What are the five best things to see and do in Vienna?

Joseph Reaney

Vienna is one of the world’s great cultural capitals, so there are countless things to see and do. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ five favorite things to see and do while in Vienna:
1. Explore the Museumsquartier. As one of the largest cultural districts in the world, Vienna’s Museumsquartier has a collection of collections that could fill several days in any tourist schedule. But if you’re short on time, focus on the contemporary art galleries – the Leopold Museum and the MUMOK.
2. Attend a Viennese ball. If you’re visiting the capital during ‘the season’, which runs from January until early March, slip on your finest togs and spend an evening Viennese waltzing in one of the city’s spectacular ballrooms.
3. Stroll through a cemetery. It may sound like an odd tourist haunt, but the city’s gigantic Zentralfriedhof is more a relaxing park than a cemetery, and the perfect place to escape from the city. The 19th century graveyard also happens to be the final resting place of musical maestros Beethoven, Brahms and Schubert.

4. Visit Schönbrunn Palace. The first-seen façade of Schönbrunn can often disappoint visitors, but head around to the south side for a far more impressive sight – then head inside to be swept off your feet. You should also spend time within the palace’s lovely Tyrolean gardens, with its pristine lawns, hills and follies.

5. Walk around the zoo. Vienna’s Schönbrunn Zoo was opened in 1752, making it the oldest public zoo in the world – and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Two-and-a-half centuries later it remains one of Europe’s finest animal attractions.

  • On July 16, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the five best places to stay in Vienna?

    Whether you’re looking for a luxury hotel or a quaint boutique spot, Vienna has a plethora of suitable accommodation options. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for the five best places to stay in Vienna:
    1. DO & CO Hotel. One of Europe’s most original design hotels, DO & CO is a stunning steel-and-glass construction containing 44 uniquely-cone-shaped guestrooms, each with an ultra-modern design based on the traditional materials of wood and stone. Expect two-square-meter showers, flat-screen TVs, a fine sushi and sashimi restaurant and a roof terrace with majestic views across Stephansplatz.
    2. Hotel Sacher Wien. This Viennese classic hotel is in an old opera house form the 1800s, and we love that each room is individually furnished and unique. The service is top-notch, after all, the hotel has double the amount of staff as guest rooms, so expect to be taken care of. And don’t miss the Sacher-Torte — the hotel’s founder invented the famous chocolate-apricot cake.  
    3. Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom. Though it was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, this new hotel captures the minimalist meets Viennese look. The crisp, clean monochromatic style is accompanied by glass accents and large floor-to-ceiling windows (and don’t miss the ceiling on the 18th floor). With a new spa, 24-hour in-room dining, and views of the giant Ferris wheel—it’s a luxe way to see the city. 
    4. Hotel Bristol Vienna. Offering a perfct blend of Old World glamour and modern service, the Bristol is a breath of fresh air. The Art Nouveau touches, fin de siecle style and 24 hours concierge and highly rated restaurants make a stay at the Bristol memorable.
    5. Le Meridien Vienna. Located right on Rigstrasse, Le Meridien is a contemporary luxury hotel where each of the 294 rooms come with Ligne Roset beds with hand-etched glass headboards, super-thick custom Sealy matresses and the lastest in high-tech amenities.  The hotel is the perfect starting point for exploring nearby historical attractions like the Imperial Hofburg Palace. Or maybe you’ll want to see a show at the Vienna Operahouse — that’s nearby, too.