The Ultimate Vienna Bucket List - 50 unique, off the beaten path things to do in Vienna, Austria

It is no secret that I absolutely adore Vienna. I love pretty much everything about living here, and would stay forever if I could.

Unfortunately, our days in this magical city are numbered. To make the most of our last year here, I put together the Ultimate Vienna Bucket List. Filled with everything I want to do before we leave. Many of these things I have done before, but want to do again before we leave. And some have been on my bucket list for years and I still haven’t done them. But the clock is ticking now, so I’m starting to pencil things in to the calendar!

Inspired by my friend Carly from Austrian Adaptation, who shared her own Vienna List last week, I decided to share my list with you. Hopefully it will help keep me accountable. Or give you some new ideas of what to do in this beautiful city. And maybe even inspire you to make a bucket list for your own city.

Whether you are a Vienna native, an expat like me, or just visiting Vienna for a few days, you are sure to find plenty to do in Vienna on this list!

My Ultimate Vienna Bucket List

  1. Spend a summer afternoon at the Prater. Ride the Riesenrad and the Praterturm, then eat Stelze (pork knuckle) at the Schweizerhaus.
  2. Take the 71 tram to Zentralfriedhof in the fall. After visiting the graves of the famous musicians, walk through the funeral museum.
  3. Find the best Würstelstand in Vienna.
  4. Visit the Kunst Haus Wien, then walk a few blocks to take photos of the Hundertwasserhaus and the Hundertwasser Village.
  5. Take a cooking class to learn how to make schnitzel and apple strudel.
  6. Run the Vienna City Marathon in April, the Austrian Frauenlauf in May, and the Vienna Night Run in September.
  7. Bike the entire length of the Donauinsel, then stop and have a picnic along the Danube (and a swim if it is warm enough).
  8. Go out to a fancy dinner, then watch an opera or a ballet at the Wiener Staatsoper.
  9. Learn about the famous Viennese composers at The House of Music, and visit some of their former apartments.
  10. Spend a Saturday Morning at Naschmarkt, then hunt for treasures at the adjacent fleamarket.
  11. Hike through the vineyards on the Wien Weinwandertag, ending with a traditional Austrian meal at a heuriger.
  12. Walk through the Albertina, then have a picnic in the Burggarten.
  13. Spend a rainy afternoon in a traditional Viennese Coffeehouse, reading a good book.
  14. Relax in the sunshine in the courtyard of the Museumsquartier.
  15. Learn about the father of psychoanalysis at the Sigmund Freud Museum, and hike to the Freud monument at Bellevuehöhe in the 19th district.
  16. Spend the day with the kids at Schönbrunn, visiting the KindermuseumTiergarten Schönbrunn and the Maze and Labyrinth.
  17. Watch the sunrise (or sunset) from the roof of St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
  18. Visit as many Christmas Markets as possible, testing the glühwein (or kinderpunsch) at each one. (Read more in my guide to the Christmas Markets in Vienna)
  19. Waltz along the Graben on New Years Eve, and watch the fireworks over the city.
  20. Watch the Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Day Concert on a large screen in front of City Hall.
  21. Ice Skate at the Wiener Eistraum in front of the Rathaus.
  22. Escape the cold, dreary winter days with brunch at the Palmenhaus Cafe.
  23. Walk through Stadtpark in the snow.
  24. Attend a traditional Viennese Ball, and waltz the night away.
  25. Go sledding in the Vienna Woods, then warm up with hearty Austrian food at the cozy Wirtshaus Steirerstöckl.
  26. Walk through the 1st district, finding all of the hidden courtyards.
  27. Discover Spittelberg, the charming little hidden gem in the middle of the city.
  28. Rent a paddleboat for an afternoon on the Altedonau.
  29. Learn everything there is to know about Empress Sisi, then hike to the Sisi Chapel in the 19th district.
  30. View the exhibits at the Westlicht Gallery & shop the Leica Flea Market.
  31. Act like a tourist and take a ride on a Fiaker in the 1st district.
  32. Pay homage to Gustav Klimt with a Klimt Walk through Vienna.
  33. Walk around the Ringstrasse and admire some of Vienna’s most beautiful buildings.
  34. Have dinner in the vineyards with a big group of friends.
  35. Dance, drink beer at eat pretzels in Dirndls and Liederhosen at Wiener Wiesn.
  36. Experience The Spanish Riding School and the Vienna Boys’ Choir performance, A Tribute to Vienna.
  37. Sit in the sand and have cocktails at a strandbar along the Donaukanal.
  38. Swim at the most beautiful pools in Vienna: Krapfenwaldbad (outdoor) and Amalienbad (indoor).
  39. Take a self guided tour around Vienna with the book Only in Vienna.
  40. Watch a film at the Vienna Film Festival.
  41. Hike through the Wienerwald to Leopoldsberg, via Kahlenberg, and enjoy the views over Vienna from both locations.
  42. Watch The Third Man film at the Burg Kino and go on the Third Man walking tour. (Or the tour of the sewers if you can handle enclosed spaces!)
  43. Take a ride on the sommerrodeln at Hohe Wand Wiese.
  44. Rent a Citybike and use a Bike Citizens Map to explore Vienna on two wheels.
  45. Act like a hipster and hang out at the trendy shops and cafes in the 6th and 7th districts.
  46. Hike through the Lanzier Tiergarten and look for wild animals. Stop to check out Sisi’s “Castle of Dreams”, Hermes Villa
  47. Discover all of the hidden heurigen in the 19th district, and have a glass of Grüner Vetliner at each one. (For research, of course.)
  48. Hang out, shop, and eat in the colorful and diverse Yppenplatz.
  49. Enjoy drinks at the best rooftop bars in town, including the Ritz Carlton, Dachboden, Sky Bar, Onyx Bar and even the aquarium.
  50. Take a photowalk through each of Vienna’s 23 districts.

