Canada Association of Tourism Employees

Issues to do in Vienna

I always had the feeling that the more I got to know Vienna, the more I got to know the history of Europe. Exploring Vienna is a remarkable experience. The coffee culture. The story that comes to life. The museums. It never seems to end. As a fan of “The Third Man” with Orson Welles, traveling to Vienna is always something special. However, the history of Vienna began long before the 20th century. Various people who have shaped the country have lived in the lowlands of the Danube since the Paleolithic Age. One of the most valuable artefacts in the city is the 24,000-year-old “Venus von Willendorf”, which in a certain way demonstrates the region’s continued importance for civilization. The city in question is Vienna, once the heart of the Habsburg Empire. It was first founded by the Romans in the 1st century and was nothing more than a small outpost on the edge of the empire that served to defend against Germanic tribes. Vienna was an important city that was also at the crossroads of the rich. First the Romans, then the Holy Roman Empire, then the Austrian Empire, and finally the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but Vienna’s ability to be right in the middle of history didn’t stop after World War I. In the interwar years, it was a hotbed of politics, science, and art with names like Sigmund Freud, Adolf Hitler, and Joseph Stalin, all of whom were former residents of the city.

Vienna was a very cosmopolitan city even in the times of the empires, and although it grew from an important European imperial center to a smaller, predominantly German-speaking capital in the 19th century, it still retains much of its metropolitan charm and grandiose opulent architecture and design old empires. Check out some of the best things to do in Vienna.

Walk down the ring road

The best way to get to know a city is to stroll down the central boulevard. The legendary Ringstrasse in Vienna is the best way to get used to the city and enjoy some of its grandeur. Just walking down the street is an experience in itself, because the Ringstrasse leads past several important places.

Colloquially known as “the Ring”, the Ringstrasse was the result of a Habsburg initiative that wanted to connect the outer suburbs with the imperial center of the city. Work on the boulevard began in 1857 by a major decree from Emperor Franz Joseph I and is the easiest way to orientate yourself if you are new to the city. The Ringstrasse effectively replaced the old wall that once protected the city, but now there are many of Vienna’s hotspots. The State Opera, the Hofburg, the National Library, the Natural History Museum, the Volksgarten, the Parliament and the City Hall are located in or on the Ringstrasse.

Of course, if you’re looking for a hotel, the places around the Ringstrasse are more upscale, but if you want a little pampering, the opulent hotels like the Park Hyatt Vienna and Hotel Sacher Wien won’t disappoint.

Walk through the halls of the Hofburg

Visit the Hofburg and enjoy the incredibly ornate design and opulent rooms. A stroll through the halls of the castle is a journey through time and Austrian history. The building was once the beating heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The palace itself is home to an enormous amount of history, from the life and macabre death of Empress Elisabeth to the National Library’s breathtaking baroque masterpiece in which Hitler made his “Anschluss” speech. The palace is home to several museums, galleries, and even dancing horses.

If you’re planning a visit, be sure to spend a moment or two at the National Library. As you walk inside you will be struck by the absolutely grand splendor of the room. The elaborately designed baroque masterpiece was built in 1726 and was the official library of the Habsburg court with collections from the 14th century. The library’s attractions (besides the incredible architecture of the library itself) included Venetian baroque spheres and even secret hidden passageways.

The Hofburg is full of history and opulence. Make sure to check out the library.

Take a coffee break at Demel

The famous Hofzuckerbäckerei Demel was founded in 1786 and is the oldest café in Vienna. This café, which like many other establishments in the city has been shortened to “Demel”, is absolutely steeped in history. The location is near the Hofburg and was originally the home of a Württemberg confectioner and chocolate maker. The interior is designed in the neo-baroque style and looks like in the 18th and 19th centuries. When you enter, you will find that the waiters in the white aprons are saying, “Have you voted? This is a traditional third person honorable tradition used for the historical upper class.

In a way, you’ll feel like this place was reserved for the emperor, and in a way it was. Emperor Franz Joseph loved Demel so much that he became a regular guest and preferred the cakes and chocolates that, to the chagrin of his wife Sisi (who herself was dependent on Demel’s purple sorbet), he often shared with his lover.

After Demel was awarded the title of “supplier to the imperial and royal court”, which still exists today (despite the lack of a current royal court), a visit to Demel is a highlight for every gourmet. Delicious cakes and pastries based on centuries-old recipes will satisfy everyone, from kings to tourists.


After touring the palace, go to Demel and have a coffee and a pastry. You may never want to leave.

From the Vienna Ferris wheel you have a view of the city

Fans of classic cinema or people who want an incredible view of the city will love this attraction and like many other things in Vienna, it is rooted in history too.

The Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel in Prater Park dates from 1766. At the height of Austro-Hungarian power, Emperor Joseph II bequeathed his hunting ground to the public in 1766, which then became an amusement park. At the time, it was one of the first amusement parks in Europe and therefore also one of the oldest when the Ferris wheel was installed in 1897. What sets the ride apart is that with 15 stately, it is largely unchanged from its original design, Baroque-style gondolas for driving.

For film fans, one could recognize the Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel as an important set piece in the film noir of 1949 The third man filmed with Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles and mainly shot on location in the rubble of post-war Vienna.

Visit the Sigmund Freud Museum

Known worldwide as the founder of psychoanalysis, Dr. Sigmund Freud at Bergasse 19. The room was also his old office and now houses the Sigmund Freud Museum. While his iconic couch is now in London’s Sigmund Freud Museum, there is still plenty of original furniture here that make up a large part of his former office and waiting room. Freud and his family lived here until 1938, when the Nazis pulled the city’s Jews together and Freud and his family had to flee to London.

Most of the doctor’s writings and papers were made here, along with his extensive collection of antiques and some of the doctor’s other personal effects. A 35,000-part archive of psychoanalytic research as well as a film archive and sound recordings of Freud and his family are attached to the museum.

Check out the Military History Museum

Whether you’re interested in military history or someone interested in learning about the empire’s past, this beautiful military history museum is a cool place to spend an afternoon. The museum is located in the halls of a magnificent former arsenal with intricate architecture that can compete with many political halls and palaces in Vienna.

The Museum of Military History has a large collection of artifacts that date back to the 17th century and the 1950s. Gain insight into ancient aircraft and weapons, ranging from muskets to machine guns, and their historical impact on the formation of the Austrian state and former empires. The museum has tons of historical pieces like uniforms, dioramas, tanks and medals.

Flex your brain or have a coffee at Café Central

It’s not far-fetched to say that the Viennese practically invented café culture. The concept of the cafe has always played an important role in shaping the culture and the philosophy of discussion, and generally served as a meeting point for the city’s intelligentsia. While Demel is the oldest café, Café Central is the most famous in the city and one of the most important cafes in the world.

The Café Central is located on the ground floor of the Palais Ferstel and was opened in 1876. In the second half of the 19th century, it became popular with Viennese intellectuals who became known as the meeting point of minds for discussions about things like literature, philosophy, and notoriety. and politics. Notable regulars at Café Central are people like Sigmund Freud, Adolf Hitler, Leon Trotsky, Stefan Zweig and Josep Broz Tito.

The building still stands today as it was in its heyday with large and richly decorated domed ceilings, white columns, glittering decor and, above all, first-class pastries. Enjoy a coffee and typically Austrian Apple strudel with powdered sugar or cream cake filled with vanilla sauce.


A coffee in a coffee house in Vienna should not be missing. Indeed, the coffeehouse culture is part of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. You can’t miss it.

Spend the day with the grown-ups in the Albertina

This museum is a must for any art lover. In this 17th century castle, where the Habsburg archdukes lived for centuries, there are over a million works of art. The stately rooms have all been restored to their former glory, but now works of art by many of the world’s greatest artists are on display.

The Albertina has works by various artists and movements such as French impressionists, Russian avant-garde and Vienne secessionists. Stroll the palace halls and see works by Cezanne, Miro, Kandinsky, Brach, Picasso, and Magritte, to name a few.

Shopping at the Naschmarkt

The Naschmarkt was built in the 16th century and is essentially the chicest open air market that you will shop at. In a city known for its opulent buildings and old imperial aesthetics, things can get a little pricey in the heart of Vienna at times. Fortunately, the Naschmarkt is a cool place that doesn’t cost you much to enjoy. Try your way through the culinary scene of Vienna (this is not just limited to Vienna). Snacks from sauerkraut and sausage sandwich to Tel Aviv-style kebab. The Naschmarkt is also a great place to buy souvenirs like cheese, wine, and sausages.

Get a dose of macabre at the crime museum

A city as old and famous as Vienna means that it also has a history of the filthy. The Vienna Crime Museum follows the city’s criminal history from the Middle Ages to modern times. The museum itself is also located in one of the oldest buildings in the city, which dates back to 1685. The museum has tons of interesting artifacts, ranging from medieval torture devices to counterfeit money. There is a lot to see and learn about crime and guests can follow the stories of famous murders and criminal investigations while seeing the tools and things that made them famous. Several cases involve murders, money laundering, brothels, and more.

Our last word

Vienna is great in the truest sense of the word. The city is huge and full of interesting architecture, delicious food, and a long (and sometimes dirty) history. Explore opulent museums, baroque halls, and legendary cafes as you marvel at the idea of ​​where the city came from and where it is now.

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