Vienna, or Wien in German, is Austria’s capital and is an absolutely beautiful city full of so much to see and do. My Grandfather grew up in Austria (Salzburg) prior to migrating to the USA, so this was a very special trip for me.
Vienna is just a 4 hour train ride from Prague and a one hour bus ride to Bratislava.
When To Go:
Spring, Summer and Fall are the high seasons for tourism, but the winter has its own special charm. There is an abundance of Christmas Markets strewn throughout the city, making it so incredibly festive, it’s like a fairy tale!
Where To Stay:
We are always faithful users of Airbnb, because I LOVE to cook and we always have Miesha with us (our fluffy dog). Our Airbnb in Vienna totally chic and modern. It’s in a perfect location nestled outside the city (10 minute train ride), with an accommodating host. We LOVE staying in local neighborhoods when we travel, as we get more of a traveller experience instead of just being tourists and this Airbnb was a perfect fit for what we wanted.
For $33 off your first AIRBNB booking, click HERE:
How To Get Around:
SUBWAY: The subway is super easy to use in Vienna, although it is more pricey than Prague or Budapest.
WALKING: As always, you can get some exercise in and save some cash by walking, but if you’re staying outside of the city, it will be quite a long trek!
UBER: We were SO happy that Uber was available in Vienna. The Uber’s were affordable and reliable, much like everywhere else.
Where To Eat:
Since 1905, Figlmuller has been making its famous original schnitzel. There are two different locations, just around the corner from each other: Figlmuller Wollzeile and Figlmuller Backerstrase. Two brothers are still maintaining the fourth generation restaurant today. You MUST get the schnitzel, but note that it is HUGE, so you can easily share it amongst two or three people. Be SURE to make a RESERVATION far in advance, as this is a VERY popular restaurant. Luckily, we snuck in without one, just the two of us, but we had to eat fairly quickly.
A cozy, relaxing restaurant, with delicious Austrian beer, food, and desserts! Do note the portions are VERY large here. We loved this restaurant so much, we ate here twice!
Photo Credit: https://www.austria.info/us/austria/food-wine-you-wont-forget/naschmarkt-vienna
The most popular market in Vienna, with local foods, beer, treats, produce and so much more! It’s a sight to see and a great place to eat, all at once! Check the weather before you go…it was pouring rain when we visited and would’ve been much more enjoyable to stroll around in good weather, as it’s an outdoor market.
Local Foods To Try:
There are SO many delicious foods and treats to eat in Vienna, you’ll surely gain 10 pounds while visiting (but I PROMISE, it’s worth it)!
Wiener Schnitzel is a thinly sliced, breaded, pan-fried veal cutlet. If you only try one food in Vienna, let this be it (unless you’re a vegetarian, of course).
If you love sausage, then you’ve come to the right country. Be SURE to get the one with cheese inside, you’ll thank me later! There are sausage stands all over the city and at every market, making it a perfectly delicious cheap meal or snack.
Shredded potatoes pan seared and served with sour cream or other dipping sauces. Pure heaven.
Photo Credit: https://www.austria.info/uk/things-to-do/food-and-drink/favourite-austrian-recipes/kaesespaetzle
Since my Grandparents are both from Germany, I grew up constantly eating spatzle, which is basically a doughy noodle made of flour, egg and salt.
Photo Credit: https://www.wien.info/en/shopping-wining-dining/viennese-cuisine/recipes/viennese-goulash
While goulash originated in Hungary, each country in this region has their own version of the hearty dish. Goulash is essentially a beef stew, served with potatoes or dumplings. Its the perfect dish for the cold winter months.
My Grandfathers favorite dessert, Apfelstrudel is a warm apple cake served with ice cream. Wash it down with plum schnapps, and you’ve got yourself the perfect treat.
Viennese chocolate cake. This wasn’t my favorite, but of course, I still ate the whole piece.
Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaiserschmarrn
A shredded fluffy pancake full of yummy goodness.
Viennese chocolate shops are all over the city. Heindl, Mamner, and Lindt are the most popular. Personally, I’m in love with Mamner’s thin wafters and Motzarkugeln. Be sure to check them out!
Photo Credit: https://www.praguevisitor.eu/prague-by-fork/
Hot wine is life while visiting Vienna in the cold winter months. My favorite day was spent roaming around the Christmas Market sipping hot wine and looking at all the booths.
What To Do:
If you’re a tourist that likes to visit the inside of all the major sights, to save some cash, it’s best to purchase the Vienna City Card or Vienna Pass. Take a look at the table below to see which one is best for you.
|City Cards Review||Vienna Pass||City Card|
|Free entry to attractions||YES||NO|
|Free use of public traffic in core zone||NO||YES|
|Free use of Hop on Hop Off buses||YES||NO|
|Discounts at attractions and much more||NO||YES|
|Free airport transfer||YES||NO|
|Price for 1 day||€ 59,00||€ 13,90|
|Price for 2 days||€ 79,00||€ 21,90|
|Price for 3 days||€ 99,00||€ 24,90|
|Price for 6 days||€ 124,00||N/A|
This enormous, 1,441-room palace is the former imperial summer residence and is a MUST see while visiting Vienna. This place is massive and you could literally spend an entire day wandering around all its rooms and gardens.
Hours: Apr-Jun/Sept-Nov 8am-5:30pm, Jul/Aug: 8am-6:30pm, Nov-Mar 8am-5pm
Cost: Price varies by access. 22-room access €14.20, 40 rooms €17.50
The Imperial Palace of Vienna and the residence of the rulers of Austria until the end of WWI.
Hours: Sept-Jun 9am-5:30pm, July-Aug 9am-6pm
Belvedere Palace Museum:
A GIANT Baroque Palace that houses Austria’s most prestigious and valuable art collections.
Hours: 9am-6pm M-Sun
Cost: €20 for upper and lower Belvedere
St. Stephens Cathedral:
The STUNNING gothic church of Vienna.
Hours: M-Sat 6am-10pm, Sun 7am-10pm
Cost: : €5.50
Karlskirche-St. Charles Church:
A beautiful baroque domed church.
Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-12:30pm; Sat-Sun 1-6pm
Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albertina
A famous museum with over 65,000 drawings and 1 million old master prints.
Hours: 10am-6pm, W/F 10am-9PM
Vienna State Opera House:
One of the world’s most prestigious Opera Houses, Vienna State Oper house cannot be missed. It’s a beautiful building from both the interior and exterior.
Hours: Varies by month, check calendar online. Must reserve tour.
Cost: €9,00 for a 40-minute guided tour
Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunsthistorisches_Museum
The famous art museum of Vienna.
Cost: € 15
Vienna’s City Hall, the Rathaus was one of my favorite buildings in Vienna from the exterior, partially because there is a giant Christmas Market that takes place just outside.
Hours: M-F 7:30am-6pm
Cost: Free guided tours M/W/F 1pm
Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundertwasserhaus
For an architectural highlight, be sure to visit the exterior of the Hundertwasserhaus, an apartment complex built by the famous architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
My favorite part of Vienna was the Christmas market, located just beside Rathaus. Strolling through the market, sipping hot wine, eating sausage and perusing all the booths was the highlight of our trip. We must’ve stayed at this small market for two hours!
McFit is one of the largest gyms I’ve ever been in. This gym has three massive floors full of equipment and offers group fitness classes as well. Oliver, the manager, was especially kind to us and did not charge us entry for the entire week because we were just passing through Vienna as tourist.