Kempinski Blog Article
What to do and see in Vienna
As the capital of Austria, you would be right to expect Vienna to be a city that blends history with the contemporary - but what you might not anticipate is how seamlessly the city manages this. With incredible musical accolades and the coveted UNESCO World Heritage Site badge for the city centre, Vienna is also home to the Riesenrad (ferris wheel), a zoo and a plethora of hip bars and restaurants that stay open well into the night. In short, no matter your reason for visiting Vienna, you are sure to find something to enjoy while you are here.
If you arriving in Vienna by plane, it is likely that you will be landing at Vienna International Airport. Served by many airlines from all over the world, the airport is a convenient gateway to the city, as well as the rest of Austria.
From the airport - which is situated just outside of the city limits - it couldn't be easier to get into central Vienna. If you have not got a lot of luggage, hopping onto the S-Bahn is an ideal way of getting into the city. Transfer onto the U-Bahn from the Wien-Mitte station, and you will be in the city centre in no time at all! If there is a little wait for the S-Bahn, you could always use the City Airport Train (signposted locally as CAT).
Of course, you can always take a taxi from outside of the airport - just ensure that the driver is both a registered taxi driver, and is happy to agree on a fare before setting off. From the airport, you can expect your fare to be no more than €30.
When it comes to looking for somewhere to stay in the heart of Vienna, the Palais Hansen Kempinski is situated on the iconic Schottenring, and combines outstanding accommodation with a variety of other treats - Kempinski The Spa, the Michelin Star restaurant Edvard and a ballroom to name a few.
It is no secret that Vienna is famous for its music. With the accolade of being home to composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Schoenberg, Haydn and Stolz, Vienna is rightly home to some of the most exquisite concert halls in the world.
Burgtheatre, Theatre an der Wien and the Staatsoper all have great reputations across Europe, and you will find traditional Viennese opera at the Volksoper. The famed Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra call the Wiener Musikverein their home. The list could go on, but in short, there is definitely no shortage of culture in this particular city!
Along with more traditional art forms, Vienna is also home to progressive musical figures, and is proud contributor to the Eurovision Song Contest. Having won with 'Rise Like a Phoenix' - performed by the now-iconic Conchita Wurst - in 2014, Vienna hosted the 60th Eurovision Song Contest in early 2015 with a roaring success.
Though it might not be the most well-known in other corners of the world, Vienna actually has an esteemed cuisine that it is proud to call its own. For starters, you could sample a traditional Viennese beef or potato soup - or perhaps even give the veal liver dumplings a go.
Follow a delicious starter with a dish that you have undoubtedly heard of - the wiener schnitzel. A tender veal escalope that has been coated in breadcrumbs and fried, this dish dates back to the early 18th century, and promises a tasty treat when paired with a side of salad and potatoes.
Still peckish? From apple strudel to the Sachertorte à la Sacher, there is something truly special about a Viennese dessert. The challenge will be to decide which one you want to try first!
No matter how long you are in Vienna for - whether it is a fleeting business trip or for a relaxed long weekend - there are some sights and attractions in the city that you simply cannot pass by.
The title of this must-see is a literal one - the MuseumsQuartier really is a large area of the city that comprises of, museums! Within the area, you will find youth theatres, exhibition spaces, Momok (the museum for modern art), the Leopold Museum, Zoom Kindermuseum and many, many more. Pair this with a regular programme of outdoor events and weekend festivals, and you will soon see why the MuseumsQuartier is a must-see.
Though frequently cited as a symbol of modern Vienna, the 65m tall ferris wheel that is the Riesenrad was built in 1897. Hop on to capture photographs of the city in the 20 minutes it takes to do the entire circle, and experience something that countless visitors to the Austrian capital have enjoyed before. Tickets cost a modest €9,50 for adults, €4 for children and is free for children under the age of three. You will also find plenty of family tickets on offer too - simply purchase your tickets at the Riesenrad ticket booth.
St. Stephen's Cathedral
Towering far above the red rooftops of the rest of Vienna, you will easily see St. Stephen's Cathedral - one of the most magnificent examples of gothic architecture in Europe. Featuring an unmissable tiled roof, four towers and a total of 13 bells, this cathedral definitely deserves a visit.
Head inside, and you can see how the interior of the cathedral has changed over the years. You will also discover the final resting place of Emperor Friedeich III, and be sure to head into the catacombs if open. Do join a guided tour to get the most out of your visit to St. Stephen's Cathedral - they only take 30 minutes, and offer tremendous insight as to the history of the structure.
Forget tour buses, Vienna is home to the Ring Tram - a jump on-and-off tram loop that continuously circuits the Ringstrasse. This is not just an ordinary public transport system - the Ring Tram journey is accompanied by video and audio commentary, leaving you clued up on the main things in Vienna. There are a total of 13 stations along the route, and you can get off to explore a little more at any stopping point. Perfect for seeing the best of the city in a short amount of time!