Country: Austria
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Peak Season: July-August
Shoulder Season: May, June
Median Temperature: 9.80 C / 49.64 F
Main Languages: German, English
Primary Modes of Transportation: Bus, tram, metro, taxi
Recommended Duration of Stay: 2 days
Recommended Pocket Money: $80.00/day
Tourist Passes: Vienna Card
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Vienna is distinguished for deep-rooted inclination with classical music relived inside opera houses. Exemplary hotels, succulent food, savory coffee, and of course, serene parks and walkways also make the experience more enthralling. Most travelers find the city as a real escape from the desynchronized metropolis. Here in Vienna, you can stroll and relax all day long and never feel guilty.

If you’re not used to downright massive buildings, then Vienna will surprise you. Walking around the city is like lurking inside a medieval cathedral – the buildings are huge, largely because of the baroque and gothic influence even in their present-day architecture. Some famous buildings (of epic proportions) tourists flock to include the Schönbrunn Palace, The Hofburg, and St. Stephan’s Cathedral. We’d assume that Vienna architecture ranks in the top 5 or top 10 not only due to size, but also because of apparent intricacy.

Coffee served inside Viennese cafés is brewed and blended to near-perfection. Much like music, coffee plays a key role in Vienna’s culture. Café Central is Vienna’s most popular coffeehouse, since it has often been immortalized as “the meeting place of geniuses from various disciplines.” Café Central is often visited by tourists and persons of affluence for its staunch coffee varieties, cakes, and pastries. Interestingly, coffee served both here and in other coffeehouses within the city is accompanied by a glass of fresh spring water – a custom advised by aristocrats of olden times that has been put into practice ever since. The usual coffee varieties in the city include: Kapuzier, Fiaker, Einspanner, Kaffee Maria Theresia, Eiskaffee, Schwarzer, Grosser Brauner, Kleiner Brauner, Schale Gold. Whipped cream, milk, and even liquor are popular ingredients in Viennese coffee.

Packing List

  • Extra luggage storage for impulse purchases on souvenirs and apparel; credit cards are also widely honored in many establishments, but cash is still preferred
  • Business apparel if going solo; sophisticated apparel if planning to enter music halls and opera houses
  • Casual clothing and walking shoes/sandals for the intense summer; an umbrella and raincoat for spring and autumn; sweaters, earmuffs, scarves and hand mitts for the winter
  • Essential medication, skin moisturizers, basic toiletries; antipyretic tablets are advisable to relieve fevers caused by sudden temperature shifts
  • A decent camera, laptop, GPS device and a trusty guidebook; Vienna has many free WiFi hotspots inside cafés

Things to Do

  • Visting Schonbrunn Palace, whose complex houses 1,400 rooms, a park, a zoo, an orangerie and a palm house; this royal residence from 1642-1918 is still used for state meetings and cinematography
  • Sipping coffee and eating cake in many cafés, particularly Café Central; the concourse of intellectuals, socialize in these coffeehouses to learn a thing or two about Viennese culture
  • Walking around the geographical center of Stephansplatz and visiting St. Stephen’s Cathedral, an imposing 12th century romanesque-gothic cathedral one of the city’s oldest hallmarks
  • Appreciating art at Kunsthistorisches Museum, which contains renowned paintings from Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Vermeer, as well as an extensive collection of the Habsburg monarchs
  • Watching a stellar performance at the Vienna State Opera, famous for hosting the talent of musical maestros Mozart and Beethoven; tickets are usually expensive but nevertheless draw long queues

DON'T

  • Convey uncivilized antics or cause an infraction; Viennese are very cultured, observe punctuality and scorn anyone making fun of their language and way of life
  • Rush everything and avoid arguing with shop owners/attendees; the city has a laid-back atmosphere, and the saying “the customer is always right” does not apply to all establishments
  • Forget to secure your belongs; pickpockets are concentrated near train stations and cafes, while ruffians are more likely to show up as early as 10 in the evening
  • Go out unprepared; tourists usually brush off of their apartments without backpacks (because it’s the norm), so it’s handy to bring a satchel apart from a rucksack/trolley
  • Spend too much money on the café coffee—it’s relatively expensive; go buy coffee beans instead and roast them home