See how the Royals lived
Vienna once lay at the heart of the massive Austro-Hungarian Empire, and vestiges of the Royals still remain, prominent among these the Hofburg and Schönbrunn palaces. The Hofburg palace has played host to some of the most powerful people in the country’s history, and is currently the official residence of the President of Austria. The Schönbrunn palace was the Royals’ summer residence, and in addition to its stunning interior, contains sprawling grounds dotted with flowers and fountains.
Image Courtesy: globeimages.net
Visit one of Vienna’s famous coffee houses
Known as Kaffeehäuser, Vienna’s coffee houses are world-famous, and in addition to the atmosphere and the coffee, particularly during winter, the venues can be great places to try sweet Austrian delicacies, such as Apfelstrudel (hot apple strudel), Millirahmstrudel (milk-cream strudel), Palatschinken (sweet pancakes), Knödel (dumplings), and Rehrücken (chocolate cake). Visitors will also undoubtedly be tempted to try the Sachertorte at the Hotel Sacher – a renowned chocolate cake with apricot jam, with a reputation for being sinfully rich.
Image Courtesy: sacher.com
Attend a concert or opera
Vienna’s past and present are suffused in music, and any visit to the city would be incomplete if it did not involve an opera or a concert. Popular venues for the musically-inclined include the spectacular State Opera House, the Volksoper Wien, the Konzerthaus, and the Musikverein. Listening to the Vienna Boys' Choir is also a must if you are passionate about music.
Image Courtesy: worldwideticketing.com
Go on a spending frenzy
Vienna is a shopper’s dream, and the Mariahilferstrasse – a more than one-mile-long street dotted with shops that sell everything from designer boots to chocolate – is a one-stop fix for all shopaholics, while Kartnerstrasse and Graben are also great shopping streets. Another option is the Naschmarkt – Vienna’s most popular outdoor market – which sells a wide array of food, from fruit and vegetables to local restaurant stalls, and also doubles as a flea market.
Image Courtesy: 4.bp.blogspot.com
Try Wiener Schnitzel
The most popular and well-known dish in Viennese cuisine, the Wiener Schnitzel is a cutlet of veal or pork that is pounded until it is flat, crumbed, and fried in clarified butter, and nearly every Viennese restaurant, such as the Figlmuller, serves the Schnitzel. To get a taste of Viennese cuisine, visitors can also try the Tafelspitz (lean boiled beef), or sample street fare such as sausages, kebab and pizza.
Image Courtesy: schick-hotels.com
Ride the streetcar along Ring Road
The Ring are a series of roads which run around the old part of the city, and also run past its main attractions – a streetcar ride along Ring Road can be a great way to acquaint yourself with the city, and it will take you past the main attractions, namely the Hofburg, the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts), the Museum of Natural History, the Burg theater, the State Opera House, and Vienna’s City Park.
Image Courtesy: cache.virtualtourist.com
Watch the Lipizzan stallions perform
For a unique experience, purchase tickets to watch the Lipizzan stallions give a unique ballet performance, accompanied by classical music, at the Spanish Riding School of Vienna. The horses come from Lipizza, a region known for producing what is widely considered the most superior classical breed of race horse, and in addition to viewing performances, you can also attend a public viewing of a training session.
Image Courtesy: srslondon.co.uk
Enjoy the view from the Wiener Riesenrad
An iconic symbol of Vienna, and the inspiration behind the London Eye, the Wiener Riesenrad is a Ferris wheel located in the Prater park, and one of the city’s most popular tourists attractions. Built in 1897, in honour of Emperor Franz Josef I’s golden Jubilee, the Ferris wheel was the largest in the world at the time. While it doesn’t hold that record anymore, the Wiener Riesenrad is still a great way to enjoy a bird’s eye view of Vienna and appreciate the city from up high.
Image Courtesy: erasmusinvienna.com
Enjoy the nightlife
Vienna has a vibrant nightlife, and the city is brimming over with clubs and cafes. Among the most popular is U4, which has played host to international stars Prince, Kurt Cobain, and Johnny Depp, to name a few. Other options include A Danceclub, Roter Engel, and Passage, while the Albertgasse 39 and Skybar are both among the most chic locations in the city.
Image Courtesy: event1001.com
Visit the Vienna Zoo
The Vienna Zoo, also known as the Tiergarten Schönbrunn, is the world’s oldest zoo, and is located in the grounds of the Schönbrunn Palace. Initially established as an imperial menagerie in 1752, the zoo is now open to public, and in addition to the ubiquitous elephants and big cats, also houses rare creatures such as red pandas, porcupines and jackals.
Image Courtesy: tripadvisor.com