We made it! Vienna has been ranked the most liveable city in the world, overtaking Melbourne. Let me share my top 20 list of things you absolutely have to do in Vienna:
1. Explore the first district, the oldest part of Vienna. Check out my Quick Guide to Vienna for my walking tour to see all the main sights. Do not forget to explore the hidden courtyards and the old school shops.
2. Drive or walk up the Kahlenberg for a breathtaking view of Vienna. An insider’s tip is “Am Himmel” in Grinzing as well.
3. Visit some of the rooftop bars, for example, Lamée or at the Ritz Carlton.
4. Beam yourself back to the turn of the 20th century and feel like the famous writers, artists and intellectuals in the traditional coffee places.
5. Eat the famous Schnitzel.
6. A cake a day keeps the doctor away – there is much more to Vienna’s pastry scene than Sacher Cake and apple strudel. Try the “Russische Punschtorte” at Demel, for example.
7. Vienna has a long tradition of coffee culture and a coffee is a must with your cake. Or a hot chocolate 🙂 Read about my favourite coffee places here.
8. Chill in the parks – Prater, Stadtpark, Burggarten, Volksgarten or Tuerkenschanzpark.
9. Visit a Viennese Ball in the Hofburg Palace or the Rathaus (city hall)
10. Explore the Christmas markets and skate in front of the city hall.
11. Visit a Heurigen in Grinzing, for example. Grinzing is a former suburb of Vienna in the North and has become part of the city as Vienna grew. A Heuriger is a place where winemakers sell their wine and food. You can sit in a nice courtyard covered with vine leaves while enjoying a glass of wine.
12. Museums, museums, museums – Vienna is perfect for art lovers.
13. Palaces – the Hofburg and Belvedere Palace in the centre and Schoenbrunn Palace about 20 minutes from the centre are a must see. There are also smaller, lesser-known ones. I also recommend a day trip to Laxenburg and explore the castle and the beautiful imperial park.
14. I scream “ice cream” – we love some good gelato. And thanks to Italian families who moved to Austria, there are plenty of places to try different sorts of ice cream. Read about my favourite gelato places here.
17. Visit the famous Secession – the landmark of the fin de siecle “Jugendstil” art in Vienna, the stations of the “Stadtbahn”, now used as the subway line U6, and the Otto Wagner church in Steinhof or his famous Postsparkasse. For more Jugendstil buildings, I recommend a trip to nearby Brunn am Gebirge which hosts a street of Jugendstil residential buildings.
18. Have breakfast at the Naschmarkt.
19. Beat the heat with a swim in the Alte Donau or at the nearby Neusiedler See, the “Adriatic Sea of the Viennese”. Or visit the city beaches at Donaukanal.
20. Have walk in the Prater park and visit its amusement. I actually prefer the Bohemian Prater (Boemischer Parter). This amusement park in the Southern district of Favoriten takes you back to a 1950s-style “original” Vienna.
For more information about visiting to Vienna, check out my Vienna Ultimate Guide.