What to see in Vienna: beautiful guide
Vienna is refined architecture and respectable palaces with beautiful gardens, the emperors lived there, it is one of the main capitals of Europe, and this place should definitely be included into the mustvisit list.
The trip to Vienna can successfully be combined with the visit to Bratislava (Slovakia), which is a mere 60 km from the Austrian capital.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom) is the landmark of Vienna and is located in the centre, on the Stephansplatz square. The beautiful Gothic architecture is constantly being restored. You can climb the peaked cathedral towers to see the awesome views of the old town. There are two towers: the Southern – for the lazy ones, since a lift will take them to the top. And you will have to walk to get to the Northern one – the highest. The price is 5 Euro for each tower.
The opening hours are 9.00 – 16.00 or 17.00. During our visit to Vienna we were waiting for better weather, so we never climbed up unfortunately.
CaféCentral is perhaps the most famous cafe in Vienna, where queues build up to just sit at a delicate table in a beautiful old elegant interior and drink Viennese coffee with desserts. The building is quite large and there are several rooms, all different but very beautiful. Vienna considers itself the capital of coffee; they love it very much here and offer many varieties of this drink. However, everyone uses the dark roasted grains and most people love such coffee (because perhaps they are unaware that lighter roasted grains give a better taste), so they order it for 4.5-5 euros for a cup of cappuccino.
But in such a beautiful and different from other cafes it is still appropriate to enjoy famous coffee drinks traditional for Vienna.
WienerMelange – the most famous Viennese coffee. Espresso with whipped cream or milk.
Verlängerter – espresso with the addition of more water and cream on top.
KaffeeVerkehrt – espresso with lots of milk.
KaffeemitSchlagobers – espresso with whipped milk
SalonEinspänner – espresso with whipped cream on top, served in a high glass cup. Any coffee is served with a free glass of water and in Café Central also with a branded candy. You can choose a ready dessert or order it from the menu. The prices start from 4.5 euro.
The most famous dessert of Vienna is Sacher cake.
The minimum bill at Café Central for coffee and desserts for two will be 18 euro.
It is better to come there in the morning to avoid long queues. We had to wait ten minutes in the morning and managed to take pictures of the place meantime. And later, especially in the evening, when the piano is played inside, you may even fail to find a table there.
If you do not want to spend money there, you may just walk and look around the rooms.
This cafe is certainly historic and interesting, but the true coffee connoisseurs will be disappointed.
We really wanted to try delicious and high-quality coffee in Kaffee von Sascha, which all the more was established by a Ukrainian. But this place is far from the centre, however, if it will be en route for you – visit it!
Or a budget option, which sounds very strange, but it’s Starbucks. There are a few of them and for 4,5 euros you can buy a giant cup of cappuccino 0,5 l for two. And you also can get dessert with snacks, together with coffee that will make 10 euros.
Hofburg Imperial Palace
Hofburg is probably the largest complex of buildings we have seen. It belonged to the emperors of the Austrian and Austro-Hungarian Empires, and now it is the residence of the president of Austria.
You can get lost in the enormous complex, and to get around everything will take a lot of time and patience. You can start your acquaintance with the city from Heldenplatz square, having parked your car in front of Volksgarten park only for 6,5 euros for the whole day. All the sights and parks are situated near Hofburg palace. From there you can easily walk to the main street Graben and Gothic St. Stephan cathedral through St. Nicholas wing with a beautiful arch.
And on Heldenplatz square on Sunday morning we saw an interesting activity – the people were having breakfast in the open air – it is permanent breakfast a game, where each of the invited participants has to offer a breakfast at his or her own expenses at a different location with the different arrangements in any country. This way the organizers managed to arrange an incredible number of such parties, which create great mood.
Volksgarten park is considered to be the most beautiful. Maybe this is due to the great amount of roses or the fountains. One of them welcomes you right at the entrance from the Heldenplatz square. The living fountains are the most beautiful. This one is inhabited by a family of ducks with small ducklings. It makes you think of a French town in which the fountain is covered with seaweed and fish are swimming there. It was once a garden for honourable people and now it is a free park for everyone.
Vienna City Hall (WienerRathaus)
This building is so beautiful. It has incredible and majestic architecture with the highest tower of almost 100 meters. And nearby there is a magnificent park in the English style (City Hall Park) with fountains. How beautiful it is here during the Christmas holidays, when in mid-November in the square in front of City Hall appear Christmas fair and a skating rink in the park.
Address: Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz 1
The building faces one of the main streets (Ringstrasse) and Burgtheater Theatre.
Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper).
For lovers of opera with minimum budget there are very affordable prices within Staatsoper system, that is standing places at the price of 2-4 euros instead of 20-240 euros for sitting places. But you need to come to the ticket office at least 2-3 hours before the performance.
