Rome, Paris, and London – these cities earned their place as part of the grand European tour; but there is another that shouldn’t be discounted: Vienna. Possibly more famous for hosting intergovernmental organizations such as OPEC and the United Nations, it is also an entertaining vacation destination. This Vienna travel guide for first time visitors will primarily provide you with tidbits on where to stay, what to eat, and what to see. Vienna is a city thriving with cultural attractions and beautiful gardens. The city is also known as both the City of Dreams and the City of Music; so in the words of Billy Joel, Vienna waits for you.
Vienna Travel Guide
Where to Stay
There are accommodations that fit any budget when visiting and staying in Vienna. Those who want to splurge might want to consider the Starwood property, Le Meridien. Located in the heart of the city, it’s just a short walk away from the museums and local shops. The hotel offers suites that feature private bath and balconies. Amenities include swimming pools, spa facilities, and a sauna for relaxing. Rates begin at approximately $230 USD a night.
Those who are on a more moderate budget, consider Austria Trend’s Hotel Savoyen Vienna where nightly rates begin at roughly $95 USD. Like the city of Vienna itself, the hotel focuses on environmental sustainability – for example using green clean solutions. There is a downstairs restaurant and bar where you can treat yourself to a nice meal with cocktails.
For me, the highlight of every culinary adventure is dessert; and Vienna is a city well known for them. The city is home to exceptional patisseries including Café Landtmann. The café is a typical Viennese coffee shop that offers fresh cakes and pastries daily including the famous Original Wiener Apfelstrudel. This sweet delicacy is a cross between an apple dumpling and a bread pudding.
Another Viennese classic dessert is the Sachertorte. This dessert made with chocolate cake and filled with apricot jam originated in Vienna. Try it at Café Sacher Wein, whose cake recipe claims to be the same one used by the creator, Franz Sacher.
Of course, no trip to Vienna is complete without sampling the famous schnitzel. As a Texan, this preparation reminds me of chicken fried steak; however instead of beef, the schnitzel uses high quality cut of veal that’s breaded and then fried. Try it at Vienna’s Skopik & Lohn, lauded by critics as one of the best and trendiest restaurants in the city.
Museums and Recreation
Experiencing Viennese culture includes visiting as many museums as time allows. In this Vienna travel guide, I’d recommend visiting the Imperial Palace (Hofburg). This complex was once the seat of the Habsburg dynasty and now serves as the Austrian seat of government. It houses a stunning collection of silver and rare books; as well as the jewels that once belonged to Holy Roman Emperors.