If you’re going to be traveling to Austria for pleasure in the near future, you are almost certainly planning to spend some time in the country’s capital city of Vienna. Aside from being Austria’s largest city and political capital, it is also the cultural center of the country. Visiting Vienna is a great way to learn about Austria’s history (the history of the city of Vienna itself dates back at least far enough to include first century Romans) as well as take in all that the country’s modern culture has to offer. One thing that you need to keep in mind about Vienna, though, is that the city is extremely large. It would take a pretty long vacation to see and do everything that is worth seeing and doing in the city. Assuming that you don’t have unlimited time to spend touring Vienna, you’ll need to be aware of some of the main highlights of the city that you won’t want to miss, including where to stay, where to eat, and what to see and do while you’re there.
Where to stay:It’s important to consider your budget when deciding where you want to stay while you’re in Vienna. If you’re looking to splurge and want to feel like royalty, the Imperial Hotel Vienna is the obvious answer. The mid-1800s era building was originally constructed for the Prince of Württemberg. Their amenities include concierge, butler, and limousine services. For a more mid-range price, the nH Atterseehause Suites on Mariahilfer Strasse boasts prompt, friendly service at reasonable rates and is located near a variety of shopping and dining options as well as local attractions. If you’re on a budget, the Pension Schönbrunn is a terrific choice. Except for the prices, you’d never realize it was a budget hotel. They offer free Wi-Fi, a mini-bar, a guest laundry service, and a tasty breakfast in the morning.
Where to eat: Eating in Vienna is an experience in and of itself, and you’ll want to take advantage of all of the city’s dining options while you’re there, from the gourmet restaurants to the numerous würstelstands or sausage stands. For an elegant evening meal that you’ll never forget, visit Steirereck. With ingredients picked fresh from the chef’s farm, the restaurant creates modern Austrian style feasts for its guests. Favorite dishes include fawn with wild broccoli, trumpet chantarelle, and black nuts. For a pub experience, try the Betel Student, which serves terrific braised beef and baked surschnitzel along with their array of beer, wine, and liquor options. And don’t forget to stop in one of Vienna’s famous cafes while you’re there. A good choice is the Sarcher Cafe, which in addition to coffee services a delicious chocolate cake with a secret recipe, the sarchertorte. Though many have tried, no baker has successfully replicated the recipe for this sweet treat.
What to see and do: For those interested in Austria’s history and politics, the Hofburg Imperial Palace, official residence of the President of Austria, is definitely a must-see stop. If you’re looking for high culture, you might prefer a trip to the Vienna State Opera, where you can take in one of the operas or ballets that Austria is famous for. You can explore the oldest zoo in the world, along with a myriad of other attractions, at the Schönbrunn Palace. Vienna also has a busy nightlife, so be sure to go out for drinks and dancing at popular night spots like the Volksgarten-Pavillion or the 25 Hours Hotel Bar.
Keep in mind that these are just a smattering of the excellent hotels, delicious restaurants, and fascinating attractions and activities in the city of Vienna. Take your time and plan your itinerary carefully in order to see and enjoy as much of the city as possible during your stay.
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