Cool, vibrant, creative, artistic, seductive, cultured, diverse, classical, dramatic, dynamic- WELCOME TO VIENNA!
From the first moment that I set foot off the train and laid eyes on this beautiful city it had me seduced and placed under its spell. Whether you’re visiting for 24 hours, a weekend getaway, or a week of indulgence, you’re in for a real treat as Austria’s Capital city has plenty to offer and won’t leave you disappointed.
So check in to your hotel, drop off your bags, pack a day bag and get out there and explore this wonderful city.
Why not start off your trip by basking in the city views from St Stephen’s Cathedral. Make your way over to the North Tower and take the lift up to the viewing deck. Here you will get a chance to witness the colourful mosaic roof set against the spectacular backdrop of city scenery.
If you’re looking for an excuse to get glammed up and dressed to the nines, throw on your finest attire and experience the opera. Vienna’s state opera house called the Wiener Staatsoper is a five star attraction that you won’t forget.
A royal invitation awaits you at Schönbrunn Palace; marvel in the architectural and cultural history of Vienna’s most visited attraction by taking a tour of this sublime baroque palace and its fantastic gardens.
If that’s whet your appetite for a taste of the royal lifestyle, then be sure to visit Hofburg Palace; this 13th century palace sprawled across 59 acres offers you the chance to browse museums, witness architectural and artistic masterpieces whilst engulfing yourself in history. It also houses the Austrian national library and is the official residence of the president of Austria.
Once you have finished up at Hofburg Palace take the opportunity to pass through Neubau, Vienna’s 7th district; home to chic independent boutiques, alternative art shops and cafes that offer a hipster, creative, alternative vibe, therefore making this neighbourhood the essence of cool. You can also indulge your artistic side by visiting the MuseumsQuartier home to a variety of art galleries, making it the perfect place to embrace your creativity.
My stop in Vienna coincided with Christmas so the city was alight with sparkling decorations and festive goodwill. Vienna has many Christmas markets to choose from, but I would recommend the one at Karlsplatz set in front of the imposing Karlskirche. This alluring arts and crafts focused market provides a unique twist that differs from the others in that applicants who apply for a stall must make the products with which they sell themselves.
After your visit to Karlsplatz Christmas market take a stroll to the old town centre for a spot of shopping under the Christmas lights. Vienna is a shopaholic’s paradise and has everything from large fashion chains to small boutiques; there’s elegant flagship stores and designer brands a plenty.
All worn out from your shopping spree? Not to worry, Vienna is famous for its coffee house culture. So grab yourself a good book, pull up a comfy chair and unwind in one of its many cool coffee houses.
One of my favourite things to do upon arrival in a new city is to lose myself whilst exploring the streets. And Vienna with its distinct style of architecture and alluring streets is ripe for exploration. So it’s time to put the maps away, forget what time it is, grab your camera and unearth new fascinating parts of this fine city that you never new existed.
Inject some colour into your day with a visit to the Hundertwasserhaus. This multicoloured quirky apartment building, built between 1983-1985 and designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, is one of Vienna’s most visited buildings and has become part of Austria’s cultural heritage.
On my return to the old town I elected to take in the charming views with a walk through Stadtpark and then along the canal; enjoy the street art along the way and if you go at night time you can admire the view from underneath the city lights.
If all this sightseeing has you ravenous and yearning for food then I would encourage you to try out these two sumptuous vegan eateries:
Swing Kitchen- this cosy, casual eaterie offers up fantastic plant based food with an array of options. Based around burgers and wraps this fantastic food is guaranteed to bring your taste buds to life.
Veganista ice cream- to help satisfy your sweet tooth and with a large variety of flavours, don’t miss out on this little gem of a place as plant based ice cream has never tasted so good!
Where to stay:
For my stay I was taking up residence at the Schick Hotel Capricorno situated in the heart of city. The hotel is a mixture of cool and quirky with a splash of colour. The rooms were clean, spacious and charming whilst providing their own unique twist. The staff were extremely helpful and welcoming and with both tram and metro lines right on your doorstep this really does make the hotel an ideal place to stop when visiting Vienna. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the hotel and wouldn’t hesitate to stay again.
Another option is hotel Altstadt. Fantastically located on the Spittelberg in Vienna’s cool and fashionable “Boborville” district. This elegant boutique hotel with its individually fashionable and stylish rooms provides you with a great destination for your stay.
If you are running on a tighter budget then why not try wombat’s CITY Hostels Vienna- Naschmarkt; with its modern, clean, stylish, rooms and central location this is the perfect accommodation for a budget friendly visit to the Austrian capital.
Vienna offers a great public transport network. There’s plenty of trains and buses providing direct links from the airport to the city centre whilst if you’re arriving in the city via the train station, like I did, then the city centre can easily be accessed by Vienna’s underground network system.
As my time in Vienna drew to a close I was sad to be leaving. As I packed my bag and made my way through the old town one last time I turned around and looked back upon this fantastic city with a smile upon my face and then disappeared into the morning darkness to catch my train to my final port of call- PRAGUE.