Things to do in Vienna

Top 5 things to see in Vienna

1. Naschmarkt

With around 120 unique market stalls and a whole bunch of restaurants ranging from Viennese to Indian, the Naschmarkt is a food market unlike any other. Delicacies from across the world are bartered over from dawn till dusk. It’s a sea of color, with a recent up-cropping of modern, trendy stands - some of them are even offering free Wi-Fi!

2. Ring Straße

Ringstrasse. One of the most beautiful boulevards in the world, and it sits right on your doorstep. Stroll down Ringstrasse to behold some of Vienna’s most stunning sites, including the Natural History Museum, the Imperial Palace, the Vienna State Opera and Parliament. There are also magnificent palaces and luscious green parks where you can pass an entire day. Truly a must-see for Vienna.

3. Schloss Schönbrunn

The Schönbrunn Palace has been standing for around 300 years. Back in those days, the Imperial family called the palace their home and the legendary Empress Elisabeth spent years here. It is a stunning building, with an expanse of water out front which, when caught by the sunlight, reflects the world around it like a giant, shimmering mirror.

4. Prater

Behold the location of one of Austria’s best-known sites - the Giant Ferris Wheel - and one of the premiere things to see in Vienna - the Vienna Prater. A sprawling, spacious public park, it is best enjoyed from March to October, but its surrounding attractions are open all year round, and do look quite striking in the snow.

5. Hundertwasser Haus

Though we are sadly not permitted inside the great house, there is plenty to take in just from gawping at the exterior. Over 200 trees and green shrubs line the many balconies and terraces of Hundertwasser House, making it a green oasis in the very heart of Vienna. The facade itself is a mish-mash of colorful buildings which is truly unlike any other piece of modern architecture.

Top 5 things to do in Vienna

1. Nussberg & Heuriger in Grinzing

Like wine? Enjoy heritage and culture? Maybe a little walking? Then this is the one for you!

At Nussberg, there is a traditional Viennese wine tavern (or heurige, as they’re known) which offers a commendable view of the city below. This wine-growing area has been the subject of songs and films, but is really better known for furnishing its guests with great food and better wine. Pick a nice day and go check it out.

2. Museumsquartier

Even if your German is a little rusty, you can probably figure out what this one is - The Museum Quarter! Home to exceptional establishments such as the Leopold Museum, the Kunsthalle and the Museum of Contemporary Art, there’s nowhere better in the whole city to explore her wondrous culture.

However, that’s not all. The area boasts an enjoyable range of restaurants, cafes and bars - it’s as active after dark as it is busy during the day!

3. Donaukanal

Just a hop, skip and a jump from the Old Town of Vienna, this area of the Danube Canal is the ideal spot to enjoy the open air and sun of the city. Living in Vienna, you can hardly say no to this abundance of sandy beach, flavorsome cocktails, hammocks and food at the Strandbar Herrmann. There’s an outdoor pool a little further along, and a pop-up restaurant along the opposing bank. Basically, there is delicious food, nice drinks and (hopefully) glorious sunshine all around you - you’re welcome for the advice!

4. Donauinsel

You thought the Danube couldn’t get any better, right? We don’t blame you, but maybe you should check out Danube Island before you go making any final decisions! There you can bathe in the sun, go on a boat trip, cycle, play beach volleyball… Essentially you can do all the things you normally fly away on holiday for! You can’t help but have a fun time on the sand, even if just lying down reading a book, soaking up the rays.

5. Coffee Houses

You’ve probably heard of Viennese coffee houses and their renown. At the very least, you’ll have tasted a gorgeous Viennese biscuit, right?!

With perfect coffee and a flattering range of pastries, this heritage has been recognized by UNESCO, and there’s no single coffee house to recommend - maybe try finding them all? If you want to relax and enjoy spectacular delicacies, you can’t do any better, in Vienna or otherwise.

Top 5 events in Vienna

1. Vienna Ice Dream

No, that’s not a typo - the Vienna Ice Dream is the remarkable transformation of the Rathausplatz in the very centre of Vienna. Bear witness as this enormous expanse of ground before the Town Hall is turn into an enormous 8000m2 ice rink. It’s every bit as idyllic as you may imagine, and there are even warming snacks on-site if you forget your gloves. If you’re in Vienna over the winter, this is a must-attend.

2. Vienna Ball Season

Host to over 450 balls in just a few months, this Vienna Ball Season is not one single event - it’s a glamorous season the likes of which you've probably never witnessed at home! Hosted by some of the city’s most luxurious palaces, it brings a real, almost tangible magic to the Austrian capital, fuelled by the sumptuous notes of Johann Strauss.

3. Danube Island Festival

The Danube seriously cannot keep getting better, right?! Every year it is essentially transformed into a party site, hosting around 3 million visitors for the Danube Island Festival. With 1500 artists over a dozen stages, there’s entertainment for literally every taste and style. It’s also free. Make sure you don’t have any other plans during the last week of June!

