A holiday to Vienna is all about embracing history, and pastry, in equal measure.
With this in mind there are royal palaces galore, whole areas dedicated to museums and an endless supply of pastries to get stuck in to.
If that sounds like your idea of a good time then here are the best 10 things to do, see and eat in Vienna:
1 | Tour the Hofburg Palace
The 13th century Hofburg Palace is one of the most extensive royal properties in Vienna and is open to the public.
First start your tour at the Imperial Apartments and explore the royal reading rooms, bedrooms and dining areas. Inside the palace there are said to be thousands of rooms, and each one is said to be more beautiful than the last.
After admiring the way the royals used to live, move on to explore the Imperial Silver Collection and the Sisi Museum. Lastly, end your visit of the Hofburg Palace at the Spanish Riding School with it’s gorgeous equine collection. In addition, if you’re visiting on a Sunday then pop in to the Chapel and hear the choir.
2 | Visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is one of the most impressive sites in Vienna. It is therefore one of the best places to include in a travel itinerary.
The towers of St. Stephen’s cathedral jut far beyond the cobbles below, and speak of Gothic roots and a romantic past. Whilst the sight of the Cathedral from the ground is exquisite, it’s also worth heading to the top for some of the best views over Vienna.
3 | Fall in love with ballet at the Vienna State Opera
If you have a free evening and enjoy the arts, I’d recommend catching a show at the Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera). This much loved icon of Viennese culture is not only beautifully made, but it also hosts some of the most varied artists. We especially love watching ballet in the grand hall, and the live orchestra makes the experience so much more special.
If you’d like to go but don’t have time for a full show then you can also book a guided tour.
4 | Take part in an event at the Vienna Rathaus
The Rathaus is a gorgeous example of neo-gothic architecture, and festivals and events are often held on the Rathausplatz. The first of many such events will be the winter ice rink, open from January until March.
In addition to this, various festivals are held year round, ending with a giant Christmas market in November and December.
5 | Lunch at Naschmarkt, Vienna’s biggest food market
The Naschmarkt is known as being the biggest and best open-air food market in Vienna. Located just south of the Ringstrasse, vendors line up to sell a variety of goods.
We love how the stalls spread far and wide, full of olives, exotic sweets, baked goodies, fresh fish and meat and a range of local delicacies.
In addition there are also a number of restaurants within the Naschmarkt, so definitely come hungry and make a morning of it!
6 | Tour the cobbles on a horse drawn carriage
Part of the charm of Vienna’s old town lies in its winding cobbled streets, and the most romantic way to explore them is by horse drawn carriage.
If you’d like a ride then find the carriages on the cobbled roundabout which is adjacent to the Hofburg Palace.
7 | Turn in to a kid again in Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier
The MuseumsQuartier stretches just south of the Ringstrasse, and is an area composed of some of the best museums in Vienna. The various museums offer their own insight on the history of Vienna.
If you enjoy more classical works then you’ll love the Leopold Museum with its collection of Austrian fine art.
Whilst all of the museums deserve a visit, we love the Naturhistorisches Museum (Natural History Museum) best, and in particular its burgeoning gem collection..
8 | Breakfast at 25 Hours Vienna
If you haven’t already booked accommodation then I’d definitely recommend looking in to 25 Hours Vienna, and not just because of their incredible breakfast spread…
…All the fresh, warm, buttery croissants you can eat…
25 Hours Vienna boasts an excellent location in between the Rathaus and the MuseumsQuartier, being just 5 minutes walk to each. Furthermore, the Hofburg Palace is just a 10 minute walk away.
Stay tuned for my hotel profile for 25 Hours Vienna
9 | Try all the tortes at Demel
No trip to Vienna would be complete without indulging in some cakes, and the best can be had at Demel Konditorei.
Founded in the late 18th century, Demel is also handily located in front of the Hofburg on the Kohlmarkt.
Provided that you have enough time, I’d suggest making a few trips to Demel to try and do their enormous selection of cakes justice.
Just look at them…
10 | Feel the festive magic
Vienna is the sort of place which is pretty at most times of year. If you’re there over spring and summer then the good weather will only make your trip better. On the other hand the Christmas markets, open in November and December, add a real festive cheer.
Why not just go twice ;)
Have you been to Vienna? What would you recommend seeing?