If you are looking for a city break or even a week in a diverse and exciting location then Vienna should definitely be a consideration. This vibrant city has a whole host of character in its art and music, food and its community. As a city break it shows variety and adventure awaiting around every corner, and this blog looks at just some of the exciting memories you can create in Vienna.
- Grab a flea market bargain
Vienna’s largest open-air food market is called Naschmarkt and is open Monday to Saturday, with a flea market taking place each Saturday from 6.30am to 6pm. At the flea market, you can find everything from beautiful flowers to intricate jewellery. After all, we all love a good bargain and it’s even better when you’re on holiday! If you’re visiting Naschmarkt for the flea market, it’s best to get there early in the morning to hunt for those bargains!
- Get arty
Vienna is a mixing pot of fantastic artistic influences, the Museumsquartier is now a lovely tourist spot where you can stroll through and appreciate just some of this brilliance. Visit the limestone cube of the Leopold Museum, the contemporary genius of Kunsthalle Wien and the black basalt Museum of Modern Art, MUMOK. If you only have time for one, the largest collection is within the Leopold Museum!
- Unwind in a music themed park
The Stadtpark stretches from east of Schwarzenbergplatz to Stubentor at either side of the Wien river. This park is themed around music, with statues and sculptures scattered around the area to explore, and emblematic buildings – it’s the perfect picnic spot!
Apart from the Stadtpark, Vienna has 850 parks and green spaces within its city limits, 280 of them date back to the time of the old empire. The Green Prater is twice the size of New York City’s Central Park. In Vienna, a total of 19.000 park benches and 600.000 trees invite you to relax after a long day of sightseeing.
- Lunch like a local
Believe it or not, art school canteens are a great way to get a glimpse into real life in Vienna. The Akademie der Bildenden Künste has a magnificent interior full of arty students and vibrancy. For an amazing view over the inner city of Vienna, head to the Justizcafé – the roof top canteen of the Austrian Supreme Court. A more elegant meal is on offer at the Minoritenstüberl, the Education Ministry canteen where every Wednesday they serve Beuschel, Vienna’s classic dish. There are also some fantastic delicacies to try at the coffee houses and markets all across the city. Give your taste buds a treat from a Würstelstand (sausage stand) which are ubiquitous sight on Vienna’s streets. Or head out to the wine taverns in the vineyards surrounding Vienna where you can spend evenings full of local food, Viennese wine and traditional folk music..
- Visit the beach!
The banks of the Danube, either side of the Neue Donau channel, are the nearest Vienna gets to a beach. The Alte Donau has paying beach clubs such as the sprawling Gänsehäufel, which has both swimming pools and beaches for you to relax, unwind and take in the fantastic scenery.
- Take in the views
No trip to Vienna is complete without a ride on the 19th-century Riesenrad or giant Ferris wheel that is the only remaining work of British engineer Walter Basset who also built wheels for Blackpool, London and Paris. It was completed in 1897 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Franz Josef. One full circle takes around 20 minutes, and at its highest point you are 65 metres up with views across this stunning city.
- Explore off-beat-museums
Vienna has always been one of the world’s greatest cities for museums. Apart from the big institutions such as the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Museumsquartier, the capital’s 300-strong list of exhibition venues includes a number of weird and wonderful places where you can skip the lines and explore some unusual things, like the impressive architecture of the Austrian National Library.
Ever wondered how Vienna is kept warm in winter? Visit the Museum of Heating. Or how public transportation works in Vienna? Head to the Remise Transport Museum. At the Globe Museum – the only one of its kind in the world – different cartographic exhibits are on display, the oldest one from 1535. Or visit its small brothers and sisters at the Original Vienna snow globe maker and snow globe museum where you can even purchase a traditional souvenir from Vienna (did you know that the snow globe was invented in Vienna?) Several small museums are dedicated to the life and works of famous Viennese inhabitants such as Sigmund Freud and Johann Strauss. There is something to see everywhere, from the Firebrigade Museum, the Crime Museum, the Museum of Contraception, the Funeral Museum and the Old Vienna Schnapsmuseum!
- Visit the oldest zoo in the world
Built on the site of Franz Stephan’s royal menagerie in 1752, on the western side of the gardens, the Tiergarten is the world’s oldest zoo. The cages are laid out around the 18th-century central octagonal pavilion while many of the original Baroque buildings and cages are still in use, alongside more modern enclosures. Attractions include a polarium and rainforest house, but the Giant Pandas are the stars of the show!
These are just some of the great things you can add to your check-list when visiting the magical city of Vienna. Please post your comments or stories in the section below, we love hearing from you! To find out more about Vienna and booking your next trip there, get in touch with your Travel Counsellor today.