I’ve always dreamed about walking the streets of Vienna in the winter. Right before Christmas, when the Christkindmakrts are full with people drinking Glühwein and eating Pretzels, and there is snow everywhere… The last December my dream came true. Except for the snow.
The first time I went to Vienna, three years ago, I stayed at a friend’s home. This time I was a guest of 25hours Hotel. It is located near the Museumsquartier and it is perfect to reach the most important sights of the city.
Vienna is a charming city with rich history. In fact, I think the museums are the best part of the city. Start with Museumsquartier, you will need a day may be to see everything. So if you don’t have much time, go to www.wien.info before your trip and make a list of the current exhibitions you would like to see the most. But if you like art, Albertina is the museum you must go to. Personally, my favorite.
And as it was so cold outside, this time I decided to spend more time inside and see the musical part of the city. Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss, Haydn, Schubert, Brahms –all of these great compositors lived in Vienna and their homes are now turned into museums. But if you are not exactly a fan of the classic music, visit Haus der Musik – you can learn a lot about the sounds, how to compose a waltz with a pair of dice, be an orchestra conductor or just to find out how your name would sound like if it was a Mozart’s composition.
I strongly recommend a visit a performance of the Spanish riding school – it’s the oldest of its kind in the world. The school is located in the Hofburg and almost every day you can attend the morning training of the horses. But most exciting are the performance and the tribute to Vienna – over four centuries of classical equitation are turned into an amazing musical performance. The highlight is the Fête Impériale – on the last Friday in June the Baroque Winter Riding School and the Stallburg are transformed into the most beautiful ballrooms in the city, where this unique summer ball is held.
For all design lovers – go to Stilwerk in the Sofitel Building where the showrooms of many designer are. The place is great and at the last floor of the Sofitel Hotel is located a restaurant with breathtaking view over the city’s rooftops.
Eat & Drink
For delicious Austrian food go to the typical Beisl, I recommend Glacis Beisl – the Goulash and the Wildroulade are the best!
Something sweet? Try the Sachertorte, Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte or Annatorte – the most delicous you can find at Demel.
The two hottest spots in the city? Motto am Fluss because of its amazing romantic interior and the most incredible fish and desserts. 1500 Foodmakers and Dachboden – both in the25hours Hotel, the first it’s an Italian-American restaurant on the ground floor with great design and yummy food. The second is a rooftop bar with the best drinks in the city!
I strongly recommend Air Berlin. If you don’t like to fly, there are trains to almost every major destination in Europe. From the airport to the city center take the CAT (city airport train) – it cost a little bit more that the train but it’s way much faster (only 16 min!) and comfortable.
If you are visiting Vienna during the summer, rent a bike. If your hotel doesn’t offer that service, try the bike-sharing, there are stations almost everywhere. It is really pleasant and perfect for exploring the city. In the winter it’s better to use the subway or the trams, the wind can be really freezing. 25hours Hotel offers a free MINI rental to the guests – another good reason to book a stay there.
Top 15 things to see in Vienna
- Schonbrunn Palace, Gardens and Zoo
- Belvedere Palace and Gardens
- Hofburg Imperial Palace
- St Stephan’s Cathedral
- Spanish Riding School
- Albertina Museum
- The State Opera House
- Burggarten and the Butterfly House
- Haus der Music
- Karlsplatz and Karlskirche
- Donauturm (with the revolving restaurant)
- The Seccession