Vienna, Austria is the one place in the world that really surprised me. Vienna cafe scene, style, art and some of the best spots in Vienna are something truly unique. Also the Austrian attention to every design detail is present all over the city.
I didn’t expect to be impresses by Vienna at first, as I’ve seen most of the Europe. I didn’t think I’d see something new. Being more of a jungle and nature person over architecture and historical buildings, I thought that the buildings won’t impress me much. But they really did!
We arrived to Vienna by bus from Prague, Czech Republic to the bus statin that’s on the side of the city. Nothing impressive so far. But when we walked out from the metro which took us to the centre of Vienna, things changed and I thought to myself “OMG”! This city is magical.
The city was all in white. Massive royally decorated gorgeous facades of impressive white buildings were all around me, making me feel like I’m in a fairytale. The fresh winter air, sense of style and the incredible buildings around me made my head spin from excitement of discovering such an incredible city.
A fun fact about Vienna: The Wine capital
The wine culture in Vienna is really blooming. It’s no surprise as Vienna is the only capital in the world that provides significant quantity of wine within the city itself. There are almost 700 hectares of vineyards and around 200 vintners in the city.
A great way to experience the wince culture in Vienna is to enjoy it in the local Wine bars, stay at Wine themed hotels and walk the Vienna’s Wine Trail if you are visiting specifically in autumn.
Top things to do in Vienna, Austria
Vienna is so rich with beautiful and inspiring places to visit. A visit to some of them would depend on the weather and the season when you are exploring the city. I’d say that there’s no best time to visit Vienna, as it’s striking awesome all year around.
However during the autumns and winter which is september to april, it’s important to bring proper clothing, including couple of warm sweaters, raincoat and umbrella.
If you are visiting Vienna in summer, you will be able to enjoy the long sunshine accompanied walks, picnics in parks and other summer activities. However during winter, you still get beautiful walks but don’t feel so bad about spending a lot of time indoors.
Vienna has so many beautiful buildings, art spaces and the chic Vienna cafe scene, that you can have an amazing time in the capital of Austria, pretty much without stepping out on the streets. You’d still have managed to experience part of the very best spots in Vienna.
The top places to visit in Vienna during any season:
Rathausplatz is the main place where to go in search form awesome events or activities. It’s located in front of a majestic building that looks like a fairy tale castle but actually is a town hall. The park next to the town hall is the place where Christmas market and ice-skating rink is located during winter time. During other seasons the place offers different events like film festivals, circuses, restaurants food stands and more.
This place is not just another architectural masterpiece but also a grandiose square with an important historical value. There are several impressive historic buildings located around the square including St. Michael’s Gate to the Hofburg Palace and St. Michael’s Church. The Michaelerplatz is also one of our absolute favourite photo spots in Vienna, as the colours of the square and the royal vibe adds that extra something.
Along with the royal architectural masterpieces that Vienna is rich with, stands a special artistic masterpiece called a Hundertwasser House. It’s a house designed in different colours and shapes in a fun and playful way. It feels so unique to look at something like that and picture yourself actually living in this building.
The Hundertwasser House is a home for many residents and each one of the do have a right to decorate the façade around the windows entirely to their own taste. More than 200 trees and shrubs on the balconies and roof terraces make the Hundertwasser House a beautifully green oasis in the heart of the city
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
When looking for the most beautiful places to visit in Vienna during winter when you can’t just chill around in parks, the St. Stephen’s Cathedral really stood out. One of the towers totally reminded me of Sagrada Familia, the famous cathedral in Barcelona, Spain. It’s actually possible to climb up two towers of St. Stephen’s Cathedral which is both, a great work out and a chance to see an awesome view of Vienna from above. That’s for sure a great way how to experience a city.
The Albertina museum is another place that we picked to visit thanks to it’s beautiful building and the surroundings. The entrance of the museum is a level higher above the streets of Vienna, giving a possibility to look around from above, but not as high as the Stephen’s Cathedral tower though.
The area around the museum is packed with royal buildings, sophisticated looking parks and even a butterfly garden next door. It’s worth a visit for the outside and inside both, as it holds the largest drawing and old master print collection with more than million art works.
St. Peter’s Church
Peterskirche in Vienna is another example of awesome street views, where busy city life in between fashion stores, jewellery and kids stores, design rooms and Vienna cafe masterpieces hides stunning architectural finds.
St. Peter’s Church stands right in the middle of all the city buzz and is another beautiful sightseeing photo spot in Vienna.
A fun fact about Vienna: Inventors of the snow globe
Vienna was a home of the person who invented the snow globe more than 100 years ago. It started as an attempt by a fine instruments mechanic, who was tying to improve the brightness of lightbulbs for a surgical lamp, but ended up accidentally inventing one of the most popular Christmas elements ever. There’s actually no surprise there as everyone in Vienna seems very creative. You’ll see that, once you are there.
Some describe these gardens as a delicious peanut butter and jelly mix in between two slices of bread. The two parts of the Belvedere palace symbolizes the bread. The gardens are on the top of the best spots in Vienna list as they are in the middle of a beautiful place with sculpted hedges, graceful fountains, and cherubic statues, creating a real historical movie feeling. The gardens and the lake are nice compliments to the magical buildings around them, leaving it’s visitors speechless yet again of how sophisticated and royal Vienna really is.
