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Cait O'Brien

Ultimate First-Timer’s Guide to Vienna

Be Sure to Eat/Drink:

  • A Viennese coffee! 

  • Freud’s Favorite Haunt – Café Landtmann

  • The Big Authors One – Café Central

  • The Oldest Café on the Ringstrasse – Café Schwarzenberg 

  • Almost any – no really, you can just pop in wherever looks appealing to you. Culture Trip has a good article with more cafes listed

  • Wurstelstands! Find a wurstelstand and order the Kaisekraner specifically. I hope you also get the horseradish and mustard. Note: you might need two to feel full. The stands also sell beer and you can eat right there.

Major Sites

Check out the cool buildings – For example, City Hall (it’s best at night), St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and Karlskirche.

Hofburg/Imperial Palace – this center of the empire takes castle districts to a whole new level. Besides the big buildings and museums inside them, take time to walk around and enjoy the park scene! On the grounds is a techno bier garten, dance classes from sexy bachata to waltz, and various artists playing anything from classical harp to modern hits.

Schönnbrun Palace – The Versailles of Vienna. Beautiful, giant castle grounds to wander around. Plenty of side ‘streets’ for avoiding the crowd. Also really hilarious statues and premium photo-ops.

Hip – Happening – Places to Hang

  • The Prater – this is a giant park with a permanent amusement park installation. There’s no entry fee, so you can take advantage of the bier gartens within while getting that amusement park feeling.

MuseumsQuartier –A chill hang zone hiding in a courtyard near the Imperial complex, surrounded by a number of museums. The lounge chair colors are voted for by locals each year and there are vending machines of artwork in the colorful tunnels.

The Donau Kanal – Clearly the hotspot to sit with a radler. Enjoy the public art and beautiful graffiti the lines the Danube Canal or choose to sit in one of the hip restaurants. There’s a techno club around there, too.

Best Overall Budget Tip

Free Opera! Rather than pay for the opera, you can save your pennies by opting to watch the performance on a screen outside the Vienna State Opera. Hope the weather is nice!

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