Vienna, Austria is a city rich with history and culture. With so much going on, it can be hard to pick what to do and prioritize on your visit there. There are palaces, museums, day trips and of course lots of local food and culture to experience. We've compiled this list of some of our highlights to help get you started planning your journey to this amazing place.
With many courtyards and cobbled streets in the oldest parts of the city, a walking tour will be the best way to get your bearings and see some highlights of the Hapsburg Empire. Most walking tours will take about two hours, and your Kingdom Konsultant Agent can help you find the best one for your needs. There are beautiful sculptures throughout the old parts of the city, so you don't even need to go into museums to start to see beautiful art. I personally love to start my visit to a new city with a walking tour, it helps me get the lay of the land and see a few highlights before diving deeper into any particular thing.
The summer palace of the Hapsburgs is surrounded by sprawling gardens that you can easily spend hours wondering. The palace is a quick trip outside the city easily made by public transport. There are a variety of ticket options to get you into the palace and gardens and you can save a few by combining the entrance with other popular attractions like the Hofburg Palace and Sisi Museum. The inside of the palace will take about an hour to an hour and a half with a guided audio tour (no photos allowed inside, but it is stunning!) but be sure to leave yourself ample times to explore the gardens. There is something to take in around every corner. There is even a playground and labyrinth which is fun for all ages, but a great option for kids (make sure your ticket includes entrance to this!) Don't forget to go up to the Gloriette for sweeping views of the grounds. There is a cafe at the top that can be a perfect stop for lunch.
Take in the Music
Vienna is known for having an amazing orchestra and many famous classical composers have history here. There are tons of options for taking in a show, and we highly recommend packing a nice outfit and taking an evening to take in the musical culture here. While many of the concerts that occur regularly are designed for the tourist crowd, they are still very talented artists and held in historic and beautiful locations.
Eat Like a Local
Wiener Schnitzel is a regional classic and is made the traditional way here, with veal. If veal isn't your thing, the region also has great pork and mushrooms. We highly recommend trying a classic wiener schnitzel on your visit though. They can be big, if you aren't sure you'll love it (we did!) it might be worth ordering one to share.
If sweets are more your thing, apple strudel is very popular in this region of the world and Vienna is home to the chocolate cake, the Sacher torte. If you are feeling extra, you can even go to the Sacher Cafe for a Sacher torte where it was created!
Visit a Cafe
Cafe culture is a whole vibe in Vienna. The most famous and popular one is Cafe Central, which will likely have a line but it will move quick and is a beautiful stop for a coffee and sweet treat. It is in a nice central location so easy to get to if you are visiting some of the older sites in town. If you want a more relaxed atmosphere, try to find a cafe a little more off the beaten path. Try asking your hotel concierge or front desk for their favorites. They all have your basic coffee selections but Viennese coffee can get very elaborate and the coffee menu will be extensive (hot chocolate is typically also available.) Cafes are also great places for dessert, as they often have a lovely selection of cakes and treats to choose from.
Bonus: Wachau Valley
If you have a bit more time in your visit to Vienna, we had an absolutely wonderful time taking the day trip out to the Wachau Valley wine region. Your Kingdom Konsultant agent can help you find the perfect tour to fit your travel needs as there are a few options to get you out there. The most popular one we saw was a bike tour through the region. There are beautiful views studded with vineyards and apricot orchards, wine tastings galore, adorable medieval towns and you are right along the river and can take in a little river cruise between the small towns as well!
What is your favorite thing about Vienna? Or if you haven't been yet, what are you most looking forward to when you visit?