If you love baroque architecture, imperial buildings and a lot of European history, then Vienna is your next travel destination. It was six years ago when I visited Vienna for the first time, and let me tell you one thing I felt like I traveled back in time together with everyone living there. I know, it also has modern buildings and lifestyle, but the feeling, the buildings, the food, the culture are just on another level. Moreover, all those artistic and musical masterpieces make Vienna one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
In Vienna, you can get from one point to another just by walking. And as a big city and a capital, it has many districts. Every district creates a different feeling. That made me enjoy my stay even more! When I visited the First District, which spreads to the inner city, along the way you will be bombarded with many cafe houses, magnificent architecture buildings and my favorite thing in the world – cake shops where you can taste the original strudel (delicious, I literary stuffed my face with them!).
Next, once you passed the river, I got to Leopoldstadt district. In the past, it was a Jewish district, but after the war, it changed completely. As the years passed, it became home for great artists from all over the world and chiefs that opened distinctive restaurants with food choices from across the globe. They created a new vibe in the district, that is modern and positive.
Another district that I visited it was the Fifth one, and there you can find many, I mean many furniture stores. Well, honestly, it made me just want to move to Vienna and buy furniture for my flat. Maybe I will do that someday, who knows. There are other places to visit (which I plan another travel in September), so when I get to experience more parts of Vienna, I will write Part 2 of this guide (yay more strudels for me, can’t wait for September).
Here are our reasons why you should visit Vienna.
The legacy one of the most powerful monarchies in modern history – the Habsburg dynasty made Vienna what today is – modern and baroque capital of European civilization. The well-known Habsburg palace complex was their home for more than five centuries. The complex is made from Burgkapelle the famous imperial chapel and the great Spanish riding school. Let us not forget the Imperial apartments and many museums. So, you want to enjoy Austrian architecture? Spend at least a two days there, so you have the time to enjoy every inch, it is worth it trust me. The first time I walked around Vienna, I felt existed and tried to notice every detail everywhere. From old shops selling clothes, to bakeries and restaurants, everything seems like it has more than 100 years of history. I talked with one citizen, and he told me that people really appreciate their history, and even though everything has been modernized, every citizen of Vienna knows that lives in the heart of European culture.
The Austro-Hungarian Empire collected valuable and timeless art collections. If you want to know more visit the Kunst Historisches Musem in Viena and enjoy the priceless works by the art geniuses from the past. Near the Hofburg, you can find the former stables of the empire transformed into a museum like no other. It has a diverse art piece collection from the last two centuries and extraordinary contemporary works. Plus, there is a museum (Naturhistorisches) you can find fossils and other finds dating from prehistoric times. Be amazed by two-millennium olds historical discoveries.
But it is not all about architecture and museum, right?
Vienna has a musical heritage from Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Straus and many other composers that you probably know from the classical music genre. If you want to hear those masterpieces in their home town, maybe you should attend the concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in the leading opera hall known as the Staatsoper. Also, the multistage Konzerthaus is used as another venue for classical concerts. Vienna allows everybody to enjoy their heritage music, so the prices for tickets are always affordable. That takes me to accommodations and food and drinks. People in Austria know how to enjoy food and beverages. Good beer, prestige wine, tasty food, well you will be drolling when you taste it. The best thing I tried in Vienna was the cakes – delicious, tasty and tastier. You got to try them, as much as possible cause it is soo good (drooling literary).
Want to do shopping or other activities? Well, Vienna has it all. There are malls located in the city and outside the city. You can see old shops populated by big European brands. Well, you are buying jeans in a building where 200 years ago people created clothes with their hands. Just freaking amazing. Also, when in Vienna, you must ride on the horse carriage ride. You will go back in time and like an Austrian royalty from the 19th century, you will see and feel the city.
Clothes: Vienna is cold in winter down to -1° C (bring warm clothes) and summers with the highest temperature up to 19°C(if you live in hot areas bring your spring clothes). Best times to visit is in late spring and early summer, but also September and October have decent temperatures for exploring.
Food & Drinks: If you want to eat in a good restaurant, call them first, because you might not find any free tables. Do that online, and you’ll be covered. Tipping is always expected from guests; however, some more modest restaurants don’t pressure you too much, especially when they know you are a tourist. Be aware that not all coffee houses and restaurants accept credit cards, so bring cash with you always.
Nightlife: As the major capital of Austria, there must be a good, you think, right? Well, there is on weekends. On other days, people appreciate family life, and after 22:00, you cannot see many restaurants or nightclubs open. On weekends, in Vienna, there is party time, all the time!
Transportation: In Vienna, you can feel safe while using public transport. Not only that, but it is considered as the best public transportation in Europe! You can get unlimited daily travel passes for train and ground trams for just 8 euros, or even a weekly for 16 euros, which compared to other European capital is a bargain!
Hotels: The good ones are always expensive, especially in Vienna. On the other hand, there are cheap ones, but they are just too far away from the centre (up to 10-15 km). There are hostels also, but I personally don’t like them. I always feel like someone is going to steal my possessions. If you are on a budget, Nextravel recommends to book early and get a good hotel with affordable price.