Vienna is one of the few cities in the world that almost has it all: interesting history, fascinating culture, warm and friendly people, stunning landmarks, great gastronomic treats, and many attractions that every visitor should not miss. But many visitors make the mistake of heading to this gorgeous city without a sound travel plan.
There are so many things to experience in this Austrian capital that you might be overwhelmed, which is not a good thing if you didn’t plan well ahead of time. For starters, there is an interesting mix of the old and the new in Vienna. From artworks to music, theater to clubs, the city can provide you with a special treat that is truly unique from other European locales.
At first glance, Vienna is an old-fashioned and stiff city, but its nightlife proves all the critics wrong. Vienna nightlife is vibrant, on par with some other party capitals in Europe. The shopper inside you will be delighted to know that the capital has lots of good shops and boutiques. Not to mention restaurants that serve some of the best local and international cuisine.
Having a Vienna travel plan will save you from all the hassles such as staying at the wrong hotel, waiting forever for public transport, or getting lost in the middle of nowhere (which is really exciting, but not all the time). Planning your Vienna travel will allow you to enjoy your stay in this beautiful capital.
We design this Planning Your Trip section to help you plan your travel to Vienna and make the most of your vacation time. From getting an Austrian visa to airports and metro stations to finding budget accommodation and staying safe, we would not want to leave out the details of Vienna’s information.
A truly enjoyable Vienna sightseeing does not involve only a taste of a Sacher cake or a sip of coffee, but a nice tour of those rich historical sites and monuments that adorn the city. Try considering these places we suggest in your city tour plans:
The school of horses and riders
Vienna has been a place for learning the art of equitation for over four centuries now. It has the Spanish Riding School that teaches horse riders old methods of riding. In shows and events in the school, you would see Lipizzans and dressage.
The gallery of drawings
European citizens are lovers of art. It is not surprising that Vienna has put up one of the world’s finest art galleries that are home to a rich collection of drawings that have been growing in number since Albert, Duke of Saxe-Teschen, began collecting some pieces. The works which include drawings, etchings, and watercolors by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rubens, Raphael, Manet, Cezanne, and Schiele are now over 60,000.
The Austrian National Library was built in 1726 by Joseph Fischer of Erlach. Visitors can feast their eyes over the beautiful paintings in the ceiling of the palatial room. The room is considered one of the most beautiful library rooms in the world. Items that you would see in the library are collections of papyri, manuscripts, ancient and rare books, maps, globes, music, portraits, graphics, photographs, autographs and posters which total to approximately six million.
Palaces for a prince
The Rococo-styled Belvedere palace was built by the architect Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt for the prince Eugenio of Savoy to thank him for the successful conclusion of series of wars against the Ottoman Empire. It is divided into Upper and Lower Belvedere and it includes an art gallery dedicated to a different artist like Gustav Klimt.
The Hapsburgs’ Hofburg
The Hofburg Imperial Palace, built-in 1279, used to be the home to the Hapsburgs until 1918. The entire palace was eventually turned into offices of the president of Austria, and into several official and private apartments. Other areas in the palace have also been used as an international convention center, museums, and staterooms that are open to the public. There is also a chapel inside the palace where the Vienna Boys’ Choir perform, and a hall where the Spanish Riding School Lipizzan stallions perform.
A museum of Freud’s memories
The Sigmund Freud museum holds personal possessions, antique collection the original furniture of Freud’s waiting room. The building where the museum has been installed was the home of Freud and his family that is why the audio-visual display of Freud family’s private moments is shown in the museum. Today, the museum is a place for the largest psycho-analysis library in Europe.
A summer palace
One of the top Vienna attractions is the 1,440-room summer palace of the Habsburgs – the Schloss Schönbrunn Palace. Forty rooms are open to the public. Evident in the palace’s interior is the 18th-century inspiration with lots of red, white and gold. Surrounding the palace are formal gardens where visitors can take pictures.
A place for the faithful
The 12th century St. Stephens Cathedral was subject to hostile historical damages but was eventually restored to become one of today’s greatest Gothic structures in Europe. It has wood carvings, sculptures and paintings and an ornately carved wooden Wiener Neustadt altarpiece of 1447. The cathedral’s catacombs contain the entrails of 56 members of the Habsburg family. The south tower offers a great view of the Vienna woods while the north tower provides you the sight of the majestic cityscape and the Danube.
You have an array of choices to visit in this lovely city and Vienna tourism is one of the most active in Europe. Plan ahead so you will have the chance to prioritize which top attractions to check out.
When To Visit Vienna?
The peak of the tourist season in Vienna usually happens from April until October. Knowing when to visit Vienna early enough will save you the trouble of getting caught with the crowd which is a total killer joy. July and August are months where the crowd is thickest, and December bookings are also heavy because of the festive mood during this time. Making early reservations is surely a wise decision to spare yourself from the hassle of last-minute planning. There are a lot of hotel rooms available and at cheap rates during the off-season.
Thank the fact that the climate in Vienna is moderate subalpine at an average of 32°F (0°C) in January and 66°F (19°C) in July, it has about the same feel in its four seasons as that of New York’s. Viennese summer may not be relatively humid unlike New York but you would not want to perspire much because of the sticky feeling after. Summer is from Easter until the middle of October. The best time to have your Vienna vacations are during spring and fall due to the mild weather condition at these times.