The Museum Quartier is one of the largest and most exciting museum quarters in the world. It’s unique because it offers some of the best art collections in the world for example at the Museum of Contemporary art, in combination with lively restaurants, cafes and bars. It’s a popular meeting spot for people with a creative outdoor lounge furniture for people to enjoy. Another creative aspect of Vienna.
How to get around Vienna
Vienna is very conveniently located in the middle of Europe and it’s very easy to get to it from nearby countries, as well as to move around it using the well-developed transport system.
Many people visit Vienna as a part of their Eurotrip, coming from Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and more. There are many great bus options, for example Flixbus, that we used ourselves. It’s the cheapest and most flexible option, in my opinion. Another great option is taking train from Prague to Vienna or from other nearby cities.
Vienna does have an international airport as well, so air travel is also a good idea, if you’re coming from further away.
Once you get to Vienna, it’s really easy to move around using a public transport. Our favourite way of transport was Metro, that’s connecting all the main areas of Vienna and is super easy to understand, as all the stops and directions are always clearly marked. However, there are also many tram, bus and train lines at your service. Everything was reliable, clean, safe and understandable.
The tickets for all these transports can be bought from machines at metro stations and other points of sale across Vienna. Just always remember to validate your ticket at special validation machine before using the transport. The ticket costs just over 2 EUR and are the cheapest way how to move around Vienna besides walking.
For that extra bit of comfort, there’s also an Uber available in Vienna if you don’t feel like taking a public transport.
A fun fact about Vienna: One of the best cities in the world
Vienna has repeatedly been voted as one of the most livable cities in the world for by the Economist Intelligence Unit. It’s been in the top from almost 10 years, voted in the second place behind Melbourne, Australia in 2017.
Where to eat in Vienna
The food and drinks culture in Vienna is awesome. The first things that came to my mind before visiting the city was an apple strudel and great coffee scene. As it turns out, I wasn’t wrong at all.
But what I didn’t know then was the fact, that Austrians are creative in every aspect of life, including in the Vienna cafe culture. We found so many interesting places where to eat and each of them had some unique edge or a cool concept.
This distinctive style cafe/ concept store can best be described as a mash-up of vintage jungle with mid-century mod accents in its offer of vintage, handpicked clothing. The shopping experience is combined with a breakfast menu, selection of drinks and snacks. Great and busy place where to feel the real Vienna vibes.
Location: Burggasse 24, Vienna, Austria
A perfect breakfast place till 4 pm. They have a great choice of breakfast dishes from huevos rancheros to British breakfast. The breakfast doesn’t stop even during lunch time when they can be combined with delicious tacos and different vegan and vegetarian dishes.
Location: Neustiftgasse 27, Vienna, Austria
Here is the place for a healthy and raw vegan food and the best gluten-free lunch. The place also sells high quality Vegan superfoods, tea, chocolate, bread, pastry, different cooking materials and cosmetics. This is a very popular healthy food spot in Vienna, so expect it to be packed all the time.
Location: Kochgasse 34, Vienna, Austria
This is one of the Austrian favourite middle eastern cuisine. It offers very authentic Arabian and Jewish food, rich with tastes and aromas. This restaurant is bit more pricey but will provide a great food experience.
Location: Naschmarkt 510, Vienna, Austria
The concept of this place is what makes it fun to eat there. They have their menu written on the wall with a crayon and some other stuff on paper bags. They have a great little humus bar with toppings and pita to snack on while waiting for food. Be prepared for very active and friendly atmosphere.
Location: Schulerstraße 4, Vienna, Austria
A great place for daytime and nightlife. By day it’s an artistic coffee with a restaurant character by day. In the evening it transforms to a lively bar and early in the morning turns to a post-going-out chill spot.
Location: Zollergasse 8, Vienna, Austria
A fun fact about Vienna: Home of the biggest number of famous composers
More famous composers have lived here than anywhere else in the world. Mozart, Beethoven, Joseph Haydn and Johann Strauss. Their homes have now been converted into museums and are open to visitors.
Where to stay in Vienna
Same as the trendy and hipp Vienna cafes, also the hotel scene offers some unique options of choice where to stay in Vienna. This is the city where art and design, creative ideas, quality of service and great experiences are the priority. Therefore our suggesting for you of where to stay in Vienna includes boutique hotels, that offers all the mentioned components.
Hotel Altstadt Vienna
The slogan of this wonderful boutique hotel in a central location of Vienna is “Art of Hospitality”. That really stands out in the whole experience that this hotel offers to their guests. Click here to read more about our experience at Hotel Altstadt Vienna to find out why this was one of the most memorable hotel stays ever. Also get ready to get much more out of your stay than what you paid for.
Hotel Rathaus – Wein & Design
The hotel is located in Vienna’s 8th district and is the TOP pick for wine lovers. Hotel Rathaus – Wein & Design has an extensive wine list with over 450 top Austrian wines.
Each room is dedicated to a specific winemaker and offers some of their best-selling wines in the minibar. Staying here will be a time well spent in a vinophile atmosphere.
With a modern and powerful design and a location right by the Vienna’s beautiful shopping streets, Hotel Topazz will impress you and make you feel like a king or queen. Great service and excellence in design is what stands out in this hotel.
The perfect location and the cozy and stylish design will make Hotel Kärntnerhof as another great candidate for the best stay in Vienna. Decorated in a blend of the Viennese Art Nouveau and Italian elegance the hotel will feel like home away from home.
A fun fact about Vienna:
Vienna is a home of many historic buildings and establishments. For example Vienna is the home of the oldest functioning zoo – Tiergarten Schönbrunn which is founded in 1752.