8

(mostly) Free

Things to Do in

Vienna

Vienna

Vienna

Great

COVID-19

Due to the worldwide pandemic, please check for destination travel restrictions prior to visiting/booking

There is a palpable air of sophistication, elegance, and culture in Vienna.  From the palaces of the Habsburgs, to the Vienna State Opera where you can still hear the philharmonic playing Viennese legends like Mozart and Strauss, to the horse drawn carriages parading through the partially cobbled streets, to the upscale stores lining the boulevards and squares, Vienna made us feel just a touch out of place in hiking pants and t-shirts.  The early Roman influence is still visible, but it is a city dominated by Baroque architecture.  We greatly enjoyed the city and would love to return one day to immerse ourselves further in the rich culture this city has to offer.

Free

  • Visit the gardens at Schönbrunn Palace. The summer home of the Habsburgs with over 1,400 rooms and 500 acres of ornately manicured grounds. The grounds are free to wander and you can get lost in the beautiful tree covered acres even without paying for the maze area. There are plenty of paid tours and activities to do there that you could spend a whole day. The Gloriette costs $5 to summit and isn’t much better than the view you get from the top of the hill it sits upon.

  • Walk the grounds of the Hofburg Palace.  The imperial palace of the Habsburgs and currently home to the Austrian government and several museums.

  • See St.Peter’s Church. The interior took our breath away upon entry. We listened to a free organ concert, check the schedule to see one for yourself.

  • See St. Stephen’s Cathedral.  A nearly 800 year old church that is the heart of Vienna and was once the tallest building in Europe. For a small fee, we climbed the 343 steps up to the bell tower observation area and enjoyed a bird’s eye view of the city while the bells were ringing.

  • Do a self directed walking tour. We listed to Rick Steve's walking tour and found ourselves navigating through historical sites from the Opera House to the Holy Trinity Plague Column.

Worth the Money

  • Eat at Cafe Central. Dating back to 1876, this is one of the most traditional, and famous, cafes in Vienna. Try one of their incredible desserts including Sachertorte and Mor Im Hend (warm chocolate hazelnut cake). Sachertortes, invented in Vienna at the Cafe Sacher, are sold all over town. They are a dry chocolate cake with a dark chocolate ganache frosting and a thin layer of apricot jam.

  • Experience Time Travel Vienna. It is a A 4D movie/tour through Vienna’s history which was fun a fun introduction to the Vienna but bordered on the cheesy tourist trap side.

  • Eat wiener schnitzel, the most famous meal of Wien (Vienna). Under Austrian law, it must be made with veal. Or eat at Veggiezz, we enjoyed a much needed vegan meal there.

Tips for Visiting

  • Watch out for tourist trap classical concerts and make sure you are buying from a reputable vendor. When researching concerts I found several posts about being misled.

  • The subway system is efficient and inexpensive. You can get to most places in town easily but it is also very walkable within the inner city.

  • There are inexpensive ways to experience the culture in Vienna. Check out Opera for All where the evening opera is projected on a screen outside the Opera House, $5 standing tickets for last minute concert goers and sometimes you will hear music coming from the windows of different venues.

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