I try not to go to the same destination twice, unless the place was absolutely incredible and warrants a second visit. I was quite lucky to start travelling at an early age, and even though I have some pretty vivid memories from those first trips around Europe, as an adult I am definitely able to appreciate each destination I travel to in a different way, through the prism of all my experiences and with all the cultures I’ve explored as reference.
The first time I went to Vienna, I was still quite young (that was a whopping 12 years ago!), so the most memorable part of the trip was our visit to the Prater amusement park. If you have been to Vienna, you will probably agree that there is much more to the city than that. If you haven’t been there, well, read on for the top 10 reasons why you should go …
Top 10 reasons to visit Vienna, Austria
10. The city is soaked in history
Walking through the streets of Vienna easily takes you back a few centuries ago. Looking at the passing carriages you can imagine the royal guests of the Emperor gathering for a night of exquisite entertainment to the sound of Viennese waltzes. If you want to really experience the city’s rich history for yourself, try the Time Travel Vienna tour, complete with 5D cinema, an air raid shelter and of course, carriage rides.
9. Fine dining in a beautiful palm house
The Palmenhaus is an old tropical greenhouse turned brasserie with huge glass windows offering a view out to the pond in Burggarten Park. It is an unique way to have an (almost) al fresco dining experience when the weather is not that great to actually eat outside.
8. Bargain hunting in a Viennese market
Vienna has a sophisticated feel, yes. But there’s nothing to say you can’t also have some fun in a rather cheap and cheerful market! Naschmarkt is the most popular of those, and it’s open every day apart from Sunday.
7. The stunning architecture
Vienna is home to some incredibly decorative palaces, cathedrals and museums, but the best thing about it is that an architectural delight can lurk around any corner waiting to stun you with its beauty. Don’t miss out on exploring St Stephen’s Cathedral and its coloured roof, regarded as one of the symbols of Vienna. You can also take the tram down Ringstrasse for a panoramic tour of some of the most exquisite buildings in the city.
6. Some excellent rooftop bars
It could be a bit strange to think of the modernity of rooftop bars after you’ve spent hours admiring the history, culture and art in Vienna, but that’s what makes the city so great to visit – it has something for everyone! Plus, there is no better way to appreciate the striking architecture of the city than from the top of a high building… with a good cocktail in hand. Choose between Steffl Sky Bar, Onyx Bar at the Do & Co and Das Loft, or simply visit them all!
5. The café culture – Café Central, Hotel Sacher, Demel
Nothing says Vienna quite like coffee and Sacher cake! Make the most of this favourite pastime while in town, and stock up on chocolate-rich gifts to take back home. The most iconic places for a deliciously indulgent coffee break are Café Central, Hotel Sacher and Demel.
4. The National Library is among the most beautiful in Europe
As a major bibliophile, it is no surprise that I enjoyed walking around the National Library in Vienna. I recommend it to anyone who appreciates books, art and beautiful architecture!
3. The oldest Zoo in Europe
The Tiergarten Schoenbrunn in Vienna should definitely be on your list of reasons to visit the city. This historic park has a wide range of species, and its unique circular structure has turned it into one of the most modern zoos in the world, which is an achievement for a 250-year-old place!
2. Museum of Fine Arts
The Kunsthistorisches Museum exceeded my expectations a millionfold. The richly decorated interior of the building and the huge marble staircase fit for a palace served as an amazing backdrop for the exquisite exhibits inside. We went in at about 4 pm and didn’t want to leave even as the museum was closing two hours later. I took hundreds of pictures of the beautiful objects which I’m not going to post here, but if you’re interested in art, have a look at the video I created:
1. The Schonbrunn Palace and park
Schonbrunn Palace was the summer residence for the Imperial family. It has 1,441 rooms decorated in opulent Baroque style and the park around it is equally impressive, with picturesque gardens, arches, fountains and elevations to take great panoramic pictures from. If you don’t have time for anything else, just visit Schonbrunn. It captures the essence of Vienna in all its mesmerising beauty.
Hope you found this post informative and inspirational! For me, rediscovering Vienna was a truly marvellous experience, and I’d love to hear what you thought about it. Let me know in the comment section and subscribe to the blog for more adventures around the globe!
Thanks for reading,