The Best of Vienna Austria – Vienna offers a blend of imperial traditions, music, and endearing charm. A city that inspires with the old and the new alike, and always has a cozy place available in a coffee house or wine tavern. Vienna (Wien in German), Austria’s capital city, is rich in history, architecture, art, music, food, and wine. Located on the River Danube, Vienna dates back to a Roman era settlement. Most of the city’s many Baroque buildings were created under Empress Maria Theresa (18th century) and Emperor Franz Joseph (19th century), and today they stand in contrast to modern glass and steel structures.
Beautiful buildings, walkable streets, delicious food, and lots to do both indoors and outdoors make Vienna a wonderful vacation destination. Voted one of the most livable cities in the world, Vienna’s city limits include vineyards, parks, and the forested Vienna Woods (Wienerwald in German), a protected natural landscape. A dog-friendly city, Vienna permits dogs on public transportation as well as in restaurants and shops. The “coffee culture” features prominently in Viennese life, and coffee houses are places to relax, socialize, and enjoy the city’s famous desserts.
Called the “City of Music,” Vienna was home to classical composers Schubert, Mozart, Haydn, Strauss, Brahms, and Beethoven. Vienna is known for its Ball Season when, from November until the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, nearly 500 balls take place—with the Viennese Waltz and elegant formal attire in full display. You can learn more about the great cities along the Danube River Here.
Vienna Weather – Best Time to Visit Vienna
For mild, although sometimes chilly weather, spring and fall are pleasant times to be in Vienna. Fewer tourists make it easier to see the city’s attractions, and hotel rates are lower. Summer is warm and sunny with temperatures in the high 70s and perhaps a bit more rain. It’s also a beautiful time to go there, but the city sees more visitors during the high season, which is reflected in hotel prices.
Christmas markets and magical decorations attract tourists in winter, despite colder temperatures. The ball season from November until February can be fun even if you’re not ready to waltz onto the dance floor. Ball gowns, traditional Austrian dirndls, live music, and the festive atmosphere create memorable experiences.
Top 5 Vienna Sights Not to Miss
The Belvedere Museum is a gigantic palatial complex that used to be the summer residence of Austrian princes back in the 1600s. Now, it’s a stunning museum split into Upper and Lower Belvedere. The museum homes a fantastic collection of artwork and decorated staterooms, all surrounded by beautiful gardens. The Upper Belvedere has the largest collection of Gustav Klimt’s paintings, including the famous print The Kiss. There are also paintings by Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, and Cezanne.
The Hofburg Palace is another impressive palatial complex that used to be the Habsburg’s winter residence. Nowadays, it’s a presidential base. The Hofburg Palace is absolutely majestic. It boasts different architectural styles as it was expanded over time: Gothic, Baroque, Neo-Classicist, and Rococo just to mention a few of them.
St Stephen’s Cathedral
St Stephen’s Cathedral is the most important church in Vienna and Austria. It’s famous for its undeniable beauty and its huge tower is a highlight in the city’s skyline. The façade of St Stephen’s is spectacular. Before entering through the Giant’s Door, look above and see exquisite sculptures. A guided tour will help you learn more about this fascinating building and its interesting history and its artwork.
Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier houses many of the must-see museums in the city: Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum), the Naturhistorisches Museum (The Natural History Museum), the Leopold Museum with the world’s largest collection of paintings by Schiele or the MUMOK dedicated to Modern Art. It’s a relatively new and trendy area in Vienna, where tourists can find designer boutiques, trendy bars, and interesting street art.
The Schönbrunn Palace is a colossal 1441-room structure and complex. It was the home of The Habsburgs for many years and many emperors were born here as well. Schönbrunn Palace is beautiful and impressive. Expect nice artwork and elegant furnishings, fine tapestries, exquisite antiques, and architectural details.
