For Many years Vienna was considered the epicentre of Europe when it came to commerce, trade, learning, culture and more even power. It was here that the Austrian Habsburgs made their home; and manipulated political powers from Croatia to Poland, and Switzerland to Russia. After its imperial fall, art, culture and political theory took the centre stage for its purpose.
It became a popular meeting place for the likes of Freud, Trotsky and Stalin, meeting for coffee and enjoying the smell of apple strudel from the surrounding cafes. Because of this rich history, it has so much to offer. Let’s take a closer look.
There is plenty of wonderful accommodation close to the airport. This makes it really easy for you to taxi from Vienna airport to Bratislava airport and continue your luxurious euro trip. But before you do that when staying in an imperial city, it makes sense that you stay in luxury accommodation. One of the most beautiful places you can stay in is the Ritz-Carlton. It is a combination of four 19th century palaces into one massive hotel. It isn’t just on this list because of its beauty, it is also incredibly well situated in order for you to easily access some of the city’s best attractions. It also hosts the Guerlain Spa, the very first in Austria. This spa features an 18-meter long indoor pool and even has underwater music for all guests.
Visit a Heuriger
The hills that surround Vienna are covered with vineyards and so it should come as no surprise that there are over 630 wine producers in the city. This has led to very prominent wine culture in the city. It is mainly dominated by white wines, but there are a few notable red ones, too.
Something that is unique to Vienna is the heuriger. This is a wine tavern quite similar to the German Biergarten. The tradition began in the 18th century as a place where wineries could sell their wine directly to consumers tax-free. They were nothing fancy and food was not allowed, but as time went on this changed. When visiting one today you get your pick of a variety of hot and cold items.
A few notable heuringen include:
Mayer am Pfarrplatz – This heuringer is found nestled at the base of the hills of Vienna and was once the home of Beethoven and he composed his 9th symphony here.
Wieninger – This cellar was once part of a monastery and was converted in the 18th century.
Heuriger Hirt – This heuriger is a favourite among locals for its lovely view of the city and the river. It also has a more laid-back atmosphere and an inexpensive menu.
The Schönbrunn Palace
The Schönbrunn Palace is a massive baroque complex and was the summer residence of the Imperial family. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and remains one of the most visited places in Vienna. We know that a palace tour is not for everyone, but this one is. It has a zoo, a carriage museum, a huge hedge maze, and breathtaking gardens. You will be left exploring all day. A must-see location is the dining hall that has been converted into Café Gloriette. It has an excellent bakery, delicious coffee and you can enjoy cocktails while you watch the sunset over Vienna.
After visiting the summer residence it makes sense that you would want to explore the old imperial family’s winter residence. Hofburg is described as the epicentre of the Habsburg Empire. When you take a look at the Sisi Museum, the Imperial Apartments and the Imperial Silver Collection, you will understand why. Another show of the sheer wealth that existed in these walls is that of the Imperial Treasury. Here you will be able to view the many priceless possessions of the Imperial family as well as catch a glimpse of the emperors’ crown.
For centuries Vienna has been synonymous with music. The likes of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss, have all called Vienna home. In an attempt to continue this tradition it has produced the Vienna Philharmonic and is home to the world-renowned Vienna Boys’ Choir. Its passion for music has been woven into the very makeup of the city, with one of its most beautiful buildings being The Vienna State Opera.
For a closer look into the lives of some of the musical greats, be sure to make a stop at the Museum of Sound. And for an even closer look at Mozart’s life be sure to visit the Mozarthaus, the last remaining apartment of the composer.
We hope that this list has helped you narrow down some of the things you want to do. With so many things to do in Vienna, you’ll want to come back time and time again.