Best Things to Do in Vienna, Austria :
Vienna is one of those destinations that best suits the refined. Excellent music, majestic palaces, beautiful galleries and fine wines to drink. But don’t despair if you’re like me and prefer the simple things in life, like coffee shops. Yes, Vienna has it all. Keep reading for my list of top things in Vienna.
The Hofburg Imperial Palace is the major imperial palace complex in the heart of Vienna. There are all kinds of options for touring the Hofburg. Or you can just hang out on the many green spaces outside the palace and enjoy life. I recommend doing both.
And don’t forget to check out the Spanish Riding School perform Strauss’s “The Blue Danube” with those white Lipizzaner horses.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the iconic cathedral that sits in the heart of Vienna. In fact, this Gothic masterpiece dominates the center of the city.
The cathedral’s colorful roof makes this cathedral particularly memorable. Indeed, 230,000 tiles form a mosaic of a double-headed eagle. This is the emblem of the Hapsburgs, Austria’s former rulers.
They even have an elevator inside that goes to the top of the cathedral. No need to hit those winding medieval stairs to get those city views. Me, I kind of like the stairs. Part of the fun.
The Belevedere Museum is the former home of two giants of European history. Both Prince Eugene of Savoy and Archduke Franz Ferdinand lived here.
Now the buildings display some of the most renowned European artists. See the works of Gustav Klimt like you have never seen them before!
Schönbrunn Palace is the summer residence of the former imperial family. It is a baroque marvel with incredible gardens.
Tour the Palace and then head out to check in on those stunning views of and from the Gloriette in the Gardens.
Since your at Schönbrunn, well then you need to visit the world’s oldest zoo. Who knew? The Zoo was originally the “menagerie” of Emperor Francis Stephen of Lorraine. It’s funny (interesting) how many zoo’s started for the entertainment of the monarchs of old.
There are more than 700 animal species of animals living in one of the most beautiful zoo settings you will find.
Viennese coffee houses are an important aspect of Viennese culture. We all want to immerse ourselves in a culture when travel. Sometimes it’s not easy. But going for coffee? Now that’s something you can work with! My favourite is Café Central.
And did you know that “Viennese Coffee House Culture” is listed as “Intangible Cultural Heritage” by the National Agency for the Intangible Cultural Heritage? UNESCO listed!
I didn’t even know intangibles were listed before doing the research prior to visiting Vienna.
Vienna and Music
It’s hard to write about Vienna and not discuss music. Music is such a huge part of Vienna and such an expansive topic to write about, I am planning on leaving that to a separate blog post.
Think Mosart, Beethoven, Strauss and Schubert. Think concerts, operas and festival. Vienna has it all when it comes to classical music.