Grand architecture, cosy cafés and immaculate green spaces all add to the appeal of the city of Vienna. That’s why this magical marvel is a year-round destination, so that you can enjoy its endless riches in any season you fancy.
Considering a sensational summer stay? Or maybe walking in Vienna’s winter wonderlands are more your bag? We’ve picked out some of the best bits to enjoy during your city break – regardless of when you’re thinking of swinging by.
Your pick of palaces
Embrace your inner Habsburg and pay a visit to the elegant and commanding Schönbrunn Palace. This mighty complex is embellished with lights and trees come Christmas, but it glints with sunbeams and just as much splendour in summer too. Wander around the park, Palm House or the palace’s exquisite interiors.
Similarly, Belvedere Palace is another must. Its gardens and fountains make the walk up to the building a joy, if you use the lower entrance. Art aficionado? The largest collection of Klimt’s works is on full display here.
If city breaks are all about getting your culture fix, then it’s essential that you lift the lid on Vienna’s network of arts and exhibitions. Where better to begin than MuseumsQuartier, right by Hofburg Palace? The Leopold, Museum of Modern Art (Mumok) and the Kunsthalle are just a trio to check out. Going in summer? Make a beeline for the outdoor events held here.
That’s not all – the Kunsthistorisches Museum is home to collections of paintings and pieces once owned by the imperial family. You’ll be dazzled by all the rooms, each filled with some of the most epic and admired works of art history. From Rembrandt to Caravaggio, there’s a lot to untangle.
Walk this way
Hotfoot it to Stadtpark and you’ll have a leafy playground to amble around. You might be staying in Vienna, a vast concrete jungle, but this is a great green space alright. Within it, you’ll spy monuments, including a gold one of Strauss.
And when you’ve stretched your legs there, grab a map and head to Prater, an amusement park that’s open to the public between March and October. It’s all about full-on nostalgia, and the setup is complete with the Giant Ferris Wheel – you literally can’t miss it!
Chocoholics and dessert demolishers, prepare to be in your element! From smooth coffees thickly topped with cream to Austria’s famous pud, the humble apple strudel, you’ll never say no to afters here. And nobody will bat an eyelid if you sit down to a sweet treat and capitalise on elevenses or afternoon tea – it’s the done thing.
One thing that is quibbled though – where the original sachertorte originates. While Café Central is known for its famous guests over the decades, Demel and Café Sacher both claim to have come up with the rich chocolatey cake, complemented by a thin layer of apricot jam.
When bright lights hit Vienna’s skyline, it’s got a naturally festive look to it. But if winter’s the time of year you’re planning a getaway here, you simply have to put the captivating Christmas markets to the top of your list. The whimsy knows no bounds, so prepare for a sparkling stay, and then some.
Rock up at Rathausplatz for ice skating, rows upon rows of chocolate-box stalls and tall trees dressed in reems of glittering fairy lights. It’s all at your fingertips, so why not buy some local iced gingerbread and work your way around? It just doesn’t get dreamier than this. Those palaces we suggested above – Schönbrunn and Belvedere – lay on some delightfully decorated markets too.
Veering towards Vienna? We thought you might be. This stunner of a city is just begging to be explored, so go on – choose your flights or a full city break, decide your dates and dust off that suitcase!
Posted: 1st Dec 2020.