Bucket List-Worthy Cultural Experiences in Vienna

By Bazoom | May 1, 2024

With a population of just under two million, Vienna as the capital city of Austria may seem rather small, but the cultural experience that it has to offer will blow you away. Some may think of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart when they hear Austria, while others may confuse it with Australia—there is a definitive difference: there are no kangaroos in Austria. What it does offer though, is an unparalleled musical heritage. From Johann Strauss and Ludwig van Beethoven to Joseph Haydn and Franz Schubert, you may not even be aware that you know them, but there's no denying that their masterpieces have laid the foundation for classical music to become what it is today.

Travel in Style

There are 23 districts in Vienna, and you can picture them going in a circle like a snail, meaning that the inner circle is called the 1st district and it is encircled by the grand Ringstrasse boulevard, which is a busy 4-lane circle that goes around the 1st district. This district was actually the entire city of Vienna until 1850 and is home to numerous historical sites and few residents. There is no need to rent a car when you visit Vienna as the tram and underground (U-Bahn) systems are some of the best in the world. You don't even need a car or taxi to get from the airport, simply visit hellotickets and get yourself an inexpensive CAT City Airport Train Ticket that'll take you directly into the 3rd district, to the stop Landstrasse to be exact, another central area in Vienna. From there, you can change lines and take the U-Bahn to your next destination. Viennese public transport is inexpensive, efficient and an absolute must-try.

It's All About Fun

The travel plan will vary depending on whether you're traveling with kids, on your own or with a partner. However, this location fits any number of travels. The Prater is a popular amusement park and green space right in the middle of Vienna. It is home to the Riesenrad (giant ferris wheel), one of the symbols of Vienna at over 200 feet (65 m) tall. If you'd like to make it romantic, you can book an entire cabin on the Riesenrad with food and drinks, and see the city from above while eating an all-time Viennese favorite—the schnitzel, of course. Keep in mind though that the prater does get busy so it'd be wise to buy a ticket before you arrive, or avoid the busyness by walking over into the relaxed greener area featuring parks, restaurants and plenty of spaces to unwind.

F for Food

The main food that Vienna is known for is obviously Schnitzel, but did you know that the original Apple Strudel has its origin in Austria? Hand-made with a thin flaky pastry that grips to the spiced apple mix, you won't be disappointed when you order this dessert (or actually, Austrians can eat it at any time of day, even breakfast with a coffee). Why not combine two beautiful things: visit the Schönbrunn Palace for a guided tour to see how the Habsburg family spent their summers and then head into Cafe Restaurant Residenz on the Palace grounds for a slice of apple strudel served with cream or ice cream.
Once you've seen the palace and maybe even a few incredible museums and must-see attractions, it's high time to eat a traditional Austrian Käsekrainer (cheese sausage) that comes with rye bread or a roll, accompanied by as much ketchup and mustard as you can handle. The ideal place to eat a Käsekrainer or a Bratwurst is the city's oldest sausage stand, Wurstelstand Leo, which has been feeding the people since 1928 and has yet to disappoint.

Let's Not Forget the Music

Besides being known as the country of Red Bull, Austria is also world famous for its impressive musicians. Not only have statues been erected to honor these prodigies, but entire buildings, musical halls and churches. The Vienna Classical Concert held at St. Peter's Church is breathtaking, as is the concert at St. Anne's Church honoring Mozart and Beethoven to name a few. These concerts are once-in-a-lifetime experiences, it doesn't even matter whether you like classical music (although that would be a plus). The conductor, premier halls and incredible tunes may even have you shedding a tear, a happy tear that is.
It would be unjust to Vienna if the pedestrian-friendliness of the city wasn't mentioned. Visitors can walk from the famous Kärntner Strasse along the Danube, through the city, and end up at Mariahilfer Strasse, an entire street dedicated to shopping and people watching. If walking is not your cup of tea, there are bicycles available throughout the city with easy grab and go features. Whether it's walking, cycling or cruising underneath the city in the U-Bahn, there's so much to see and experience in this unique city. Delve into the culture and immerse yourself in the history.

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