First of all, Vienna blew us away! We loved it even more than we thought we would. Our next trip there will probably be during Christmas time because I hear that it is beautiful.
So, these are my top 5 things to do in Vienna Austria. This list is by no means all we did, but since I´m a total foodie the majority of this post includes food 😉
HORSE CARRIAGE RIDE
If you follow me on Instagram, to begin with, you probably would have seen my IGTV video that I posted of our horse carriage ride experience in Vienna.
In my opinion, there is no better way to explore this beautiful city than on one of these horse-drawn carriages. Within sight, you can find the horse carriage stands in different areas of the city:
- Stephansplatz (St. Stephen’s Cathedral),
- Petersplatz &
The short tour lasts approx. 20 minutes and costs €55. It takes you through the centre of the Old City. The long tour lasts approx. 40 minutes and costs 80€. It takes you through the Ringstrasse + the Old City (this is the option we took).
There are also carriage rides at the Central Cemetery. The tour includes numerous memorial graves of prominent Viennese personalities like Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven, Hans Moser, Falco, Adolf Loos etc. So if Cemeteries don’t freak you out this might be something that could tickle your fancy ; )
For an (even) more romantic experience, a company called Riding Dinner offers exclusive culinary horse carriage rides for 1 – 4 four people through the city centre. You can contact www.ridingdinner.com for more info or to make a booking.
THE SACHER HOTEL
Eating Sacher torte in the magnificent Sacher hotel (opposite the magnificent Vienna State Opera) was simply delightful. The imperial decor of this hotel makes you feel like you have stepped back into time…
What is Sacher torte?
Sacher cake (torte) is a rich chocolate cake filled with a slither of apricot jam, covered with a dark chocolate glaze. Austrian Franz Sacher invented it in 1832 for Prince Wenzel von Metternich in Vienna and is one of the most famous Viennese culinary specialities.
Fun fact: December 5th is National Sacher torte Day in the United States.
EATING WIENER SCHNITZEL
Wiener schnitzel is veal coated and fried in breadcrumbs. In Vienna, they generally serve it with a wedge of lemon and erdäpfelsalat (potato salad), which is not made with mayonnaise. However, they prepared it with white wine vinegar, a bit of mustard, red onions, chives, and a dash of salt & pepper.
We ate Wiener schnitzel at Café Weimar, a 5 minutes walk from the hotel where we stayed called Hotel Atlanta (directions below), and Cafe-Bistro Menagerie at the Belvedere Museum (palace) were definitely highlights on our trip. Side note: we had another slice of Sacher torte on this day too, and although it was slightly different we thought it was just as good as the one we had at the Sacher Hotel.
Equally important, I thought I´d share a little info about the Belvedere Palace in this post. In my next post, I will be adding information about Hofburg Palace which is in the centre of the old city in Vienna.
Now, some history of the two Belvedere palaces.
Famous Baroque architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt built them in the early 18th century. In fact, it was the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663–1736).
Lower Belvedere Palace
In 1716 they completed this U-shaped palace at the southern end of the main Belvedere gardens. Primarily, while the Lower Belvedere was a residence, they designed the Upper Belvedere for the purpose of prestige and display.
Opening Hours for Lower Belvedere are 10 am – 6 pm, Friday 10 am – 9 pm.
Also, be sure to check out the temporary art exhibitions, permanent medieval collection in the Prunkstall stable, the gorgeous interiors and a Baroque garden.
JAMIES ITALIAN VIENNA
Next, our lunch at Jamies Italian Vienna (Google Map below). Clearly, this isn’t the typical Viennese experience, but I love Jamie Oliver (he is one of my favourite chefs) and I simply could not pass up on the opportunity to dine in one of his signature restaurants. But, THE ONLY THING I WILL say is that I’m now hooked on polenta fries, and the hamburger was probably the best I´ve ever had…
TEA TIME AT CAFÉ CENTRAL
Visit one of Vienna’s oldest cafés called Café Central. The beautiful decor of this impeccable café will blow you away!
Their opening hours are Monday to Saturday 7.30 am – 10 pm, Sunday and public holidays 10 am – 10 pm and there is piano entertainment daily from 5 pm – 10 pm which we were lucky enough to enjoy.
Above all, we sampled two of their beautifully presented cakes which I gobbled down (just a term!) with Aperol Spritz. Oemgee the honey mousse cake, especially, I had was delicious (see photo below)! Although we had to queue outside (we also had to at the Sacher Hotel) it was totally worth it, nonetheless.
Further, be on the lookout for my next post where I share my top 10 sites to see in Vienna.
And finally, below are more accommodation options if you´re planning to visit this magnificent city.
Meanwhile, until then, why not read about my top 5 places to visit near Madrid. All excellent day trip suggestions when you´re visiting the capital city of Spain.