Travel Guide to Vienna, Austria

Travel Guide to Vienna, Austria

Travel Guide to Vienna, Austria

This page contains affiliate links to products and tours that I have used for my own travels, purchased & enjoyed. Clicking these links does not cost you anything, however doing so will support Blue Eyed Compass and allow the site to continue.  THANK YOU!

Vienna has become a highly sought after destination for many in Europe, and it’s easy to see why – the city is full of old world european charm, is bursting with detailed historic architecture and has become the most livable city in the world.

It’s important to be prepared when traveling anywhere, so this post is a foolproof guide to traveling to and within Vienna, Austria.

Included in this post:

  • How to get to Vienna

  • Where to stay in Vienna

  • Best time of year to visit Vienna

  • How to get around Vienna

  • Top things to do in Vienna

  • Day Trips from Vienna

  • And more!

How to get to Vienna, Austria

How to get to Vienna will depend on where you are coming from.

PLANE

If you are arriving from outside of Europe, then you’ll be flying. You can fly directly to Vienna’s airport.

*You can find great deals for flights at Skyscanner!

From the airport you can take the very easy & convenient Central Airport Train, or CAT.  You can learn more about how to take Vienna’s CAT here.

TRAIN

If you’re traveling from within Europe, you can easily take a train into the city center. There are two main train stations.  One is called Wien Hauptbahnhof, or Vienna’s Central Train Station. The other is Wien Mitte.

Vienna Travel Tip: If you choose to take the CAT, know that it only goes from the Vienna airport to the Wien Mitte station. So, be sure to plan accordingly based on where you’ll be staying.

Which leads us to our next Travel Guide section for Vienna…

Where to stay in Vienna (for first time visitors)

There are 22 districts in the city of Vienna. Yet, there are only a few that a first time traveler should stay in. Which calls into question…

Which Vienna districts should you consider staying in & which ones have the major landmarks? Based on my research & time spent in Vienna, I would suggest the following districts:

1st district, Innere Stadt: located in the heart of the city, contains the cities most popular tourist attractions. Good for walkability & sightseeing, but can be touristy & more expensive.

3rd district, Landstrasse: Within the 3rd district is the Wien Mitte station and Belvedere Palace & Gardens. Landstrasse is great for those who don’t want to sacrifice great quality for a budget – in this neighborhood you’ll get both!

5th district, Margarten: home to both the Naschmarkt and Cafe Demel, Margarten is known as the ‘bohemian’ neighborhood of Vienna. It’s a great area for those looking for budget friendly accommodation that is conveniently close to the Innere Stadt

6th district, Mariahilf: this district sits between the 4th & 7th district & rubs against the MuseumsQuartier. It has the largest shopping street in Vienna and is known for having lots of delicious eateries.

7th district, Museums Quartier: the 7th district contains many of Vienna’s famous museums, has lots of places to eat and outdoor hang out spots. It;s very centrally located & convenient for first time visitors, but can be noisy at night.

-7th district, Neubau: Neubau is a small area inside of the 7th district. It has a younger crowd, with less traditional coffee houses mixed with a retro vibe. I’d compare it to the edgy, hipster part of town. It’s great for those who want more of a cultural experience while remaining close to the Museums Quartier and historic sites.

8th district, Josefstadt: a small & charming district that is close to the Hofburg palace and the center of Vienna, although it is not budget friendly.

 

For more budget conscious travelers, it was recommended to stay in these districts:

3rd district, Landstrasse

5th district, Margareten

*Travel Tips for choosing where to stay in Vienna:

  • Stay near a metro station (U-Bahn) or tram stop. If you stay near one you’ll be able to access the entire city quite quickly, as Vienna’s public transportation system is very efficient
  • There are TWO main roads within Vienna that you need to know:

Ringstraße– surrounds the historical inner city of Vienna, also called Innere Stadt, or District 1

Gürtelstraße– surrounds all of the inner districts, think of it as the barrier street from the inner and outer districts of Vienna

The Best Time to Visit Vienna

I may be biased in saying that the best time of year to visit Vienna is during the Christmas holiday season. However any time of year would be a great time to travel there.

