Earlier this summer we were in Vienna with the Vienna Tourist Board to learn more abut the city and experience why Vienna is a must-visit destination! We had a grand time with our lovely host Rebecca and discovered beautiful parts of the culture and history. In comparison to a few other cities I’ve visited in Europe, I have to say Vienna definitely stood out in terms of its cleanliness, culture, overall chilled out and calm atmosphere (people, streets, everyone was so relaxed), and friendliness!
In 2019, Vienna was chosen to be the world’s number 1 most livable city for 10 consecutive years and is the leading destination in the Economist Intelligence Unit Livable Cities report.
Why?! Well Vienna has more green space than virtually any other capital city in Europe. It’s a place where visitors can enjoy both the city’s lifestyle and relax at the same time in parks and at waterfronts.
Sharing some tips and highlights of our trip which I’d recommend you visit if you’re ever in the city!
Vienna City Card
We used our card a couple times and based on those times the metro itself is quite easy to navigate. Would recommend looking into the card if you’re visiting as it offers you full mobility throughout the city: buses and metro alongside discounts on museums, theaters, shopping, restaurants, and sightseeing tours. Accompanying children also travel free which is grand! Depending on how long you’re visiting for, you can get a card for 24h, 48h, or 72h, the price point staying under 30 Euros. You can also purchase your card online prior to your arrival which makes life a little easier!
Grand Hotel Wien
This was home during our time in Vienna. An extremely central location within walking distance to town, the metro, and these great shawarma/doner (halal) joints right across the street.
Grand Hotel Wien is internationally renowned for its exquisite hospitality and refined luxury. Incepted in 1870 and a longtime hub for Viennese high society and discerning international guests, the Grand Hotel Wien offers a superb range of luxury rooms and suites, unrivalled gourmet dining and world leading customer service. One of the finest luxury hotels in Vienna, the Grand always guarantees an experience to remember.
I don’t know which tour exactly we did, but there are definitely plenty to choose from via a quick google search. Almost always they are free or on a donation basis, they’re a great way to see the city on foot whilst learning about what you’re seeing, historical context etc.
St. Stephens Cathedral
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the symbol of Vienna and located center-ish in town; you can’t miss it! Construction of the church commenced in the 12th century and today it’s known as one of the most important Gothic structures in Austria. Guided tour are available but you’re more than welcome to enter and have a look inside, take photos, walk around etc. A beautiful place to worship x
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien (Art History Museum)
Alongside the most beautiful library I have ever been to, this is the most beautiful art museum I have ever been to! The Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum) was built in 1891 near the Imperial Palace to house the extensive collections of the imperial family. With its vast array of eminent works and the largest Bruegel collection in the world, it is considered one of the most eminent museums in the world. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll remember the random lady approaching me on the metro asking if she could ‘paint me’?! This was our ‘studio’ lol and definitely an experience for the books! Not too sure how similar the final product looks to me lol but again, an experience! Was super err skeptical about following a stranger to get her supplies in the museum and being aware of my surroundings more so than taking pictures of interiors but trust me, unbelievably stunning! Also, café of dreams! The Café-Restaurant at the first floor of the museum is literally interior, café, photoshoot, everything goals! So much so I didn’t get ‘the shot’ lol but ugh, breathtaking!
Prater is the world’s oldest amusement park and a green park twice the size of Central Park New York. The Vienna Prater is entertaining and exciting, but can also be relaxing and quiet. One part of it contains charming attractions ranging from a nostalgic merry-go-round to an ultra modern roller coaster and Vienna’s landmark, the Giant Ferris Wheel. This part of Prater is the oldest amusement park in the world and celebrated its’ 250th birthday in 2016. In the other area, known as the “Green Prater,” you can find meadows to lie on, shady trees, and quiet paths for an ickle stroll. It was raining and quite chilly this day so we didn’t get a chance to walk around as much, but did take a ride on the Ferris Wheel which gave the most beautiful view of the entire city. Definitely kid friendly too!
The Palmenhaus is a large greenhouse featuring plants from around the world. It’s the most prominent of the four greenhouses in Schönbrunn Palace Park, and among the largest botanical exhibits of its kind in the world, with around 4,500 plant species. It’s also the prettiest botanical bar/lounge/restaurant unlike any I’ve seen and a must visit! Besides the food being amazing, the interiors are to die for and a perfect backdrop for photos. Kitchen goals, dining room goals, everything goals!
Seeing as I had recently done a collaboration with Swarovski for their #NoRegrets Summer collection, the tourist board set up an organized tour of the Swarovski Kristallwelten store on Vienna’s upscale shopping street, Kärntner Straße which was super lovely of them to do, thank you! It was such an informative experience learning about the history behind the brand and I think my favorite part was seeing the beautiful tiaras which are designed each year by a new designer and then debuted at the annual Austrian ball (total Anastasia vibes even though she wasn’t Austrian but you get me!)
The store has brought together sparkling shopping experiences and spectacular art installations for ten years which were gorgeous! Its glass cubes and the art space are “windows into a world of dreams” that have served as a prominent stage for over 50 installations by more than 20 artists to date, including renowned personalities such as Philip Treacy, Susanne Bisovsky, Jean Paul Gaultier, and currently by Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen.
We were told this was of the most beautiful libraries in the world and jeez was it ever! Belle herself would be head over heels over the beauty of this place! The impressive state hall of the library is almost 80 m long and 20 m high and crowned by a dome that is magnificently decorated with frescoes by the court painter Daniel Gran. More than 200,000 volumes are exhibited here, among them two exquisite Venetian baroque globes: one for the earth and one for the sky, each with a diameter of more than one meter.
Boat ride on Old Danube
The contrast between the skyscraper skyline and the calm waters of the Old Danube is quite the sight. The Old Danube draws about 1 million visitors per year; surrounded by gardens, lawns, restaurants with terraces on the water, promenades with pedestrian and bicycle paths, the Old Danube is a hotspot for swimmers, sailors, rowers, and surfers. You can rent a boat and sail the river; the cutest houses ever along the bank bringing back Noddy vibes!
Based on my mediocre google searches, I wasn’t as excited about this palace as I should have been. The minute you enter the grounds, to seeing the vintage horse-and-carriage rides, to the unbelievable garden round the back, ugh, you’ve fallen in love x if you’re ever searching for someplace to take your wedding photos, this would be the place. Felt like something out of Alice and wonderland tbh, so enchantingly beautiful and lowkey makes you wish it was your grandparent’s summer house lol the palace itself was built around 300 years ago. It was the imperial summer residence and beautiful Empress Elisabeth, the legendary Sisi, spent her first years of marriage with Franz Josef there. Apart from the palace (which you can go into), the park on it own is definitely worth a visit. The palace and the romantic gardens form a unit and reflect each other, in accordance with the Baroque notion of the princely palace.
Karlskirche Church is a stunning baroque church located on the south side of Karlsplatz in Vienna, also walking distance from Hotel Wien. It’s considered to be the most outstanding baroque church in Vienna, as well as one of the city’s greatest buildings. Worth seeing both in the day and night for the stunning reflection you get in the pond across!
and there we have it! Little pocket guide above for you to screenshot and keep in your phone as an easy go-to next time you’re in Vienna! Check out my highlights on instagram for more videos and visuals of the city and as always feel free to send a message or email if you’ve got any question/comments/concerns! love you miss you bye xoxo