Vienna was the first city I really fell in love with and returning there is always a big pleasure for me. It doesn’t matter if I spent one day in Vienna and stay there longer, I enjoy every single hour in the city as it has a special place in my heart.
A fellow blogger, Or from My Path In The World, wrote this great post with 10 reasons to visit Vienna, Austria that hopefully will inspire you to plan a trip to this amazing city too. And if you have any other reasons to travel to Vienna let us know in the comments below!
As much as Vienna is a famous European city, I still feel like it is an underrated destination. It’s easy to think that this city is all about historical buildings and museums, but the truth is that Vienna is much more interesting and complex than that. To be honest, I was surprised myself by all the different things to do in Vienna, and I was happy to discover its unexpected sides.
To inspire and convince you to add the city to your travel bucket list and plan a trip to Vienna, here are ten reasons why it is an incredible and must-visit city.
Visit Vienna for interesting history and beautiful landmarks
Compared to other cities and countries in Europe, “only” about 20% of Vienna was destroyed during World War II. While some monuments were damaged and restored, many important landmarks such as Vienna’s City Hall, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and several royal palaces are standing in the city for centuries. You don’t have to be a history lover to appreciate these beautiful Vienna attractions, and it’s a privilege to witness all that has survived.
Since Vienna’s beautiful landmarks date back to different centuries, you can find various architectural styles around the city. From the Gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral to the Baroque Schönbrunn Palace, the architecture in Vienna is a feast for the eyes.
The city is also home to some unique buildings that you won’t find anywhere else. A one that has to be on your Vienna itinerary is the Hundertwasserhaus which is a colorful and quirky apartment house designed by the Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
Captivating coffee culture
If you’re a coffee snob like me, this city is the perfect destination for you. In Vienna, having a quality cup of coffee in a traditional Viennese coffee house is a part of the local lifestyle. Many old coffee houses like Cafe Central and Demel have become important institutions, and it’s hard not to fall in love with their elegant decor and atmosphere. All it takes is ordering one cup of coffee and you have the right to spend hours sitting and enjoying the majestic vibe.
When looking at the menu, don’t be surprised by the dozens of options and their special local names. For example, a Melange is similar to a cappuccino, and a Mozart Cafe is a double espresso with whipped cream and some sherry brandy on the side. Coffee is a serious business in Vienna, and it is all about finding the perfect cup of coffee for you.
Irresistible cakes and desserts
You can’t have Viennese coffee without something sweet on the side, especially when it comes to Viennese cakes and desserts. If you’re a classic kind of person, go for a Sachertorte (a Viennese chocolate cake), an apple strudel, or a Kaiserschmarrn (a fluffy shredded pancake).
If you want to try something different, most coffee houses have a magnificent display window filled with dozens of types of mouthwatering cakes. I promise you; they’re all delicious.
Perfect winter destination
It doesn’t get any dreamier than visiting Vienna in winter. The beautifully decorated streets and the buzzing Christmas markets (along with their delicious food and drinks) create the most charming atmosphere.
But this winter wonderland vibe is not the only thing you can enjoy when you visit Vienna during the holiday season. Many activities and events such as outdoor ice skating and New Year’s Eve Ball only take place in winter. Even though it can get really cold during this time of the year, I say it’s totally worth it.
Stunning parks and gardens
It’s always nice to be able to enjoy some green scenery, even on a city break. Luckily, Vienna has quite a few parks and gardens where you can stroll around or sit down and relax during your Vienna sightseeing. Two of my favorites are Burggarten and Volksgarten.
Tip: If you’re visiting in fall or early winter, head to the Schönbrunn Gardens to enjoy some beautiful fall foliage. If you’re lucky, you might even see some adorable squirrels.
Unique and unexpected things to do and see in Vienna
Vienna is full of surprises. Who would have thought you could visit a tropical oasis filled with butterflies in the middle of a city like Vienna? Well, that’s exactly what you’ll find at the Schmetterlinghaus (‘The Butterfly House’). In this unique place, you can learn about different types of butterflies and their life-cycle, and of course, watch them flying around you.
Another surprising thing to do in Vienna is visiting local wineries (also called Heuriger). Yes, Vienna has vineyards inside the city itself and it is home to about 180 Heuriger. There’s even a hop on/hop off train called Vienna Heurigen Express that allows you to explore these unexpected Vienna attractions. So, if you think Vienna is only about museums, Mozart concerts, and old buildings, think again.
An outrageous number of museums
Culture lovers, this one’s for you because Vienna is home to more than 100 museums! Some of the most famous ones are the Natural History Museum, Art History Museum, and Sisi Museum.
But if you also love offbeat experiences, you can visit quirkier and more bizarre museums like the Funeral Museum, Globe Museum, and Museum of Illusions. Whichever type of museum you can think of, Vienna has you covered.
A surprising street art scene
As street art is becoming a popular tourist attraction all over the world, I think Vienna’s local street art scene has to be on your radar. From giant murals to small painted figures, you wouldn’t believe how many works of art you can find just by strolling around Vienna’s streets. Many of them are on the walls along the Danube Canal, but almost every neighborhood has a few colorful corners waiting to be discovered.
It is a base for many cool day trips
If you’re anything like me and you love visiting cities from which you can take day trips, Vienna is the destination for you. The most popular place you can visit from Vienna is Salzburg which is Mozart’s birthplace and the backdrop of “The Sound of Music”. Other options include the historic city of Krems, the picturesque Wachau Valley, and the spa town of Baden. You can also easily visit neighboring countries: Brno in the Czech Republic or Bratislava in Slovakia make a perfect day trip from Vienna.