Reader Recommendations? What to See in Vienna

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I’m so excited! I just got my tickets to see the Lipizzaners perform in the Spanish Riding School. It’s been a dream of mine ever since I saw Miracle of the White Stallions as a little kid and now thanks to the Wideroe.no mistake fares in November, I’m headed to Vienna in a couple of months!

miracle of the white stallions

Seeing a Spanish Riding School Performance was my main goal, but I have two and a half days in the city and I’m starting to plan the rest of my trip. It looks like affordable tickets to some events can sell out quickly, so waiting to the last minute (per my usual) probably isn’t the best option.

I’m considering trying to catch a performance at the opera house, and several other options, but I’d love to know what others think are the best things to see in a weekend. Restaurant recommendations also welcome!


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  1. Dundili

    January 3, 2014 at 1:48 am

    1. Opera – a must!
    2. Vienna Philharmonic concert – even more, if you are lucky to snag tix
    3. Museums – all are world class: kunsthistoriches, mq, belvedere, albertina etc
    4. Cafes: my fave for ambiance is hawelka, excellent apple strudel is to be had at tirolerhof, for dessert of course demel. Best coffee, an italian place across from the schottenkirche – orlando something…
    5. Composer’s homes: Mozart a must, Beethoven and Johann Strauss II also good. Also pay homage at the cemetery – the most holy space of classical music – Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Mahler…
    6. Vienna funeral museum – quirky and fun
    7. Palaces – Hofburg and Schoenbrunn – the latter is more impressive imho
    8. Off the beaten track excellent restaurant is mochi, reservations recommended, not too far from the Prater wheel in Leopoldstadt.
    9. Walk and enjoy the beauty of architecture

    • Keri Anderson

      January 3, 2014 at 2:54 am

      Wow, this is helpful! I’m even more excited, thank you!!

  2. Gary

    January 3, 2014 at 6:44 am

    Eat some Sachertorte. I’m sure Hotel Sacher is in whatever travel guide you might have.
    Grizzly, but you might want to check out the heaped up skulls in the catacombs of the cathedral.

  3. Brett

    January 3, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    See the crypt where the emperors (and family) are buried (the Kaisergruft or Kapuzinergruft) underneath the Capuchin Church.

    Also, a day trip to Melk Abbey or Bratislava is worth it.

  4. Grant

    January 3, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Thanks Dundili, I’m in Vienna for a few days later this week and will check out some of the places you mention. Did you grow up in Vienna or do you just know the city very well?

  5. leandra

    January 3, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    We are in the process of writing up our trip reports about our travels to Vienna over Thanksgiving, you can read about what we ate, saw, etc. here — http://www.ericandleandra.com/wp/tag/thanksgiving-in-europe-2013/. Vienna is one of our favorite European cities – enjoy!

  6. Sagy

    January 3, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Vienna is great. Dundili has done a good job highlighting site. The Opera is a must, at the very least take a tour. I believe that you can still get reasonably priced tickets (standing room) just before the show starts (come early since the line can be long). The Schoenbrunn is a must. I would also add the Military museum (http://www.hgm.or.at) if you like history and a dinner at the restaurant in the basement of the Vienna city hall (Rathaus) is recommended as well – try the Goulash.

  7. Candace

    January 3, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    My husband didn’t want to stand for the Opera, so we tour a tour of the building and opted for a performance of Die Fliedermaus of the Volksopera. Not a bad walk from the subway station and wonderful performers. More reasonably priced than the Opera in the center city. We walked up and got tickets (spring/Easter season.)
    We had a quick dinner at Wienerwald, a restaurant I always enjoy. Cheap and good food.
    We splurged and paid for the Spanish Rding School performance. We got the tickets through the Concierge at our hotel and loved the building and performance. No photos allowed, so be prepared to buy a DVD!

  8. Anna

    January 4, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Definitely go to the Opera—standing tickets are only €3 or €4 and go on sale an hour before the performance. Nearly all of the standing views are decent. We also saw a show at the Musikverein in December and loved both the music and the gorgeous building.

    Make sure you eat lots of cake! Go to Demel, Sacher Café, Mozart Café, Gerstner, etc. Vienna is so wonderful. Have a great time!

  9. jessica

    January 16, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Vienna is delicious! Cafe Demel is a must! And have a kaesekrainer from a street stand – a delicious sausage injected with cheese! The Naschmarkt is a great place to go for meals, snacks, and people watching.

    Schoenbrunn Palace is fantastic – especially if you will be there in the spring to see the gardens in bloom. The concerts at the palace though weren’t impressive; they were set up for tourists and I would have rather spent more time exploring and eating and seeing my symphony back home.

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