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  • Tony

Vienna and Budapest in November

Updated: Jan 2


November 2023


Our expectations for Vienna were about Music and Monarchs, Opera houses, and Christmas Markets. We were pleased to discover that there is more to Vienna than Mozart, Beethoven, and the Hapsburgs. The legacy these artists and monarchs left behind must be noticed, but the architecture, art, and food deserve equal attention from visitors.


This Austrian capital lies on the east bank of the Danube River, but the river plays very little role in the City's most loved attractions.


Vienna's history dates back to the Romans who established the military camp Vindobona. Today's Vienna is characterized by an abundance of Baroque buildings created mainly under the rule of Empress Maria Theresia (1740 - 1780) and Franz Joseph (1848 - 1916), who were largely responsible for the monumental architecture in the City's center. Its artistic and intellectual legacy was shaped by residents, including Mozart, Beethoven, and Sigmund Freud. The City is also known for its Imperial palaces, including Schönbrunn, the Habsburgs' summer residence, Belvedere and Hofburg Palaces. Even the government buildings of Rathaus (a fitting name for buildings housing Parliament and the City Hall) are incredible monuments of the City.


We started this trip with visions of grandeur by building an overloaded itinerary, which would have been exhausting. Luckily, we remain very flexible when traveling, so we can adjust to enjoy the experience. We thought we could experience Vienna in two days and handle day trips to Budapest, Salzberg, and Bratislava in six days. As we immersed ourselves in Vienna and spoke to others about our day trip options, it became clear that we needed more time in Vienna and could quickly eliminate a few day trips and save them for our next visit to the region. Thankfully, we are now so close to these European destinations that return trips are feasible.


We decided to focus our time on getting to know Vienna and Budapest by wandering through their districts, discovering their fantastic architecture, palaces, shops, Christmas markets, and, of course, the food. The City was clean, and it felt safe to walk day and night. The weather was typical for the end of November, with daytime highs around 8-10 Celsius and nights reaching 2-4 Celsius. Dressed appropriately, it was great weather to immerse ourselves in the holiday spirit while walking through the festively lit City and Christmas markets dressed up for the Holidays. As a bonus, we had a little snowfall on our last day to set the holiday mood.


I have included our Itinerary and more information about the area at the end of this post.


Flying out of Faro airport, about 45 minutes from our house, makes traveling through Europe a breeze. For this trip, we booked Ryanair, one of the largest regional airlines serving Europe. Arriving at the airport, we found it to be a ghost town. We have become accustomed to heavy passenger traffic during Thanksgiving week in the States, but not the case in Europe. A few more travelers arrived for later flights, but what a joy it was to travel like this.


Arriving planeside, we noticed it wasn't a Ryanair plane but a Lauda airplane. Lauda is an Austrian-based airline owned by Ryanair, so Lauda operates many flights there—our first Lauda air flight.


We stayed at the Hotel Bristol, one of Vienna's heritage hotels, centrally located across from the Vienna State Opera. It is a great location in the center of Vienna, within walking distance to amazing sites, shopping, and restaurants, while the multiple trams and the underground metro are steps from the hotel's front door. The hotel is Vintage Vienna at its best. Stepping inside, it felt like arriving in Vienna in the early 1900s—classy and opulent from another era with just enough modern conveniences for our needs today. Our room was huge and ornately decorated with a nice view over the bustling Operning/Karntner streets.


We spent most of our time walking through the streets of Innere Stadt (Inner City) to discover some of its well-known attractions and lesser-known gems too.


Rathausplatz (City Hall Park) - A fitting name for the Government center, it is home to the distinctive and imposing City Hall building (built between 1872 and 1883) and the adjacent Parliament building (built in 1874). the 19th-century park with statues mature trees & fountains becomes host to many significant events throughout the year. Summer cinema, winter ice rink, carnivals, fairs, and becomes the venue of Vienna’s most famous Christmas market in November and December.


Hofburg - Since the 13th century, it has been one of the largest palace complexes in the world. Formerly the residence of the imperial family, today it's home of museums, politics, and events. It is in the middle of the city center, occupying over 300,000 m2.


The Habsburg Empire was ruled from here for more than seven centuries. Even after the monarchy, it is still the official residence of the Austrian head of state - the Federal President. Vienna's most visited museums and collections are located in the Hofburg - mainly with an imperial background, of course. The Sisi Museum revolves around Empress Elisabeth: the story of the real Sisi is told here, in contrast to the cult film series "Sissi." The former official living quarters of the Habsburgs can be viewed in the imperial apartments. The Imperial Treasury and the Silver Chamber display valuable insignia (including the legendary crown of the Holy Roman Empire) and exceptional table services from the Habsburgs. The tours and performances at the Spanish Riding School, where the world-famous Lipizzaners and their riders perform precise riding maneuvers and tricks. At the southern tip is the Albertina, with its masterpieces of classical modernism and one of the most important graphic collections in the world. Another highlight is the state hall of the Austrian National Library. It is the oldest baroque library in Europe and one of the most beautiful in the world.

The Spanish Riding School located in the Hofburg for more than 450 years. Dedicated to the preservation and classic training of Lipizzaner horses and students in classical dressage. Performances take place in the unique, baroque Winter Riding School at Hofburg Palace. We watched a morning training session with these beautiful horses in a setting worthy of a Grand Ballroom from the 1800's

The Imperial Treasury - An impressive collection of treasures, including Imperial crowns, Jewels, coronation robes and other important artifacts

The National Library - the largest baroque library in Europe, there are over 200,000 historical books on the richly decorated wooden shelves, considered one of the most beautiful library halls in the world.


The Museum Quarter - Although we didn't visit any of the museums here we did walk through the district to see the magnificent Baroque Architecture and the Maria Theresa Platz Christmas market. Located near the Hofburg in the former imperial stables, the Museum Quarter combines prominent museums such as the Leopold Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and the Kunsthalle art museum, restaurants, cafés and shops.


The Vienna State Opera House is adjacent to our hotel, so that we could see the beautiful facade on many occasions. The exterior is stunning, as is most of the interior, but the performance hall fell flat. Granted, some buildings, including the opera hall, were damaged by bombing during WWll. The hall felt very stark without the Baroque embellishments included in the rest of the building. Our expectations may have been too high for this venue, but we expected it to be on par with the history of Vienna. We did not see a performance, so perhaps when in operation, our perspective may have changed.


The Schönbrunn Palace - A quick metro ride from our hotel we spent the afternoon walking a small portion of the massive grounds, toured the Carriage Museum, and visited the Christmas Market. We called it the Versailles of Vienna, it was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers in Vienna. Named after a beautiful Spring located on the grounds, the 1,441-room Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historic monuments in the country. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs.