Christmas in Vienna is a unique, one of a kind experience that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. The entire city transforms into a magical snow globe that they portray in those cheesy but unmissable holiday movies.

If you are determined to go only during good weather, then summer would be the best time for you to visit. With fall offering light fall foliage.

The best time for sightseeing in Vienna is at the end of August through November when there are fewer tourists in the city.

How many days do you need to spend in Vienna?

The number of days that you spend in Vienna will depend entirely on what you want to do in and around the city. I would say you will need at least three full days and nights in the city. If you are a slow traveler, than a week would be best.

How to get around Vienna

On Foot/Walking

The more central parts of Vienna are easily accessible by foot, and it will be the best way to explore the city and all of its hidden historical gems. If you plan on visiting the Inner Stadt and historical monuments like St. Stephen’s Cathedral than be sure to do so on foot.

Public Transportation

Vienna is known for having one of THE most efficient public transportation systems in all of Europe, possibly outranking Switzerland! So, you’ll want to take advantage of their easy to use metro and tram systems.

Transport maps are placed at all stations and stops, so it’s easy to know where you’re going and how to get to where you want to.

Buses & Trams:

The buses & trams are great because you can transfer between the two on the same ticket.

There are over 30 tram lines in Vienna, which makes it the largest tram system in the world. With that being said, as a traveler and visiting tourist, you’ll want to take advantage of Lines 1 and 2 more frequently. These lines travel along the Ringstrasse and stop along famous historical and beautiful landmarks, like the Vienna Opera House and the Hofburg Palace. More on those places below!

*There are night buses from 12:30am-5am, every 30 minutes

Metro (U Bahn)

Vienna’s metro system has five lines and operates from 5am-12:30am. I loved how their metro lines operate both under and above ground, so you can view the city during your trip.

You can find a downloadable version of the metro lines map and all of Vienna’s public transportation lines here.

*On Fridays, Saturdays & the nights before holidays the metro runs for 24 hours

Cost of a bus, tram or metro ticket in Vienna:

-single ticket: 2.40 euros

-passes range from 24-weekly passes, price range 8-17.10 euros

 

Taxi

Like most major cities, taxis are available at a moments notice, and for a ten minute ride will cost around 7-10 euros

From Vienna’s city center to the Vienna airport a taxi will cost you around 35-45 euros.

Bicycle

Yes, you can bike around Vienna! However I wouldn’t recommend it during the colder winter months. In the spring and summer biking would be a great way to get around the city. You can rent bikes for the day and take them onto Vienna’s public transportation for free.

For late nighters, take the bus- there are 26 night buses that run from 12:30am-5am on over 26 different routes

*Travel Tip: it’s usually cheaper if you purchase your public transportation tickets in advance. You can do so here.

*Travel Tip: you MUST validate your ticket for the metro, tram or bus. The metro stations will have blue boxes near their escalators where you can do so, and the trams and buses will have them on board by the doors.

Top Things to do in/around Vienna

While I could list every little thing there is to do in Vienna, instead, here are the major attractions for first time visitors, because I find it more fun to check off a few major attractions & wander as I please around a city finding the small treasures that many won’t write about- make your own adventure!

Museums in MuseumsQuartier

There are both modern & classic museums in this area of Vienna. Personally, I’m quite particular on which museums I visit, and fell in love with the Kunsthistorisches Museum.

Open: 10am-6pm

Cost: 16 euros +

Hofburg Palace (plus the National Library & Spanish Riding School)

The Hofburg Palace was home to the former Hapsburg dynasty, which if you don’t know was one of THE most influential monarchies in all of Europe. And they did not disappoint when it came to creating stunningly beautiful palaces for themselves.

The Hofburg Palace is in the heart of Vienna and attached to it are other major tourist attractions — the Sisi Museum, the Imperial Apartments, and the Silver Collection are all different places inside you can purchase tickets to visit.

