Vienna is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, the capital of Austria, a cultural metropolis and the definition of coffee house culture. Whenever you are to central Europe make sure to hit it. The summertime is certainly the time of the year to do so!
It was already my third time, that I visited Vienna, one of the most beautiful cities Europe has to offer. The old houses from the times before WWII shine, as the many outstanding sights. To mention some facts here:
- It has about 1.8 Million inhabitants and is therefore under the Top 5 (Rank 3 or 4, together with Munich) cities with German as main language, together with Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne.
- It is by far the biggest city and capital of Austria and has the most inhabitants of all Austrian states, more than 20%.
- The Opernball of Vienna is an world famous event where the global high society and many wannabes mix up.
- Vienna has an outstanding Coffee House culture and is famous for the rich and heavy bakery. You have to try a Wiener Melange, when you visit the city!
- The Prater is nothing special anymore in regard to the thrill of the offered rides – nowadays modern theme parks got much more to offer – BUT it is classy and the observation wheel is probably the only one, where you can enjoy your candle light dinner, just with the person you love – while cruising some rounds with remarkable views over the city. There are combo tickets for many different attractions and if you have some more time, you save a decent amount of cash if you buy them in advance – like in other big cities as London or New York.
- The most important musician of the new time, who is dead already – RIP – is Falco. He has this typical Viennese accent and is one of the most famous artists of all times, singing in German language.
Enough said, you will find the rest in the article I linked up, at least the figures and facts. I want to go into detail in regard to special recommendations for you. First of all you should park your car, if you come by car, and use the public transportation, which is efficient and reliable, often faster and you don’t have the risk to get a ticket. This is all to easy because in many areas there are parking zones, where you can just buy the parking ticket on a Trafic (tobacco store) during daytime.
Try to hit the free of charge Donauinsel Fest (German) in summer time, when you love Rock Music and Electro – it will be from 26th to 28th June in 2015. I attended this event once and it was awesome, totally free of charge and a special feeling to thrive and party along this island between Vienna and New Vienna City (Wiener Neustadt).
As two Coffee House recommendations I want to introduce my favorite Viennese Cafe to you, the Cafe Prückel, which is not as posh as the Sacher or the Cafe Central in the 1st district. It has this certain charme and the cake and coffee is outstanding. But for the appearance and location in the heart of the city the Cafe Central is moderately priced and beautiful and the cake is delicious as well. That’s why I’d say, if you can just make one and have a very limited time, plus look for THE stereotype, do this one as a sight and enjoy your piece of cake. If you are in Vienna for longer or like to get to see, what it’s all about in the normal life of the Viennese, you should go to my favorited Cafe Prückel.
What else is enjoyable in this city… If you like markets, the Naschmarkt for sure. I love it! You get many different oriental ingredients, fresh fish and meat in very good quality (e.g. when you don’t have the METRO card), specialties of Austria and the normal, crappy souvenir stuff – but you don’t need to buy it, right? Check this market out, the Kebap there is actually really good, which is a predicate if a Berliner says that… 🙂
To finalize this entry I want to give you another source, I use to check regularly before I start into a big city. – Unlike.net – They have plentiful information on places that are a little off the beaten track and therefore I love them! I recommend the nightlife section as well, since I haven’t tried many locations and after the sightseeing and enjoyment I am barely in the mood to party in the nights.
My picks for you would be some outstanding buildings and going places. And as always, when I visit a big city, I totally recommend to walk it, as much as possible to see as much as possible!
- Stephans Dom (directions)
- The Donau Channel for urban graffiti culture and in summer to just hang out
- The whole 1st district with…
- The Austrian Parliament
- Burggarten and Albertina – the Cafe Sacher is here as well – and the huge building is the National Library
- Besides is the Museumsquartier with plenty different museums
- The Viennese Rathaus and the space in front with the Burgtheater
- And there you have the Volksgarten with the Hofburg, both top locations to stroll in the early evening, enjoying the lighting and beauty
- The little streets around Judenplatz
- Last but not least the Wiener Staatsoper, the place where the Opernball takes place…
There are many more things to see, best you walk all along those areas and get yourself an overview. If you click on the respective sights you can access the locations via Google Maps, a convenient way to safe those locations to your phone and make the map accessible offline – the way I do it when I am somewhere else. Have fun exploring Vienna and if you have a little more time, you can always visit the Donauturm, to have an unforgettable view over the whole city area and countryside that surrounds the city.