Want to follow along as I check things off of my list? I am sharing real-time on Instagram Stories (I posted some pictures of the Vienna Night Run last night, go check them out before they disappear!) and will likely have blog posts about some of these activities over the coming months.

What is on your Vienna bucket list? Is there anything else I should add to mine?

Don’t miss these other posts on Vienna:

2016 Reader Survey Results

The reader survey results are in!

I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to fill out the survey. I was blown away by the thoughtful, kind (and sometimes hilarious) responses. All of this information is so helpful to me in planning the future of this blog.

So what does this mean for you?

Travel, travel & more travel

I was thrilled to see that the Weekend Travel Guides are your favorite type of post to read. Travel is such an important part of my life, and I love sharing my photos and tips with you all.

In addition to the Weekend Travel Guides, you can expect to read more about packing light, traveling with kids, fitting travel into a busy lifestyle, and how to travel in style.

2016 Reader Survey Results

Minimalism & simple living

You all seem to be as interested in simple living as I am, which makes me so happy! 85% of you said that you would like to see more posts on minimalism, simplifying, and organizing. This is something that has been a passion of mine since I was a nerdy kid organizing my pencil drawer. I am so excited to start exploring these topics more on the blog.

Photography tips & tricks

Many of you commented that seeing the travel photos are your favorite. And there were a ton of requests for some tutorials on travel photography.

Ask and you shall receive my friends!

You can look forward to a whole series on travel photography coming soon. It will cover everything from cameras and lenses to editing and organizing all of your amazing photos.

2016 Reader Survey Results

Expat Life

Everyday life, house tours, style, challenges, parenting, schools…you want to know what life is like as an expat. Done and done. I will be pulling back the curtain and showing you the good, the bad, and the ugly of our life abroad. (Spoiler: It isn’t nearly as glamorous as you may think!)

The Weekly Digest

This is something I have been thinking about for months, and I was so encouraged by everyone that was interested.

The clunky old feedburner I have been using to deliver new posts by email hasn’t been working very well for a long time. (Pictures not showing up, weird formatting, and other frustrations.) I know a lot of you really like receiving posts by email so that you never miss anything, but I have finally found a better way.

Starting this week, you can sign up to receive a short and sweet weekly digest email. It will include links to new posts, as well as other fun perks that you won’t find anywhere else. Just one little email a week. Because no one likes a cluttered inbox!

Enter your name and email below and you will get your first weekly digest delivered to your inbox this weekend.

Your Questions

You all had some amazing questions! Many of which deserve an entire post of their own. (Or even multiple posts.) I will be doing a FAQ post next week covering the questions that I can answer in a paragraph or two. If you have any other questions that you would like covered, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Thank you again, for your responses, your input, and your continued support of this blog!

Modern Travel Guides for Stylish Travelers

You may think you don’t need actual travel guides anymore, since you can get just about anything you need from a quick search on Google or Pinterest. But these modern travel guides are so beautiful and stylish, you may just change your mind!

Beyond just looking good, they are also filled with great tips on the best places to go and things to do in some of the coolest cities in the world.

Whether you like to have travel books around for inspiration, or you are planning a specific upcoming trip, you are sure to find at least a few you will want to have on your bookshelf.

(more…)

10 fun facts (that you might not know) about Vienna, Austria

The more time I spend in Vienna, the more I fall in love with this magical city. One of my favorite parts about living here is that I learn something new about Vienna nearly every day. Interesting tidbits about history, food, culture and more.

