The Vienna bucket list: 9 things you MUST see in the City of Dreams
One of the most beautiful cities in the world, Vienna is known for it’s culture, art and music, but it's also been voted the most liveable city in the world and comes out top for quality of life.
Nicknamed 'The City of Dreams' (it was home to the world's first psycho-analyst – Sigmund Freud, if you don't mind) it's also a dream location for a city break with the girls, whether it be winter or summer.
I was lucky enough to live there for a year so I can assure you'll enjoy yourself, whatever the weather.
Here is my ultimate guide to exploring Austria's most beautiful city...
1. St Stephen’s Cathedral
This cathedral is the heart and symbol of the city. With its 12th century Gothic structures, it truly is a must-see day or night and sometimes concerts are held there for tourists to attend so check the schedule before your trip. Don't miss the catacombs where Vienna’s archbishops are buried.
2. Relax with Cake and Coffee
Treat yo self! When in doubt, always stop for cake and coffee. My favourite cake shop in the whole of Vienna is Pure Living bakery. They have a lengthy menu of waffles, cookies, cakes and ice-cream that will leave you drooling. Walking around and sight-seeing can get exhausting, so it’s the perfect excuse to sit and chill.
3. Make sure you do a bit of shopping!
A weekend away with the girls wouldn't be complete without shopping. There are so many gorgeous streets with high street and designer shops. For the best high street stores, head to Mariahilfer Straße; all major department stores are here. For luxury designer stores, visit the Kohlmarkt area for the likes of Gucci and Chanel.
If you'd prefer markets, the Naschmarkt sell amazing food and drinks. If you're lucky enough to be there on a Saturday, it holds an amazing flea market. Add it to your travel plan.
4. Try Käsespätzle
Käsespätzle is basically mac and cheese with bacon. GOD HELP US ALL. It's delicious. Make sure you try this dish while you're there; it's an Austrian favourite.
5. Visit the Rathaus
This dreamy building hosts many of the top activities in Vienna, such as the Christmas Markets, ice skating and the Vienna Film Festival. It’s worth researching if there are any activities going on before you arrive, so that you can plan your day around it.
6. The city is very dog friendly
Calling all dog lovers! If you’re like myself and squeal like a child when you see a dog on the street, Vienna is the place to be. The city allows pets on public transport and there are dog parks dotted throughout the city centre where they can run around.
7. Spend an afternoon at the Prater
The Prater is the most famous amusement park in Vienna and known all over the globe for its beautiful giant Ferris wheel (one of the oldest in the world). I strongly recommend going for a day, especially in the summer. But arrive early to avoid queues and crowds. It’s also the perfect place to go for a walk and have a picnic in the sun.
8. Make a stop at the Schönbrunn Palace
This stunner of a palace used to be the former residence of the Viennese Dynasty. You can actually explore its impressive 1,400 rooms through guided tours. If the weather is sunny, walk the grounds of the palace gardens, which are worth every battery percentage of your phone you'll use to take every photo possible. As it’s one of the most visited attractions in Austria, buy a ticket in advance to avoid long lines.
9. Bring flats for strolling
It's very easy to get around Vienna, thanks to the underground trains and trams, but walking will give you a real sense of the city and you'll discover many more new attractions and beautiful scenery. Hire a bike for a few hours – I swear it’s the best way to explore.