Vienna City Guide
Vienna is the capital city of Austria. This city, which was founded as a Celtic settlement in 500BC, served as the seat of power for the mighty Hapsburg Empire which reigned over Vienna from the 13th to the early 20h centuries. Today Vienna is renowned as the economic, political and cultural epicenter of Austria. Moreover this city which is home to world famous global organizations like the UN and OPEC is also known for its landmark strewn city center which was designated as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2001.
Vienna is a gorgeous baroque city and a favored vacation destination which is known for its rich cultural heritage that has an association with several great composers like Strauss, Beethoven, Schubert and Mozart who all made this gorgeous city their home at one time or another. Vienna’s world renowned musical tradition continues to be preserved by organizations like the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the State Opera House which organize numerous classical music performances all year long. These performances along with the city’s many cultural attractions that include more than a hundred museums are known to attract more than eight million visitors to the city’s shores annually.
Where to stay in Vienna
The Innere Stadt or the inner city district of Vienna is a compact area which is bound on all sides by the legendary Ringstrasse or the circular road. The Inner City is known for its many pedestrianised streets like the Kärntnerstrasse and the Graben which host some of the city’s most famous attractions like the St Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg palace. The Innere Stadt hosts a wide array of hotels that include historic hotels, business-oriented hotels, family –friendly hotels and discount hotels and other budget accommodation options. The Innere Stadt is perhaps the most popular accommodation choice for visitors on a vacation to Vienna as it offers convenience along with numerous sight-seeing opportunities.
Landstrasse( 3rd District)
The Landstrasse or the 3rd district of Vienna lies close to the Inner Stadt and is home to several churches, monuments and palaces like the magnificent Schwarzenberg Palace, the Belvedere Palace and Konzerthaus( concert house). The Landstrasse area is the diplomatic quarter of Vienna and highly coveted accommodation choice for it is equipped with convenient transport links at the Wien Mitte Rail Station and the City Air Terminal( a terminal for the express train from the airport).
The Mariahilf area is the shopping district of Vienna and is home to major shopping destinations in the city like Mariahilferstrasse, the Naschmarket, (the premier produce market of the city) and the adjacent Flohmarket which is a popular flea market usually held on Saturdays. This district offers a variety of reasonably priced hotels along with small eateries, theaters, cafes and pubs, which are popular with tourists on a visit to Vienna.
This area lies close to the Museum Quarter of the Inner City and is a scenic area that offers many hotels, boutiques, restaurants, theaters and art galleries and thus is a popular accommodation choice with visitors.
Places to see in Vienna
Vienna’s many splendid tourist attractions are concentrated on it largely pedestrianised city center. These attractions include magnificent palaces, more than a hundred museums, gardens and unique cultural attractions like the Vienna Boy’s choir and the Spanische Hofreitschule(Spanish Riding School) which is renowned for its Lipizzaner horses.
The gargantuan Schönbrunn Palace is one of the prime attractions in Vienna. This huge structure served as the summer residence of the Hapsburgs from the 18th century onwards. The imperial palace is set amongst spectacular gardens and its boundaries also encompass the world’s oldest zoo, the Tiergarten Schönbrunn along with a maze and a labyrinth, the Privy garden, the Orangery and a children’s museum called the Kindermuseum.
You can actually make sightseeing in Vienna fun for the kids by taking them to the Kindermuseum for here they can get a guided tour during which they will learn all that they need to know about the lives of the imperial children. Further they can even try their hand at setting the imperial table and playing dress up by donning the robes of a royal child. Guided tours in English are offered at the Kindermuseum though they have to be booked in advance.
The Giant Wheel
Another popular attraction in Vienna is its Giant Wheel, which is located in a wooded playground and park known as the Prater. This ancient Ferris wheel, which is a precursor to the London Eye, was built in 1897 by an English firm. The Giant Wheel is equipped with fifteen gondolas that afford breathtaking views of the city.
Vienna’s Spectacular Museums
Vienna is home to nearly hundred treasure filled museums which are said to attract over eight million visitors a year. Some of its most famous museums include the Albertina (this former Hofburg residence hosts one of the largest and greatest graphic art collections in the world, which is composed of drawings, old master prints and modern graphic works), the Belvedere( a museum which consists of two imposing Rocco mansions that face each other and host a collection that contains fantastic specimens of Austrian art that dates from the Middle Ages to modern times and includes works by masters such as Klimt , Schiele and Kokoschka, Renoir and Monet) and the Kunsthistorisches Museum which is regarded to be best fine arts museum in the world which is housed in a spectacular building that is topped by a 197 foot high dome and boasts of an interior that is adorned with marble, gold leaf and stucco trimmings. This museum hosts a collection that represents some of the greatest art treasures collected by the Hapsburg rulers and includes artworks that range from Egyptian, Greek and Roman arte-facts to medieval art, and Renaissance and Baroque paintings.
