The 5 Best Things to Do in Vienna
1. Visit the Museums
Vienna is a city rich with culture and history making for many important and extensive museums. Here are some of my favorites:
Museum of Military History
The Museum of Military History offers an interesting insight into the history of war in Austria. It focuses mainly on WWI history, even exhibiting the car that Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand road in during his assassination, the assassination that famously sparked the beginning of World War One. Tickets can be bought at the door. If you have a student I.D, be sure to ask for a discount.
Cost €16 or €11 under 26 years old
The Albertina is Vienna’s premier art museum. The museum exhibits works from all different periods and styles. Currently on display is a large Monet exhibition. However, they are constantly rotating and updating their exhibitions. For tickets online, click here.You can also buy tickets at the door, make sure to show an I.D for an under 26 discount!
2. Go to Bratislava for a day
When in Vienna, it might be worthwhile to take a day trip to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. The two cities are only an hour apart, making them the two closest capital cities in Europe. Once in Bratislava there is plenty to do, here are a couple of things you won’t want to miss:
Seeing the Castle
Bratislava Castle sits atop a hill in central Bratislava. It is the capital’s biggest tourist attraction and best viewpoint. The castle and it’s grounds are free to walk around. However, if you want to go to the history museum within the castle, you will have to fork up €7.
Seeing the Bridge
After walking the castle grounds I recommend heading to Bratislava’s most famous bridge, Most SNP, known by locals as UFO Bridge. UFO Bridge is a marvel of engineering, being the largest bridge in the world completely held up by cables. No pillars reach into the Danube River below to stabilize it.
Try Some Local Food
Finally, stop into a nearby restaurant to try some Slovakian food. I recommend the Slovak goulash. Restaurants line the streets of the historic city so you should have no problem finding a traditional Slovakian restaurant no matter where you are in the city.
3. See an Opera
Vienna is home to one of the world’s premier opera houses and, thanks to an age-old tradition, it is affordable for everyone. The Vienna Opera House offers standing seats for €3 to €4 (for operas that would often cost €200+ for regular seats). There is an entire culture surrounding standing seats at the Vienna Opera House and some special customs you will be expected to follow. If you are interested in going to the opera, I recommend reading my full post on the Vienna Opera House for all the information you will need, click here.
4. Try Viennese Coffee and Strudel
Vienna is famous for its specialty coffee and strudel. In Vienna’s central downtown there are many famous coffee shops that specialize in viennese coffee and strudel. Some of my favorites are Cafe Central and Demel.
At Cafe Central expect to wait in line for several minutes before being seated. The line moves at a fairly steady pace and the treats that await you on the other end are well worth the wait! Demel allows you to view the pastry chefs at work. Both, offer delicious coffee and strudel!
5. Go to Schönbrunn Palace
Schönbrunn palace is the palace and former center of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Inside you will be walked through the history of Austria’s most famous and eccentric Kings and Queens. Tickets can be bought at the door or online. Three different options are given, the Imperial Tour, the Grand Tour and the Classic Pass. They cost €14.20, €17.50, and €24 respectively. I recommend buying the Classic Pass to see the most of the palace and learn the most about it’s history.
After doing the palace tour, you can walk the extensive gardens for free. At the cost of an extra ticket, you can visit the Schönbrunn zoo or botanical gardens located within the palace grounds (did I mention that the gardens are extensive?). If zoos and botanical gardens aren’t your thing, you can head to the top of the hill behind the palace for a beautiful view over Vienna.
For more about Vienna, click here.