City-break in Vienna, the capital of Austria

  • Trips
  • 24 January 2018
  • MN

Vienna is one of the new destinations of Basel-Mulhouse airport so we wanted to write an article about it. We went to meet Mathieu, a French expatriate in Vienna since 2012, who revealed to us his idea for a successful stay in the Austrian capital. Here is all the information we could gather.

Wien, Vienne, Vienna

It is THE world’s capital of classical music, but not only! The land of the perfect Viennese coffee, delicious pastries, Balls and waltz that sweep you away. The home of the Habsburg dynasty and the Empress Sissi. The birth place of Schubert, Marie Antoinette, Gustav Klimt, Romy Schneider and Christoph Waltz. Mozart, Sissi, Freud, Strauß, Haydn, Liszt and many others lived here. In case you didn’t know, Vienna is the former capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a gigantic melting pot for that time. Elements of culture from Hungarian, Slovenian, Croatian, Italian, Slovak, Rumanian, Ruthenian, Polish and Czech gathered here. Vienna, as a capital, attracted artists, architects, musicians and engineers from all over the Empire and the globe. It is therefore very particular compared to the rest of Austria and for centuries it has been more international, open and multicultural. This is why you will find different architectural styles: on the famous “Ringstrasse”, you will see buildings in the Greek-Roman, Gothic, Baroque, Classical, Neoclassical and Art Nouveau styles.

A good place to live

According to some studies, Vienna is the first city in the world in terms of quality of life. The greatest asset of this city: it is a human scale capital with a population of 1.9 million people, including more than 50% foreigners. It is geographically very well positioned at the crossroads between the emerging countries of Europe Eastern and the “old” Western Europe. It is also the only wine capital in the world, with a white wine production on the hills of the 19th arrondissement.

Many cafes to admire the grandiose architecture of the city

There are dozens of must-see monuments, museums and attractions, which you can find on all the guides: the Opera House, the Imperial Palace “Hofburg”, The Belvedere, The Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn, The Albertina etc. We strongly advise you to get lost in this city. It is not in the Viennese culture to welcome you home which is why the offer of cafés, bars and restaurants is so important. Come and discover the atmosphere of Viennese coffee houses, a tradition deeply rooted in the culture of the city since the 18th century filled with coffee mixes, apfelstrudel, tartes sacher, cakes and other pastries. Yes, in case you didn’t know the croissant is Viennese!

  • Café Central : Kafka, Freud and many thinkers, writers, philosophers passed by the Central Café, in the magnificent Palais Ferstel.
  • Café Demel : this cafe opened in 1786 and here you can discover the baking of ‘pièce montée’ cakes.

Ideas for outings / restaurants

Here is a couple of ideas for an unforgettable time in Vienna:

  • Restaurant Mini : An impressive Hungarian restaurant, with delicious Hungarian and Viennese specialties, a warm welcome and tasty wines. (Reservation recommended)
  • Restaurant “Zur eisernen Zeit” on the Nachmarkt : The oldest restaurant of the famous Viennese market offering “old Viennese” cuisine, a wide variety of Gulasch, Schnitzel and good beer. Not to mention it is very good value for money.
    While planning your stay in Vienna, take a look at Vienna Wurstelstand because this English-speaking site gathers a lot of events from the ephemeral trend store to an underground electro party.
  • En préparant votre séjour a Vienne, jetez un œil sur Vienna Wurstelstand, ce site anglophone regroupe énormément d’évènements par semaine et par week-end, du magasin éphémère tendance à une soirée underground électro.
  • Un coup de cœur pour – 25 hours Hotel – Rooftop Bar- Terrace : Swing’n’Roll every Wednesday evening, Dj Line Up Fridays offering a very nice view of the first districts.

Fill up with culture

Vienna is in the end a hub of cultural events. You can find art exhibitions all year long, dance festivals, music, theater and cinema events. Every night, approximately 10,000 people attend all types of concerts. The Museumsquartier (MQ) with its 3 museums, its many temporary exhibitions and its student canteens is the meeting point of many millennials. Theaters, concerts, live music, opera, ballet … it’s hard to stay home in Vienna.

Want some fresh air?

But of course you can swim in the Danube in Vienna! You can go swimming on the new Danube (Neue Donau) around the Donauinsel. You can also take romantic boat tours, paddle boats or catamaran rides on the old Danube (Alte Donau). Many public viewings and beach bars are set up around the Danube Canal. You will be able to dance the salsa outdoors, enjoy an Opera live on a giant screen. For lovers of rural ranching, head into the 19th district at the “Nußdorf” in the middle of the vineyards, as well as on the Kahlenberg hill where you can have a very astonishing view on Vienna and the Danube.

In lack of inspiration?

Best deals in Vienna

  • Every 1st Sunday of the month, a good range of the museums are free for everyone! Otherwise, count between 10-15 € per person.
  • For only €4, you can go to the Opera (Staatsoper) knowing that opening for standing up tickets starts 1h before each performance. This also allows you to visit the beautiful interiors while waiting in line. If the performance does not please you or you are in a hurry, you can go see the first part (which usually lasts 1h).
  • For visitors on a budget, do not hesitate to enter the hotels, museums, cafés, galleries of the 1st district, knowing that around the Ringstraße, they are full of treasures and traces of the past which are protected by Unesco. Come in and ask politely because they won’t ask you to buy a ticket!

Recommended duration of stay in Vienna

  • It’s impossible to see everything even if you live here but we recommend you to book in advance 3 or 4 days in your schedule in order to avoid too much frustration and to run between the visits.
  • When is the best time to come? We think it is between May and September or in December for the Christmas market lovers.

Bonus for those who have time:

If you have some time, the surroundings of Vienna might pleasantly surprise you.

So ? Did you get your plane ticket yet? We are dying to return and rediscover this place.

Credit : Mathieu Bedouelle aka MrCheesy

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