Best Vienna Restaurants
Amadors Wirtshaus $30 & Over
Situated in an elegantly decorated, vaulted wine cellar, Chef Amador’s Spanish heritage fuses with his Germanic upbringing and influences from further afield in the decor and the cuisine. Carabinero shrimp with tripe, green curry and mango; and pigeon breast, cocoa and purple curry and pigeon blood sauce showcase the versatility of his offering. Pair with a selection from the enviable selection of local wines, loosen your belt and enjoy. Telephone: 43 660 9070500 Web: Amadors Wirtshaus
Konstantin Filippou $30 & Over
Expect an authentically inspired, relaxed, fish-led menu (featuring the odd meat dish) reflecting his transnational outlook – which includes stints at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Michel Roux Jr’s Le Gavroche and Arzak in San Sebastián. Dishes are a happy medley of Austrian produce and Mediterranean heritage: think marinated salmon, vichyssoise, cornichons and chive oil or fish soup with couscous and salsa verde. A pared-back dining room, in which dried wild herbs hang from the ceiling, completes the look. Telephone: 43 1 51 22 229 Web: Konstantin Filippou
Mraz & Sohn $30 & Over
The playful ‘No Risk, No Fun’ tasting menu of internationally influenced dishes doesn’t scrimp on flavor. A proclivity for seasonal Austrian ingredients plays out in the likes of Turkish pide with lardo and pine spruce, grilled asparagus with whey-habanero sauce, cod with kaffir lime beurre blanc and fig-leaf ice cream sandwiches. Telephone: 43 1 33 04 594 Web: Mraz & Sohn
Steirereck $30 & Over
The setting is a modern architectural marvel of mirrored glass, rough-luxe concrete and crisp linens, the food, meanwhile – fed by a rooftop garden and choice suppliers – is firmly rooted in the humble, quality produce of the Styrian region. At the helm is chef Heinz Reitbauer, whose char with beeswax, yellow carrot, pollen and sour cream says everything about his slant being equal parts theatre, flavor and reverence for regional ingredients. Telephone: 43 1 71 33 168 Web: Steirereck
Tian $30 & Over
A contemporary, chandelier-lit dining room studded with hanging plants is the setting for three-toque chef Paul Ivić’s beautifully composed meat-free tasting menus – with each course based around a few select ingredients. Dishes such as goat’s cheese and lentil soup, kohlrabi with peas, and green almond quinoa are typical, with sparse menu descriptions lending an element of surprise. Organic juices and wines support both the cuisine and the philosophy behind it. Telephone: 43 1 890 4665 Web: Tian
Best Vienna Nightlife
Fermentation is at the core of things here, but there’s also some pickling action on the go, alongside bitters and infusions. Cocktails are creative and distinctive, like the Wegen Reichtum Geschlossen, which brings together the flavors of quince, lemon, ginger and dill, with fancy garnishes the order of the day, plus there’s an ever-changing seasonal food menu. Telephone: 43 664 135 1320 Web: Bruder
Josef Cocktail Bar
This cosy cocktail den has a distinctly old school speakeasy vibe with low lighting and quilted leather, but the cocktails are refreshingly modern and very good fun – if you’ve got a sweet tooth you might be tempted by the Crazy Lebowski, which pays tribute to The Dude’s favorite White Russian in its blend of vodka, homemade coffee liqueur, caramel stout and buttermilk-white chocolate liqueur. Telephone: 43 1532 2044 Web: Josef Cocktail Bar
Kleinod’s menu offers signature drinks such as a take on an Old Fashioned and an almost kitsch Porn Star Martini, with plenty of cocktails for the traditionalists. However, for something more outré, try the Muffin: inspired by a Bramble, it has butter-washed vanilla vodka replacing gin and comes garnished with cinnamon and fresh berries. With plush leather booths, elaborate chandelier excellent service from a bar team that genuinely care about the guest experience. Telephone: 43 1 5120325 Web: Kleinod Bar
Tucked away – in the great tradition of speakeasies – and only accessible via the doorbell. Once inside, the decor is dark and moody, with a mid-century feel to the furniture. There’s no menu, you’ll just need to speak to the team, who can either mix your favorite classics or take note of your personal likes and dislikes, then present you with a bespoke cocktail tailored to your preferences. Either way, you’re winning. Telephone: 43 664 5463717 Web: Tür 7
If Dogs Run Free
An atmospheric, bare-bones bar on Gumpendorfer Strasse in the up-and-coming sixth district. There’s nowhere better to start the night. The classics – Old Fashions, Boulevardiers, martinis – are executed faultlessly and reasonably priced. The one to beat is the Damascus Spritz, with rum and cardamom syrup. Telephone: 43 1 9132132 Web: If Dogs Run Free