When speaking about Vienna, I never know what I should mention first. Should it be the palaces? Or the numerous and wonderful museums? Or maybe its artistic legacy? The beautiful architecture? The parks?
Austria‘s capital has so much to offer its visitors. Solo travelers, couples, and families traveling with children will find something to do here. It is a great city for long visits, but you can also get a glimpse of its glamour and atmosphere on a city break.
Travel Tips for Vienna and Things to Know
If you plan on seeing at least several tourist attractions, then you should definitely buy the Vienna City Card. There are three options now – for 24, 48, and 72 hours. My husband and I had the 72 hours one and with it we were able to use all the public transportation means in Vienna during those hours. The card also provides multiple benefits (lower prices) for numerous attractions, restaurants, etc. We discovered that we “paid” each card during our first day there (from the cost of the trams, buses, and metro plus the deductions we had at the tourist sights).
The best way to get around Vienna is by public transport. If you manage to avoid rush hours (early in the morning and around 6PM), you will discover that you can get easily anywhere in the city. They have useful maps and audio announcements that make it all easy, and you can also get a free map of the city from your hotel and see the perfect transport connections for you.
A thing we didn’t know, and that surprised us as we are from a country where we have supermarkets and shops opened until very late and during the weekend, plus numerous non-stop small or bigger shops, is that most of the shops in Vienna close at 6 PM or 7 PM. Also, during the weekend, there are only a few supermarkets opened (for instance Billa near Prater – at the metro and train station, as it is a huge hub). These also open earlier than others in the morning. So the main tip is that if you stay in Vienna for a longer period, including weekends, you should consider buying supplies during the week, working hours.
When planning your Vienna itinerary, make sure to check the official websites of the places you want to visit, as some have strict hours for guided tours, and you’ll most likely want to maximise your time here. Also, try to leave some attractions for evening as they may be nicer then. For instance, I saw the Red (Soviet) Army memorial „Heldendenkmal der Roten Armee” during the afternoon as in front of it is a fountain with a light show in the evening.
Where to Stay in Vienna
Choosing the perfect hotel in Vienna is not an easy task. The city has great accommodation options, so my recommendation is that when you choose your hotel you look for the things that you need the most. For example, we traveled by car so we searched for hotels with free parking. We also wanted free Wi-Fi and we chose to stay near a main public transport hub and near a famous attraction: Prater.
Things to do in Vienna
Vienna is famous for Schonnbrunn Palace and indeed this place should be on your Vienna itinerary. Go beyond the palace and discover the other amazing attractions there: the beautiful garden, the maze, Schoennbrunn – Children’s Museum (Kindermuseum), etc.
Museum lovers will be enchanted by Vienna. Haus der Music is a fun and interactive museum dedicated, as the name suggests, to music. The Technical Museum is also a not-to-miss place in Vienna, as its numerous hands on exhibits and the items you’ll see here appeal to people of all ages.
Art lovers should include on their Vienna trip planner the Hofburg Palace, the Belvedere Palace (two buildings, both art museums, one famous for housing many works of Gustav Klimt), Liechtenstein Museum (be advised that you are not allowed to take pictures inside), The Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts (Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien). MuseumsQuartier Wien is a great place to start your museum visits – and then go from there.
Another famous attraction in Vienna is Prater, the famous amusement park with its landmark: the ferris wheel: Wiener Riesenrad. The Sigmund Freud Museum and Mozarthaus Vienna are also great places to visit as they’ll give you a chance to learn more about two important figures.
When in Vienna, you shouldn’t miss the chance to take a carriage ride. There are different tours and places where they start. The shortest tour is 20 minutes – though, after taking such a tour, we’d recommend a longer one in order to enjoy Vienna in this manner.
Austria’s capital is also famous for its churches. We loved Karlskirche (St. Charles Church – we took the elevator up and then the wooden staircase and enjoyed a really nice view of the city). Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral) is another famous landmark – they also have a tour of the catacombs – not for those with a faint heart though.
A fun place to see is: Jungferngasse: the street that is so short that it has no door or number. Close to this is the Ankeruhr (Anchor Clock) – the public clock with human figures that mark each hour. Go at noon the see them all!
No matter what you choose to see and do, you won’t regret visiting Vienna.
About Our Guest Blogger
Violeta-Loredana Pascal is a public relations specialist and freelance writer from Romania who works with clients worldwide. She loves to travel, discover new places and cultures. Loredana shares her traveling experiences and tips on Travel – Moments in Time and Earth’s Attractions.