The Church of St. Charles (Karlskirche) The church was the patron parish church of the emperor from 1783 to 1918 and has been looked after by the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star from Prague since 1783.


St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom) At the absolute center of Vienna it's hard to miss as you criss cross the center. The spires can be seen from many parts of the city. It's not only the main Roman Catholic church in Vienna– and the seat of the city’s Archbishop – it’s also one of Austria’s most popular attractions. With its 137-meter-high spire and richly decorated roof, it’s the city’s most important Gothic edifice and represents eight centuries of architectural history. All that remains of the original 13th-century structure are the massive gate and the Heathen Towers (Heidentürme). Next, came reconstruction in Gothic style in the 14th century and the completion of the choir and the Chapels of St. Eligius, St. Tirna, and St. Catherine, while the South Tower, the Nave, and the Chapel of St. Barbara were added in the 15th century. During WWII, the building experienced nearly complete destruction. Its reconstruction, from 1948 until 1962, proved to be a tremendous communal effort involving the whole of Austria, demonstrating the nation’s eagerness to restore this former symbol of the country’s illustrious past.


Pedestrian Center of Kohmarkt & Graben Once you have seen some treasures of the Habsburgs as part of the Hofburg and the Spanish School, it is time to see Vienna’s pedestrian centre. From Michaels Platz, continue down Kohlmarket and turn into Graben. You are now in the heart of the city centre of Vienna and one of its main shopping districts. Graben is has also some gorgeous statues and columns erected at the end of the plague in Europe. While there are plenty of shopping and cafe opportunities, the Architecture stands out as the main attraction here.


More photos of life in Vienna


Christmas Markets One of the things that brought us to Vienna in November was the chance to experience the famous Christmas Markets.


Christkindlmarkt @ Rathaus

Night Photos of Christkindlmarkt @ Rathaus

Christmas Market @ Maria Theresa Platz One of the larger Christmas markets sandwiched between the 19th-century Naturhistorisches and Kunsthistorisches museums, and under the watchful eye of Empress Maria Theresa sitting atop her giant monument. The market feels particularly magical and atmospheric especially after dusk. Both museums look gorgeous lit up at night, and the square’s topiary has its own tasteful illuminated decorations

Christmas Market @ Schönbrunn Palace

Christmas Market @ St. Stephen’s Cathedral This Christmas market curls around the edges of Stephansdom. The cathedral makes a wonderful backdrop, and the market allows you to refresh yourself after strolling through the pedestrianized center of Vienna. One end of the market meets the parking spot for the horse-drawn carriages that ply their trade in town, which adds another level of historical atmosphere to proceedings.


Day Trip to Budapest It actually ended up being a day and a half. We got a later start than we planned and our train was delayed by more than an hour so we arrived in Budapest around 4pm. As we spent the late afternoon and evening in Budapest we decided to overnight here and have a full day tomorrow to continue our exploration. We grabbed a few essential supplies since our luggage was back in Vienna, and were able to secure a reasonable priced room overlooking the Danube.


Many gave advice that Budapest could be experienced in one or two days. Sure if you ran from site to site you could check off a few of the major sites but from our experience a day and a half was clearly not enough. If you really want to experience the culture and history here I would suggest spending 5-7 days and explore outside of the top 5 sites to get a real experience of Budapest and Hungary. We will definitely return to continue our journey here.


Budapest Keleti Train Station The train trip was nice and the cheap upgrade to first class was well worth it. Hardly anyone else in these cars with us made for a comfortable and peacefule ride. The stations exterior is half crumbling ruin and half restored beauty.

Central Market Hall Built in 1897, the iconic building is a vibrant hub of Hungarian culture, history, and cuisine. Inside the market, there is a vast array of local products, from fresh produce and meats on the first floor to traditional handicrafts, tourist souvenirs, and food stalls/restaurants on the second floor.

More photos from Budapest

New York Café Said to be one of the most beautiful cafes in the world, and one Budapest’s most famous attractions. Built in neo-renaissance style, with marble columns, sparkling chandeliers, stunning frescoes, and gilded details, the cafe transports you to another era. Similar to Vienna, Budapest is known for its grand cafe culture, and New York Cafe has been welcoming visitors for over 125 years, initially as a meeting place for the local bourgeoisie, as well as writers and poets keen to sell their skills to the highest bidder. Now, it’s filled with tourists keen to enjoy coffee, cake and more in this beautiful, old-world setting. After a short wait in line we grabbed a table for a light dinner and to enjoy the stunning interior. The food wasn't bad either, we had traditional Hungarian Goulash and Paprika Chicken with Spätzle.

The Hungarian Parliament Building (Országház), The iconic landmark of Hungary situated on Pest side of the city, on the eastern bank of the Danube. It was designed by Hungarian architect Imre Steindl in neo-Gothic style and opened in 1902. It has been the largest building in Hungary since its completion.

Budapest Christmas Market

Fantastic views from our room

The Chain Bridge (Széchenyi) connecting both sides of the city, Buda and Pest. Before the iron structure was built, the Danube river could only be crossed by boat or by foot when the waterway would freeze over during winter. The Chain Bridge was commissioned principally because it was extremely difficult for the boats to cross the river during the coldest months and Buda and Pest needed to be more easily connected. It took twenty years to build and was inaugurated on 20 November 1849, even before Budapest became a single city. During World War II, the retreating Nazi troops blew up all the bridges in Budapest. The Chain Bridge had to be completely rebuilt and was reopened in 1949, exactly one hundred years after it was first inaugurated.

Buda Castle historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian Kings. It was first completed in 1265, although the massive Baroque palace today occupying most of the site was built between 1749 and 1769. The complex in the past was referred to as either the Royal Palace or the Royal Castle.

The Halászbástya or Fisherman's Bastion is located near the Buda Castle offers a unique panorama of Budapest from the Neo-Romanesque lookout terraces.The Fisherman’s Bastion was built between 1895 and 1902 as part of the series of developments that were to celebrate the 1000th birthday of the Hungarian state.

The Church of the Assumption of the Buda Castle, more commonly known as the Matthias Church, is a Roman Catholic church located in the Holy Trinity Square, in front of the Fisherman's Bastion at the heart of Buda's Castle District. The church was used as a coronation church by Hungarian kings for centuries, also a mosque for over 150 years by the Ottoman Turks, once owned by Franciscans, Jesuits, now a thriving Catholic church with holy masses, concerts, plenty of weddings, thousands of tourists.

