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A weekend in Vienna

© by Österreich Werbung, Photo: Peter Burgstaller

A weekend in Vienna – fun, fascinating and flavorsome for anyone! For families with children, couples on a romantic weekend or backpackers.

A list of suggestions on what to do in a weekend in Vienna could easily have been almost endless. Notwithstanding, we have collected a few places and sights in Vienna to show you the variety available. Moreover, our recommendations should be suitable for most people, not matter age. Our suggestions are not mere tourist traps, but activities or places that even the locals enjoy visiting.

Hundertwasserhaus

The Hundertwasser House in Vienna is one of the architectural highlights of the city. Designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser the house attracts visitors from all over the world. It’s colourful and quirky facades could not be more different from what you would expect from the old imperial city. It is far more than just a piece of artistic expression. As a matter of fact, people live in the house. Moreover, they are even allowed to set their own stamp on the house by decorating around their own windows.

Prater & Wiener Riesenrad

Vienna’s famous amusement park Prater lies within a large public park, which used to be the hunting ground of the nobles, in the 2nd district of Vienna. Besides the vast variety of the usual amusement park rides and attractions, the Prater also houses one of Vienna’s best-known landmarks since 1897, the Wiener Riesenrad (giant Ferris wheel). If you are on a romantic weekend in Vienna you can even have your private cabin on the ferris wheel, and enjoy breakfast or candle light dinner onboard. Another long-time running attraction is the Liliputbahn (narrow gauge railway), that takes you around the park in a 4-km loop in about 20 minutes. The Prater is open 24/7/365 and access is free. You just pay for the individual rides or attractions.

Haus das Meeres

Vienna has taken the opportunity to put in use one of the hideous concrete anti-aircraft gun towers left over from the Second World War. The 47 metres (130 ft.) tall concrete structure stands in the Esterhazypark (Mariahilf neighbourhood) and today houses an aquarium (Haus das Meeres). Spread out over 11 floors you find more than 10.000 animals, whereas most of them aquatic. Furthermore, the displays, despite constrained by the flak towers heavy blast-proof concrete shell, are very well designed and presented. Last but not least, the view of city center is fabulous from the roof terrace at the Haus des Meeres.

The Danube Tower

Situated on the northern bank of the Danube, the massive communications tower has been a part of the Vienna skyline since 1964. The viewing terrace at 150 metres (490 ft.) is the main reason to visit the Danube Tower (Donauturm). Moreover, the 360° open-air platform offers spectacular views of Vienna and its surroundings. For thrill seekers who need an adrenalin kick, try bungee jumping from the tower. And for those in less of a rush to get back on the ground, there is also a revolving restaurant in the tower at 170 metres.

Horse and carriage

In the same way as a gondola ride in Venice, a trip with a fiaker (horse and carriage) is an essential ingredient for an all-embracing experience of Vienna. Before the car took over as the main means of transport, the Fiaker dominated the streets. Indulge yourself with a sightseeing trip in an open carriage and the sights of Vienna explained by knowledgeable coachmen or women. You will get much more than the standard historical anecdotes and facts. Furthermore, they their city very well and can also readily answer most questions about Vienna.

Coffee and cake

Austria is well known for its fantastic cakes and confectionaries, and a visit to a “Konditorei” is obligatory. Moreover, the café is an important part of the Viennese culture, and this is probably one of the best places to observe how the locals socialize. Even though famous places such as Demel and Sacher have high quality products, these places are mostly packed with tourists who make a quick splash and go. Thus, to relax and enjoy we recommend finding your way to some of the local favourites. Hidden away in the 21st district, Konditorei Kriegl, is a gem with good quality sweets, and it has a very nice terrace too. Recommended is also the Oberlaa chain which has quality products and has nine cafes throughout the city.

Schönbrunn Palace

We nothing but end our recommendations for a weekend in Vienna with a visit to the imperial palace Scgönbrunn. A popular tourist attraction since the 18th century and a UNESCO world heritage since 1996. Although, the queue to enter the palace museums and guided tours can be ridicelously long in the summer months, it’s worth a wait to get to see the fabulous interior. Furthermore, the imperial palace with its magnificent gardens is a must for any visitor to Vienna, Austria’s capital.

Visit a market or two

You can still find 26 different markets around Vienna. Here are some examples. In the 16th district (Bezirk) you will find Brunnenmarkt and Yppenmarkt. The pedestrian street that houses a colorful and multicultural market runs from Thaliastrasse and right up to Yppenplatz (See Google Maps). Even if you are not going shopping, it is fun to sit in a cafe and observe the bustling life of the 160 stalls. Meidlinger Markt in the 12th district is a little gem that most tourists are not aware of. In the daytime there is a farmers market, while in the evening this is the place for small nice places to eat and drink (See Google Maps).

Chill’out in one of Vienna’s parks

Wiener Stadtpark is located until Ringstrasse is a wonderful oasis. A beautiful park with a mix of open lawns, large trees and flower beds.In the middle of the park you will also find a small water where you can splash with your legs on a hot summer day. When you’ve strolled around a bit and brought some of the memorials to celebrities like Johann Strauss. Donaupark is one of Vienna’s largest parks and located on the noth side of the Danube. Here you can always find a quiet corner, even on hot summer days. In addition to huge lawns, you will also find sculpture parks and a small lake surrounded by stunning flora. The park even has its own small train, Donauparkbahn, and of course the city’s best viewpoint Donauturm.

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Written by Arnold Weisz

Arnold Weisz

Globetrotting multilingual communications specialist born in Vienna, Austria – with passion for scuba diving, golf and culinary delights! 15 years of experience as a scuba- and travel reporter for among others: X-Ray Dive Magazine and Dykking.