Just around the corner (but to be honest, that ‘corner’ is quite large), is the National Library & the infamous Spanish Riding School

Open: 9am-5:30pm

Cost: 15 euros +

National Library

Open: 10am-6pm (*closed on Mondays October-May)

Cost: 8 euros

Spanish Riding School

Open: 9am-4pm

Cost: 13-27 euros

 

Schonbrunn Palace

Another home to the Hapsburgs is the Schonbrunn Palace. Which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It lies a bit outside of the central part of the city of Vienna, but it is well worth the short metro ride to get there.

The palace is known for its pristine gardens and bright yellow exterior. Schonbrunn Palace is typically the most visited attraction in Vienna, which means there can be wait times for when you want to explore inside. It’s suggested to book a guided tour so that you won’t waste any precious travel time waiting in a line.

Open: 8am-5pm

Cost: 16-40 euros

Belvedere Palace

The Belvedere Palace was a summer home to Prince Eugene of Savoy, and has beautifully maintained gardens in between the two buildings travelers can visit. Personally, I would suggest only visiting the gardens and skipping the museum.

Open: 9am-6pm

Cost: 14 euros for Lower Belvedere, 16 euros for Upper Belvedere

 

Walk around central Vienna

As mentioned above, the Innere Stadt contains the pedestrian friendly & historic center of Vienna. It’s easy to walk to from the Hofburg Palace area and where the popular St. Stephens’ Cathedral is located

Open: 24 hours

Cost: free!

 

St. Stephens’ Cathedral

St. Stephens’ Cathedral stands atop the ruins of two other churches & is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Church in Vienna. It’s located in the center of Stephansplatz (rightly named!), so once you walk through the church, explore the square. You can learn where to get a cocktail with a view of the cathedral and square in this post.

Open: Monday-Saturday 9am-11:30am, Sunday & public holidays 1pm-4:30pm

Cost: free to enter, 5 to 14.50 euros for the other areas (towers & catacombs)

Vienna State Opera House

The Vienna State Opera House has tours during the day, but I would much rather spend my time enjoying a performance inside instead.

Open: depends on guided tour bookings & seasonal event

Cost: guided tours are 9 euros, performance tickets vary based on seat selection

 

Prater

Located in the 2nd district, Prater is a public park that hosts the large ferris wheel Vienna has come to also be known for.

Open: 10am-8pm (open until 10pm, 11pm, or 12pm depending on the month)

Cost: free entry

While this is definitely not a definitive list of things to do in Vienna, it gives you a taste of the major sites to see – I’m an advocate of slow travel & wandering about, so be sure to allow yourself time to soak in the vibe of the city beyond the tourist attractions listed here.

Day Trips from Vienna

There are quite a few places you can visit for a day outside of Vienna. The destinations listed below are in order of length of time it will take to get there from Vienna.

Rust, Bergenland, Austria – 

Known for: Ausbruch, a sweet wine & its temperate climate. Plus it’s located on Lake Neusiedl, which in warmer months you can kayak on

Time from Vienna: one hour by car

Bratislava, Slovakia – 

Known for: its small town charm of old world Europe

Time from Vienna: one hour train ride

Sopron, Hungary – 

Known for: an enchantingly romantic atmosphere with preserved historic buildings

Time from Vienna: one hour train ride

Graz, Austria

Known for: beautiful baroque palaces mixed with modern structures

Time from Vienna: 3 hours by train

Salzburg, Austria – 

Known for: the Sound of Music – kidding! There is much more to this city than just Julie Andrews singing

Time from Vienna: 3 hours by train

 

Don't Forget to Pack:

click image to find out more!

Fun Facts about Vienna

  • Vienna’s city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • And Viennese coffee culture is a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage
  • Vienna is ranked as the #1 liveable city in the world
  • Dogs are allowed almost everywhere in Vienna. Maybe it’s the #1 most liveable city for dogs too?
  • Vienna technically has two different climates. It borders on European transitional & Panonian
Laura of Blue Eyed Compass, a Sustainable Travel Blog

Hi!  I’m Laura, a sustainable travel blogger, as well as freelancing online brand strategist. I share real & honest information about traveling, how to do so sustainably, and ways to earn an income while working remote.