Lunch @ Jamie Olivers Italian


Food in Vienna


Street Food - You will find many kiosks, mostly in high foot traffic areas like metro stations, serving some of Viennas favorites along with a few ethnic choices. Wiener Wurstl (Hot Dogs) are the most popular and are far better tasting than its US counterpart. You can also find Wiener Schnitzel, the fried veal (or chicken version) staple of the country, Langos a simple deep-fried flat bread coated in a garlic paste, or Trdelník made from dough that is wrapped around a stick, then baked over coals and topped with sugar and sometimes filled with cream.

Café Landtmann - The iconic Viennese coffeehouse in a city where Coffee houses are on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The high ceilings, marble table tops, velvety upholstery, and tuxedo clad waiters, all add to the charm. boasting a rich tradition dating back to 1873 and made famous for being Sigmund Freud’s favorite hangout.

Cafe Sperl - A slightly more relaxed Bohemian vibe Coffee House located on the outskirts of the tourist paths where the antique billiard tables and dart boards mix happily with the 19th century decor.

Aida Kaffee Konditorei - colorful pink coffee houses (Franchised) throughout Vienna. A Konditorei is a combination confectionary and cafe, this one known for its decadent sweets, lower prices, and helpful coffee menu.

Gerstner - Started as a confectioner’s shop, is now one of our most cherished and traditional coffee houses in Vienna. Founded in 1847 serving monarchy and Opera house patrons over the years. The three-story confectionary shop, bar, and café-restaurant located in the magnificent Palais Todesco. We highly recommend a reservation for the bar or restaurant area for breakfast, lunch or to just enjoy one of their fantastic sweets and coffee.

Demel - Another Vienna coffee house institution that has been pampering locals and travelers alike since 1786. The elaborate window displays attract your attention and tempt you to enter while the world-famous Kaiserschmarrn being made to order just inside. The 1888 Cafe on the second floor serves specialties such as cream cakes, scones & Strudels, and the popular Sachertorte

Daniela - a recommendation from the concierge for an authentic Italian dinner. We sampled the Bolognese and a seafood pasta which were both pretty good. The atmosphere and service were both great.

Mayer AM Parrplatz - A trip to Vienna would be incomplete without experiencing a Heuriger (wine house) a lively casual dining hall attached to a winery with music and plenty of food. If you are in Vienna in a warmer month, the fun moves outside to the picnic benches under the shade of the pergola


The Wine Tavern in the Bethovenhose, a traditional wine tavern, is a 20-minute UBER ride from our hotel. The winery has been producing some of the best Viennese wines since 1683. The Heuriger offers an extensive buffet or choice from the menu of homemade seasonal Viennese specialties to enjoy while relaxing with premium Viennese wines. In 1817, Ludwig van Beethoven lived in the romantic home on Pfarrplatz, where he worked on his greatest creation: Symphony No. 9. We feasted on a traditional Pork Knuckle and Roasted Chicken

Yori - Another great neighborhood restaurant find, an excellent Korean restaurant located a short Metro ride form our hotel. Vienna has a wide array of superb ethnic restaurants and Yori is no exception. An inviting red decor and classic Korean dishes like Kimchi, Bulgogi, Bibimbap, Galbi, and Jeongol. We enjoyed a starter sampler of Fried Dumplings, Fried dumplings, Gangjeong Chicken, and Fried Tempura shrimp. The traditional Ramen and Gangjeong Chicken didn't disappoint

Ofenloch - Old Vienna at its best with its history shown in the architecture and decor along with the traditions on the menu. We had a fantastic lunch here with Carrot Ginger Soup, and a shared Chicken Schnitzel with traditional potato and cucumber salads. Our waiter was fantastic, offering suggestions for our time here in Vienna and in Budapest.


This is where the historic Old Vienna of the late imperial era lives - architecturally and culinary. The “Bierhaus Ofenloch” was first mentioned in documents in 1704, but there was already a Jewish food stall here many decades before that. The ground itself is much more steeped in history - in the 1st century of our era, the Vindobona XIII military camp was located here. Roman Legion, followed by the Xth Legion in 114.

a little snow to set the tone for the Holidays





Vienna November 2023


Mon 20

  • Ryan Air Flight To VIE FR 728 dep Faro 18:05, arr VIE 22:35

  • Overnight in Vienna

  • Hotel Bristol, a Luxury Collection hotel, Vienna - Kaerntner Ring 1, Vienna, , Austria 1010, Tel: +43 1 515160

Tue 21

  • Day 1 in Vienna

  • Breakfast @ Café Landtmann is one of the most elegant and venerable coffeehouses in Vienna (Make a reservation online to avoid queues). It's probably the most expensive cafe in Vienna. While the prices border on outrageous, the service is friendly, the food is good, and the atmosphere is well worth it.

  • Walk to City Hall (Rathaus) is one of the most distinctive and imposing buildings in Vienna (Skip the interior tour). the square becomes the venue of Vienna’s most famous Christmas market

  • CRISTKINDLMARKT Illuminated tree in the Rathauspark, (Lighted trees in the surrounding park. The most visited and famous Christmas market is located in front of the Rathaus city hall.

  • Lunch @ Naschmarkt In addition to being a great lunch spot, the Naschmarkt is Vienna’s largest and most famous outdoor produce market. It’s certainly one of the best open-air markets that I’ve come across in Europe.

  • The Church of St. Charles (Karlskirche) is undoubtedly one of the best things to see in Vienna. (see it at night if you can, lights and reflections in the pond) Mon-Sat 9–7

  • In front of the giant Baroque Karlskirche church, the Art Advent market has an “alternative” feel to it and features many unique arts and crafts stalls. The organizers have strict rules about who can set up here, ensuring diversity, quality, and authenticity. It's still a bit of a local secret. Definitely consider the Karlsplatz market if you’re looking for unusual or unique items to take back home with you. We always make sure to pop in here to pick up a few gifts for people.

  • Walk through the city center, Pedestrian Streets, and shopping district

  • Overnight in Vienna

Wed 22

  • Day 2 in Vienna

  • Breakfast at Café Sperl Café Sperl has a seductive bohemian vibe in its own right and has been attracting a faithful clientele for well over a century

  • Maria Therese Platz, one of the larger squares here in Vienna. In the middle is the statue of the one and only empress Maria Therese. The 19th-century Naturhistorisches and Kunsthistorisches museums here are under the watchful eye of Empress Maria Theresa sitting atop her giant monument.

  • One of the biggest Christmas markets and another glorious central location. The market feels particularly magical and atmospheric after dusk. Both museums look gorgeous lit up at night, and the square’s topiary has its own tasteful illuminated decorations.

