Vienna is a great under the radar spot for travelers since there are so many easy routes to Europe from all the major East Coast hubs. Step into the cultural European getaway of Vienna, Austria with blogger J.Q. Louise.
Vienna is a city filled with culture and cafes. Fill your winter with art, history and fashion with a trip to this eastern European gem. From strolling through the Stephansplatz to exploring the Schönbrunn Palace, you will definitely have plenty of Instragrammable moments. And that combined with the ease of accessibility from the USA, makes Vienna an under the radar hotspot for 2018. Read on to find out why!
What to See
Vienna was home to Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud and as a result, this is one of the most sophisticated cities in Europe. For centuries, it was the seat of the Hapsburgs and they left behind plenty of gorgeous architecture for the rest of us to enjoy. Four places that any architecture lover just cannot miss while visiting Vienna are: the entire Stephansplatz area, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Schönbrunn Palace and the Albertina.
Stephansplatz is named after the St. Stephan’s Cathedral and is really the center of the historic part of Vienna. Take some time to stroll through this area and enjoy the architecture. There is also some great shopping nearby! St. Stephen’s Cathedral is a 700-year-old cathedral that Mozart was actually married in! The inside and outside of the building is filled with nooks and crannies of beauty! If you have time to take a guided tour, you’ll get to see more of its hidden treasures. But if you don’t have time for a tour, then just take your time to walk through the church on your own, it is open to the public on most days.
Schönbrunn Palace is one of the great European summertime palaces. Similar in scope to Versailles, Schönbrunn is located just outside the heart of Vienna. Even though I visited in the wintertime, its beauty is impressive. From the palace itself to the grounds, it is something you just have to see for yourself to fully appreciate.
Vienna is also a city for art and history lovers. Not lacking in the museum department, Vienna is full of culture everywhere you turn. If you only have time for one, you must visit the Albertina. Home to the “largest and most valuable graphical collection” in the world, the Albertina is also part of the Hapsburg Imperial Palace. And so not only do you get to visit a world class art museum, but you also get to tour a beautiful imperial palace.
Where to Eat
Vienna is a certainly a foodie city! Here are a few hotspots that are worth checking out!
Hotel Sacher – The original home to the Sacher Torte, this classic hotel is a must for afternoon tea. Labstelle – A trendy, modern eatery, Labstelle is perfect for a chic night out! Their cocktails are fantastic and the dishes are creative!
Café Bar Bloom – Located inside the Hotel Lamee, Café Bar Bloom is a perfect spot to take a break after shopping or touring the beautiful Stephansplatz area. Ra’mien – If you are looking for a quick, delicious meal, Ra’mien is the place to go. Serving up some delicious Asian cuisine, their curries and soups will certainly do the trick.
Vestibul – And for your last meal in Vienna, you just must go to Vestibul. Located inside the Burgtheater’s old entranceway, this restaurant is the best example of modern Viennese cuisine. And you just have to dine in their beautiful dining room, which used to be the royal entrance to the theater.
Where to Stay
Vienna is a world-class city and is filled with world-class hotels, both large and small. We were able to find a lovely hotel room at a trendy boutique hotel in the stylish Neubau area!
Hotel Ruby Marie – We stayed here on our visit and it was a lovely, funky, cool hotel in the artsy neighborhood of Neubau. The Guesthouse – Located right near the Albertina, this has been a recent favorite. Hotel Sacher Wien – As a mentioned above, this historic hotel is home to the Sacher Torte and is also in a prime location near all the major attractions. Do & Co – Offering views of the St. Stephen’s Cathedral, this is another luxurious hotel choice.
Vienna is a great under the radar spot for travelers, especially from the Eastern USA this year due to the ease of access. There are so many great routes to Europe from all the major East Coast hubs. We got to Vienna seamlessly with British Airways — we traveled from Boston to London to Vienna and the whole trip was flawless. Aer Lingus and Lufthansa have similar quick 1-stop routes from Boston as well, connecting through Dublin and Munich respectively. And it’s possible to get a direct flight from Newark with Austrian Airlines. Vienna is so easy to get to, it definitely belongs on your list for 2018!