I was looking forward to this trip. For Easter in 2014 we went to Prague and had the best time, and I thought Vienna would be a nice follow up.
I wasn’t really sure what to see, so I decided to do a free self-guided walking tour, which was great. Instead of doing it all in one go, we did it over two days, leaving lots of time for each place we visited.
DAY 1: City Centre
The tour starts at the Opera House, a great place to grasp the grandiose architecture which is so characteristic of Vienna. We didn’t do this, but there are lots of performances available there.
Nearby is the lovely Burggarten (or Castle Park), great for a visit on a sunny day. We then reached the Albertina Museum, which seems to have a great collection (we ended up not going in).
It was the perfect time for a little break, so we had the famous chocolate cake at Sacher Hotel. Yum!
We then reached the Capuchin Imperial Crypt, where many members of the Hapsburg family are buried. It was a very interesting display.
Walking around Karntner Strasse (the main pedestrian thoroughfare) we finally stopped at St Stephen’s Church, a very impressive gothic cathedral right in the centre of Vienna.
Our final stop of the day was at Mozart’s Apartment which unfortunately was pretty boring!
DAY 2: Around the Imperial Palace
Another great area to visit starts at Michaelerplatz, an impressive square which has preserved Roman ruins at its centre. This is where the famous Spanish Winter Riding School is located (I’m not massively into horses so I don’t really get the appeal, but it’s a nice building).
Right behind it is the National Library, the Hofburg Imperial Palace and Hero’s Square. All this area is incredibly impressive, full of beautiful buildings and gardens. Everything is quite grandiose, so you can spend a lot of time contemplating and taking photos.
Another iconic Viennese highlight is Schonbrunn Palace, which is a Unesco Heritage site. This is an impressive baroque building, and the gardens outside are also very nice. The queues were incredibly long, so we decided to walk around the park and enjoy the sunshine instead!
HOW TO DO IT:
Stay: We got this amazing flat though AirBnb which was just perfect. The place was very nice and ideally located right at the city centre.
Eat: Food wasn’t particularly veggie-friendly, so it was a good idea to stay in a flat where we could cook. We found a couple of nice places through Happy Cow. Landia was good to taste local dishes, and Xu’s Cooking might not have been particularly local, but it had amazing veggie Chinese food and the service was perfect! There are also lots of cafes around, all with amazing cakes. We didn’t get in, but Demel had the prettiest selection of treats!
Drink: Local beers are great and there are lots of nice bars around. It being spring, spritzers seemed to be the drink of choice in many places – perfect!
Transportation: In the city centre, most things are within walking distance. There’s also a good metro network, and it’s often cheaper getting a day ticket instead of singles.
A perfect break for early spring!