  • Hofburg (Court Palace) recommend seeing the Imperial Treasury (Schatzkammer)( every day except Tue 9-5:30), with its superb collection of crown jewels, and the richly decorated National Library (Baroque library, Tue-Sun 10-6 / 9pm Thu) (Prunksaal), and the Spanish Horse Riding School (Spanische Hofreitschule)

  • Lunch traditional Austrian lunch, head to Restaurant Ofenloch, one of the finest restaurants in town.

  • St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom), One of the classic Vienna bucket-list attractions, is undoubtedly the city’s most beloved landmark. (Mon-Sat 9-11:30 & 1-5:30)

  • The Christmas market here is about as central as they come since it curls around the edges of Stephansdom. The cathedral makes a wonderful backdrop, and the market allows you to refresh yourself after strolling through the pedestrianized center of Vienna. One end of the market meets the parking spot for the horse-drawn carriages that ply their trade in town, which adds another level of historical atmosphere to proceedings.

  • Michales Platz & Kohmarkt & Graben Once you have seen some treasures of the Habsburgs as part of the Hofburg and the Spanish School, it is time to see Vienna’s pedestrian centre. First, you will arrive at Michaels Platz, a small square with some Roman ruins excavation. Continue down Kohlmarket and turn into Graben. You are now in the heart of the city centre of Vienna and one of its main shopping districts. Graben is has also some gorgeous statues and columns erected at the end of the plague in Europe.

  • 7:00pm Dinner @ a Heuriger, Mayer AM Parrplatz, The Wine Tavern in the Bethovenhose - a traditional wine tavern in the Grinzing district. The oldest restaurant in Vienna

Thu 23

  • Day 3 in Vienna

  • Breakfast @ Aida Kaffee

  • 9:30am Spanish Ridng School, Lipizzaer stallions training session with music

  • Pick up tram passes

  • Lunch @ Yori - an excellent Korean restaurant. Vienna has a wide array of superb ethnic restaurants and Yori is no exception. Head here to try Korean classics like kimchi. Bulgogi, bibimbap, galbi, and jeongol. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Schönbrunn Palace -The Versailles of Vienna (German: Schloss Schönbrunn) was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers, located in Hietzing, Vienna. The name Schönbrunn (meaning "beautiful spring") has its roots in an artesian well from which water was consumed by the court. The 1,441-room Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historic monuments in the country. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs. It has been a major tourist attraction since the mid-1950s. Tour the grounds, Carriage Museum, and Christmas Market

  • Take a night walk of Christmas Markets

  • Church of St Charles - Karlskirche, Alternative feel to it, Many unique art and crafts. Strict about ensuring diversity, quality, and authenticity

  • Rathus - Christkindlmarkt, most visited and most famous

  • Maria Threse Platz - One of the biggest Christmas Markets in Vienna

  • St Stephen’s Cathedral -


Fri 24

  • Train to Budapest

  • Train direct from Vienna to Budapest 2:30 hrs;

  • Austria and Hungary used to be part of the same empire, so it should be no surprise that their capitals are friendly neighbours. High-speed ÖBB Railjet trains run between the Vienna Hauptbahnhof and Budapest Keleti stations about every hour from 05:00 until 22:00, covering the 214km journey in just under 2h 40m.

  • Afternoon in Budapest

  • Central Market Hall - Restored neogothic hall for traders with grocery produce on the ground & souvenirs on the 1st floor.

  • Dinner @New York, New York Cafe - Spectacular gilded interior

  • Explore the "Paris of the Danube". Brimming with UNESCO World Heritage Sites, incredible riverside architecture spanning every period from Baroque to Neoclassical, grandiose castles, and world-famous thermal springs, Budapest is truly one of Europe's most beautiful cities.

  • Evening return by train to Vienna

  • Last minute Overnight in Budapest

Sat 25

  • Day in Budapest

  • TOP 5 BUDAPEST TOURIST ATTRACTIONS:

  • Buda Castle

  • Fisherman’s Bastion

  • Hungarian Parliament Building

  • Széchenyi Thermal Bath

  • St. Stephen’s Basilica

  • Evening return by train to Vienna

  • Overnight in Vienna

Sun 26

  • Day in Vienna 4

  • Brunch @ L Opera

  • Tour of Vienna Opera House

  • Dinner @ Danieli

  • Overnight in Vienna

Mon 27

  • Breakfast @ Gerstner

  • Bolt/Taxi to Vienna Airport

  • Ryan Air Flight to Faro FR 727, Dep VIE 15:00, arr FAO 17:40


Things to do

Activities/Sights

  • City Hall - The cathedralesque City Hall (Rathaus) is one of the most distinctive and imposing buildings in Vienna. Built from 1872 to 1883, this is, in fact, the New City Hall, replacing the Old City Hall. It is Neo-Gothic in style and serves as a powerful symbol of the city’s late 19th-century political clout. I think it kind of looks like a Gothic fantasy castle with its many spires and turrets. The City Hall’s facade holds a lavish display of standard-bearers brandishing the coats of arms of the city of Vienna and the monarchy.The building’s huge central tower is over 100 meters high and is topped by the 3-meter statue of a medieval knight in armor with a lance, known affectionately as the Rathausmann. Also worth noting is the lofty loggia with its intricate tracery and curved balconies. A big square sits in front of the building and is normally bustling with activity. In winter, the square becomes the venue of Vienna’s most famous Christmas market, and after the New Year, it is transformed into a huge ice skating rink. Although you can get a look at the ornate interior of City Hall by signing up for a guided tour, I wouldn’t recommend it for this itinerary due to time constraints.

