After spending a few short hours in Vienna it quickly becomes clear that there are countless layers to this city. The beauty is undeniable and the culture is rich with history. Vienna spans all the way back to The Roman Empire. Throughout the years the city has been home to some very influential people over time(think Moses, Beethoven, and Sigmund Freud). As well as some traditions that have stood the test of time.
Below is a list of my favorites from Vienna! You are sure to love exploring this beautiful city!
EAT & DRINK
Vollpension: This cafe was my absolute favorite. It is adorable and all of the baked goods are made by grandma’s and grandpa’s who enjoy baking and sharing their family’s recipes. Vollpension has over 30 on staff!
Purstner: This place is known for having some of the best schnitzel in Vienna. Purstner is located right in the city center and is a delicious option to get your daily schnitzel fixing in(But really I ate Schnitzel close to 10 times while I was in Austria.
Grinzing: Grinzing is an adorable neighborhood in the city that you can get to by taking a short 25 minute train ride from the city center. When you hop off the train you step onto a quaint street lined with wineries. Throughout the fall and winter check to see if a bush of pine or a piece of wood is hung near the door to the winery you are about to enter. If so, this is an indication that the winery is serving wine made from the grapes harvested this year. This wine is SO good. From my experience most of the local white wines from the current year were pretty similar to a Sauvignon Blanc!
Sausage Stands: there are sausage stand all over the city and they should not be missed! Bonus: you can buy a beer to go from these stands and sip it while you walk through the streets, or stroll by the river!
SITES & ACTIVITIES
Wachau Valley Wine Tour: This was hands down my favorite thing we did in Austria! You meet your tour group in the morning(right in the heart of the city) and then take a train to get to the Wachau Valley. Our group consisted of 16 people from all over the world.
Once you arrive in Wachau Valley you grab a bike and start your journey to the first winery of the day. Throughout the day you visit two wineries, dine at an adorable pub, and explore your way through a town famous for it’s apricot schnapps(Joel and I enjoyed our fair share of drunken apricots aka apricots soaked in schnapps while there)!The journey in total takes 8 hours and includes 14 miles of leisurely biking. Truth be told I was a little nervous about biking 14 miles while drinking a plethora of wine. Luckily the biking was much easier than expected, and was by far the most enjoyable part of the day. The scenery is STUNNING!
Here is the link to our exact tour!
Schonbrunn Palace: This palace is a must see in Vienna. The palace was at one time the summer house of the royal family that used to rule Austria. The palace grounds are no cost to enter(def check out the gardens)! While there you can pay to take a tour through the inside of the palace. Joel and I opted for the basic indoor tour, which showed you the old living quarters of the royal family.
Live Music: It is essential to see some Mozart or Beethoven while in Vienna. Joel and I saw the Vienna Boys Choir perform which was excellent. But! there are also countless churches and auditoriums you can wander into if you hear music. There is seriously live classical music everywhere!
The State Opera House: While wandering around the city you are sure to spot this beautiful building. The inside is even more regal than the outside and I highly recommend the tour. The tour happens twice daily in English and tickets are on a first come first serve basis. We arrived an hour before our tour and were the second people in line. It was truly amazing to sneak a peak backstage, and learn about the Opera traditions!
Vienna Ring Tram: This train runs in a loop around Vienna’s city center. It was the first thing Joel and I did to get the lay of the land and it helped so much!
Vienna is a magical city, so full of history. It is easy to fill your day up running from sight to sight throughout this walkable city. But don’t forget to embrace Vienna like a local, rest, relax, and spend time taking in the city’s beauty while sipping a cappuccino at a coffee house.
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