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Christmas in Vienna

Christmas in Vienna

Christmas in Vienna

11 things to do in Vienna this Christmas

This page contains affiliate links to products and tours that I have used for my own travels, purchased & enjoyed. Clicking these links does not cost you anything, however doing so will support Blue Eyed Compass and allow the site to continue.  THANK YOU!

From mid-November through Christmas day, Vienna, Austria transforms into a Christmas holiday snow globe. The city is full of quaint postcard-worthy locations just waiting to be explored. Spending Christmas in Vienna is the epitome of a holiday lovers’ travel dreams. Vienna is known as the Christmas hub in Europe (possibly the world!), in the sense that it oozes traditional holiday cheer, glittery decor and all things festive for Old Saint Nick’s celebration.

From magical Christmas markets to historic sites, and delicious treats along the way, I doubt any other city hosts a more festive Christmas season.

There are SO many posts on what is best to do in Vienna for Christmas, so along with my personal experience, I filtered through some of the bleh things to show you THE BEST things to do in Vienna this Christmas season:

Included in this post:

  • The best things to do in Vienna during the Christmas season
  • A sustainably focused christmas market!
  • Where to stay during the Christmas season in the city
  • How to get around the city
  • Travel tips for visiting Vienna during Christmas season

Top 11 things to do in Vienna, Austria this Christmas Season

(1) Explore all of their Christmas Markets

This list wouldn’t be complete without first mentioning Vienna’s Christmas markets. Imagine rows of sprightly decorated wooden covered stalls, each filled with their own unique, local fare. Some with holiday decorations, others with handmade toys, and the best ones serving a long list of mulled wine-like drinks. (Don’t worry drinking gluhwein is on this list, keep reading!)

Now, depending on how many days you plan on spending in Vienna for the holidays will depend on which Viennese Christmas markets you should check out. There are at least 5-10 Christmas markets in Vienna each season, if not more. Each one is unique with some having more food, or fewer stalls or the focus being on activities versus the vendors. The Christmas markets I would NOT miss while in Vienna would be:

  • Rathausplatz: this Christmas market is the market that you see in the majority of Vienna Christmas market pictures. The square in front of Vienna’s City Hall is completely transformed into an iconic holiday fairytale. With a mile-long market featuring an ice skating rink, a heart filled tree and ferris wheel, Rathausplatz Christmas market should be first on your list of Christmas markets to see when in Vienna.

 

  •  Stephansplatz Christmas Market: In the heart of the historic center of Vienna, the Christmas market at Stephansplatz is perfect for sharing a mug of mulled wine with strangers and enjoying roasted chestnuts. Especially if you are planning to explore the historic beauty of Vienna in between.

 

  • Karlsplatz Christmas Market: In front of the Karlskirche Church is the Karlsplatz Christmas market focused on handmade arts and crafts. This unique market has vendors who must make their items themselves and earn qualification from a jury panel in order to be a part of the market. Meaning you’ll see the most beautiful handmade items here. PLUS, this market has higher quality standards on its food and games as well. Any food or drinks sold here must be free of palm oil and organic. And it enforces strict sustainability foothold, where items like their carousel are built from used goods and runs on pedal power!

 

  • Christmas Village Maria Therisien Platz: centered between three top museums in Vienna, the Christmas Village at Maria Theresien Platz showcases a unique backdrop for visitors. It’s a beautiful traditional Christmas market with the holiday fare you’ll come to expect at these places.

*TRAVEL TIP-  the Christmas market vendors and styles can change year to year. If you are researching for your trip to Vienna during the Christmas season, be sure to reference multiple places for up to date information about the Viennese Christmas markets.

(2) Channel your Michelle Kwan persona & ice skate at Rathausplatz

The ice skating rink at Rathausplatz is not your typical American ice skating experience. Instead of an oval shaped rink, skaters are set up in a looping trail where they can skate in larger areas, but also go on an ice trail (where some areas are set on an incline for faster skating!).

