Kempinski Blog Article
One of Austria’s most enjoyable city destinations, Vienna has everything you would hope a European capital would have. Full of culture, sights and experiences, all surrounded by beautiful architecture built throughout the centuries-long reign of the Habsburg Dynasty. Over the years the Viennese have built up their own interesting culture that is unique compared to the rest of Austria.
The Austrian capital is a perfect destination for those who like variety – from the fascinating museums and opera houses, to the green spaces and exciting nightlife, this city break destination has something for all visitors.
The city’s diverse population is what has shaped the culture of this beautiful city, with an eclectic mix of restaurants and cafes, aided by its strong socialist character Vienna is one of the most amazing cities Europe has to offer. The city’s musical heritage provides a huge range of live shows to enjoy. There is also a collection of modern art galleries just waiting to be explored, or discussed at the many relaxed coffee houses across the city.
Despite having a population of only around 1.8 million, Vienna has and abundance of sights and attractions that will require multiple trips to discover them all!
The easiest way to reach Vienna is by air, landing at Vienna International Airport, which is serviced by a diverse range of international carriers – click here to see a list – that offer regular flights to most European capitals and places further afield. From the airport, catch the S-Bahn or a direct bus to the centre of Vienna, both of which operate at very regular intervals.
If you choose to get a taxi from the airport, expect to pay between €25 and €30 to get to the centre, and agree on a price before you get in as prices are not set. Alternatively, you can arrive in the city centre via train from other big European cities including Munich, Prague, Zurich and Budapest, and buses also constantly operate between the city and nearby European capitals, arriving at Vienna International Busterminal. If you arrive by car, make sure to get a toll sticker (an ‘Autobahnvignette’) from a petrol station that covers your stay.
Inside the city, enjoy Vienna’s excellent public transport system – a mixture of bus, railway, underground and tram – hire a bicycle or simply explore on foot. Despite having so much on offer to experience, the city is actually quite compact - the centre can be walked across in around 20 minutes.
For a real taste of Viennese hospitality, be sure to consider the superior service, rooms and suites at Palais Hansen Kempinski, originally built for the city’s World Exhibition in 1873. Modern and elegant, the hotel is the epitome of luxury, encapsulating what Vienna’s known for throughout the world.
If you enjoy rich and meaty food then Vienna is the city for you. The city is filled with good food and fine dining venues that you will be spoilt for choice.
Viennese cooking is world famous and somewhat distinct from Austrian and Central European cuisine. Since its role as capital of the Habsburg Empire through to the present, the city’s courts, then elegant restaurants, have been a magnet for boundary-breaking chefs, with dishes such as Kaiserschmarrn, wiener schnitzel, apple strudel and the world-famous Sachertorte having been first produced in the city.
To get a taste of true Viennese dishes, head to restaurants such as the decidedly traditional yet opulent Rote Bar; Die Metzgerei, a hidden gem that is famed for its reliance on totally fresh ingredients; and Vinothek W-Einkehr, where you can enjoy delicious platters full of local cheeses and meats, paired with excellent wines.
If you prefer lighter dishes, restaurants such as Schachtelwirt, Restaurant Lebenbauer and Loca are excellent choices, offering something different after you want to try something different from the classics.
Vienna has a wealth of sights to explore, with the city’s past imperial majesty and modern culture providing all kinds of fun experiences. Here are some of our favourite places.
With exhibits dating back to Ancient Egypt, this is one of Austria’s leading art galleries. Here you can see works by artists such as Raphael, Bruegel, Dürer and Velázquez, all held within one of the grandest buildings in the city, built by Emperor Franz Joseph as a place to store his dynasty’s vast art collection.
Learn more about the Habsburg Empire at Vienna’s Imperial Palace, home to three museums that each delve into differing aspects of the court. Wander through and appreciate the impressive Imperial Silver Collection, finely decorated Imperial Apartments and the Sisi Museum, that focuses on the notable Empress Elisabeth.
Vienna’s many markets
Vienna is home to 21 markets, offering visitors with an eye for a deal the chance to sample the region’s cuisine, find a wonderful gift or memento, or simply wander, taking in the sights and smells. At Christmas, this list is joined by at least seven more – perfect if you are looking for a festive experience during your trip away.
State Opera House
A trip to Vienna wouldn’t be the same without a trip to the State Opera House, another of the city’s monumental buildings. Here you can take a tour of the elegant interiors with a guide, or see a performance in one of the most famous classical music venues in the world – the State Opera House hosts some 50 operas throughout the year, so you will have a huge choice of productions to see.
Vienna is one of the most enjoyable European cities to explore. For more information on how to make the most out of your next visit, click here to contact our expert staff Palais Hansen Kempinski.