Vienna 14 fun things to do : Travel Guide

Vienna City

If I could describe Vienna in one word I would use opulent. It is one of the most picturesque and glamorous cities in Europe. From the endless designer shops, magnificent buildings, delicious cakes and horse drawn carriages it is a place of extravagance. It is famous for its variety of museums, classical music, parks and consistently winning the award for most liveable city in the world.

It is not a mega city and is manageable to get around on foot, however the public transport is fantastic and very affordable if you want to use it.

14 fun things to do in Vienna

1. Eat cake in Cafe Central

cafe central Vienna

Freud, Trotsky, Hitler and Stalin all frequented this grand cafe in the centre of Vienna. In January 1913, Josip Broz Tito, Sigmund Freud, and Stalin were all in Vienna and could have very likely crossed paths in the cafe, bizzare.

The interior is stunning . The cafe serves a lunch menu and a large number of cakes. The cakes are incredible, you go to the counter to choose the cake, each cake has a number and then a waiter takes your order at the table. We shared a Sachertorte, passion fruit moose cake and apple strudel. The coffee is very good too, we had a melange.

I really recommend booking a seat online. When we arrived there was a long queue and we got to walk to the front and were seated in a few minutes. You can reserve a table here.

2. Prater Wein

Prater Wein in Vienna

You have to visit Prater if you are in Vienna, it is such a fun place! The biggest attraction here is oldest ferris wheel in Europe, it is massive at 65m and has standing carriages. Some carriages are reserved for dinner and events. There are plenty of fairground rides for all levels of thrill seeking and a really fun house of horrors.

The park is free to enter but you must pay for each ride, most rides are €5 and the ferris wheel is €12.

There are plenty of food stalls, restaurants and pubs to chill out in. It is better to visit during the night, not all rides are open during the day. Also, it is very busy during the weekend but there is a great atmosphere.

3. Go to a Würstelstand

sausages from a Würstelstand in Vienna

Würstelstand translates to “sausage booth” and you will find them all throughout Vienna, they are so delicious! These Würstelstande are lively, especially at night, surrounded by people socialising at the counters munching down on some good sausage!

You will mostly find the following at these stands:

Käsekrainer: My personal flavour, cheese filled sausage
Bratwürst: Shallow fried and lightly spiced. These sausages are usually massive.
Frankfurther: The classic boiled sausage that we all know and likely associate with a hotdog.
Currywürst: Usually sliced with curry sauce, delicious snack

Aside from the currywürst your sausage will be served in a hollowed crispy baguette with ketchup and mustard.

Where to go: Bitzingers Würstelstand was my favourite Würstelstand, it is just outside of prater and you will be looking up at the ferris wheel.

4. Roller Coaster Restaurant

Located in Prater in this unique restaurant a chef makes your food & drink, a robot places the food on the coaster and it flies done the rails to your table. Every 30 minutes the robot puts on a show and dances. The food is classic fried food, I had a burger and fries and it was nice. overall the experience is fun!

5. Vienna Zoo

The world’s oldest working zoo, a charming place that has vintage architecture.
You should allow yourself about 3 hours to explore, there is plenty to see Polar Bears, Orangutans and Giant Pandas (one of only 27 zoos where you can see them) were highlights for me.

Vienna Zoo

6. Sip a Fensterccino

Fensterccino at fenster cafe in Vienna

Vienna is a coffee lovers heaven, it is embedded into the culture which is evident by the number of coffee shops in the city. One coffee spot we thankfully stumbled on and fell in love with was Fenster who serves drinks from a small window down a small alleyway. Their speciality is a Fensterccino (formally cornettoccino), a cappuccino served in a waffle cone that is coated in milk chocolate. You might be questioning if the waffle falls apart but it stays intact. Not only is it sustainable but once you are finished the cappuccino you have a tasty chocolaty cone to eat!

They also serve many other creative coffees and cocktails.

Location: Griechengasse 10, 1010 (google maps link).
Price: It is very expensive with the Fensterccino costing €9.50 but it really is delicious.

7. Eat a traditional Wiener Schnitzel

traditional Wiener Schnitzel in Vienna

Weiner schnitzel means “Viennese cutlet”, it is veal that has been pounded down into a thin slice, breaded and deep fried. It is usually served with a potato salad and lemon wedges. It tender, juicy and crispy …delicious!

