1. Vienna Markets
Vienna has many food markets scattered through the city’s neighbourhoods. Here’s the full list Markets in Vienna (German, but helpful for times and maps). By the way, these markets are all closed on Sundays. Here are some of my favourites:
- Naschmarkt – the most famous Vienna market located just off Karlsplatz with many excellent places to eat;
- Karmelitermarkt – in the second district, more great restaurants and excellent Slow Food booth (Saturdays);
- Brunnenmarkt – in the 16th district (Ottakring) quite near the Thalia U-6 station; with over 170 stands lining the street the largest market in Europe; the market ends at Yppenplatz where there are many excellent restaurants and organic food stands on Saturdays.
2. Wien Museum (Vienna city museum)
The Wien Museum is my favorite museum in Vienna. They have large city models, art, armor suits, maps, period rooms and lots of other interesting exhibits. It’s a manageable size, good for a morning visit. They also have very interesting exhibits and a nice gift shop. Your ticket is also good for the Otto Wagner pavillon across the square (check hours).
3. Third Man Tour
The Vienna city sewer department has organized a tour of the sewer where the climatic final scene takes place … they also explain how urban sewers work … really interesting and highly recommended (only in summer!). Here is a link to the Vienna Tourist Bureau’s Third Man page with background and other activities linked to the film.
4. Leopold Museum and Museumsquartier
The Leopold Museum located in the Museumsquartier has a great collection of Jugendstil art (also known as Art Nouveau), great views from the top floor windows and is a manageable size.
The MuseumsQuartier is one of the world’s best public spaces … be sure to visit in the summer when the space is full of people hanging out on the benches and in the cafes. In addition to the Leopold Museum, there are the MUMOK, Architecture Zentrum and a Children’s Museum.
5. Walk around the First District
Vienna’s historic center including the Hofburg (Imperial Palace), Spanish Riding School (well worth a visit), Stephansplatz and Stephansdom, along with countless restaurants, cafes and shops. Go off the tourist circuit and get lost, it’s small enough so you won’t be lost long.
6. Cafes and Coffeehouses
Enjoy a coffee and cake served by a grumpy (nothing personal, it’s tradition) tuxedo clad waiter while you browse through newspapers from around the world. Some of my favourite Vienna Cafes;
7. Heurigen (Vienna wine tavern)
Vienna is famous for its wine culture, be sure to visit one of the city’s many Heurige … best enjoyed in the vineyards!
8. Danube Island
The Donau Insel is a 21-km long island in the Danube River. Built as part of a flood control project is now a park for walking, biking, picnics, swimming, and loads of other activities. Easily accessible by U-1, U-2 and U-6 metro lines.
Vienna is famous for its classical music (Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler, Schoenberg, Strauss … the list seems endless), go to a classical concert when you visit — but also check out the traditional Wiener Lieder, music meant to be enjoyed in cafes and bars.
Vienna’s public transport system is great, it’s a wonderful city to explore by foot and the bike network is getting better every day.
Maybe one reason Vienna is so livable is that people here love to eat and drink. The restaurants and cafes are generally excellent and often inexpensive.