  • Hofburg - No visit to Vienna would be complete without paying a visit to the Hofburg (Court Palace), a hotchpotch of a place whose name is synonymous with the Habsburgs, the dynasty that, at one time, ruled a vast multinational empire, stretching the length and breadth of Europe. The Habsburgs ruled from this lavish complex of buildings until 1918 which are now home to a smorgasbord of attractions, including the Imperial Apartments, two imperial treasuries, six museums, the National Library, and the famous Spanish Riding School. There is so much to see and do in the Hofburg that there’s no way you can take it all in one day. That is why I only recommend seeing the Imperial Treasury (Schatzkammer), with its superb collection of crown jewels, and the richly decorated Baroque library (Prunksaal), both of which are the real reasons to visit the Hofburg in my opinion. Once you pass through the spectacular portal gate of the Michaelertor—you can’t miss the four gigantic statues of Hercules and his labors—you climb the marble Emperor’s Staircase (Kaiserstiege) to begin a tour of the Imperial Apartments. The 18 conventionally luxurious rooms are where the emperors lived, along with their wives and children. The apartments are richly decorated, the highlight being the Imperial Silver and Porcelain collections. Don’t expect too much though, since virtually every room is decorated in the same style – creamy-white walls and ceilings with parquet flooring, gilded details, and red furnishing, which seems a bit frumpy. Six rooms are devoted to the tragic empress Princess Elisabeth of Bavaria, lovingly known to Austrians as “Sisi”. The rooms display many of her treasured possessions, including her jewels, the gown she wore the night before her marriage, her wooden gymnastics equipment, and the opulent court salon railroad car she used. Sisi enjoys an almost cult-like following in Austria ever since a 1950s trilogy of romantic films, starring Austro-French actress Romy Schneider as the empress. Of all the things to see in the Hofburg, the Imperial Treasury is by far the most rewarding. Some of the finest medieval craftsmanship and jewelry in Europe can be found here, including the imperial regalia and relics of the Holy Roman Empire. The Habsburgs’ own crown jewels, the loot of a once-great empire, including countless reliquaries and robes, goldwork, and silverware can also be found here. Don’t miss treasures like the Holy Lance, reputedly the lance that pierced Jesus’s side, the Saber of Charlemagne, the Golden Fleece, and the Imperial Crown, a sacred symbol of sovereignty once stolen on Hitler’s orders. Finally, make your way to the National Library. It is one of the grandest Baroque libraries in the world, the focal point of which is the glorious Grand Hall. With invaluable leather-bound manuscripts in walnut wood bookcases lining the walls from floor to ceiling, the library probably contains more book treasures than any comparable collection outside the Vatican. Another highlight is the statue of Charles VI standing guard under the central dome, which itself has a magnificent fresco depicting the emperor’s apotheosis. Practical Information For Visiting the Hofburg Palace Complex; The Silver Collection, Imperial Apartments, and Sisi Museum are open daily from 10:00–17:00 (15 EUR). The Imperial Treasury is open on all days except Tuesday from 09:00–17:30 (14 EUR). The Austrian National Library is open Tuesday–Sunday from 10:00–18:00 (until 21:00 on Thursday). The entrance costs 10 EUR. Hofburg Palace is also the location of the famous Spanish Horse Riding School (Spanische Hofreitschule). If you don’t feel like visiting the Imperial Apartments, you can catch the famous Lipizzaner horses in action in the stables instead. Full demonstrations take place on Saturdays but on occasion, you can also attend training sessions in the morning on weekdays. Check the website for more information.

  • St. Stephen’s Cathedral - St. Stephen's Cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna. The most important religious building in Vienna has borne witness to many important events in Habsburg and Austrian history. St. Stephen's Cathedral is the symbol of Vienna and also the very center of the city. At 136 meters in height, it is the tallest church in Austria. The tower room, from which there is a gigantic view across Vienna, is reached via 343 steps. A total of 13 bells hang here. However, the best known of them, the Pummerin, hangs in the 68 meter-tall north tower. It is the second-biggest free-swinging chimed church bell in Europe. On the roof of St. Stephen's Cathedral, colorful roof tiles were laid to create the Royal and Imperial double-headed eagle and the coat of arms of the city of Vienna. St. Stephen's Cathedral also attained a particular reputation due to Vienna's most famous sweet treat: It soars above the brand logo on the pink-red packaging of the Manner Schnitten slices. In addition to valuable altars and side chapels, the impressive cathedral treasure can also be seen, including relics decorated with gold and precious stones, monstrances, liturgical texts and books as well as vestments. Numerous important people were also given their final resting place in St. Stephen's Cathedral: Emperor Friedrich III. was buried in an impressive marble sarcophagus. The tomb’s cover slab alone weighs eight tonnes. Prince Eugene of Savoy has his final resting place in a private chapel. Buried in the catacombs of St. Stephen's Cathedral is Duke Rudolph IV, "the founder", who laid the foundation stone for the Gothic reconstruction of the cathedral in 1359. It is also the burial site of many other Habsburgs and Viennese cardinals and archbishops.

  • Belvedere Palace - (take the tram from Bosendorferstrabe?) One of the most exemplary examples of Baroque architecture in the world, the Belvedere actually consists of two imposing palaces that are separated by a 17th-century French-style garden parterre replete with fountains, waterfalls, and statuary. (daily from 10:00-18:00. Gardens are open daily from 7-6)

  • Art History Museum - Imposing 19th-century museum with lavish interiors housing art collections & antiquities.

  • Explore Viennese Art Nouveau Architecture - Pedestrian Streets and Shopping - One of the great pleasures of wandering the streets of Vienna is seeking out the city’s rich turn-of-the-century Art Nouveau architecture. One of the best places to see wonderful examples of Jugendstil architecture in Vienna is the apartment houses that line the Wienzeile, overlooking the Naschmarkt. Two of these, the adjacent private apartment blocks of Linke Wienzeile 38 and 40, stand out in particular and are two of the best examples of Jugendstil architecture in the city. Designed in 1899 by Secessionist pioneer Otto Wagner, these buildings are an absolute treat to photograph. The right-hand building (no. 38) is richly embossed with gold palm fronds and medallions and even features an elaborate top-floor loggia replete with Art Nouveau urns and a couple of figures. The building on the left (no. 40) is even more flamboyant, its pollution-resistant cladding of red majolica tiles spawned the nickname, “Majolica House”. Its facade contains subtle flower patterns in pink, blue, and green.

  • Secession Building - The unmistakable Secession Building represents the pinnacle of the Secession Movement in Vienna. The Secession Movement began at the turn of the 19th century, in 1897, when 20 dissatisfied Viennese artists, headed by Gustav Klimt, “seceded” from the conservative and strict artists’ society associated with the Academy of Fine Arts. The Secession Movement advocated the radically new kind of art known as Jugendstil, which found its inspiration in both the organic, fluid designs of Art Nouveau and employed more geometric designs.Day TripsThe building is virtually windowless and almost looks like a squat cube. The building’s most noticeable feature is its massive filigree dome of gilded bronze laurel leaves. This now-famous feature had its share of detractors at the time of the building’s opening in 1898 and led it to be nicknamed “the Gilded Cabbage.” On closer inspection, you can see the building’s decorative details. My favorites are the main entrance is adorned with a trio of gorgons, a pair of salamanders, and copious gilded foliage. Don’t miss the bronze statue of an overweight Mark Anthony, the Roman emperor is shown on a chariot being drawn by lions guarding the building.Above the entrance of the pavilion is the motto of the Secessionist Movement “Der Zeit ihre Kunst. Der Kunst ihre Freiheit” – “To every age its art, to art its freedom”.

