Vienna City Breaks
Vienna's inspiring attractions make for a perfect city break at any time of the year. The historic centre of Vienna, with world-famous sights like the St. Stephen's Cathedral and the Imperial Palace, has been added to the UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage list.
With its monumental palaces, gilded opera houses and stately boulevards, Vienna might feel like an imperial capital lost in history. It is undoubtedly a city of great heritage but it is also a city that has embraced the modern world and is a leader in the contemporary art scene. With a thriving nightlife and numerous great cafés, bars and restaurants, it is a city that offers great diversity.
Once the seat of the Habsburg Empire, Austria's capital retains an ambience of imperial elegance and boasts some of Europe's most impressive royal buildings. Follow in the footsteps of the Habsburgs; visit the stunning Baroque Schönbrunn and Belvedere Palaces and stroll along the Ringstrasse surrounding the Imperial Palace.
Also inextricably linked with the city are the delights of Viennese cuisine and the unique charm of Vienna's coffee houses. Synonymous with Strauss's Blue Danube Waltz and the compositions of Haydn, come and embrace Vienna's rich musical heritage.
24 hours in Vienna
An ideal way to start the day is to have breakfast in one of the famous cafes - Café Pruckel, Café Landtman or Café Central are all great choices. The latter features a life-sized statue of Viennese writer and poet, Peter Altenberg. The church of St. Stephen, a gothic masterpiece, is worth visiting early in order to miss the queues waiting to climb to the top of the tower. The Hofburg Palace and a visit to the Spanish Riding School are also a must (remember to purchase your tickets for the riding school in advance). For lunch, dine at one of the street cafes near to the Naschmarkt - a pulsating open-air market.
A trip on the tram around the Ringstrasse allows you to see many of the famous buildings that represent Vienna. Worth a visit are some of Vienna's many art galleries, whether this entails viewing Klimt at the Belvedere or Egon Schiele at the Leopold Museum. Try a traditional Viennese restaurant such as the Schweizerhaus before a visit to the opera.
For a more in-depth look at the city, check out our definitive guide to a Vienna city break.
Did you know?
Vienna is credited with quite a few inventions over the years. These include PEZ dispensers, snow globes and even croissants.
- Flight time from London: 2 hours 10 min
- Vienna International Airport: 18km from the city centre; transfer time about 15 min
- Nearest railway station: Wien Westbahnhof
- Currency: Euro
Take advantage of more than 210 discounts and unlimited free travel by underground, bus and tram for 72 hours with this card. Includes museums and attractions, theatres and concerts, shops and restaurants. Each Vienna Card entitles one child below the age of 15 to travel with you for free. Prices start at just £21pp.
Don't forget to add the Vienna Card to your booking!
You will find the main shopping streets (Kärntnerstrasse, Graben, Kohlmarkt and Rotenturmstrasse) in the city centre.
Other shopping destinations are Mariahilferstrasse, one of the longest streets in Vienna, Favoritenstrasse and Landstrasser Hauptstrasse.
The Naschmarkt is a daily fruit and vegetable market south of the opera district. Vienna's largest and best-known market offers a mixture of Viennese and international delicacies.
Right in the heart of the city is the supremely designed Haas House. The mirror image of St Stephen's Cathedral reflects in the building's semicircular glass facade. Here, you will find a number of exclusive shops and boutiques and a terrace restaurant which offers fantastic views over the historic city centre.
One of Vienna's favourite sweet shops.
Enjoy one of the many coffee houses and try a piece of Mozart Cake.
This Viennese restaurant is rich in tradition and inseparably linked with the Prater in Vienna. Here you may enjoy a relaxing atmosphere in the large beer garden - the perfect place to savour a delicious meal under giant old trees.
Sacher Hotel Restaurant
This is the best spot for a romantic dinner and a showcase for imperial Vienna. The restaurant serves various Viennese and international dishes and the famous Sachertorte was invented here.
There is no more traditional place to dine in all of Vienna than this cellar-level restaurant in Vienna's Town Hall. Live musicians entertain as you sample your Wiener schnitzel.
If you can't visit neighbouring Budapest, then here you can get a taste of traditional Hungarian cuisine.
The Original Sacher-Torte
The Wiener Sachertorte is world renowned and has been a favourite for more than 175 years. Try this dream of a chocolate cake with unsweetened whipped cream and a 'Wiener Melange' coffee.
St. Stephen's Cathedral
This cathedral is not only Vienna's major sight and symbol, it is also the city's most important Gothic construction and has been the church of the archbishopric since 1722. The cathedral represents eight centuries of architectural history.
Until 1918, the Imperial Palace (Hofburg) was the centre of the vast Habsburg empire. Today, the palace complex houses more than 20 top museums and exhibitions as well as several cafés, restaurants and gardens.
A magnificent Baroque palace surrounded by beautiful gardens. Belvedere is also the location of the Austrian Gallery Museum which features Gustav Klimt's famous painting 'The Kiss'.
The former summer residence of the imperial family is considered one of the most beautiful baroque palaces in Europe.
Close to the Imperial Palace, you will find Vienna's exciting art complex with several renowned museums and a lively restaurant and bar scene.
Spend a fun-filled day in the Prater, Vienna's amusement park and location of the Giant Ferris Wheel, one of the city's famous landmarks.
Viennese nightlife offers something for everyone. You can dance into the morning hours, hear a concert, attend an opera, go to the theatre, gamble, or simply enjoy regional wine in a local tavern.
Music is at the heart of Vienna's cultural life. The city continues to attract composers, musicians and music lovers. You can find places to enjoy everything from chamber music and pop to waltzes and jazz. Austria's capital is also home to four major symphony orchestras, including the world-acclaimed Vienna Symphony and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, there are dozens of others, ranging from smaller orchestras to chamber orchestras.
Home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the world's leading opera stars perform at this legendary opera house. Vienna's blossoming bar scene centres around Schwedenplatz in the so-called Bermuda Triangle. Here, you will find everything from intimate pubs to large bars with live music.
This is one of the most famous jazz pubs in Austria, noted for the quality of its U.S. and central European-based performers. The bar is located in a deep 200-year-old cellar. The Heurigen (wine taverns) on the outskirts of Vienna have long been celebrated in operetta, film, and song. Grinzing, at the edge of the Vienna Woods, is the most-visited district. This is an area full of narrow old streets and houses, with thick walls surrounding inner courtyards.
This wine tavern offers one of the best authentic atmospheres just 20 minutes outside Vienna city centre. In summer, you can enjoy delicious wine and tasty food in the flower-decked garden set against a backdrop of ancient vineyards.