This is definitely something any visitor to Vienna during Christmas should take part in. If at least to mortify yourself at how bad your are at ice skating, and watch young children zip right by you… oh wait, I’m just talking about my own experience with it.

(3) Enjoy a warm beverage & dessert at a famous Viennese cafe

If you’re a food-driven traveler like myself than you’ll be happy to know that Vienna is known for its decadent chocolate cake known as Sachertorte (cake). This cake recipe dates back to the 1830s when a 16-year-old chef apprentice had to fill in the last minute and created this delicious dessert.

Be sure to enjoy a slice (or two) while in Vienna, and hopefully at one of their historic cafes- Cafe Demel, Cafe Central or Cafe Sperl. Each of which is an opulent opposite to the ‘cafes’ we Americans are accustomed to.

However, if you would prefer a more modern cafe setting check out this list by Culture Trip.

(4) See the lights of the Belvedere Palace Christmas market at night

With some serious majestic flare, the Belvedere Palace Christmas market at night is incredibly beautiful. There are two parts to the Belvedere Palace, the Upper & Lower Palaces. The Upper Belvedere Palace has a lake in the front that reflects the Christmas market lights onto the water beautifully. This Christmas market runs through Christmas Eve so be sure to plan accordingly.

(5) Stroll along the holiday-decorated pedestrian streets on Christmas Eve nights

I can’t think of anything more ethereal or romantic than strolling along holiday decorated paths with a loved one. From the State Opera House to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and then along the Graben to the Hofburg Palace, pedestrians can enjoy magnificently decorated streets, with monumentally large holiday light fixtures and themes in each direction. This stroll is the epitome of holiday romance.

My suggestion would be book an early Christmas Eve dinner and spend the remainder of your evening wandering around the historic center of Vienna.

(6) Experience an orchestra concert inside of a Palace

Each year the Schonbrunn Palace hosts an orchestra concert inside of their Orangery (an orangery is a room at a palace where they used to keep their spring/summer fruit trees safe during winter). Classy, romantic and entertaining, this concert is a beautiful way to spend a holiday evening listening to classics alongside opera singers and ballet dancers.

Click here to grab tickets to this concert at a great low price (compared to other sites)

Want more flexibility with the date(s) of your concert experience? You can also:

(7) Soak in the sounds of Strauss and Mozart throughout the city

At the Strauss and Mozart Christmas concert at the Kursalon – fun fact, the composer Strauss himself performed here once!

You can also watch a choir recital or church concert at the infamous St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Peterskirche or the Minoritenkirche. You can find more holiday concerts here with tickets below.

(8) Spend Christmas day sipping Baileys Spiked Hot Cocoa at the Schonbrunn Palace market on Christmas day

Vienna is Austria’s Imperial capital meaning we can thank the Hapsburg for the many beautifully constructed palaces throughout the city, like the extravagant Schonbrunn Palace. And what better way to soak up holiday charm & history than at the light yellow Schonbrunn Palace’s Christmas market.

This was by far our favorite market to visit in Vienna, besides Rathausplatz, as the vendors were more unique than in other locations. In fact, we found most of our gifts to bring home at the Schonbrunn Palace Christmas market. Plus you have an actual Imperial Palace as your backdrop throughout the market.

I don’t think it could emulate a European Christmas vibe any more than this place. *If you go on the weekends the Schonbrunn Palace Christmas market hosts advent concerts in the afternoons and evenings. And you schedule your tickets to enter the palace – why not do it all in one day!?

(9) Witness the Vienna Ballet or an opera effortlessly perform their holiday shows

The Vienna State Opera House, or Wiener Staatsoper, is a truly grand masterpiece in Vienna. Rebuilt after World War II, visiting this venue for a classic performance is a bucket list item for anyone visiting Vienna.

(10) Drink Weihnachtspunsch and Gluhwein with strangers

Weihnachtspunsch is Christmas punch & Gluhwein is mulled wine. These beverages can be found at every Viennese Christmas market. In fact, the vendors selling gluhwein will often have a long menu of drink options. My favorite being a ginger-based one, and course hot cocoa with Baileys. There are also non-alcoholic ones!

