Opulent, historic, and able to charm even the most critical of travelers, Vienna is simply a must visit on any Austrian vacation. Even if you plan to spend the bulk of your time elsewhere in Austria, plan at least a few days in Vienna. Vienna travel offers a range of delights, from eye-catching buildings to alluring all night bars. With so many great Vienna attractions to savor, you can easily expect to fill both your days and nights here. Getting around to all the Vienna attractions is aided by the fact that the city boasts a wonderful transportation system. The same ticket will get you on a bus, the metro, or a tram, and your feet should be able to take care of the rest. Speaking of your feet, walking tours are among the best Vienna tours available, so you'll want to make sure you pack some comfortable walking shoes for this sensational capital city. Vienna's famed city center is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it an ideal place to begin Vienna tours.
Vienna is easily the largest city in Austria with a population of around 1.7 million people, and it serves as the political, cultural, and economic center of the country. It is found in northeastern Austria on the mighty Danube River and is not only the capital city of the country, but also of the eponymous Austrian state that bears its name. Vienna has seen its fair share of history beginning with its roots as a Celtic settlement in the sixth century BC. It would eventually become an outpost for the Roman Empire, the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, and the residential base of the all-powerful Habsburg dynasties. It was during the Middle Ages that Vienna began its march towards becoming the cultural haven that it still is, as it quickly grew in importance as a center for music, the arts, science, and even cuisine. By all accounts, it was the showpiece of the Habsburg dynasties, and suffice it to say that Austria itself grew around Vienna.
With the fall of the Holy Roman Empire, Vienna would assume the capital city role once again, this time for the Austrian Empire, which would then become the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1867. In the twentieth century, both World War I and World War II would prove to be hard on Vienna, but a new Austrian republic was born out of the relative chaos. Thankfully, many of Vienna's most cherished historical structures survived both World Wars, and successful renovation efforts have helped to maintain their splendor. In addition to a hearty collection of attractive architectural wonders, Vienna still manages to offer quite a lot in the way of the arts. Much like Salzburg, Vienna holds on strong to its musical identity, and rightfully so. You can catch many cultural performances in Vienna, with the famed Burgtheater and the Musikverein serving as prime venues for such events.
Trying to fit in all that Vienna travel has to offer is pretty tough, as there are simply a ton of inviting Vienna attractions to consider. Guided Vienna tours are a great way to learn about the city, not to mention getting familiar with its overall layout. These guided tours focus mostly on the city and its main sights, such as Schonbrunn Palace, or pair parts of the city with trips to outlying points of interest. You might even end up at the Baden spa outside of town that was once used to serve the needs of the aristocracy. As mentioned, walking tours are among the best Vienna tours, partly because there's so much to see here. The centrally located Staatsoper (State Opera House) makes for a great starting point for walking Vienna tours, as it is close to a bunch of great Vienna attractions, including the Hofburg Palace Complex. A past winter palace for the Habsburg dynasties, Hofburg is quite dazzling, showing the king of glory that this royal lineage enjoyed for almost 600 years.
Also in the heart of Vienna is another one of the top Vienna attractions, St Stephens Cathedral. This Romanesque and Gothic style church is spectacular, and it's easily the most important religious building in the city. No lover of architecture should miss it when enjoying Vienna travel. While you are checking out the historically-rich edifices in central Vienna, you can also take some time out to drop in on the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Art), where some of the art that the Habsburgs collected during their ruling days is on display. As you go about satisfying your cultural fixes while enjoying Vienna travel, you might also take in some of the great outdoors, provided that the weather is nice.
There are many parks in Vienna where you can take a break from all the sightseeing, and even do a little more sightseeing if you please. Prater Park is one of the top recreational areas in Vienna, and besides offering woods and open meadowland, it also boasts a fairground and amusement park-like section. This section is where you will find the famous Riesenrad Ferris Wheel, which operates year round, even during the cold winter months. Ride the Riesenrad, and you'll enjoy spectacular views of Vienna below, which is certainly recommended for those planning Vienna vacations. Both fans of nature and fans of Johann Strauss will also want to take some time out to explore the Vienna Woods when enjoying Vienna travel. All you have to do to escape the city for the Vienna Woods is hop on tram D and your off to either Heiligenstadt or Nussdorf, where you can find some footpaths.
There's just so much to cover when it comes to Vienna Austria, and Vienna vacations are definitely not bound to see you getting bored. Between visits to the various Vienna attractions, you can enjoy a range of dining experiences, and the shopping options here can satisfy hours on end. Cruising down the Danube is always a good way to spend some of your Vienna travel time too, and you can even consider taking in some horse racing or a soccer game. Start checking out the Vienna hotels now, and book your trip to one of Europe's best capital cities!