Vienna is a culture-lover’s paradise, practically overflowing with art and music. On your introductory tour of the city, your local guide will show off the Schönbrunn Palace and pass by the architectural and historical highlights within the Ringstrasse (the tree-lined ring road circling the historic city center), like the State Opera and the grand Hofburg Palace. Afterward, you’re free to explore the Austrian capital as you please, whether that’s seeking out as much art as possible, shopping in the city’s trendy boutiques, or relaxing with the elegant cityscape as your backdrop. Here are just a few ways to spend your free time during a trip to Vienna.
Museum-hop in the MuseumsQuartier
The caliber of art museums in Vienna rivals that of Paris and London. And lucky for you, they’re largely gathered together in the city’s MuseumsQuartier, a classic-meets-modern complex of museums near the Imperial Palace. Here’s the location for the MuseumsQuartier; our recommendations for your first stop? The Leopold Museum which houses modern art, including works by Austrian greats like Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele.
Spend an afternoon enjoying the Prater
The Prater is a large public park, which includes an amusement park that’s considered one of the oldest in the world. Home to a Ferris wheel, carnival games, restaurants, and beer gardens, it’s a go-to spot for locals and visitors alike when the weather starts to warm up. Map it out here.
Get in touch with Vienna’s musical heritage
Music is at the heart of Austrian culture, from operas to waltzes to world-famous composers (we’re looking at you, Mozart and Beethoven). So it comes as no surprise that travelers love to indulge in a local performance during free evenings in Vienna. It’s the perfect way to learn firsthand how the “City of Music” got its nickname. Your Tour Director can help you get tickets to specific events, whether you’d like an evening at the orchestra, the ballet, or a choir recital.
Post up at a cafe
Viennese coffee houses are an institution in their own right—in fact, they’ve been recognized by UNESCO. To get the full experience, visit in the afternoon when can accompany your caffeine with some chocolate cake. Vienna is known for decadent desserts, like the world-famous sachertorte (recipe: here!) that you’ll definitely want to try.
Ever taken a trip to Vienna? What was your favorite way to experience Viennese culture? Tell us in the comments below!