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Vienna, Austria: Vienna in 5 Food-Filled Days

I spent multiple months living and working in Vienna, Austria, and I will forever be grateful for that experience. It is a city full of richness: palaces, coffee, chocolate, and arts. I was blessed to live right in the heart of the first district, across from the famous Vienna Opera House—the center of all the action. I spent my mornings at Viennese cafes and my afternoons studying at the palace parks. Below is a 5-day itinerary of some of the most beautiful museums and cafes in the city…

My first tip is staying at a hotel or Airbnb that is in the first district. That is where all the hustle and bustle happens, and although their metro system is as easy as can be, it is a beautiful walking city. This whole area was initially built as palace homes, but has since been converted to everyday shops. It is striking, walking around and seeing these gorgeous stores that have maintained their historical charm (mostly due to strict regulations from the city). If you stay in the first district, almost everything will be a short, breathtaking walk away.

DAY ONE: The Hofburg

Located right in the center of the city, The Hofburg Palace has to be the most important touring areas in Vienna. The Hofburg is currently the official residence of the President of Austria and was formerly the principal imperial palace.

For breakfast, I highly suggest my favorite cafe in the city, Cafe Tirolerhof, to grab some breakfast and coffee. Although I will be suggesting some classic (and more touristy) cafes, this one has maintained its charm by avoiding the tourists and attracting the local morning crowd. Cafe Tirolerhof is where I had my delicious morning toast and coffee, sitting around quiet Austrians reading their papers with their dogs resting under their tables. It has a warm and classic vibe.

Next, down the street, make your way to The Hofburg. Here, you will see the famous Spanish Horses, tour the gorgeous Royal Jewels, and visit the incredible National Library (Prunksaal der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, which the Beauty and the Beast Library was based off of).

Head back to the main gardens (Burggarten), and you will find a beautiful palace greenhouse that has been converted to a cafe. I highly recommend grabbing food and some famous apple strudel here! Next door is the beautiful butterfly house that you can explore and enjoy. Finish the afternoon by touring the palace and taking your time resting at the cafe and gardens.

Next, head home and get ready for dinner—I highly suggest heading to a beer garden! At a classic beer garden, you can enjoy the weather, try some Austrian beers and finish the night with delicious Austrian pretzels.

DAY TWO: Schloss Schönbrunn

Begin the day with a nice cafe visit and enjoy some people watching. I might suggest the famous Cafe Central. There might be a bit of a line, but it's only because the interior is one of the best in the city. Next stop, one of the most famous sites in Vienna: Schloss Schönbrunn! Schloss Schönbrunn was the main summer residence of the Austrian rulers, and a stunning property. You can visit the interior rooms and then head out to the gardens. Rest your feet at the top of the hill in the gardens, which has a sweet cafe where you can grab lunch while looking over the property.

After your day spent at this incredible palace summerhome, you can head back into the first district for a beautiful opera night. I suggest going back to your hotel and changing for a fancy evening out. First stop, a delicious dinner. Next, dessert at Hotel Sacher.

Why head to a hotel? Hotel Sacher is home of the famous Viennese dessert, sachertorte. Multiple cafes claim to be the original creators of this delicious dessert, but no spot is as valid as Hotel Sacher itself. The lobby connects to a separate cafe, where you can sit for a slice of cake before heading across the street to the Opera House. The Vienna Operahouse is world- renowned for a reason; it is unbelievable and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Make sure to purchase opera tickets in advance, and if you are new to operas, it is important to keep in mind they last for hours! I might expect to watch for 3+ hours. It is worth it—trust me!

DAY THREE: Stephansplatz

Vienna has one long, main walking street that goes directly through the first district. At this point, you have been around this area, but I highly recommend walking the whole strip. You can stop to shop for clothes, the famous Austrian Swarovski crystals, and the countless chocolate shops. Halfway down the strip is the most famous cathedral in Vienna—St. Stephens. Definitely stop inside, the interior is absolutely breathtaking. I also highly recommend going up the steps to see the roof. It will give you an incredible view of the city.

Next, head over to Cafe Demel, which is probably the most famous chocolate shop/cafe in Vienna. When you enter, you can see the chocolatiers making intricate desserts and delicious creations. Yum!

Once you’ve had your fill of sweets, head over to the Belvedere Art Museum to burn off some of that sugar rush. This was my favorite art museum in the city, located in two buildings and displaying some of the most famous art pieces in Vienna. Here, you will find the famous Klimt paintings, amongst other popular artists.

Enjoy a nice dinner of Wiener Schnitzel (Weiner actually means Viennese—yes, it is from here!) and potatoes before a night out. There are different nightlife areas in Vienna, and beautiful cocktail bars. Definitely take advantage of this, and finish the night with yummy sausage at one of the Käsekrainer food carts, found scattered all over the city!!

DAY FOUR: Naschmarkt and Museum Quarter

Go ahead and sleep in—you’ve earned it! Then stroll over to the famous Naschmarkt, Viennas outdoor food market. You’ll find fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, falafel, and more. They even have a few pop up restaurants where you can sit and enjoy some local food. This outdoor market also has an antiques section, where you can search through old Viennese coins, pins, and china.

Next, stroll over to the Museum Quarter and take your pick of whichever museums may interest you! They are all world-renowned and no matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong.

Finally, I highly recommend trying to snag tickets to see the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Truly, they are one of the most famous in the world for good reason. Vienna is known for its rich culture, shaped by music and the arts. If you enjoy live music, similar to the opera, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

OPTIONAL DAY FIVE: Hiking and Wineries

I probably don't have to tell you about the scenic mountains that surround Austria. They are truly indescribable. If you have a day and a car, I highly recommend getting out of the city and enjoying some local hikes. In addition, there are wineries all over the country. I might add a nice Austrian Winery stop to your trip if you have the time!

Enjoy your tour of one of my favorite cities in the world

And dont forget to read 12 Foods to Try During Your Trip to Austria before you go!

Any other suggestions? Let us know

Written by Emi Lungmus

Photographed by Emi Lungmus & Anna McCarthy

Edited by Anna McCarthy


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