Vienna, was our second weekend city break after moving to London. The city is full of amazing architecture, countless museums, delicious food, beautiful churches, and great parks and gardens. Autumn was a perfect time to visit, with crisp air and beautiful foliage. We walked over 20 miles in two days exploring the city. Keep an eye out for the cutest pedestrian walk sign (a couple crossing together with a heart!).
Top things to do in Vienna
We have been to a few impressive palaces in Europe, but this one stuck out as being our favorite. It is beautiful on the inside and out, with amazing detail and brilliant decor. Do the palace tour first, then head outside and stroll through the gardens.
Tips:Buy tickets in advance or arrive first thing in the morning. By the time we were leaving in the early afternoon there was a ridiculously long line for tickets. Take public transport or an Uber to the palace and then walk back to the city centre through the high street shopping thoroughfare.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral & Stephanplatz
This beautiful cathedral sits in the middle of Vienna, and has the neatest mutli-colored tiled roof. It is full of ornate detail and rich color, not to be missed. Be sure to buy a ticket for the North Tower and take the elevator ride to the top for amazing views of the city.
Tips: The cathedral tower ticket is also good for the entire day so you can visit in the morning while the crowds are small, then head back for pretty sunset views!
Be sure to stroll through this busy food and produce market lined with shops and cafes. The southwestern end turns into a flea/antique market on the weekends. Buy a coffee or tea towards the beginning and enjoy it as you wind your way through the various aisles of goods and foods.
Tips: Closed on Sundays, so plan ahead!
Another really nice palace and surrounding garden to visit, especially toward sunset. Walk around the palace fountain for an interesting display of animal sculptures.
We walked through the museum quarter but didn't have enough time to go inside on this trip. Vienna is known for its museums, so its on the top of our list when we go back. It's probably the perfect spot to spend a rainy day!
Vienna’s beautiful Neo-Gothic city hall is another one of its amazing architectural feats.
Danube River and Karmelitermarkt
Located on the north side of the Danube, the market is filled with cafes, eateries, and vendors to buy fresh produce, meats, and cheese. On the way there, take a look at the interesting graffiti along the riverbank.
Tips: Check the opening hours of the market as it closes mid-afternoon.
Hofburg (Imperial) Palace
The President of Austria resides and works in this former imperial palace of Vienna. While you're there, take a peek into St. Michael’s Church located in the square.
Food and places to eat in Vienna
Vienna is perfect for the meat and potato lover, offering delicious hearty meals.
Head to Purstner for what is probably the most popular plate in Viennese cuisine, and named after Vienna itself!
Sausages and Pretzels
Found pretty much everywhere, be sure not to miss the opportunity to enjoy authentic sausage dishes and fresh, doughy pretzels.
Heindls Schmarren is a great spot to enjoy this sweet, shredded pancake dish.
Described by winemakers as "not quite wine, not quite juice", this special drink can only be found in the late Fall, so make sure you try it if you can!