Fun fact weiner schnitzel is legally protected, under the Austrian culinary code it is an offence to serve a Weiner schnitzel that is not veal, if any other meat is used “weiner” must be dropped from the name.

A few spots I recommend to try weiner schnitzel in are Griechenbeisl, Reinthaler’s Beisl, Wiener Wiazhaus and Gasthaus Reinthaler.

8. Schönbrunn Palace Park

Schönbrunn Palace Park in Vienna
View from the gloriette

Schönbrunn palace was declared a UNESCO heritage site in 1996, the baroque palace features a total of 1,441 room, 40 of which can be visited. Interestingly the palace survived a WWII bomb that crashed through the roof and 3 floors, fortunately it did not detonate.

The park that surrounds the castle is a very popular recreational amenity and at 160 hectares it is absolutely massive! The park has a lot to see from bright flowers, diverse trees, ancient ruins and statues. The Neptune fountain and gloriette should not be missed. It takes about 20 minutes to reach the gloriette and the views are spectacular, about halfway you will come across the dazzling neptune fountain.

Schönbrunn Palace Park in Vienna

Entrance to the park is free but if you plan to visit the special attractions such as the maze you will need to pay a fee, also check the opening hours for these attractions before entering as they are different throughout the year.

9. Ride the Straßenbahn (tram)

tram in Vienna

Public transport in Vienna is brilliant with trams, underground, buses and trains to take you wherever you need to go.

There is an honesty system, so you will not encounter barriers at stations but you are required to have the appropriate ticket and will get a fine if you meet a ticket inspector (who are often in plain clothes).

10. Wander around Naschmarkt

Soak up the vibrant atmosphere at Naschmarkt, at 1.5 km long with approximately 120 stalls and restaurants you will be sure to find something of interest. There is food from all over the world from local produce, Mediterranean olives, baklavas to Indian spices and there are many stalls selling souvenirs and clothing.

Restaurants I recommend are LA BOTTEGA DEL GUSTO for fresh pasta and Zur eisernen Zeit for traditional Austrian food.

Chocolate loves might want to drop by SCHOKO COMPANY where you pick one of their many bars of chocolate and they melt it into a hot chocolate!

Location: 1060 Vienna (Google Maps link)

11. Visit Sigmund Freud’s House

Sigmund Freud's House in Vienna

Visit the home of Sigmund Freud where he lived and worked for 47 years, it is known as the birthplace of psychoanalysis.

The museum is very interesting, you get insight into Freud’s professional and personal life. Some original furniture and decorations remain but Freud took most of his belongings to London when her fled Austria during WWII.

Location: Berggasse 19, 1090 (Google Maps links)
Price: €14 for a standard ticket, there are discounts for children, students and OAPs

12. Check out the museums

Vienna

There are over 100 museums in Vienna and they are among the best in the world. Some museums I recommend to check out are:

Imperial Carriage Museum: Showcases the glamorous carriages and clothing of the Hasburgs, a family that ruled Austria from 1282 until 1918.
Tickets cost.

The Hofburg Complex: With over 700 years worth of history this impressive complex is packed with information about the former Emperor and his wife Sisi.
Tickets start at €17.50, they include the Sisi museum and imperial apartments and €21.50 for a guided tour.

Leopald Museum: Houses one of the largest collections of modern Austrian art.
Tickets cost €15 adults / €11 students & OAPs / €2.50 under 19s / €17.50 family ticket.

Natural History Museum: Considered one of the most important Natural History museums in the world this large museum hosts over 100,000 objects from human, earth and life sciences.
Tickets cost €9.50 adults, / €8 students and OAPs.

Haus des Meeres Aqua Terra Zoo: The former WWII anti aircraft tower is now a zoo housing 10,000 animals. The museum is 11 floors and you can see fish, sharks, lizards, monkeys and more!
Tickets cost €21.90 adults / €16.40 students, OAPs, persons with disabilities/ €6.50 – €9.80 child

13. Discover the Danube

The Danube River Basin flows through 19 European countries, it is 2,000 km with 79 million people calling it home. Best explored on a boat with some apple strudel taking in the surrounding sights. I highly recommend this 75 minute cruise.