There are belly bar tables at each market, where it’s a great place to strike up a conversation with a group of strangers. Who knows, you may end up getting drinks with them later that day!

If it’s particularly cold outside during your visit, you can warm your hands on one of the unique mugs they serve their holiday punches in. In fact, you pay a holding fee for the mug and it’s returned when you give them back the mug. With the encouragement that drinkers end up keeping their mugs as souvenirs. I try my best not to be suckered into souvenirs traps but dang it did they have some precious mugs like this heart-shaped one that is currently in my cupboards.

(11) Staying for New Years & need a once in a lifetime idea? Attend the annual Hofburg Silvester Ball!

For those willing to don ball gowns and tuxedos, this could be a once in a lifetime event to attend. Imagine your wildest Disney princess moments coming to life while the New Year’s ball drops at midnight. Find out more here.

Where to stay in Vienna during Christmas season

The majority of sights to see and holiday markets are located within historic Vienna. So, visitors will want to stay within or nearby that area. However depending on your budget, it may be difficult to find lodging during Vienna’s Christmas season in the heart of the historic district.

If that’s the case, then I would suggest staying near Wien Mitte, Vienna’s public transportation hub.

Booking.com

How to get around Vienna, Austria during the holiday season

By train: Vienna, like many other European cities, has an excellent underground public transportation system called the U-Bahn. The stations are all centrally located and easy to find for the OBB. You can purchase tickets at their kiosk machines or ticket windows. Be sure to validate your ticket at the entrance! And each train car has easy to follow labels for which stations will be stopped at next.

By tram: similar to the U-Bahn, Vienna’s tram system is great for those who want to see the city while they ride. In fact, there is a circular tram line that is great for visitors to hop onto if they want a quick tour of the city (or if they’re cold and want to sit inside something insulated… yes, we did this, and enjoyed the 20-minute break from the cold). Again, you’ll want to validate your ticket when you enter the tram for the first time

There are of course taxis and Uber/Lyft’s available in the city, but the fun of travel is to walk around to see everything. Plus using public transportation and walking are two great ways to be a more sustainably focused traveler.

If you’re coming from the Vienna airport, I would suggest using the CAT (City Airport Train). As it’s a convenient and affordable option that the city offers. You can read more about it here.

Don’t forget to pack these items:

Tips for visiting Vienna during Christmas season:

  • Book a reservation for dinner for Christmas Eve & Christmas day if you plan to eat out. Many places will require reservations or be closed. I mean it. Reserve this NOW. We had difficulty finding vegetarian friendly menus for the holidays that had availability, and we booked in early November.
  • Bring cash with you to the markets. While some may accept credit cards, it’s best to have cash on hand to make purchases. Especially if you want a mug of gluhwein.
  • Bring reusable shopping bags with you to the markets. If you’re shopping and expect to explore for the remainder of the day, do yourself a favor and pack a reusable bag to hold your new gifts

Scroll through to see more images of Vienna during Christmas!

Laura of Blue Eyed Compass, a Sustainable Travel Blog

Hi!  I’m Laura, a sustainable travel blogger, as well as freelancing online brand strategist. I share real & honest information about traveling, how to do so sustainably, and ways to earn an income while working remote.

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Things to skip in Vienna

Things to skip in Vienna

Six things to SKIP in Vienna, Austria

and Six things to do INSTEAD!

Avoid the typical to find the hidden gems

This page contains affiliate links to products and tours that I have used for my own travels, purchased & enjoyed. Clicking these links does not cost you anything, however doing so will support Blue Eyed Compass and allow the site to continue.  THANK YOU!

With any destination that you visit, you should always research with caution as to which things you must see and which you can pass over. Because let’s be honest, not all museums are created equal, five plus churches in one day begins to lose its lust, and we can’t all go into the same ‘famous’ restaurant.

Before any trip I take, I do a lot of research. I see which blogger recommends what, what’s the best area to stay in and what I should be packing with me. And quite frankly, a lot of what I found online was the same places listed out over and over again.

