Vienna has been named the world’s most liveable city in 2014, again. I’d say it’s high time you paid one of my most favourite cities in the world a visit.
Vienna makes for a good weekend trip, especially because flights from other European cities are cheap. For example, from Frankfurt, two-way plane tickets start around 75€ with Fly Niki and 99€ with Lufthansa.
#10 – Prater
The Wiener Prater is a huge public park in Vienna’s 2nd district. Apart from biking or taking long walks, meeting friends, playing a game of football or volleyball, or just taking a nice nap in the sun, there is also an amusement park. Entry to the park itself is free, the rides cost around 5€ each. There’s also lots of food stands and restaurants.
#9 – Shopping
From the likes of Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Diesel to Zara, Bershka and Forever21, Vienna has it all. Designer stores can be found in the classy 1st district (Kärntnerstrasse) but there are also many options for those on a smaller budget. Mariahilferstraße, Vienna’s longest shopping street, probably appeals more to a younger and cost-conscious crowd. It’s in the 6th district and you can just stroll up the street after your visit to the MQ – MuseumsQuartier Wien, just around the corner.
It’s THE location in Vienna to go for a swim in the summer. You’ll notice that, instead of swimming, most just tan and show off. But the location really is amazing – you have stunning views over the city and its surroundings. Depending on where in Vienna you live, it takes about 30-60 minutes to get there by public transport. For the very sporty ones, try and bike up there but seriously, that hill is not for beginners, especially as it can get extremely hot in Vienna.
#7 – Parks & Gardens
Besides Prater, which I mentioned yesterday, my favorites are Burggarten,Volksgarten Wien and Schloß Schönbrunn. They’re perfect for a little picnic or for reading a book in summer but an afternoon stroll in winter is also not too bad. Around Christmas, there’s also a Christmas market at Schloss Schönbrunn.
#6 – Nightlife
Plenty of options to spend fun nights out in the world’s most liveable city. This blog posts gives you some ideas: Nightlife Guide Vienna
#5 – Donaukanal
Go jogging, take out your bike or just go for a little walk. In summer, get an ice cream from Schwedenplatz and sit down along the canal. Or chill out in one of the many beach bars and enjoy a nice cocktail to cool off. TEL AVIV Beach 2010 is awesome. It belongs to Neni, a restaurant at the Naschmarkt, and also offers some of the delicious snacks like Hummus with Pita or Lemonana Ice Cream. Try the Veilchen Spritzer, Mojito or Lemonana.
Photo credit: www.stadtbekannt.at
One of my favorite spots in Vienna is the MQ. During the day, visit the museums, then chill in the big square outside and have a coffee. It’s also a nice spot to meet up with your friends for drinks with lots of chairs and benches. The buildings are lit up nicely so the atmosphere is just great. Cafe Leopold, the bar/lounge that made it into yesterday’s #6 Nightlife, is right there at MQ, too.
#3 – Alte Donau & Donauinsel
If you ever need to escape city life but don’t have wanna go too far, then this is the perfect place to go. It makes for a good bike tour or a fun day with your friends in summer. Go swimming in the Danube, take a little boat tour, have a BBQ, play sports or simply relax. Strandbad Alte Donau has a small beach and swimming pools. Just sitting along the shore in the evening is great for watching a beautiful sunset. But you can also go to Strand-Bar-Restaurant “Ufertaverne” for example and enjoy a delicious dinner and wine for sunset.
#2 – Eating out
Always one of my favorite parts about traveling: Food! Read my restaurant/café tips in this post: Vienna’s Restaurant Guide
Brunch at Zweitbester
#1 – Strolling through Vienna’s historic 1st district
This is the one thing you absolutely cannot miss when in Vienna. First, for the simple reason that it’s beautiful. Period. You’ll always discover another tiny street you haven’t seen before. Every building’s architecture is impressive. Every corner you’ll turn, you’ll be stunned.
In the late evening, when the streets are empty and you feel like you need to get out for a while, breathe some fresh air, clear your mind, that’s where you wanna go. It’s especially charming and romantic in winter, streets covered in snow, air crystal clear, Christmas lights sparkling.
Some sights worth highlighting: St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna (good starting point for your walking tour), Franziskanerkirche (nice area for a coffee break outside in summer), Vienna State Opera, St. Peters Church, Kärntnerstraße Wien (main shopping street), Kohlmarkt Wien (luxury shopping street leading up to Hofburg Palace), and, of course, the Hofburg Palace (Spanish Riding School, National Library, Burgkapelle, Volksgarten).
P.S. If you can make it to Vienna during winter, try to go to one of the balls (peak season is January and February). It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.