Austria is a Central European country, that attracts a large number of tourists year-round with its rich history, highly mountainous terrains, ski resorts, idyllic lakes, and castles.
The most popular destination is the capital city – Vienna. It is known for its many historical monuments, remarkable architecture, museums and cathedrals, wine pubs, classical music, opera, and Viennese waltz. Vienna is often regarded as the City of music, and the City of dreams (since it was the hometown of Sigmund Freud). It is elegant and traditional, as well as trendy and progressive and will charm you with many Baroque castles, gardens, and parks. This magical city that takes you back in time is a place where romance isn’t hard to find.
Things to see
• Schönbrunn Palace (The former imperial summer residence, built in the 18th century. Today it’s a major historical monument.)
• Schönbrunner Gardens and Zoo (it is the oldest and most beautiful zoo and was also voted the best zoo in Europe)
• Hofburg Palace (The former imperial winter residence, built in the 13th century. Today it’s the official residence and workplace of the Austrian president.)
• Rathaus (the famous Neo-Gothic city hall of Vienna, located on Rathausplatz)
• Belvedere Palace (A historic building complex, consisting of two palaces. It was built as an imperial summer residence and today it houses the Belvedere Palace Museum.)
• The Austrian Parliament Building
• In Vienna, there are many prominent museums. If you are a museum lover, make sure to visit the Museum of Natural History Vienna, The Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History), Museum of Military History, Museum of Technology, MAK (Museum of Applied Arts), Hofburg Palace Museum, Leopold Museum, Kunst Haus Wien, The Albertina Museum, Museum Judenplatz, and The Imperial Treasury of Vienna.
• Vienna is also known for many imposing religious monuments, like the iconic St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom on Stephansplatz, the famous central square in Vienna), St. Peter’s Church, Kirche am Steinhof, Church of St. Jerome, and the beautiful Karlskirche (St. Charles’s Church, located on Karlsplatz).
• The Pestsäule – The Holy Trinity Column (a Baroque memorial and the most prominent sculpture in Vienna; built to commemorate victims of the plague)
• Maria-Theresien-Platz and Memorial (a monument to Empress Maria Theresa)
• Austrian National Library (a well-known Baroque building, housing the former Imperial library and four museums)
• Burgtheater (former Imperial Court Theatre, today the Austrian National Theatre, known for its charming architecture and splendid performances)
• Hundertwasserhaus (the famous expressionist apartment building and a major landmark)
• Wiener Riesenrad (a tall Ferris wheel in the Prater amusement park)
• Haus des Meeres – Aqua Terra Zoo (a public aquarium – its rooftop offers a stunning view over Vienna)
• Postsparkasse (a beautiful building by Otto Wagner – a famous Austrian architect, known for designing many Viennese landmarks)
• The Imperial Crypt (a burial chamber beneath the Capuchin Church for members of the Hapsburg royal family)
Things to do
• Take a romantic walk through the historic center of Vienna. The best way to understand Austria’s glorious history is to walk along the Ringstrasse boulevard from the State Opera House to Rathaus.
• Visit the Kahlenberg hill in the 19th district and enjoy the beautiful view over the entire city.
• Relax in Volksgarten park, the idyllic public park in the Innere Stadt district. It is known for its charming rose gardens, fountains, monuments and historical buildings.
• Visit the Döbling district, the site of many ‘Heurigen’ restaurants – typical Austrian taverns, where you can enjoy a glass of the local wine.
• Try some of the most famous Austrian dishes, like the Sachertorte (a special kind of chocolate cake), Apfelstrudel (apple strudel), Kaiserschmarrn (shredded pancake, usually served with compote or fruit sauce), the Wiener Schnitzel (a fried cutlet without bones) or different kinds of sausages.
• Since Austria is the City of music, you should visit the House of Music (museum of sound and music) or even better, experience Vienna’s classical music at the State Opera House, the Kursalon Hübner music hall or the Wiener Musikverein concert hall.
• Visit the Spanish Horse Riding School and enjoy a gala Lipizzaner stallion performance.
• If you’re visiting during the summer, make sure to hit the banks of the Danube river. This popular recreational and leisure area is a true paradise for beach lovers, swimmers and other (water) sports enthusiasts. You can grab a bite at the beach bars and restaurants, visit the Danube Island Festival (a three-day open-air event held annually in June) or simply relax in the sun.
• Vienna is magical during the holiday season. You will fall in love with their world-famous Christmas markets, numerous Christmas events, and New year’s festivals.
• Take a walk on Vienna’s most elegant street – Kärtner Strasse. Here you can go shopping, have a drink in a typical pavement café or simply admire the remarkable buildings and the Donnerbrunnen Fountain.
• Another must-walk street is the historic Graben street, known for its historical buildings and monuments. The street used to serve as a marketplace and is now a popular festival site.
• Visit Naschmarkt – Vienna’s most popular open-air market, sample fresh local food at the stands and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.
• Take a walk through the 20th district and enjoy the friendly multicultural vibe, the tasty food, and visit the lively Hannovermarkt.
• Visit the rotating restaurant at the Donauturm (Danube Tower). They offer you delicious food and a spectacular view over the capital.
• Embark on a thrilling journey through the history of Vienna at the Time travel tour with 5D cinema, animated shows, music and special effects.
• If you like flowers, you should visit the Burggarten – the once-royal garden behind the Hofburg Palace. Attractions include a butterfly house, a palm house and a statue of Mozart (the ingenious Austrian composer).
Attraction prices are lower in Vienna than in Paris, for example, but they’re still fairly expensive. The cheapest private rooms are available for 40-45 EUR (43-48 USD), in the city center for around 75 EUR (81 USD). Food prices vary from 3 EUR (3 USD) for a fast food meal like sausages to at least 15 EUR (16 USD) for a budget dinner with drinks. Public transportation is the cheapest way to travel. A single ticket costs 2.20 EUR (2.39 USD).
Where to stay
You can find nice accommodation options on Booking. Make sure to search for private rooms popular for romance. 😉 On Airbnb you can rent furnished apartments – those are usually cheaper than most hotels and they offer you the real Vienna experience.
Best time to go
Weather-wise the best time to visit Vienna is from April to October. During the summer there are many festivals and you can enjoy the Danube river recreational and leisure area, but the city gets quite crowded. Because of the famous Christmas markets, Vienna is also a very popular destination during the holiday season. Accommodation prices are the lowest from mid-January through March and from mid-October through November.
♥ Top romantic experience
The rotating restaurant at the Donauturm (Danube Tower) is without a doubt a very romantic experience. But since a dinner at a height of 161.2 (or 169.4) meters isn’t cheap, a ride on the Wiener Riesenrad at the Prater amusement park sounds like an excellent alternative.
♥ Top adventure
Walking and bike tours are a very popular option among tourists. You can also rent a scooter or book a day trip to the Alps and go hiking or skiing. At the Donauturm (Danube Tower) you can combine romance and adventure (during the summer they also offer bungee jumping) and the Prater amusement park is also known for many roller coasters and other thrill rides, as well as for romantic restaurants and the Wiener Riesenrad.
Have you already been to Vienna? We invite you to share your top romantic experience and top adventure in the comment section below. 😉