The St Stephen’s Cathedral
The St Stephen’s Cathedral was originally a basilica that was built on a Romanesque sanctuary in the 12th century. The church suffered much damage in 1258 when a fire almost destroyed it and it was then rebuilt in the 14th century as a gothic structure. The cathedral was once again damaged during the Turkish siege of 1683 and World War II but it was restored after the war and reopened to the public in 1948. Today the Cathedral is known as a premier Gothic structure in Europe that is filled with spectacular sculptures, paintings, wood carvings and altars.
Best time to visit Vienna
Vienna has a temperate continental climate which is characterized by warm, sunny summers and cold, frigid temperatures. The hottest month is Vienna is July when temperatures usually register between 60F and 75F (15C and 25C). These temperatures are considered to be ideal for sight-seeing in this gorgeous city. Accordingly, the summer season in Vienna is the most heavily tourist trafficked season in the city.
If July is the hottest month in Vienna, then January is usually coldest month for the city usually experiences temperatures which range between 23F and 34F (-4C to1C) with much snowfall. In fact winter sports enthusiasts often book a vacation to Vienna during the winter months for the city affords easy access to several excellent ski resorts like Lilienfeld, Riechenau an der Rax, Rußbach and Semmering.
In fact, Fare Buzz periodically offers hugely attractive flight deals for Vienna and if you are currently looking for cheap air tickets for a Viennese vacation, you would do well as to contact us at Fare Buzz with your Vienna cheap air flights and cheap hotel room requirements for we can offer you variety of flight and hotel deals for Vienna at all times.
Getting around in Vienna
Vienna is usually accessed by visitors via the Vienna International Airport which lies 11 miles (18 km) to the southeast of Vienna. The airport is connected to the city center by local trains, taxis and buses as well as a City Airport Train, which provides express connections to the city and links with other modes of transport in the city like the underground, bus and tram networks.
Transport within the city is provided by Vienna’s excellent public transport system which is made up of old world trams, buses, a fast U-Bahn (underground) and S-Bahn (suburban railway). Visitors on a business trip or a vacation to Vienna would do well as to invest in a Vienna Card, which is available at hotels and tourist information centers and offers more than 210 discounts at attractions, restaurants and stores and carries a validity of 72 hours. Taxis are also easily available but are quite expensive though if you are on a romantic vacation in Vienna you may want to indulge your other half with a ride on a horse drawn carriage, which is offered as a mode of transportation in the city.
Most visitors on a vacation to Vienna don’t rent a car to traverse the city for parking within the city limits is quite expensive and the city is a maze of one-way streets that are quite difficult to navigate. However if you need to rent a car to travel outside the city during your Viennese vacation then we at Fare Buzz can be of assistance for we offer a variety of car rentals for Vienna which can be booked at the same time and through the same platforms as your other travel bookings.
Where to shop in Vienna
Vienna offers a treasure trove of shopping opportunities at its various shopping districts and many open air markets. Visitors on a vacation in Vienna usually shop for the city’s many handcrafted specialties like ceramics, Wiener Augartern porcelain, enamel jewelry, antiques, leather goods, high quality chocolates and more.
Naschmarkt is one of Vienna’s most popular open-air markets. The market dates back to the 16th century and is located on Linke Wienzeile over the Wien River. The Market has vendors who sell a wide variety of wares like dried fruits, olive oils, wines, baked goods, fresh fruits and vegetable, herbs, cheeses, breads and flowers. The stalls generally open at 9am each morning and the market also has several restaurants where you can sample local Viennese delicacies. On Saturdays a flea market is held adjacent to the Naschmarkt where all sorts of knick knacks are sold.
Other popular shopping destinations in the city are located within the Innere Stradt and include streets like Kärntnerstrasse, the Graben and Rotenturmstrasse which are chock a block with stores and galleries which offer a plethora of interesting wares.
Where to eat in Vienna
Vienna is renowned the world over for its many culinary delights. The many excellent restaurants in Vienna offer a wide variety of cuisines that include Austrian and French fare, along with Serbian, Slovenian, Czech, Slovakian, Hungarian, Russian, Italian and Asian cuisines. Additionally the city also has a well developed coffee house and café culture. The many historic cafes and coffee houses of Vienna once provided a convenient congregation point for the city’s literati and are now an immensely popular attraction in Vienna.
A must-do culinary experience on any visit to Vienna is the sampling of its world famous contribution to the world of desserts, the calorie-laden chocolate cake, Sacher Torte. This much loved desert was invented at the luxurious Hotel Sacher by celebrated chef Franz Sacher. The Sacher Café, which is located in the hotel, serves this delectable treat along with many other delicious Austrian pastries and coffees.
Nightlife in Vienna
Vienna is equipped with an extremely lively nightlife scene that features bars, lounges, and clubs. The city also offers a well established performing arts arena, which features various kinds of musical performances that showcase a wide variety of musical forms that range from chamber music and pop to waltzes and jazz. These performances are offered at many diverse venues like large concert halls, music theaters and even small discos.