Whether you’re in Vienna for a semester or just a weekend, you're going to want to try the city's best eats, see the city's greatest sites and experience the city's most fun features. Vienna offers visitors historic sites to see by day, and fun restaurants, cafes, and clubs to enjoy by night. The list of recommendations could go on forever, but it’s been narrowed down to some favorites. Whatever experience you want to have in Vienna, you can have with this dynamic list:
Things to See:
Belvedere Palace: The old summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy now serves as a beautiful museum and tourist attraction in Vienna. This Baroque palace is on an enormous piece of property and has beautifully symmetrical gardens that make for a perfect photo-op.
Schönbrunn Palace: This Habsburg Palace, which still has almost 500 public apartments inside, has a slightly different feel than the Belvedere. However, this palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it too has beautiful landscaping and a large piece of property to walk around.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral: This historic multi-era cathedral is a must-see. Placed in Vienna’s city center, it will creep up on you as you walk along The Graben, one of Vienna’s most famous shopping districts.
The Spanish Riding School: From 10:00-12:00 A.M. almost every day of the week, you can see the beautiful Spanish Lipizzaner stallions practice their routine in the historic Hofburg Palace.
Where to Eat:
Naschmarkt: This is Vienna’s most famous permanent open-air market. It is located in the sixth district and has a flea market added to it on weekends. Food vendors there are primarily Turkish, and sell only the best dried fruit, falafel, baklava, cheese, and more kinds of hummus than you knew existed. The Naschmarkt also has some restaurants, including the famous ‘Neni Am Naschmarkt,’ an Israeli restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Henry: Viennese locals might not add this one to the list, but if you’re really missing the salad bar at Whole Foods, then this is your place. Everyday, this grocery store in the first district has a fresh salad bar and hot bar. You can take their healthy options, very similar to what you would find at Whole Foods, to-go. You can also purchase fresh sandwiches, pre-made salads, smoothies and coffee. Pro-tip: there are two Henry locations in the Vienna airport.
Motto: This is a hip bar and dinner restaurant in Vienna’s fifth district that famously serves a delicious seasonal menu. This restaurant is run by the same chef that serves at the more upscale restaurant, ‘Motto Am Fluss.’ To make itself even more inconspicuous, the name of the restaurant isn’t anywhere on the entrance, but the restaurant is rather marked with a triangle.
Ramien: You might be surprised to find an Asian restaurant on a restaurant list for Vienna, but this place is always packed. They have the best pho, ramen curry, and rice bowls you will ever have, with vegetarian options for all. It’s perfect for lunch, dinner, or late nights at their club downstairs.
Phil: Cafés get their own section in Vienna, as coffee culture defines the city. Sit down at Phil for a soy matcha or chai tea latte, plug in your computer and buy a coffee table book upon your exit. Or, if you stay until dinner time you can dance to a disco ball.
Hotel Sacher: Even American restaurants probably sell the Sacher Torte now. Come to this café in the Hotel Sacher right near the Opera house for the original Sacher chocolate cake or Apple Strudel.
Café Central: This is Vienna’s most famous café, which serves traditional coffee and desserts. Treat yourself to a delicious snack here to accompany your drink.
The 25 Hours Hotel: This hotel kind of makes you feel like you’re in an Urban Outfitters catalog. After exploring the gift shop (literally open all the time), take the elevator to the rooftop where you will find a dim-lit bar serving fun cocktails and a swanky atmosphere.
Volksgarten: This is one of the most famous upscale clubs in Vienna. Dress to impress, and make sure you’re 21 or older if you're coming here.
Travel Shack: If you’re missing your funky college bar with a karaoke room, drinking games, pool tables, and crazy painted walls, then this is the place for you. Popping until 4 A.M., this corner bar is sure to please.