14. Eat a Korean Corndog at KOON

Kdog in Vienna, one of the top things to do

A Korean Corndog is mouthwateringly good, basically it is a hotdog deep fried in usually plain batter or potato drizzled with spicy sauce.

At KOON you choose your fillings (cheese & sausage, sausage or just cheese), crust (plain, potato, ramen or corn) and finally you choose your sauce (I recommend spicy ketchup and cheese). They also have a vegetarian option with moglich instead of sausage. If you cannot decide with Kor-dog you want they also make selection boxes of 4 mini dogs.

Location: Walfischgasse 4, 1010 (google map link)
Cost: Depending on your selection each Korean corndog costs €6.50 – €8.50.

15. Pub Quiz at Billabong Bar

Billabong Bar in Vienna

The Billabong is a lively Australian pub that hosts a pub quiz every Monday night from 7pm costing €2. If you cannot make the Monday night pub quiz I still recommend heading here for food or drink, they serve classic pub food and the atmosphere is brilliant.

Is Vienna worth visiting?

Yes, Vienna is definitely worth visiting. It is an amazing city with an interesting history, delicious food and coffee, brilliant transportation and so much to see. I think 3 days is enough time to see the main sights in the city of Vienna but increasing to 4 days will allow you to sightsee at a more relaxing pace.

Is Vienna Expensive?

Vienna is not a cheap destination, I found costs to be equal to my home country Ireland, specifically the capital city Dublin. A meal in a standard restaurant costs approximately €16 per person, a pint of beer €4.50 , wurstels are normally €4.50. Transport is affordable at €2.40 per journey but is generally not required as the the city is very walkable. Accommodation can also be pricey with an average hotel or air bnb stay in the city centre costing €150 – €200 per night. However, don’t be afraid to stay a few km outside the city, like i said transport is fantastic and it could save you a lot of money.

How to visit Vienna cheaply

What is the best time of the year to visit Vienna?

Vienna experiences a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. Winter typically begins in November and ends in March, snow is common and temperatures can drop to as low as -15 degrees. Winter is generally a cheaper time to visit. I visited in October and although it got very cold at night the daytime was dry and comfortable. I found it to be a great time to explore the city, especially Schönbrunn Palace Gardens which turned orange from the abundance of fallen leaves.

July and August are the hottest months where high temperatures average at 27 degrees and there are about 5 wet days a month. The cafe culture comes to life with people spilling out on the streets during the long evenings. The MuseumQuartier also hosts Frameout open-air cinema 

Day Trips from Vienna

Salzburg

Most people know this Alpine city as the setting for Sound of Music and the birthplace of Mozart. The city is often referred to one of the most beautiful cities in Europe due to its proximity to the Alps and rich architecture.

Getting there: You can reach Salazburg in 2.5 hours. The price of the ticket depends on the demand and can cost anywhere between €50 – €100.

If you do not want the hassle of arranging a train and attractions you can book a guided 13 hour bus tour that will pick you up at your hotel in Vienna. During the journey you will see the Austrian alps and stop at Lake Mondsee, Salzburg old town, Mirabell Palace and Fortress Hohensalzburg. Tickets cost approximately €132. You can book this tour here.

Hallstatt 

Visit the town that allegedly inspired Disneys Frozen, I mean it does look like a fairytale. The Alpine village has a population under 800 and is home to the oldest working salt mine You can book a day trip to this UNESCO World Heritage site here.

Bratislava

Slovakian capital Bratislava is located along the Danube in the southwest of the country under the Little Carpathian Mountains. Famous for its historic Castle, Oldtown and St. Martin’s Cathedral. It has a lively cultural scene and is a popular destination for stag parties.

Getting there: A short 90 minute journey with a return ticket costing as low as €10 on Trainline.

You can also book a guided tour including transport from Vienna for €87.19 on Viator.

Where to Stay in Vienna?


As I have mentioned above the public transport is wonderful in Vienna, if you stay a couple of kilometres outside the city centre you can find fantastic deals such as the following hotels listed below.

Melia Vienna
Hotel Caroline
Leonardo Hotel
Austria Trend Hotel Bosei

Flights to Vienna

Getting to Vienna is easy, many airlines offer direct flights at affordable prices.

Related Posts