  • Karlsplatz Pavilions - Otto Wagner, the prominent Austrian architect and leading member of the Vienna Secession movement, is responsible for several notable landmarks in the city. Wagner was also responsible for designing and engineering many aspects of the Vienna City Train, the horsedrawn and then steam-powered predecessor of today’s underground, in the late 19th century. Of all these structures, the matching pair of underground railway exit pavilions are certainly the best. The pavilions on Karlsplatz are made of a green, wrought-iron framework and marble slabs, and the roof over the arched gate is decorated with golden ornaments and sunflower motifs. They are a perfect example of classical Jugendstil, combining simplicity and elegance.

  • Church of St. Charles - (Karlskirche) is undoubtedly one of the best things to see in Vienna. (see it at night if you can, lights and reflections in the pond) Mon-Sat 9–7. And another big Christmas Market sprawled in front of the giant Baroque Karlskirche church. The Art Advent market has an “alternative” feel to it and features many unique arts and crafts stalls. The organizers have strict rules about who can set up here, ensuring diversity, quality, and authenticity. It's still a bit of a local secret. Definitely consider the Karlsplatz market if you’re looking for unusual or unique items to take back home with you. We always make sure to pop in here to pick up a few gifts for people.

  • City Park - StadtPark - English-style, 19th-century public park with a river, ornate bridges & gilded Johann Strauss statue.

  • Prater Park - Vienna’s answer to Coney Island. Large park with old-time amusements, including a landmark giant wheel dating from 1897.

  • Schönbrunn Palace -The Versailles of Vienna (German: Schloss Schönbrunn) was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers, located in Hietzing, Vienna. The name Schönbrunn (meaning "beautiful spring") has its roots in an artesian well from which water was consumed by the court. The 1,441-room Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historic monuments in the country. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs. It has been a major tourist attraction since the mid-1950s. Tour the grounds, Carriage Museum, and Christmas Market

  • the Albertina Museum - 19th-century Habsburg palace with staterooms & collections of old master prints & 20th-century art

Day Trips

  • Hallstatt (3:40 by train and bus) is a village on Lake Hallstatt's western shore in Austria's mountainous Salzkammergut region. Its 16th-century Alpine houses and alleyways are home to cafes and shops. A funicular railway connects to Salzwelten, an ancient salt mine with a subterranean salt lake, and to Skywalk Hallstatt viewing platform. A trail leads to the Echern Valley glacier garden with glacial potholes and Waldbachstrub Waterfall.

  • Bratislava, (1:15 by train) The capital city of Slovakia since 1993 and part of the EU (2004), Bratislava is the third richest area in the EU. With approximately 660,000 inhabitants the city has a moderate centre which can easily be visited within a day. The Old Town has been extensively modernised and welcomes visitors with its gelato-coloured houses. Quaint streets and cafés, a gorgeous castle and the romantic Danube River, what’s not to love? Bratislava has a charming and very well-maintained Old Town. In the many quaint streets are cafés and cute houses. Have a look for the Coronation Route marked with golden crowns integrated into the pavement or visit the Blue Church. The castle is a must-visit, too. Here I uld factor in at least 2h for the 85m ascent and walk around its grounds overlooking the town and the Danube. This is without a tour of the building. There are several viewpoints from the castle and you can see the UFO building, too. You’ll see that time will pass quickly. the capital of Slovakia, is set along the Danube River by the border with Austria and Hungary. It’s surrounded by vineyards and the Little Carpathian mountains, crisscrossed with forested hiking and cycling trails. The pedestrian-only, 18th-century old town is known for its lively bars and cafes. Perched atop a hill, the reconstructed Bratislava Castle overlooks old town and the Danube.

  • Top 5 tourist attractions:

  • Bratislava Castle

  • St. Martin’s Cathedral

  • Old Town Hall

  • Devin Castle

  • UFO Observation Deck.

  • Salzberg, (2:30 by train) (2:00 by bus from Hallstatt) is an Austrian city on the border of Germany, with views of the Eastern Alps. The city is divided by the Salzach River, with medieval and baroque buildings of the pedestrian Altstadt (Old City) on its left bank, facing the 19th-century Neustadt (New City) on its right. The Altstadt birthplace of famed composer Mozart is preserved as a museum displaying his childhood instruments.

  • TOP 5 TOURIST ATTRACTIONS:

  • The Hohensalzburg Fortress

  • Mirabell Palace and Gardens

  • Salzburg Cathedral

  • Mozart’s Birthplace

  • Salzburg Zoo.

  • Budapest, (2:41 by train) Hungary’s capital, is bisected by the River Danube. Its 19th-century Chain Bridge connects the hilly Buda district with flat Pest. A funicular runs up Castle Hill to Buda’s Old Town, where the Budapest History Museum traces city life from Roman times onward. Trinity Square is home to 13th-century Matthias Church and the turrets of the Fishermen’s Bastion, which offer sweeping views.

  • TOP 5 TOURIST ATTRACTIONS:

  • Buda Castle

  • Fisherman’s Bastion

  • Hungarian Parliament Building

  • Széchenyi Thermal Bath

  • St. Stephen’s Basilica

  • The official currency of Hungary is the Hungarian Forint (HUF), and you can exchange currency at banks or exchange offices.

  • Prague, (4:12 by train) capital city of the Czech Republic, is bisected by the Vltava River. Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” it's known for its Old Town Square, the heart of its historic core, with colorful baroque buildings, Gothic churches and the medieval Astronomical Clock, which gives an animated hourly show. Completed in 1402, pedestrian Charles Bridge is lined with statues of Catholic saints.

  • Schloss Ort, a snow-white castle where countless couples dream of celebrating their weddings. Take the opportunity to snap some photos on its famous wooden bridge.

Restaurants/Markets

  • Breakfast at Café Landtmann - There’s no better way to start your day in Vienna than treating yourself to breakfast at a traditional Viennese coffeehouse. Viennese coffeehouses have served as an important social institution since the late 19th century and form an intricate part of the city’s DNA. In fact, in 2011, Viennese coffee houses were put on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The high ceilings, marble table tops, velvety upholstery, the bentwood coat stands, and the notoriously brusque waiters all add to the charm. Café Landtmann is one of the most elegant and venerable coffeehouses in Vienna, boasting a rich tradition dating back to 1873. The café has long drawn a mix of politicians, artists, journalists, and actors and is also famous for being Sigmund Freud’s favorite hangout. Two of the most popular coffee options are Kleiner/Großer Brauner and Melange. open daily from 07:30-20:00. Make a reservation online to avoid queues.

