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Vienna is a museum of a city. Let us open its doors for you to see the most important places in the European capital of music. We give you three different routes so you can make the most of your free time during your business trip. First, it’s important to know that Vienna’s historic quarter is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And that’s precisely where our itinerary begins. Let's get started!
In half an hour
We leave from Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna’s greatest religious symbol in the heart of the city. Be sure to look upward to see its colorful roof. From there, take Kärntner Strasse, one of the most important commercial streets in the city, to the well-known Vienna Opera House or Wiener Staatsoper. If you haven’t been distracted by the noise and bustle from the shops on this street, you’ll have time to contemplate this beautiful place – the center of Viennese musical life and one of the beacons of the musical world.
In an afternoon
If you have more than an hour to see Vienna after a business meeting and you've wanted to venture into the Vienna Opera, you can take a tour. It’s important to know however, that it’s only open at noon. Also, if you’d like to enjoy a show in this historical venue, you can buy the tickets through their website.
Before the show starts, you still have time to head to the Hofburg Palace, only 6 minutes away through Josefsplatz. It was the residence of the Habsburgs for more than six centuries and today it’s home to the Empress Sissi Museum.
Within a 10 minutes’ walk, you can enjoy a stroll along the monumental Ringstrasse, a circular avenue with spectacular buildings such as the City Hall, the Museum of Art History, the Natural History Museum, the Austrian Parliament and the Burgtheater (the Imperial Theater of the court).
In a day
Perhaps you have been able to extend your stay in Vienna for a full day. Then you have no excuse for not venturing into the city and visiting more historical sites and other places of interest. In addition to what’s already been mentioned, leaving from the grand Ringstrasse Avenue, the tram will take you to a slightly more contemporary corner of the city in less than ten minutes. At the Hetzgasse stop, you’ll find a block of houses called Hundertwasserhaus that has very special architecture, full of color and fanciful shapes – almost out of a storybook.
You can’t leave Vienna without going to the Prater: an amusement park for many, and for others, it’s the most emblematic green space in the middle of the city. Although the season of the Vienna Prater runs from March to October, the world-renowned giant Ferris wheel and other attractions are open all year round. This makes it a good choice if the weather is nice and you’ve already toured the city's monumental route.
The grand Ferris wheel is in fact, one of the most visited tourist attractions of the Danube metropolis. It was built between 1896 and 1897 by the English engineer Walter Basset, and it was something very unique in its time. Do you dare ride it? After this bit of fun, head to Eisvogel, a traditional guest house. There you can enjoy a good typical dish - the classic Viennese Schnitzel, an extra-large breaded filet with potatoes, or typical desserts like Tart Sacher and Apfelstrudel.
After this culinary pause in your tour, it might be interesting to visit Madame Tussauds museum, also inside the Prater, where you can see celebrities from around the world close up: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Empress Sissi, Gustav Klimt, Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman to name a few.
2,000 green spaces
The Prater is just one of the city's 2,000 green spaces. Vienna boasts seven titles for the city with the highest quality of life in the world (Estudio Mercer) and its commitment to the care of the parks is one of the keys to having achieved this rating.
Do you like to go running or walking or just go out for a stroll and enjoy nature? Well, while you’re out doing any of these activities, you’ll come across the 400 types of roses that bloom in springtime in the Volksgarten Park. Around the Prater you’ll also find the Wienerwald and the Lobau.
While it’s known as a musical city, it’s also very sporty. If you happen to visit in April, you’ll be surprised to find that you can listen to classical music along the route of the popular Vienna City Marathon. You'll love it!
Shopping with style
The most popular and lively shopping areas in Vienna are Mariahilfer Strasse, a couple of its cross streets in districts VI and VII and the area around the Naschmarkt. Here, an antique marketplace with 400 stalls is set up every Saturday from 6:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Along with high value pieces, you can also find many other interesting items if you feel like looking around.
If you’re interested in finding items that are 100% Viennese, we recommend that you go to a local studio where they craft fine lamps or silver dinnerware and flatware such as Lobmeyr, Woka Lamps Vienna or Wiener Silber Manufactur.
Concert cafes: beyond the great operas
Are you a music lover? Then you’re in luck, because the schedules of the great operas of Vienna are complemented by the tremendous cultural offering of the cafes and concert halls. Although waltzes are king, you can also listen to jazz or to classic Viennese songs. For example, Café Schwarzenberg on the Ringstrasse, is one of the oldest in Vienna. Across the street, Imperial boasts a history with customers like Sigmund Freud and Anton Bruckner. Surrounded by an elegant atmosphere, you can taste an imperial cake (a cake with almond, marzipan and cocoa), buy a souvenir or enjoy the music of a Bösendorfer grand piano.
At the Café Restaurante Residenz you can listen to music in a room upstairs or enjoy a handcrafted Apfelstrudel (apple pie) at the bakery in the basement.
The café-concert space Schmid Hansl is the reference point for Viennese song, but while there you can also hear jazz, operettas, popular music or wind instruments, whether Austrian or international, classical or modern.
In the rhythm of the night in Vienna
Vienna also has music venues and clubs. We suggest you head over to Gürtel Avenue, which in recent years has become the center of Viennese nightlife. Aside from current places like Flex, Fluc, rhiz, Grelle Forelle and Pratersauna, new music venues are opening in the vaulted spaces of the bridge over which the subway passes.
Viennese cuisine has typical dishes that you shouldn’t miss. The first is the Schnitzel. In Rote Bar – a perfect restaurant for a formal meal and just a few steps from the Ringstrasse – you can taste one of the best schnitzels in the city. Also sophisticated, but slightly more avant-garde, is Loca, directly next door to Stadtpark.
If you’re looking for a quick spot for lunch, head to the Buxbaum Restaurant or to Vinothek W-Einkehr, a wine bar where you can enjoy fine wines and cheeses.
In terms of desserts, Vienna is a city of specialists. Go into the Café Sacher and try the famous Sacher cake. Don’t even think of leaving without trying it! Also, if you want to return from your trip with the most typical Viennese sweet treat, take the famous Mozart chocolates or Mozartkugel. These chocolate candies and pistachio marzipan were created by pastry chef Paul Fürst in 1890. Just like everything else in the Danube capital, the food also has a lot of history.
With our guide in hand, allow yourself to be carried away by the tourist, cultural, leisure and food pleasures that the most musical city in Europe holds in store.
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