Thinking back on what to write about Vienna, Austria, I remembered a lot of food and drink. But let’s be real…how many people want to read a post titled “How to Get Fat and Drunk in Vienna?” So I tried to include some cool photo ops and top attractions in Vienna for you too. Have fun, and don’t worry, I won’t judge if you opt to go the eating and drinking route on your trip! Without further ado, here are the 9 things you should not miss in Vienna.
This Polaroid tour was what really set the eating and drinking in motion. In addition to showing me around the city, pointing out all of the major sites, and teaching me how to not completely fail with my Polaroid camera, they also told me about all of the food to try. I’ll be honest, it was downhill from there.
The tour was incredibly interesting though, and a unique way to see Vienna. If you do something similar, make sure you save time for afterward so you can make all of your friends jealous with artsy Insta shots. You know the ones I’m talking about–the picture of the Polaroid in front of the location it was taken? You’ll see some further down this post.
Before we get to the food, I want to tell you about some of the awesome places to see and cool photo spots throughout the city, so prepare yourself. First up is Rathaus, Vienna’s city hall. I don’t know about you, but this was definitely the fanciest city hall I’ve ever seen.
Karlskirche (St. Charles Church)
You can’t miss this beautiful aqua colored dome. Not only is it stunning to photograph, but the church has some seriously cool history too. It ended up being one of my top attractions in Vienna.
Take a break from imperial this and historical that to check out this apartment building. An apartment building, you ask? What can be so special about an old apartment building? Here, I think I’ll let the photo speak for itself, but I promise: Hundertwasserhaus is 1000% worth a visit if you enjoy photography (or cool buildings).
If you’re still tired of looking at buildings, Volksgarten is a lovely place to kick back and chill. Or do a garden photo shoot, whatever you prefer. The flowers here are seriously gorgeous, and make for a nice stop in the middle of the city.
Vienna State Opera
To me, the opera house felt quintessentially Viennese. With the bright red street cars racing by, the Viennese dodging silly tourists (me), and the impressive design, mark this on your list of places to visit in Vienna. Located in the Ringstrasse (Ring Road), it’s easy to work into your sightseeing.
At the beginning of the article, I promised Vienna had lots of food and drink, so here the story really begins. Naschmarkt was dangerously/ conveniently located across the street from my hostel, which is probably the root of this. This market has existed since the 16th century(!!!) and is about a mile long. Filled with vintage food stalls and restaurants, the market offers just about every type of food you can imagine. Stroll through, pick up a snack, or plan to have dinner here. This is definitely one of the top attractions in Vienna (because there’s food, duh!)
One of the best known specialties in Viennese cuisine, you pretty much have to try wiener schnitzel when you’re in Austria. Turns out I’m not actually a huge fan of it, but I LOVE the potato salad frequently served as a side. Plus a glass of wine never hurt anybody, am I right?
Ok friends, I’m going to let you in on a secret here. You cannot visit Vienna and not eat sachertorte. Note that you do not say the word as it’s written, you will totally butcher it, and people will look at you like a silly American. I’m still totally unsure how to say it, but if you describe what you’re looking for, you can find this delicious chocolate cake!
I know these aren’t nearly all of the top attractions in Vienna, but these activities will give you a good taste of the city in 24 hours. If you have a little longer, definitely check out Schonbrunn palace, Hofburg, Prater, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and the list goes on. With an extra day, I’d recommend a day trip to Bratislava, Slovakia; I opted to do this, and absolutely loved it.
Cheap flights: I’d recommend checking out Momondo. They scan tons of different travel discount sites and let you filter by cheapest, best, and shortest. Another good one to check out is eDreams.net —they often feature special flight deals.
Hotel Deals: My top choice is probably Priceline.com —I’ve found some insanely cheap (beautiful hotels). Other sites I check are Expedia.com and the Hilton (for points). If you’re looking to avoid hotels and go the hostel route, I recommend checking out Hostelworld.
My Favorite Vienna Essentials
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I might make a little extra spending money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own and these products/services have been found useful during our travels and come highly recommended to you from yours truly!