Church Karlskirche (WienerKarlskirche) with the height of 72 meters, the style of which combines several architectural styles from baroque Italian to Greek. The church is located near the Town Hall and Ringstrasse street. There is an enormous fountain and another park in front of it. And there is parking below the church where you can leave the car for 2 euros / hour.
Address: Kreuzherrengasse 1.
Houses of Parliament of Vienna (Parlamentsgebäude) are built in the Greek style, at the entrance there is a large fountain dedicated to the goddess Athena. All this luxury is situated near Hofburg Palace.
Museum of History of Art (Kunsthistorisches Museum) with beautiful area around, very close to Hofburg Palace. Opposite it there is another Museum of Natural History with completely identical architecture. Entrance fee for adults is 15 euros.
Vienna have also a modern architecture.
Also worth visiting is one of the most popular buildings in Vienna, it has unusual architecture for the city centre built for the emperors. It is HundertwasserHaus named after its creator. The building is designed differently from other usual residential buildings; it is painted in bright colours with trees on top and windows with funny decoration. It is as a message from Friedensreich Hundertwasser himself to everyone visiting it in which the author says that we should surround ourselves with beauty and live in harmony with nature. You need to move away from the usual things, rules and attitudes and be free. It is interesting to read about this man, even on Wikipedia. And you can look at this beauty for free.
Address: Kegelgasse 36
There are a lot of cozy markets, where you can also have some lunch.
Sea House (Haus des Meeres) is aquarium and viewing platform at the same time. Austrians chose an interesting place for fish – a former defensive tower with the height of 45 meters and 11 floors. There at a price of 5 euros you can enjoy a beautiful view of Vienna. Or you can actually go to the aquarium at a price of 16 euros, which includes a terrace overlooking the city and the opportunity to visit the cafe on top. Sea House is located on the Fritz-Grünbaum-Platz street 1, right next to the street known for shopping Mariahilfer Straße.
Belvedere Complex (SchlossBelvedere)
A great feeling of comfort and quietness in the noisy city. Two large palaces Upper Belvedere and Lower Belvedere and spacious park with fountains. Once it was the summer residence of one commander and now the grandeur of architecture and landscape that is kept as a rarity.
The works of the famous artist Gustav Klimt are exhibited in the Upper Belvedere, probably everyone knows his famous work “The Kiss”.
In the park there are several large fountains, each better than the previous one, if you start the walk from the Upper Belvedere.
Entrance to the park is free, and in the Upper and Lower Belvedere 12-15 euros each.
Schönbrunn Palace (SchlossSchönbrunn)
This is a luxury complex; the summer residence of Empress Elizabeth with incredibly large and beautiful park where on the hill stands the massive Gloriette arch overlooking the entire Schönbrunn with an interesting Palm House and even a zoo.
Schönbrunn is one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe with Baroque architectural style. Its length from one end to another reaches 1 km along and across. So you should come here in the morning, taking with you something to eat, to have a neat picnic on the hill near Gloriette enjoying the whole complex from above.
In Schönbrunn you can visit Maze & Labyrinth, where wandering between the neat bushes you need to find the way out. The price is 2.3 euros. You can climb to the top of the Gloriette arch at the height of 20 m. The price is 2.5 euros. Or visit one of the oldest zoos for the price of 19 euros.
Palm House (Palmenhaus)
Another attraction of Schönbrunn is Palm House with the height of 28 m and the length of 130 m. The building consists of three pavilions with different temperature regimes where they grow a variety of plants from all continents. It has beautiful name and architecture and is situated in the green of the park. You certainly can’t miss it walking through the parks of the palace.
You have to prepare before the visit to Schönbrunn palace.
Check the working hours of all attractions in the palace, because each has a different schedule.
This complex is located a few kilometres from the old centre, but a subway line goes there or you can get there by car.
There is only one parking and you have to pay for it. The price is 3.9 euros /hour. If you want to park free, you will have to walk 1 or 2 km to the entrance.
The Modern district of Vienna Donaustadt, near the Danube River.
Right behind Reichsbrücke Bridge there is a new 22nd district of Vienna. To get there you can take the subway, going to the station Donauinsel (line U1), located in the construction of the bridge. And the bridge is quite large with 6 lines of traffic and with pedestrian walkways on both sides.
There is a long island in the middle of the river Danube DonubeIsland (Donauinsel) 21 km long and 70-120 m wide. You can get there through a small bridge Ponte Cagrana. And there are numerous restaurants and bars on the embankment. Here Austrians like to spend summer evenings and festivals. There also are areas equipped for sports fans. It is quite a cosy place here and definitely worth visiting, if you have time.
Near Reichsbrücke bridge there is St. Francis of Assisi church on Mexicoplatz square.
With love, RH.
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