So, after visiting these places I realized what wasn’t worth our time and what was a much better use of travel time. Read on for the Six things you can skip while in Vienna, and six things you should do instead:

Things you should skip in Vienna, & six things to do instead!

(1) Don’t pay to go into ALL of the Hofburg Palace museums/areas

INSTEAD choose one part to pay for and enjoy your time outside marveling at the Hofburg Empire architecture. I would suggest either the Sisi Museum or the National Library. Vienna is full of exciting and exquisite history, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend your entire time inside of museums. Choose one in the Hofburg Palace to immerse yourself in and then be sure to have time to explore other areas of the city.

(2) Don’t pay to go to the top of St. Stephen’s Cathedral

INSTEAD enjoy a view of the cathedral and all of Stephansplatz (St. Stephen’s square) from Do&Co Hotels Onyx bar. Their interior and cocktails are almost as stunning as the views! You can still, and should, go into St. Stephen’s Cathedral, as it’s beautiful and is the city’s most important and standout church since it’s construction in 1160. But don’t pay to go up to the top of the tower. It’s like paying to be inside of the view, when the view should be the cathedral itself.

(3) Don’t visit every palace in Vienna

INSTEAD head further outside of the city to explore the Schönbrunn Palace. This palace is one of the main attractions in Vienna, but it is massive so you won’t feel like you’re walking through a crowded space (although I would still suggest you arrive early in the day to avoid some crowds).

With over 1400 rooms, gardens that are comparable to those of Versaille and it’s own zoo, you will have plenty to explore here all while getting an incredible sense of history of Austria.

Since you’re a smart sustainable traveler, you’ll be purchasing your tickets to the Schönbrunn Palace in advance. I love these ‘skip-the-line’ options!

*Please note- I often will not promote the visitation of zoo’s, as many around the world are not animal friendly and are often seen as abuse to the animals. I personally did not visit this zoo, but have read that the ‘animal enclosure areas’ are quite large and mimic their wildlife habitats. I’m unaware of their conservation efforts at this time (however, I have reached out to them for details) besides careful breeding of endangered species. Visiting and contributing funds to this zoo would be a personal consideration that you will need to make.

(4) Don’t go to Hotel Sacher for the famous Viennese Sachertorte (cake)

INSTEAD go to Kleines Cafe or Cafe Sperl for Sachertorte. Both are smaller and more authentic cafes, with a traditional Viennese cafe vibe. Kleines Cafe is located in Franziskanerplatz, and Cafe Sperl is near the Naschmarkt. Plus both of these cafes are not nearly as crowded as typically tourist frequented Hotel Sacher or Cafe Demel will be.

(5) Don’t eat schnitzel or sausage

I mean for one thing, true traditional schnitzel is to be made with veal, aka baby cow so no thank you 🙁

INSTEAD Enjoy the city’s best bakery, Joseph’s Bakery & Cafe. This is where the locals are enjoying their weekend brunches or lunches. Josephs has a few locations throughout Vienna, and some of the best bread you could enjoy. They also have a handful of vegan and vegetarian options, which pair amazingly well with their delicious coffees, juices and teas.

(6) Don’t visit every museum in Vienna

INSTEAD- visit the Kunsthistorisches museum. Known as the city’s fine art history museum, the Kunsthistorisches museum is incredibly beautiful inside and houses works of art from many famous and well known artists. Such as Caravaggio and Bernini – what can I say, I’m impartial to Italian artists

Click here to get discounted tickets to visit the Kunsthistorisches Museum!

Don’t forget to pack these items:

With Vienna being the most livable city in the world, and home to the center of European history it is chock full of beautiful places to discover, foods to sample and history to learn about. I hope this list provides you with some insight into what you can skip over during your visit to have an even more authentic visit of Vienna.

Happy travels,

Laura

Laura of Blue Eyed Compass, a Sustainable Travel Blog

Hi!  I’m Laura, a sustainable travel blogger, as well as freelancing online brand strategist. I share real & honest information about traveling, how to do so sustainably, and ways to earn an income while working remote.

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