There’s never been a better time to visit Vienna, a city voted by Mercer with the highest quality of life in the world. Vienna, Austria’s capital city, offers visitors a treasure trove of incredible waltzes, operettas and a whole range of musical sounds from classical to jazz. Amid this musical capital of Europe is the iconic boulevard (Ringstrasse), Baroque castles, mansions and gardens, and historic coffee shops.
To help you plan your trip, we’ve rounded up 5 great things to do in Vienna year round:
1. Cycling in Vienna
Renting a bike in Vienna is easy. There are 121 Citybikes stations located close to subway stations where you can rent and drop off the bike. The first hour is free and the second hour is only one euro. Added, the city has 807 miles (1,300 kilometers) of bicycle paths including the city center, the Ringstrasse Route and along the Danube River routes.
If you enjoy nature and villages, we recommend the Danube Bicycle Path from the city center to Kahlenbergerdorf, a village with a 900-year-old abbey at the foot of the Leopoldsberg.
For guided bike tours, visit Vienna’s official tourist website.
2. Enjoy the music
Strauss, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn, and Brahms performed in many of the concert halls in Vienna. Known as the world’s music capital, Vienna still offers plenty of options for classical music enthusiasts to enjoy a night of music and dance in many venues throughout the city.
An evening at the Vienna State Opera is highly recommended, but you must secure your tickets in advance. Don’t fall into the trap of getting your tickets from the men dressed up like Mozart in tights and capes outside the opera house.
3. Visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral
For Austrian history and Gothic architecture, visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom) in Vienna’s Innere Stadt (old town). This 12th-century structure is a symbol of Vienna and an important venue for funerals and weddings throughout the centuries. Learn about Austrian history in this 900-year-old cathedral from the 12th century to World War II.
There is a nominal entrance fee for those wanting to join a guided tour of the cathedral and the catacombs. The top attractions include the tiled roof, the Albertinian Choir, the climb to the top of the South Tower and an elevator ride to the North Tower (houses the Pummerin bell) and the Cathedral’s treasures.
4. Go to the museums including the Globe Museum
Besides visiting the renowned Albertina Museum, if you have time for another museum, we recommend the Globe Museum. Situated in the Palais Mollard, the Globe Museum has 240 different globes and over 750 objects related to globes, from the oldest globe (1536) to the present.
Vienna has over 100 museums and here are three to choose from besides Albertina Museum and the Globe Museum:
- MuseumsQuartier (MQ) – near the Imperial Palace and one of the largest cultural centers in the world
- Kunsthistoricsches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts) – an artistic treasure from Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman to Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque art
- Sigmund Freud Museum – located in Freud’s home/office and houses his personal things
5. Drink coffee in Vienna
Did you know UNESCO included Viennese coffee house culture in the national inventory of intangible cultural heritage?
Viennese coffee culture can be traced back to 1683 and today’s Viennese-style coffee house still has the typical coffee culture of yester-years. Every cup of coffee comes with a glass of water, and some of these coffee shops still cater to smokers.
Enjoy coffee and cakes in these coffee houses: Café Espresso, Café Hummel, Café Central, Café Pruckel, Café Jelinek, Café Braunerhof, Café Mozart and Café Hawelka.
Vienna travel tips
1. Airlines flying to Vienna
2. Distance from Vienna to other European cities
3. Find out the time difference between your hometown and Vienna. For example, Los Angeles is 9 hours behind Vienna.
4. Hotels in Vienna