4. Vienna Music and Film Festival

This is turning into quite an exceptional list. The Vienna Film Festival will run from the last day of June until September 3rd, 2017. There will be timeless classics as well as brand new, never-before-seen movies which are bound to stun crowds. The festival is also renowned for its catering, so you’re essentially looking at gastronomic delight and stunning film - interested?

5. Christmas Markets

The Christmas Markets in Vienna have to be one of the premiere outdoor market experiences in the entire world. Held right before the city hall, throughout advent, Vienna is immersed in a cloak of romance, nostalgia and happiness. The earliest markets go back nearly 800 years, to 1298, and are as much as part of Vienna’s long history as anything else in the city.

Top 5 bars in Vienna

1. The Travel Shack

Based where it is, smack in the very heart of Europe, Vienna is the temporary home to an uncountable number of backpackers, travellers and wanderers. The Travel Shack is where you can rest up, meet like-minded people and enjoy their "famous and unique shots" - take from that what you will.

It’s a really cool bar, showcasing tonnes of interesting sports and hosting plenty of themed nights, including gaming nights, beer pong tournaments and toga parties.

2. Dachboden im 25h Hotel

The Dachboden is a curious mix of beach bar and parliament cafe, but without any sand. It’s bizarre, in fact. You can swing from hammocks, work at a hard-edged coffee table or just sit and sip a tasty glass of wine. Or a lemonade. You can do whatever the hell you want, really. It’s really nice though, and be kind to the staff. They’re lovely too.

3. Donau Techno

This somewhat hidden techno bar offers massive nights out Monday to Sunday. Looking for somewhere to party in Vienna? You’ve found it. Donau hosts some of the country’s hottest underground DJs and performs exceptionally artistic (and slightly psychedelic) light shows to accompany their acts. The best part? There’s a sausage stand upstairs where you can satisfy your hunger cravings as soon as they strike. It’s a stand-out bar - but can you find the front door?

4. Crossfield’s Australian Bar

Just your local Australian eatery and watering hole. The food, it has to be said, is exceptional. You can get kangaroo steak, ostrich or even fried locusts - and trust me, they’re superb. Genuine Australian beer and wine accompany the meal (or replace it, if you’re not hungry...) and the price is totally reasonable for the quality. Crossfield’s is a ten.

5. Die Parfümerie

The youngest of the 5 entrants on this list, you shouldn’t discount it quite yet. There are 3 delightful hosts who make you feel welcome, before dazzling you with a breathtakingly tasty beverage - it doesn’t really matter what you order, they’re all that good. Die Parfümerie is a cocktail bar, but maybe not as you know them. Everything is unique, from contents to taste to aesthetics. Keep an eye out for the subtle signpost outside (which reads only "bar") and head right on in.

Best places to eat in Vienna

1. Neni am Naschmarkt

Neni is one of the many trendy and tasty restaurants located on Naschmarkt - a famous market in the centre of Vienna. They produce a homemade lemonade which will make your mouth water, and its food is all based on traditional middle-eastern cuisine, like falafel (which you should definitely eat with a hearty serving of hummus) - you won’t regret going there for lunch.

2. Eissalon am Schwedenplatz

In a sunny place like Vienna in summer, you’re going to be spoilt for choice when it comes to ice cream parlours. However, if you want the very best, then look no further than Eissalon am Schwedenplatz - it’s accessible in the 1st district, has been producing quality ice cream for 130 years and boy, do they know how to make it good. Go. Eat. Enjoy. Go again.

3. Mochi Sushi

A light in the dark. A diamond in the rough. get the idea. Mochi Sushi is a delicious sushi house in the middle of a residential area - it’s so good, however, that people travel from across Vienna to dine there. You get what I meant about the diamonds and lights now, right? It’s pretty much always packed to the rafters, so make sure you book in advance. It’s expensive, especially if you indulge in their hand-made, taaaasty cocktails, but it’s worth it.

4. Flatschers

Steaks. Burgers. Moules frites. Heaven. Flatschers is definitely one of the more expensive burger joints in town, but you’re paying for premium quality dishes. Everything is grilled and cooked to perfection, with superb presentation. Its location in the centre means you’re perfectly placed to enjoy a good bite to eat before a night on the town. Or before reading your book in bed.

5. Figlmüller

It may be 5th on this list, but it’s certainly not the lowest. Figlmüller, "The home of the Schnitzel", is classic Viennese dining at its very best. From its location by the beating heart of the city, to the classical interior and first-rate service, there’s nothing you can really say to give the restaurant any negative marks. It is popular though, so you’ll want to make a reservation. Cultural and impressive date idea, perhaps?

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