There are many things to consider when you are spending the weekend in Vienna. Plan your trip well, the time it right, and the Austrian capital will not disappoint. Here are some of the top things to do while on a short break in the city:
The Spittelberg quarter is a district that consists of 18th and 19th-century buildings and narrow, cobbled streets between Burggasse and Siebensterngasse. The 1970s saw the restoration of the district’s baroque and Biedermeier houses and the pedestrianization of many of its streets. Spittelberg makes for a pleasant walk, especially on a Saturday, the day of the craft. Restaurants, cafes, and bars dot the historic district.
Be there in time for ImPulsTanz
ImPulsTanz is the biggest contemporary dance festival in Europe. For a month, it turns Vienna into a hub of international dance elites, including top choreographers of contemporary dance. ImPulsTanz offers top-quality programs, including more than 200 workshops for people hungry for movement. Lectures and street parties are also held.
Delight your taste buds at Figlmuller
Your weekend in Vienna is not complete without eating out in one of the finest traditional Austrian restaurants in the city. Located between Backergasse and Wollzeile opposite St Stephen’s Cathedral, the restaurant features authentic décor and gothic vaulted arches that give a great atmosphere. Try the colossal wiener schnitzels; its recipe is a well-kept secret.
Party all night long
Cap off your weekend in Vienna with a big bang. Hit the city’s vibrant bars and clubs and see for yourself what Vienna nightlife has to offer. We highly recommend Kitsch and Bitter located near the city’s oldest church, the St. Ruprecht Church. It is one of the hottest (and coolest) places in Vienna where locals mix with tourists.
Vienna offers extraordinary things that attract visitors’ interests. It has a wealth of culture, great architecture, excellent art scene, and a combo of first-rate bars, restaurants, and a vivacious nightlife. This makes the city the perfect long weekend getaway. Here are some things to do when spending a long weekend in Vienna.
Day 1: visiting Stephansdom
On your first day, take the metro out to the splendid summer palace of the Hapsburg monarchs, the Schloss Schönbrunn. Then return to the city center and appreciate St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom), the oldest church in Vienna. On the tram, tour around the Ringstrasse to see Vienna’s wonderful architecture. The whole loop takes only about 30 minutes. Then have a sip at a coffee house. In the evening, we suggest you watch a ballet or classical music performance at the State Opera or People’s Opera.
Day 2: Belvedere Castle and Klimt’s exposition
Start the second day of your long weekend in Vienna at the Belvedere. It is a stunning former palace that houses an art gallery specializing in Gustav Klimt. Check out Klimt’s notable work, “The Kiss and Judith”. Then take a tram ride to the old imperial palace (Hofburg) and stop for a nice cup of coffee. After this, visit some museums or galleries and check out the collections at your leisure. Then visit a wine bar to get a genuine taste of Viennese eating and drinking. If you are a party animal, Vienna has got some of the best bars and clubs in the country.
Day 3: the Wiener Riesenrad
On the third day, visit the Wiener Riesenrad, a giant Ferris wheel that will give you breathtaking views of the city. Then continue your museum hopping; the renovated Museumsquartier is definitely worth a wander. Walking is still the best way to experience the city. Do some stretching and visit some top attractions in Vienna. Also, do not conclude your long weekend in Vienna without a trip to the city’s shopping district.
People in Vienna greet summer with a bang. One of the advantages of a Vienna summer is that a huge portion of locals goes to summer vacations or residences, so there are more rooms for
tourists and locals who stay in the city. One of the disadvantages is that the fleeing locals are replaced by thousands of migrating tourists. When you spend your Vienna summer vacation, expect top attractions to get very crowded and busy.
Summer brings good weather, making the street culture come to life. Enjoy the delights of the top-class restaurants, bars, clubs, cafes, and wine taverns. Many establishments feature gardens for you to enjoy the night. Authorities also make an incredible job of lighting up the city and brightening it up with flowers.
Summer in Vienna also brings out the beauty of parks and gardens. They are full of tourists who stroll the broad lane of lush trees and lounge on the lawns. Take advantage of the wine taverns, boules lawns, summer pavilions, and merry-go-round. You will see hundreds of carriages passing to and fro, hear the sounds of children playing, and smell the aroma of roast chicken.
We suggest you bring comfortable summer clothes because Vienna in summer can get extremely. June is mostly warm but a little chilly when the sun sets, particularly in the mountains. So you should also bring a jacket or light sweater. Do not forget to bring comfortable walking shoes since a Vienna summer tour requires a lot of walking. Also, bring formal clothes if you plan to attend a classical opera or music concert.
Visiting Vienna during its winter season is an experience of a lifetime. Lights are soft and Christmas decorations made of wood and straw adorn homes and establishments. Snow blanketing the ground, crisp air of winter evenings, and a Christmas ambiance are all descriptive of Vienna in winter months of December through February. Temperature can go as low as -15oC (5oF) indicating a bitterly cold day.
A Vienna winter vacation is worth it even with the chilly weather because of the festive Christmas mood. One would commonly see beautifully decorated Viennese Christmas markets in late November, locals drinking hot punch, and opera staging performances. The city has a well-developed transport network of metros, trams, and buses so you could go to those top attractions in Vienna. Do not miss being at Hoher Markt before noon because the art nouveau ‘Anker clock’ strikes at 12:00.
A couple more visits can be done during winter in Vienna provided you are properly clothed. Traveling to Vienna in these cold months would require you to pack warm clothes, gloves, hats, and scarves against the chilly winds of the winter. Warm and waterproof clothing can also be bought in Vienna, as well as a wide range of clothing, at reasonable prices. You will find it cheaper to buy your clothes once you arrive in the Vienna winter. You can also keep yourself warm by wearing several layers of lightweight clothing.