Here are 10 of my favorite fun facts about Vienna, Austria:

1. The Wine Capital

Vienna is the only capital city in the world to produce significant quantities of wine within its city limits. Home to over 1,700 acres of vineyards and 320 vintners, the Viennese love their wine. While the most popular are white wine varieties such as Grüner Veltliner, Rheinriesling and Weißburgunder, you can also find some nice reds.

The best way to enjoy the local Viennese wine is in a heuriger (wine tavern), or by walking along Vienna’s Wine Trail.

2. The City of Music

Vienna is often called The City of Music, or the World’s Capital of Music, as more famous composers have lived here than in any other city in the world. And 4 of the top 10 classical composers in history worked in Vienna between 1750 and 1825. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Joseph Haydn, Franz Schubert, Johann Straus and Johannes Brahms are just a few who called Vienna home.

While in Vienna, you can visit the former apartments of many of these famous musicians, which have been turned into museums. And don’t miss The House of Music. Here you can “discover the fascinating world of sound and Viennese music in an interactive, playful way”.

3. The City of Dreams

Vienna is also called the city of dreams. Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, lived and worked in Vienna for much of his career. During this time, he had a significant impact on the city, causing it to be known as the birthplace of psychotherapy.

The Sigmund Freud Museum is housed in the apartment where he lived and worked for nearly 50 years, until he was forced to flee Austria after the Anschluss.

4. The Imperial Menagerie

The Vienna Zoo, or Tiergarten Schönbrunn, is the world’s oldest and only baroque zoo. Built in the gardens of Schönbrunn Palace in 1752, the zoo was once the private menagerie of Emporer Franz Stephen and Empress Maria Theresa.

Tiergarten Schönbrunn now boasts over 700 different animal species and was voted the best zoo in Europe. Plus, with its original baroque architechture, it is also considered the world’s most beautiful zoo.

5. Austrian Croissants

The famous French pastry actually has Viennese origins. They are based on the Austrian kipferl, which means crescent in German. Bakers in Vienna made kipferl to commemorate Austria’s victory over the Ottoman Turks in 1683, their shape based on the crescents seen on the uniform of the enemy.

In 1770, when Maria Antoinette of Austria married King Louis XVI of France, she introduced her favorite pastry to France. The French made a few changes, and called it a croissant.

6. The Wiener Riesenrad

The Wiener Riesenrad, constructed in 1897, is the oldest still operating ferris wheel in the world. Located in the Wurstelprater amusement park, this is one of Vienna’s most popular tourist attractions. For many, it is also a symbol of the city. It is perhaps most famous for its part in the 1949 film The Third Man, considered one of the greatest films of all time.

7. PEZing Allowed

Pez, the fun little tablet candies that we all know and love, were invented in Vienna in 1927. The name Pez is an abbreviation on the German word “pfefferminz”, meaning peppermint. Because the original PEZ candies only came in that one flavor! The dispenser was invented in 1949, designed to look like a lighter. Smoking was prohibited at that time, so the Pez slogan was “No Smoking – PEZing Allowed.”

8. The Snow Globe

The snow globe was also invented in Vienna. In 1900, Erwin Perzy, a fine instruments mechanic, was trying to improve the brightness of lightbulbs for a surgical lamp. But instead, he accidentally invented a snow globe. This first snow globe featured The Basilica of Mariazell, and was the catalyst for Perzy and his brother to open The Original Vienna Snow Globe shop.

Over 100 years later, they are still making traditional snow globes right in Vienna, all hand painted and manually assembled.

9. A City Divided

Like Berlin, Vienna was also divided into four parts after WWII, and occupied by the United States, France, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. The first district of Vienna, the inner city, was administered by all 4 powers. The occupation, and division, of Vienna ended in 1955 with the Austrian State Treaty.

10. Vienna – The Best City in the World

Vienna has been voted the world’s most livable city for the last 7 years in a row. Taking into account such factors as political, social and economic climate, medical care, education, recreational opportunities, environmental conditions, infrastructural conditions, Vienna consistently comes out on top!

2016 reader survey

Hellllllo friends!

Many of you have noticed that there have been some changes going on around here lately. (Thank you for all the nice emails!) I have been publishing new content much more regularly, added in a lot more travel, and slowly but surely I’ve been giving the site a little facelift.

And now I need your help!

I want to make sure that I am giving you more of what you want, so I am sharing my first annual reader survey. It will only take a few minutes to fill out, but will help me immensely in planning what is coming next. And at the end, there is a place for you to ask me anything – it could be about travel, expat life, kids, DIY, etc. I will be sharing the answers to your questions, and the results of the survey in a couple of weeks.

Thank you so much for taking the time to fill out the survey, and for your continued support of this little blog ‘o mine.

See the results of the Survey!

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