  • Breakfast at Café Sperl - Commence your second day of sightseeing in Vienna by heading to yet another one of the city’s famous coffeehouses, Café Sperl, one of my absolute favorite places in the city. Slightly different in character than the aforementioned Café Landtmann, Café Sperl has a seductive bohemian vibe in its own right and has been attracting a faithful clientele for well over a century, many of whom come to try the billiard tables and dartboards on the premises. The breakfast spread is amazing, definitely try the Sperl Torte (a heavenly mix of milk chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and almond) while enjoying one of the 34 different types of coffee to choose from. Café Sperl is open from 07:00-22:00 (Monday-Saturday) and 10:00-20:00 (Sundays & public holidays). It is closed on Sundays in July & August.

  • Ofenloch - For a well-deserved traditional Austrian lunch or dinner, head to Ofenloch, one of the finest restaurants in town. Oozing with style and finesse, this first-class restaurant is a great place to sample classic Viennese and Austrian cuisine. Try traditional Austrian dishes such as Wiener schnitzel (breaded veal with a side of parsley potatoes or a potato cucumber salad), or Tafelspitz (a quintessentially delectable Viennese dish of boiled beef, potatoes, and horseradish sauce). Rindsgulasch (a rich beef stew flavored with paprika and caraway) is also a popular choice. Wash it down with some refreshing Austrian beer or an equally delightful Austrian white wine.Monday to Saturday: 12:00 - 23:00

  • Dinner at Craftmühle - a chic and grungy craft beer joint that is one of the very best craft beer bars in Vienna. This is the perfect place to visit if you’re in the mood for some greasy burgers or something juicy off the grill and a couple of IPAs. In addition to the 12 beers they offer on tap, Craftmühle also offers a wide range of bottled beer.

  • Lunch and Tour of Naschmarkt - After a grueling morning of Sightseeing, you should treat yourself to a fantastic lunch at Naschmarkt. In addition to being a great lunch spot, the Naschmarkt is Vienna’s largest and most famous outdoor produce market. It occupies what was originally the riverbed of a branch of the Danube River, which was diverted and paved over during the massive public works projects of the 19th century. Undoubtedly the liveliest market in the city, you’ll find packed rows of polished and stacked fruits and vegetables competing for visual appeal among the hundreds of stalls. Life here starts at 06:00 when vendors selling flowers, meat, and fish open their stalls. On the weekends’ farmers from outside the city offer their produce and on Saturdays, a bustling flea market takes place at the tail end of the market where you can find everything from antiques to second-hand clothing. Being such a large market, you’ll have no shortage of food options. Naschmarkt offers dozens upon dozens of eateries or snack stands where you can fill up. There are many Turkish food stands, Asian noodle shops, and Japanese sushi stalls to choose from. You can even order typical Viennese dishes, especially beer, white wine, and sausages, at several stalls. Austrian sausages are usually served on a roll with mustard. Try the käsekrainer, a fat frankfurter with tasty bits of cheese. The Vienna Naschmarkt is open Monday–Friday from 06:00–21:00 and Saturday from 06:00–21:00. The food stalls and restaurants are open Monday–Saturday until 23:00. To make the most out of your Naschmarkt visit, Take a Tasting Tour with a knowledgeable local guide.

  • Dinner @ Yori - Cap off your day in Vienna by heading to Yori, an excellent Korean restaurant. Vienna has a wide array of superb ethnic restaurants and Yori is no exception. Head here to try Korean classics like kimchi. Bulgogi, bibimbap, galbi, and jeongol. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Gmoa Keller restaurant recommend from uber driver

  • Steirereck #18 of Worlds 50 best restaurants 2023. The go-to for cutting-edge cooking in Vienna. Set in the city’s verdant Stadtpark, it’s a curious juxtaposition. The setting is a modern architectural marvel of mirrored glass, rough-luxe concrete and crisp linens, the food, meanwhile – fed by a rooftop garden and choice suppliers – is firmly rooted in the humble, quality produce of the Styrian region. At the helm is chef Heinz Reitbauer, whose char with beeswax, yellow carrot, pollen and sour cream says everything about his slant being equal parts theatre, flavour and reverence for regional ingredients. Elsewhere, a modern take on goulash with spelt and medlars keep the locals coming back.

  • Konstantin Filippou - 2 Michelin Stars - Nudging the Donaukanal river, it’s easy to miss the muted facade of this laid-back restaurant. It’s the magnum opus of Greek-Austrian chef Konstantin Filippou. Expect an authentically inspired, relaxed, fish-led menu (featuring the odd meat dish) reflecting his transnational outlook – which includes stints at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Michel Roux Jr’s Le Gavroche and Arzak in San Sebastián. Dishes are a happy medley of Austrian produce and Mediterranean heritage: think marinated salmon, vichyssoise, cornichons and chive oil or fish soup with couscous and salsa verde. A pared-back dining room, in which dried wild herbs hang from the ceiling, completes the look.

  • Specht - Bib Gourmand: in a little side street in the city centre is a wonderfully cosy setting for a pleasant tête-à-tête or meal among friends. Diners can expect delicious traditional Viennese cuisine prepared using local ingredients. The pretty interior combining modern design, wooden floors, dark green wall panelling and partially vaulted ceilings creates a warm atmosphere. There is a U-Bahn station conveniently located close by.

  • Mochi - Bib Gourmand: A lively, informal restaurant serving authentic Japanese cuisine with some more modern twists, at very moderate prices. You can watch the chefs at work, preparing sushi rolls, yakitori or gyu don. At lunchtime, the food is served in bowls; in the evening the presentation is a bit more elaborate. Tables are much sought after, so book early! No reservation possible at lunchtime.

  • MAST Weinbistro - Farm to table, Seasonal Cuisine, Bib Gourmand: Set in a historical town house, this trendy place is a winning combination of modern wine bar and upscale bistro. It is very popular for its great food, is made with seasonal ingredients sourced from local producers – and at fantastic value for money. Organic and biodynamic wines are recommended to accompany your choice of dishes. There is an appealing outdoor dining area, too.

  • Salzburg

  • St. Peter Stiftskulinarium - Dating back to 803, this is considered the oldest restaurant in Europe! Diners are seated in the comfortable, nicely decorated interior of this beautiful historical setting to enjoy great Austrian and Mediterranean food. The menu includes traditional classics such as Tafelspitz, but also premium steaks. They have over 600 wines! Lovely baroque function room on the first floor.


