So you checked in at the hotel, cursed gently for forgetting the travel adapter, and debated the morality of packing up the free shampoo on the first day. What to do now?
- See also:
Useful overview articles
(Don’t visit Vienna without dropping into a traditional café)
- What events do you suggest? A list of recurring events and festivals by month, plus a few tips for what’s on right now.
- What exhibitions are on? List of current and future art, photography, design, architecture, history etc. exhibitions in Vienna.
- What should you experience? A list of authentic activities for those who wish to immerse themselves in Viennese life. May involve food, particularly cake. And coffee.
- What should you see? Big overview of the main sights and tourist attractions throughout the city, split by area, season and celebrity (if you want to follow in the footsteps of Beethoven, for example).
- What must you see? Collection of my Top 10 favourite sights, many of which also tick the boxes on some traditional Vienna landmarks.
- What can you do in a day? Three different one-day itineraries, depending whether your main interest is art, history, or city life & architecture.
- What can you do on a budget? The many free activities, sights, and experiences on offer in the city.
- Where can I get the best city views? No explanation required.
- What can I do with the kids? We have children in Vienna, too, so the city offers more than just art and architecture. The particularly good news is we have a rather good zoo.
- How can I see a classical concert? You’re in the right city for a bit of Brahms or Beethoven. Or Mozart. Or Schoenberg. Or Mahler. Or Strauss. Or…you get the picture.
Enjoy your visit simply by wandering around and soaking up the historical atmosphere.
For more disciplined sightseers, see this detailed guide to the city, with maps, photos, insider tips, musician & artist trails, and more.
A capital city and top tourist destination can’t survive on nice buildings alone. The city provides no shortage of entertainment to keep locals and visitors alike in good spirits.
For a look at the more prominent festivals and other events for visitors in the annual Viennese calendar, browse this monthly event overview.
There’s a lot to be said for simply indulging in a few authentic local experiences, such as coffee and cake, open-air markets, and sausages. And for a fun alternative to walking around history, take the 5D, virtual reality equivalent at the Time Travel Tour or go on a virtual tour before you even get here.
Christmas, New Year, Easter
Vienna takes on a special ambience during Christmas (my favourite season) and New Year.
It all begins in late November with the appearance of the Christmas lights, best seen through the steam rising from a mulled wine or a bag of freshly-roasted chestnuts. Yeah, I’m a sucker for tradition.
Talking of seasonal markets, they also feature heavily during the Viennese Easter.
Stage and screen
The event listings cover various food, music, film, and other festivals. But outside of those, Vienna has three major opera houses, numerous classical music venues, as well as several English-speaking theatres and cinemas.
Finally, if you’ve exhausted the entertainment potential of Vienna (or simply want a change of scene), various other cities, sights, and experiences are within an easy day trip by car, bus, train, or boat.
(That page of suggestions remains very much a work in progress as I don’t get out of the city much.)