Vienna Tourism Essentials. What facts about Vienna, lifestyle, customs and key history do independent travellers need to know before they go? Which events have shaped my home city, which buildings fill the streets, which artwork fills museums, which parties fill our calendars, which books fill our thoughts, which food fills local tummies? Use these 17 reads to shape your trip planning and prepare for a deeply rich experience in Vienna.
1. Austria’s Capital
Vienna Tourism Essentials. This article gives you a brief overview of the city. Where is Vienna located, information about its population, city government and urban planning. Review what Vienna is famous for. You will receive lots of upfront travel tips.
Finally, I will share some insights on what to look out for when you visit Wien. Read more.
2. What Is Vienna Known For
Vienna Tourism Essentials. Wien stands out in many ways. If you want to get your head round what makes Vienna so unique and what you need to see, find out about the 20+ highlights Vienna is famous for. I have grouped them up which will provide you with a bigger picture to follow. Go to What Is Vienna Famous For.
3. Vienna Art
Vienna Tourism Essentials. Even hiding at the Danube Canal with your eyes closed it is hard to escape art in Vienna. In fact, many visitors thoroughly plan to lose themselves between baroque palaces, Biedermeier townhouses, Art Nouveau paintings and contemporary street art.
To help you do that during your stay I’m sharing my tips of the best art to experience in Wien in Vienna Art.
4. Vienna History
Vienna Tourism Essentials. Do you use history to provide depth and guidance to your culture travels? In Vienna History you will find the 10 milestones that shaped Vienna in the last 1,000+ years. They should be enough to give practical substance to your Vienna city break.
The articles will also give history buffs lots of ideas what to see in Wien.
5. Empress Sissi
Vienna Tourism Essentials. Whether the Sissi movie has turned you into a fan or simply because the Habsburg Empress fascinates you: Vienna is the perfect place to trace her life and explore the truth behind myths and stories. In Empress Sissi, I have collected all the key sites to visit that relate to her, and what to see there. You will also receive an overview of her life and of Sissi’s husband Francis Joseph.
6. Johann Strauss
Vienna Tourism Essentials. Johann Strauss is two-faced in today’s Vienna, not just because we are talking about father and son here: While his dance music and operettas still form a part of local middle class life Johann Strauss concerts are leading their own existences as tourist attractions.
I love Strauss music and would like you to experience its best performances in Wien: Therefore I’m sharing my favourite things to see and do for Strauss fans in my Johann Strauss Vienna Guide.
7. Beethoven in Vienna
Vienna Tourism Essentials. A Viennese by choice, Ludwig van Beethoven lived in Vienna for two thirds of his life (35 years). In Wien he composed most of his major works, including the 9th Symphony and countless piano concertos and string quartets. Because Beethoven was restlessly moving places in Vienna and surroundings he left many traces to discover for classical music fans. Use my Beethoven in Vienna guide to find key sites and concert tips for the Beethoven 2020 anniversary.
8. Hitler in Vienna
Vienna Tourism Essentials. As much as people need to learn about Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Regime, this is probably the most sensitive topic of local tourism. Nowhere will you find plaques and signs about Hitler sites, to help avoid neo Nazi pilgrimages.
To gain insight into his early days in Wien, and his triumphant return to Vienna in 1938, explore 10 key Hitler locations and museums that unroll Hitler’s past in Hitler in Vienna.
9. Vienna Balls
Vienna Tourism Essentials. Waltzing through ballrooms is our idea of celebrating the carnival season. Vienna Balls are glamorous events that revive the days of the old Empire. They are the key Vienna attractions between January and March. There are a few excellent balls in the spring and late autumn, too. More than with any other attractions, make sure you secure tickets early on.
If you love dressing up, dancing and classical music, let me share my guide to Vienna Balls with you, along with my personal hitlist of the best Vienna Balls.
10. Vienna Waltz
Vienna Tourism Essentials. Waltz and all the traditions around it are real, but steeped in tourist cliches: Dance balls (such as the Opera Ball), the New Year’s Eve waltz and carnival street dancing. Do exploit my insider knowledge as a native to give you the best experience.
I can help you avoid tourist traps. To begin with, read my primer on Vienna Waltz, best waltz music and composers, how to dance waltz, and the best dancing lessons for travellers in town.
11. Vienna Theatres
Vienna Tourism Essentials. Vienna’s more than 100 theatres cover a variety of glamour, burlesque, and underground; drama, comedy, concert and musical; operas and operettas; German and English language. You can even attend a Saturday night clubbing or watch Mozart’s The Magic Flute played by historic marionettes. Read more about the best Vienna theatres and those best to attend if you are not a German speaker.
12. Literature: Stefan Zweig And More
Vienna Tourism Essentials. Reading books by famous Viennese writers gives you a feeling for local culture that no travel guide can provide. Stefan Zweig and Friedrich Torberg are among the best authors to evoke Vienna at in the early 20th century until the Second World War. Fritz von Herzmanovsky-Orlando describes life in baroque Vienna in a brilliantly funny way. Elfriede Jelinek, an internationally acclaimed contemporary writer, digs deep into dark Viennese souls. All books I recommend are also available in English. Read about the best books by Stefan Zweig and more Viennese writers. (image: illustration of Herzmanovsky-Orlando’s Tragic Demise Of A Faithful Court Official)
13. Best Place To Live: Test Vienna
Vienna Tourism Essentials. Vienna has consistently been ranking as the world’s most livable city. As a traveller you often stand beside local life, unaware of the hidden goodies that make living there so special. You won’t need much time to add a few local things to do – weave them into your sightseeing agenda.
In this post, I show you how travellers can test the seven key factors that make Vienna the most livable city on the planet – go to Best Place To Live.
14. Vienna Budapest Prague: Insider Itineraries
Vienna Tourism Essentials. Since you travel to Vienna you may as well explore Budapest and Prague. Together those cities form the ‘Golden Triangle’. Whenever I visit the Czech Republic’s and Hungary’s capitals I’m amazed how complementary their architecture and culture is to Vienna’s. To make your trip planning easier I have developed three city itineraries for three days each. I have mapped out all 76 key highlights of these itineraries, too. Find out more in Vienna Budapest Prague.
15. Austria Travel Guide
Vienna Tourism Essentials. Austria is small and packed with picturesque castles and lakes, quaint villages and breathtaking mountains. Within a few hours from Vienna you can experience bliss and cultural treasures that rival many European destinations. I’m sharing my personal top 21 Austrian locations in my Austria Travel Guide, including distance from Vienna and travel tips. Around half of them can be done in a day.
16. Austrian Food
Vienna Tourism Essentials. What can you expect to get on your plate in Vienna? Austrian food is savoury, hearty, down-to-earth, and powerful. Like this Styrian breaded chicken salad with pumpkin seeds. It reflects cold winter nights as well as sizzling summer days. Use Austrian Food to get inspired with Wiener Schnitzel, Gulash, Dumpling Recipes, Sacher Torte, Gugelhupf and more. Each page includes a few recipes for easy home cooking.
17. Extra Vienna Tourism Tip: Learn German
Vienna Tourism Essentials. Don’t panic. You don’t need to learn German to get around in Austria. If you always wanted to learn it then a visit to Vienna may be the perfect excuse. Living with a non-German speaking husband I know how hard it is to learn my language. In Learn German you can access top sources for German language software, free German language courses online, learn German in Vienna, and a primer on Wienerisch, our Viennese dialect.
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