What to eat in Vienna

  • Langos - If you see a food truck or a stall with a langos sign, it’s time for a snack. This delicious street food consists of a simple deep-fried flat bread coated in a garlic paste. It’s a delicacy originating from Hungary, where it commonly comes with a variety of toppings. You’ll find it at any outdoor event, festival, or at the Christmas markets in Vienna, sometimes served with sour cream and cheese on top. If you don’t happen to see any of it on your tour of the city, go to Prater Park where there are many langos stalls all year round. They’ll fry the dough in front of you and then spread the paste over this warm and crispy frisbee. Eating a much-bigger-than-your-face langos will make you sticky and greasy, but also very happy. Where to get it: Prater

  • Almdudler - You don’t simply have a coke in Vienna. You get an almdudler. This herbal lemonade is a national treasure in Austria. Sweetened and carbonated, this soft drink consists of apple juice and a blend of 32 natural alpine herbs. It’s a fruitier tangier ginger ale that’s very refreshing with a peculiar herbal aftertaste. The iconic bottle featuring a couple in traditional attire makes for characteristic photo opportunities on your trip to Vienna.

  • Rindsgulasch - The rindsgulasch is another Viennese classic that you’ll find on the menu at any traditional restaurant in town. Deriving from the more famous Hungarian goulash, the Viennese version consists of tender beef chunks soaked in a rich thick gravy, made from slow-cooking onions. There are no vegetables or garnish, only melt-in-the-mouth beef to blow your mind. Sometimes, you’ll get potatoes or a side of spaetzle, to soak up every last drop of the delicious gravy. Where to get it: Gmoakeller | Reinthaler’s Beisl | Restaurant Müllerbeisl | Weibel’s Wirtshaus | Wirtshaus Herlitschka | Glacis Beisl

  • Pork Knuckle - Known as stelze, a pork knuckle is basically the knee of a pig served on the bone. The crispy crackling skin encloses the most tender and juicy pork meat. And it’s a lot of meat! It typically comes on a wooden tray with mustard and pickled horseradish (take it sparingly), to be shared among two or three people. Head to a beer garden in Prater to best enjoy it, and get ready to pile up the beer mugs! Where to get it: Salm Bräu | Schweizerhaus

  • Spätzle - This simple dish of Austrian folk cuisine will probably be the only option you’ll have at a beisl (traditional Austrian tavern) if you’re a vegetarian. These tiny dumplings made of flour, water, and eggs, are often served plain as a side with many meat dishes like the goulash.But they also come in more elaborate forms. In the Eiernockerl, they are cooked in a pan with eggs and onions and served with chives. This dish is usually served in the pot and accompanied by a green salad. Another popular version is the Käsespätzle, which is baked in the oven with cheese and topped with fried onion. We might call it Austrian mac and cheese. It’s pure delicious comfort food. Where to get it: Gmoakeller | Reinthaler’s Beisl | Restaurant Müllerbeisl | Weibel’s Wirtshaus | Wirtshaus Herlitschka | Glacis Beisl

  • Kaiserschmarren At Demel - This not-too-sweet shredded pancake originated in Austria during the time of Emperor Franz Joseph I (it literally means the Emperor’s scrambled dish). The egg batter is poured into a hot pan, stirred in butter, and caramelized with rum-soaked raisins. The resulting fluffy pancake is then torn into bite-sized pieces and sprinkled with powdered sugar. It’s served warm and accompanied by a fruit compote made from plums. You can watch the best kaiserschmarren in town in the making every day in the window of Demel, the historic confectionery in the city center. You can also get them in a box to go, especially at the Demel kiosk in Stephan’s Platz. Have a look around though, because you’ll also find them in many other coffee houses and inns. Where to get it: Demel

  • Frankfurter - Essentially, this is a thin parboiled sausage made of beef and pork and cased in sheep’s intestine. The Frankfurter doesn’t sound as good as it tastes, but trust me—it’s worth it. This Viennese hot dog usually comes in pairs with a bun, accompanied by ketchup and mustard. It’s the most popular sausage in Vienna! You’ll find it at the traditional kiosks, usually at the tram stops or right outside the metro stations. It’s also on the menu in many taverns and coffee houses. Where to get it: Bitzinger | Zum goldenen Würstel

  • Äpfelstrudel - Austrians love apples. And they put it to best use in the äpfelstrudel. This rolled pastry encases in its many layers a rich filling of apples and raisins with a hint of cinnamon, rum, and sometimes nuts. It usually comes with a dusting of sugar and a delicious vanilla sauce—the more the better! It’s the national dessert, so you’ll find it on the menu of every coffee house or restaurant in Vienna. Chances are you’ll finish every single meal with at least one flaky rectangle of strudel. It’s mostly fruit after all! Where to get it: Hotel Sacher | Demel | Aida | Café Central | Café Landtmann | Café Mozart | Kaffee Alt Wien

  • Tafelspitz - The tafelspitz is a national dish in Austria and the king of beef dishes in Vienna. If you’re a meat lover, you’ll appreciate that the beef cut is a well-aged piece from the bottom sirloin primal cut, known in the US as the tri-tip. And it comes out particularly tender after being gently simmered in a rich broth with root vegetables and spices like bay leaves and peppercorns. In Austrian restaurants, there’s a proper ritual to stick to when the tafelspitz is served. Diners are meant to eat it in courses. The broth soup is eaten first. Then, the marrow is removed from the bones and spread on bread like a jam. Finally, the meat and the vegetables are enjoyed. Head to Plachutta Restaurant for a tafelspitz ceremony you won’t soon forget! Where to get it: Plachutta

  • Sachertorte - Having a sachertorte is like getting a slice of Vienna history. Austria’s most famous dessert consists of a dense chocolate cake filled with a thin layer of apricot jam, coated in dark chocolate icing, and usually served with unsweetened whipped cream. The original recipe is protected by trademark, but most confectioneries in Vienna have attempted to create their own version, which sometimes turns out better than the original! That said, Hotel Sacher is the only place where you can taste the authentic sachertorte, which comes with a trademark in chocolate applied on the cake. The hotel produces over 270,000 pieces a year (they can travel and are packed in a very nice wooden box if you’re thinking of a sweet souvenir). No wonder there’s always a long line to get a seat at the Sacher Café. Whether it’s here or anywhere else, just make sure you get your slice of sacher before leaving! Where to get it: Hotel Sacher | Demel | Aida | Café Central | Café Landtmann | Café Mozart | Kaffee Alt Wien

  • Wiener Schnitzel - This simple and delicious cutlet will bring everyone together and it is the absolute must-try food on your trip to Vienna. The original version is made of a slice of veal, hammered until thin and tender, covered in fine breadcrumbs, and then deep-fried until golden brown. But the pork variant is also very popular and for a good reason. As for the side, you’d better give up the fries and pair it with a more traditional erdäpfelsalat. This Austrian potato salad is made with cubed boiled potatoes, red onions, white wine vinegar, mustard, and chives. It’s difficult to find a place that doesn’t serve schnitzel in Vienna, and most are delicious. However, Figlmüller is known as the home of the original Wiener Schnitzel and you’ll find it in the city center. Where to get it: Figlmueller | Gmoakeller


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