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10 Things a Visitor Must Do or See in Vienna

January 1, 2013

“Vienna offers an inexhaustible wealth of architectural grandeur, a rich artistic legacy and some of the finest museums in the world. Today, it has just 1.7 million inhabitants, but the immense Hofburg Palace, seat of the Habsburg imperial dynasty, recalls the city’s past as capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Most sights are within easy reach, and if your legs become weary, there are always the spotless red-and-white trams that constantly trundle around the Ringstrasse, the great circular boulevard that defines the Innere Stadt, or old city. Only Paris has more delightful cafés, and on each return visit I quickly make my way to the Café Landtmann, next to the Burgtheater and opposite the Rathaus (City Hall), for a slice of Wiener Apfelstrudel and an Überstürzter Neumann (two shots of espresso beneath a layer of whipped cream).” –Mr. Harper

  • Visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral, “the biggest church in Vienna with a beautiful view over the city,” notes Chief Concierge Dieter Ludewig and his team at Hotel Bristol.

  • Ride a Fiaker, a two-horse-drawn hackney carriage, recommends Rosemarie Regner, director of sales at Hotel Bristol.

  • Take a tour through Vienna’s history-rich coffee houses, including the Café Imperial, says Regner.

  • Explore Prater, a large public park that includes the famous giant Ferris wheel.

  • Shop at the Naschmarkt.

  • Enjoy the public Burggarten, once the private gardens of Emperor Franz Joseph I, says Michael Moser, Chief Concierge at Hotel Imperial.

  • See a performance at the State Opera or hear the Vienna Philharmonic. “one of the best orchestras in the world,” Moser notes.

  • Treat yourself at Demel, Vienna’s most famous pastry shop, founded in 1786, Moser suggests.

  • Take the historic yellow tram around the Ringstrasse, suggests Regner. The yellow tram caters mostly to sightseers, while commuters usually use the red-and-white trams.

  • See the training of the Lipizzaner stallions.

4 Places to Visit in Vienna

  • Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Ludewig and his team suggest touring the Imperial apartments and park surrounding the palace.

  • Hofburg Palace, the former winter palace of the Habsburg family. Ludewig and his team recommend visiting the Treasury and the Sisi Museum.

  • Albertina Palace has the largest and most valuable graphic arts collection in the world, Moser says.

  • Belvedere Palace has one of the world’s largest Gustav Klimt collections, Moser notes. Don’t miss Klimt’s “The Kiss,” advises Regner.

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By Hideaway Report Staff
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