Top 10 Things to Do in Vienna, Austria
Walking through the streets of Vienna, Austria we are able to appreciate how history has gracefully slithered into the modern world. From the horses and carriages trotting through the cobbled streets to the modern trains racing through the rails. Vienna is truly an enchanting magical city where time stands still but yet moves at the same time.
Vienna is one of the great old Western European capitals rich in historical monuments, culture and art that are well-preserved for the future generations to learn about and appreciate. To exemplify this, Vienna boasts one of the earliest Ferris wheels ever built, the Wiener Riesenrad. Built in 1897 by Harry Hitchins and Hubert Cecil Booth, it was to honor of the Golden Jubilee of Emperor Franz Josef I. Today the Ferris wheel at the entrance of Prater Amusement Park offers insight into 2,000 years of Vienna history and present.
The Wiener Riesenrad is one of Vienna’s popular attractions that I highly recommend visiting. Enjoy a glorious aerial view of Vienna from the 64.75 Meter tall Ferris wheel. Here are 10 more additional things you can do to make your visit to Vienna more memorable.
1. Visit the National History Museum of Vienna
Whoever thinks museums are boring has not been to the National History Museum of Vienna; there is something for everyone here. You can enjoy one of the largest meteorite collections in the world, a digital planetarium, specimens of extinct and endangered animals and insects and who can forget the animated dinosaurs.
If fossils and artifacts isn’t your thing then the stunning grounds and architecture of the museum is sure to excite you. From the beautiful stairways at the entrance to the huge bronze statue of the Greek sun god, Helios, at the roof.
2. Stroll along the Ringstrasse
Ringstrasse Boulevard is one of the most popular streets in Vienna. In 1857 to create more space for the city the fortified walls that protected the city in the 13th century were demolished. From this newly created space the beautiful Ringstrasse cropped up.
Ringstrasse is a 5.3 kilometer long circular through way around Vienna’s historical Centre most notably the Hofburg palace, the Rathaus, the parliament, the Burgtheater, the State Opera House and other historical buildings each famous in their own right.
3. Be mesmerised by the Schönbrunn Palace
Schönbrunn palace is Vienna’s most visited tourist attraction. Tourists are attracted to its architectural frame work which is a statement on its own. Having being designed to rival France’s Palace of Versailles. Inside the palace there is a wide variety of precious artwork and historical artifacts. The palace is surround by a beautiful garden accessorized with Roman ruins and statues. There is a small zoo that was constructed in the 1750s.
Such a beautiful place deserves homage and that’s why in 1996 UNESCO listed this breath taking palace a world heritage.
4. Feel inspired by St. Stephen’s Cathedral
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the mother of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Vienna. It was built and dedicated in 1147.
The Gothic-style architecture still mesmerize people up to date. Inside the cathedral you can visit the Pummerin Bell which is the largest in Austria, the catacombs excavated in the 18th century and the image of Christ crucified with beard made of real human hair. Legend says that the hair still grows up to date. Will it be weird finding someone with a ruler measuring the length of the beard throughout her/his vacation?
5. Hike the Kahlenberg Hill
Kahlenberg hill is important to Vienna’s history as it’s where Polish king Sobiesky marched with his army to liberate Vienna at the last minute from the Turkish occupiers.
The Kahlenberg is 484 Meters high. At the very peek of the hill is Stefaniewarte, a viewing tower built in 1887. On a clear day you have a stunning view of the whole city from peek. You also get to see the Schneeberg, where Vienna’s famous mountain spring water comes from.
6. Fall in love with the Wiener Staatsoper Opera House
Wiener Staatsoper is one of the busiest opera houses in the world hosting the largest repertoire. Attending a concert at Wiener Staatsoper is an unforgettable experience with its 19th century elegance and 20th century technological touches it create a unique ambience and experience.
The 1,709- seat opera house is known to perform works by Richard Wagner, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Richard Strauss. It also hosts the famous Opernball which played a central role in the Mission Impossible 5 film.
7. Go for an evening cruise along the Danube River
Danube River is the second-longest river in Europe measuring 1,775 miles. Napoleon referred to it as the “Queen of Europe’s Rivers”.
Nothing truly says vacation like relaxing on a cruise deck sipping a glass of your favorite wine and watching the beautiful landscape of Vienna passing you by. At night, the city’s architecture is illustrated by bright lights that amaze you. For instance St. Stephen’s Basilica seems to emitting a golden glow that is truly magical.
8. Sample an original Sacher-Torte
Honestly you can’t say you were in Vienna if you don’t find time to eat a Sacher-Torte. It is one of Vienna’s signature cakes. It is a chocolate cake with a thin layer of apricot jam in the middle and at the top.
It was invented by Franz Sacher in 1832 who closely guarded the recipe. Up to date very few chefs can try imitating the original chocolate dessert but never truly replicating the original. As a cushion please research the café where you’ll be eating the Sacher-Torte because you might have the most delicious explosion of favors in your mouth or end up disappointed wondering what all the fuss is about.
9. Relax at the Donauinsel Island
Also known as Danube Island. The Island is located between the Danube River and the Neue Donau channel. The island is 21.1 Kilometers in length and 70-210 Meters in width.
The island is popular as a recreational and festival venue. Enjoy the beautiful green nature park, the family beach and the biggest trampoline center in the world right in the middle of the city. End of June every year the Donauinselfest is held at the island.
10. Take a souvenir of the city with you by shopping at Mariahilfer Straβe
Most of us usually buy souvenirs to remind us of the places we have been and also for our family and friends. The Mariahilfer Straβe is the largest shopping street in Vienna with everything you might need at reasonable prices. It is a shopper’s paradise.
The street is usually busy and crowed with both locals and tourists as it has a wide variety of shops to choose from. Make sure you have a budget and stick to it when entering this street because we don’t want you to go back home broke or remain stranded in Vienna.
When going to Vienna I highly recommend you to carry a pair of very comfortable shoes because I guarantee you will find yourself talking long walks. Also make sure your phone has plenty of space for all your awesome pics. Enjoy the magical city of Vienna!