcycle tour of the close by Wachau Valley. You’ll get to style a number of the greatest native wine whereas burning off a number of further energy (to make room for extra wine, after all!). It’s a full day tour (plan to spend Eight-10 hours on this) that features some sightseeing and lunch too. If you’re on the lookout for a tour operator, I recommend Discover Vienna Tours. They are who I take advantage of after I run excursions to Vienna and individuals find it irresistible. Honestly, it’s the quantity factor individuals bear in mind!
Tours go between April and October and value round 74 EUR per individual (with reductions accessible for college students).
Bratislava makes for an excellent day journey from Vienna. Located solely an hour away, you may simply head there for a day to discover its charming medieval middle, a number of castles, a cathedral, beer halls, eating places, and paths alongside the Danube. Bratislava is a comparatively small capital so it’s straightforward to get round on foot. Trains depart frequently from Vienna for as little as 10 EUR, whereas Flixbus runs a daily bus service with tickets beginning round 5 EUR. If you keep within the evening, Hostel Blues is my favourite hostel within the metropolis.
Explore Vienna Woods
This lovely woodland (referred to as Wienerwald) is positioned on the outskirts of town and is full of a whole lot of mountaineering paths. It’s positioned round 30km from town, extraordinarily well-liked with locals (few vacationers get on the market). If you don’t have a automobile, you may take public transportation or attempt the ride-sharing service BlaBlaCar.
Where to eat
Here’s an inventory of all my favourite eating places in Vienna:
- Figmueller (Wollzeile 5, +43 15126177) – Founded over 110 years in the past, the Figlmüller is known for its schnitzel. Yes, it’s tremendous touristy however the schnitzel is superb and it’s in regards to the dimension of your face so that you’ll have leftovers. Be positive to make reservations!
- Der Wiener Deewan (Liechtensteinstraße 10, +43 1 9251185) – This pay-what-you-want restaurant cooks Pakistani delicacies with wonderful daal, naan bread, and salad. It’s well-liked amongst college students (the college is close by). Don’t go in an enormous group otherwise you’ll by no means get a seat.
- Café Jelinek (Otto-Bauer-Gasse 5, +43 15974113) – This is certainly one of many espresso homes in Vienna. It’s cool, fashionable, serves nice drinks, and has comfortable tables.
- Japanisches Restaurant NihonBashi (Kärntner 44, +43 18907856) – This is the perfect sushi restaurant in Vienna. Not solely is the meals mouth watering but it surely has an in depth sake menu.
- Plutzer Bräu (Schrankgasse 2, +43 15261215) – A Westernized bar, this place has scrumptious Viennese meals, together with steaks, burgers, and numerous beer.
- Café Phil (Gumpendorfer 10, +43 15810489) – This cafe can also be a bookstore. It’s very laid again and an excellent place to individuals watch. They even have quick wifi, pleasant employees, and serve meals!
- L’Osteria Bräunerstraße (Bräunerstraße 11, +43 1512253610) – To die for Italian and pizza joint proper downtown with out of doors seatings, pleasant employees, and an enormous wine record.
- Restaurant Hidori (Burggasse 89, +43 15233900) – Another stable sushi place that additionally companies some fairly wonderful yakitori (grilled skewers).
- Café Sperl (Gumpendorfer 11, +43 15864158) – This conventional coffeehouse dates again to the 19th century and is dwelling to some scrumptious pastries. It was featured in Before Sunrise and A Dangerous Method.
Vienna has a whole lot of issues to do in see. Sure, there’s a whole lot of museums and, by the point you permit right here, you’ll have museum overload however there’s additionally a whole lot of nice strolling excursions, excursions exterior town, meals markets, locations to eat, and cafes to sit round with ebook in! Vienna won’t ever steer you mistaken!