Things to Do in Vienna, Austria

I spent 4 nights in Vienna. It was one of the first cities I went to where I could really take my time to explore what it had to offer. I went to Naschmarkt every day, I visited a palace, I ate in a cafe where Beethoven and Mozart once performed, I indulged in the original Sacher Torte, and I even tried some schnitzel. Am I the only person that thought a Wiener schnitzel was a freaking hot dog? Wien means Vienna in German. So, Wiener means “of Vienna” or “Viennese.” People from Vienna are a bunch of Wieners then, I guess.

Vienna is a very beautiful city. Pricey, but beautiful and clean. I could tell when I flew in that it was a “nice” city. When I got to the train tracks from the airport, I was looking at the board of departures trying to figure out what it all meant. I had no idea what kind of train ticket I bought, and some tall red-headed guy wearing a bright red OBB shirt approached me. He asked if I needed any help. I remember showing him the name of where I needed to go before I paused, looked at him and said, “you’re not going to rob me, right?” I mean, it was a little late of a reaction, but you can’t be too careful, right? He didn’t rob me, he just worked for OBB (the train company) and was there to guide lost travelers like myself to the right place.

In Vienna, you can drink anywhere: on the train, on the subway, in the street, wherever. You can grab a sausage and a beer in the middle of the street. That was honestly the highlight of Vienna for me, but I’m a pretty simple person.

Naschmarkt is so necessary. I stayed at the Wombat’s City Hostel Naschmarkt and it was right outside of Naschmarkt. For anyone who loves food, free food and samples especially, then you definitely want to visit Naschmarkt.

I went on a walking tour and the guide told me that if you went into this place hungry, you could leave full without spending a dime. It’s true. There will be some guys standing there, with their hand out, offering you a piece of falafel. If you show them interest, they’ll give you more. You can keep accepting all of these random samples that different people will be throwing at you. Naschmarkt is multiple rows of different vendors – so you can walk up and down it twice and see a new vendor.

The guys who sell falafel, olives, spreads, breads, etc., are awesome. For the best price, you just have to haggle with them a little bit. Try not to go for the pre-weighed and bagged items– go for the bulk, where the pour it out in front of you. If you try to ask for less, they’ll give you more at a cheaper price. You’re more likely to get a better deal that way.

Sacher Torte at the original Sacher Café. It’s chocolate cake. That’s all it is, but it’s a part of Vienna and you honestly have to try it. Sacher Café was pretty busy; because I went alone, it was super easy to get a table – I actually sat outside, which is preferable. It was abnormally hot for Vienna, apparently most places don’t have air conditioners because it doesn’t get that hot year round.

Beethoven and Mozart both played at Café Frauenhuber: if you want to purely be where Mozart once was, then go. But don’t expect anything extravagant. I only had coffee and a tart, so I can’t say how their food is, but if I’m being honest, it doesn’t look like much has changed since Mozart was there.

You can’t miss the Vienna State Opera; it’s huge. Look at it during the day and then go back at night. It’s pretty magical at night, I’m not going to lie. Even if nothing is going on at the Opera House, you should go just to see it. If you’re there in April, May, June, or September, they offer free screenings of opera and ballet performances! Click here for more info about their free outdoor streamings! 

Street Sausages at Bitzinger Würstelstand: Remember when I said you can grab a sausage and a beer in the middle of the street? Look for a little vendor with a Green Bunny on top of it and you have found some quality sausage at a cheap price.

Weiner Reisenrad is like the London Eye of Vienna, I guess. Instead of a traditional Ferris Wheel, you walk into big carts and enjoy the view that way.

Take the Wiener Linien (lol) to the Schönbrunn Palace. I went a bit later in the day; I was with someone who had been there before, and we were really just visiting the property. You have to pay for any of the attractions that are there, but you can mosey around the property for FREE! The property itself is absolutely insane; it’s hard to believe that anyone ever lived there.

Kärntner Strasse is where I did a majority of my shopping and exploring in Vienna; it’s close to the Opera House and down one of the side streets lies Cafe Frauenhuber. There is a lot of shopping in Vienna – so, whatever you’re looking for, you’re going to find it. In general, if you just wander around this area, you’ll stumble into more and more shopping areas.

Leopold Museum has a lot of art of which you’ve probably heard. I will be honest: I am not the biggest art person. I knew of Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt, but beyond that, I didn’t know much. Visiting the museum was an experience anyway.

This is the only museum I went to, but there’s also the Mumok and the Museum of National History close by.

What did I miss? What’s your favorite thing to do in Vienna? Leave a comment and let me know!

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