Think of Vienna and images of museums, grand palaces and world-class opera performances may come to mind.
But look beyond the obvious attractions of the Austrian capital and you’ll find it’s packed with hip bars, cozy cafes and easy-going neighborhoods.
Best of all, the city of spies and Sigmund Freud is very compact, making it a wonder to wander around on a chilly weekend.
Look beyond Vienna’s obvious attractions and you’ll find it’s packed with hip bars, cozy cafes and easy-going neighborhoods
Where to stay
This comfortable hotel is located on the edge of the Prater park and the city’s famous Ferris wheel.
Run by a team of former refugees and hospitality staff, Magdas Hotel offers a warm atmosphere, colorful rooms and a delicious breakfast buffet. Doubles from £52 (magdas-hotel.at).
Vienna’s Hotel Magdas sits on the edge of Prater Park and the city’s famous Ferris wheel (pictured)
Hotel Ruby Marie
In the heart of the city’s trendy district, Neubau, this modern hotel offers stylish rooms with comfortable beds and impressive music systems.
Upgrade to an eighth-floor room for a private balcony with stunning city views. Don’t leave without having a drink on the roof terrace. Doubles from £62 (ruby-hotels.com).
Hotel Daniel, pictured above, is complete with “a strange boat sculpture on its roof”. Image courtesy of Creative Commons
This hotel can be spotted thanks to a strange boat sculpture on its roof. Located in the Landstrasse district, it grows its own vegetables and produces honey from beehives on the seventh-floor balcony.
Make sure you’re comfortable with whoever you’re checking in with — showers with glass doors are central to the 116 quirky and comfortable rooms. Doubles from £83 (hoteldaniel.com/en/vienna).
Surrounded by cafes and cafes, the Max Brown is a bright and cheerful hotel in Neubau. The 143 rooms offer stunning views. Don’t leave without visiting chef Eyal Shani’s new restaurant Seven North. Doubles from £81 (maxbrownhotels.com).
Where to eat
There is a reason why this modern restaurant (ulrichwien.at) has retained its reputation as one of the best in Vienna. Its varied menu is ideal for sharing. Tear up one of its chorizo and Manchego flatbreads (£7.50) and try the king prawn skewers with aioli for £5.35.
Good for grazing: The Naschmarkt in Vienna. Susie recommends browsing the deli stalls for ‘prosciutto and goat cheese stuffed dates’
With 120 food stalls and restaurants, there is something for everyone at Vienna’s largest food market (naschmarkt-vienna.com) Browse the charcuterie stalls for dates stuffed with prosciutto and goat cheese or grab a falafel wrap (£2.70).
If you prefer to sit down, try the trendy Israeli restaurant Neni. You’ll have to queue, but her fluffy pita bread and aubergine brulee with tomato salsa (£6.70) are worth the wait.
Palmenhaus overlooks the Burggarten, a garden built for the Emperor in 1818. Pictured above is the garden statue of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Exotic plants climb the walls of this bright and atmospheric restaurant (palmenhaus.at), which was once a greenhouse. Enjoy fresh grilled sardines (£16) and a glass of Riesling (£4) while gazing at the Burggarten, a garden built for the emperor in 1818.
The ideal place to have a quick and cheap bite to eat, the place (trzesniewski.at) serves delicious open-faced sandwiches on soft rye bread (£1.25 each). Toppings include crab, sardines with onions and truffled eggs with ham.
According to Susie, there is no better place to experience Viennese café culture than at Café Diglas, pictured
Cafe Diglas is located just 150 meters from the city’s historic Stephansplatz square, pictured above
There’s no better place to experience Viennese café culture than here (diglas.at). Just 150 meters from the historic Stephansplatz square, you can enjoy a gooey apple strudel (£4) with an earthy espresso (£2.80).
What to see and do
Admire the galleries
Pictured is the Belvedere Gallery, which is housed in a Baroque palace and features Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss
Vienna has many excellent galleries. Go to the Leopold Museum (entry £12.55, leopoldmuseum.org). It houses the largest Egon Schiele collection in the world.
Or take a look at the Upper Belvedere Gallery, which features The Kiss by Gustav Klimt (entry £13.30, belvedere.at). The price includes entry to the Baroque Palace Gardens.
Rent an electric boat and drift along the peaceful Old Danube Lake. Boats cost £18 per hour. Or try a pedalo (£14.30 an hour, marina-hofbauer.at).
Marvel at the street art
Some of Vienna’s best street artists treat the concrete walls of the Danube Canal, pictured, as a blank canvas
Stroll along the Danube Canal where some of the city’s best urban artists treat the concrete walls like a blank canvas.
Best by bike
Head to Prater Park’s main thoroughfare, Hauptallee, which is lined with 2,500 trees and stretches for three miles. City bikes are free the first hour, 85p the second.
How to get there
Ryanair offers return flights from £7.50 (ryanair.com). Board the City Airport Train and reach central Vienna in 16 minutes (£10.50).
The Vienna City Card offers unlimited travel on public transport and discounts for museums, tourist attractions and restaurants (£21 for 48 hours, viennacitycard.at).
You must be triple vaccinated to enter Austria as a tourist, and also have proof of a negative PCR test taken no later than 48 hours before the time of entry. See ‘entry requirements’ at gov.uk.