Last weekend I visited Vienna and immediately fell in love with the city. Beautiful buildings, amazing coffee and so much to see and explore. I want to share with you my favourite places and must-visit spots. This definitely won’t be the last time I visited this amazing city.
I recommend you to stay three or more days to visit all the important sights and also have some time for the less touristic spots. We had 4 days which was perfect for us but we also got up early and our days were fully planned 😀
Accomodation & Getting around
I recommend you to stay at a hotel which is located in the inner city center or near a train station. We stayed at the Ruby Lissi hotel which had a great location and a good breakfast. We did most of the sights by walking there – I always like walking around in new cities because by foot you get so see so much more and are able to explore new places. We also bought a Vienna Pass with which you can visit most of the sights for free and use all hop-on/hop-off sightseeing busses. If you want to visit a lot of the sights and/or museums I can recommend the Vienna Pass because you don’t have to worry about buying tickets. But you should have a look at which sights you really want to see and how much they cost. Just check which option is cheaper for you. Public transport is also quite cheap in Vienna.
Inner city circle
St Stephens Cathedral – this impressive cathedral is a must visit spot in the city center of Vienna. You can visit the inside of the cathedral for free, additional tickets can be bought for going up the tower, have a look at the treasury or the catacombs. I also loved watching the huge building from the outside.
“Hofburg” – this is my favourite spot in the historic city center of Vienna. The Imperial Palace or Hofburg is also the largest building and there is so much to see. The building itself is beautiful, also the Spanish Riding School is located there and you can enjoy the sun in a park or dive into the smell of old books at the Austrian National Library.
Try being there early if you want to take pictures without hundreds of people. After 10/11 a.m. the whole place is crowded. From Tuesday to Friday you can watch the training of the horses from the Spanish Riding School and in the afternoon lots of horse carriages called “Fiaker” are lined up in front of the building. I don’t recommend you to drive with these, however. It is quite expensive and not the best for the horses to walk on stone all day long. But I have to admit, that they look really nice with the beautifully designed carriages.
Another highlight at this place is the Austria National Library. The famous state hall is a huge hall full of old books. To reach them there are wooden ladders and it’s all book as far as you can see. A truly magical place – I wouldn’t have wondered if Harry Potter was stepping by there 😀
Museums Quartier – When walking past the Hofburg you reach the museums district of Vienna. The whole area is worth a visit especially the impressive buildings of the “Kunsthistorische” museum and the Museum of Natural History. I also recommend visiting the Museum of Natural History, they have a great exhibition and the building is also worth visiting from the inside.
Parliament and Justice Palace – The parliament is under construction at the moment and the constructions probably last until 2020. I definitely recommend a visit of the Justice Palace which is not that crowded but has a beautiful entrance hall. You can visit it for free but have to do a quick security check at the entrance. The highlight is definitely the entrance hall with its impressive stairway. It is allowed to take pictures but you shouldn’t stay there to long as it still is a courthouse and they might send you away if you take to many pictures.
Albertina and Opera House – The Albertina arts museum is definitely worth a visit if you like arts. They have a great exhibition. And even if you are not into arts a lot you should step by for a look from the terrace (you don’t have to go inside). From here you have a nice view on the opera house and it is also a really nice spot for pictures.
Charles Church – Another very pretty church is the Charles Church in Vienna. The building is beautiful and in summer there is a big fountain in front of it, which makes for beautiful reflections.
Southeast of the city center
Belvedere Castle – The Belvedere Castle is one of the best-known sights in Vienna. The upper part of the castle contains an art exhibition and the lower part different exhibitions. The upper castle is definitely the more impressive one but I recommend also visiting the lower castle from the inside as it has beautiful rooms as well.
City Park – Especially when the wheather is nice the city park is definitely worth a visit. It is the perfect place to relax and have a little break after all the sightseeing.
Prater and Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel – The Prater is an amusement park which is open all year long. A tradition in Vienna is to drive the giant ferris wheel which is already spinning since 1897.
Hundertwasserhaus – The Kunst Haus Wien and the Hunderwasserhouse are designed by the famous artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser and are a great eyecatcher and contrast to the old imperial buildings.
Danube Tower – If you want to have a good view across the city and the Danube river you should visit the Danube Tower.
Southwest of the city center
Naschmarkt – A great place for all the Foodies out there. This market has so much to offer, from exotic fruits to veggies and spices. If you are in Vienna you should definitely walk across the Naschmarkt and taste some of the delicious things there. It is also a great place to grab a small lunch.
Schönbrunn Castle – Probably the most famous castle in Vienna and a must-visit when in the city. It is a beautiful castle with great gardens. Inside the castle you can explore how the ancient emperors lived. Just a small walk away the Gloriette offers a nice view across the park, the castle and the city.
Palmhouse Schönbrunn – Another one of my favourite spots in Vienna is the palmhouse next to the Schönbrunn castle. It is so beautiful to watch all the diffent flowers there and they also have a lovely stairway which is in my opinion one of the prettiest photo spots in Vienna.
Where to eat?
There are lots of food spots in Vienna so I’ll just name a few here.
Mr & Mrs Feelgood – Near the Charles Church. They offer amazing salads, curries and much more. Definitely worth a visit.
Erich and Ulrich – Two restaurants next to each other. They offer great breakfast options.
Dr. Falafel – Located on the Naschmarkt. They make the best Falafel Sandwiches in Vienna and also offer great hummus dips and other delicious food.
Yori – Corean restaurant with lots of amazing food. We found this restaurant by accident while walking through the streets hungry and it was really yummy.