If there’s one city we’d like to entice you to plan your next trip to, it has got to be Vienna. There are plenty of reasons to fall in love with this place: the majestic architecture; the imperial presence in the streets of the Innere Stadt (the First District); the music, literature, and art. The city of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven does not rest on its musical laurels -- the great tradition thrives, and it is still home to one of the world’s greatest orchestras -- the Vienna Philharmonic -- the State Opera, lively chamber music scene; and, I read, a growing reputation for rock festivals.
Vienna isn’t just about art and history. This is a city which wears its culture lightly, a city with its own vineyards, and even more so, where cafe society was born. Nowhere has the art of relaxing over coffee or hot chocolate been elevated to such heights, or accompanied by such good cake and quite so much whipped cream.
A city that charms and seduces from scratch, but even more the longer you stay, it’s no surprise that Vienna tops the 19th Mercer Quality of Living index worldwide for the 8th year running - comparing “political, social and economic climate, medical care, education, and infrastructural conditions such as public transportation, power and water supply, and recreational offers.” Here are our recommendations for anyone visiting the city.
Polaroid Photo Tour
A walking tour, you’ll be equipped with a vintage Polaroid camera to capture Vienna from your point of view. Pick from a classic Vienna tour or an urban one, the tour begins with a crash course in Polaroid photography, so you don’t need to have any prior knowledge whatsoever about Polaroid cameras or photography in general. Your friendly local guide will point out good photo opportunities and support you in taking the best possible shots. He or she will advise you on angles and composition, and gladly take photos of you, your family or your friends. One pack of instant film (8 pictures) by The Impossible Project worth 20 EUR is included in the tour price.
Price: from 55 EUR (Classic Vienna); from 59 EUR (Urban Vienna)
International Pub Crawl
The home of Mozart, schnitzel and the world-famous Viennese Balls, Vienna knows how to surprise visitors with its splendour and history. But Vienna hides also a very intensive nightlife waiting to be discovered. Join this exciting 4-hours pub crawl at the first bar located in the centre of Vienna, get the first free drinks (0,5l Henineken/Guinness/Cider+shot) and prepare yourself to dive into Vienna’s intensive nightlife. Visit 3+ of the biggest and most known pubs, lounges and club in Vienna, enjoy the other complementary free shots reserved for you in each of the venues, be part of the games and challenges that will keep you excited for the entire night. Skip the line and don’t worry about the entrance fee because everything is covered.
Price: from 12 EUR
A classic piece of Old Vienna, the Alt Wien has a long tradition making coffee since 1936. Serving coffee house food until 2am, this place is perfect if you want to grab a snack or satiate a midnight crave for heavy Austrian cuisine. Local raves that are definite must-tries include Haustorte (chocolate-nut-jam-cake) and Knoblauchschnaps (garlic schnaps). You can hardly find another place that has Vienna written all over it than the shabby chic Alt Wien.
Address: Bäckerstraße 9, Vienna
If you're in the city centre and are looking for a great, refreshing snack, this is the place. Eis Greissler offers organic ice cream and has some rather unconventional flavours like poppyseed and almond. The ice-cream has a intense flavour, delicious after-taste and not too sugary. You can feel the quality. If anything we should give you a heads up about, be prepared to stand in line to get some ice cream on sunny days, but it’s absolutely worth the wait.
Address: Mariahilferstraße 33, 1060 Vienna
p.s.: Because we know just how much we all love our coffeehouses and cafes, check out this list from The Culture Trip that perfectly marks out Vienna’s 10 best coffee spots.
Spanish Riding Club
The world-famous Spanish Riding School is a Viennese institution truly reminiscent of the imperial Habsburg era. These graceful stallions perform an equine ballet to a program of classical music while the audience watches from pillared balconies – or from a cheaper standing-room area – and the chandeliers shimmer above. Seats for these performance sell like hot cakes and should be booked several months in advance. All of that can be done online, so be sure to do the legwork before your trip so you don’t miss out on this experience.
Price: Performances from 25 EUR - 217 EUR
Hours: Hours vary
An unmissable icon, the giant ferris wheel of Vienna is a must-see on your wish list. Built in 1897 by Englishman Walter B Basset, the ferris wheel rises to 65m and takes about 20 minutes to rotate its 430-tonne weight one complete circle – giving you ample time to snap some fantastic shots of the city spread out at your feet.
Price: Adult/Child 9.50 EUR/4 EUR
Hours: 9am-11.45pm, shorter hours in winter
The Guesthouse Hotel
25 Hours Hotel Vienna
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