I’m planning a trip for my son and I—maybe this August, maybe next—to Slovakia, but flying into Vienna and spending our first few days there. I am planning to book one of the forum-recommended places to stay near the opera house. We tend to not stuff too much sightseeing into one day, especially when tired and jet-lagged, and like to add in little stops such as a park where we can sip coffee while bird- and people-watching, or significant places that require only short, thoughtful visits. (These are in addition to the always-included café-sitting.) For example, one day we will definitely visit the Kunsthistorisches Museum (and we spend a long time in museums), but after that might want to sit amongst some greenery or perhaps do something such as visiting the dead Habsburgs in their crypt. I like to have a list of potential ideas so when we’re tired we can look it over and decide what strikes our fancy. So, what I’m looking for are special places within easy walking distance, in the Ring or adjacent.
10 Special Places in or near the Ring, for as little or as long as you like:
- Volksgarten is perfect in August for the roses and a beautiful setting, with plenty of benches to rest. Follow your nose.
- Burggarten is also picturesque and a sunny lunch on the terrace of the Palmenhaus is excellent.
- I prefer the Albertina to the KHM, but my favorite is the Belvedere.
- Stroll to the Naschmarkt and pit stop at the Vollpension, a truly fantastic cafe where grandma's are the bakers. Or visit the Cafe Sperl, which truly has the best Apfelstrudel in Vienna (trust me, I've tried many). Be sure to notice the Majolikahaus.
- The Food and Film festival will hopefully be happening during the summer at the Rathaus. Very good restaurants set up stalls at the festival where food is served on actual plates with actual utensils. It is a great late evening vibe.
- Pop inside some of the lesser known, but beautiful churches, to cool off - Michaelskirche, St. Peter's, Jesuitenkirche.
- Go to Hohermarkt and watch the Ankeruhr clock at the top of the hour (noon is best).
- Have an ice cream at Eissalon Tuchlauben (a local favorite).
- Walk through Maria-Theresen-Platz and the MuseumsQuartier to the quaint Spittelberg area (just off the Ring), which is a taste of older Vienna.
- Visit the Austrian National Library in the Hofburg complex. Prepare to be amazed.
The Kunshistoriches Museum has a cafe with a beautiful setting. And we loved the outdoor cafe in the Hofburg complex.
Great ideas--thanks! Emily, the national library is going to go on my must-see list. Even looking at the photos of it makes me happy.
Cala - I do not doubt that you liked that cafe in the Hofburg complex. I would, however, note that there are several very authentic Viennese coffeehouses only meters away, such as Bräunerhof, Landtmann, Central, Demel and Mozart. For next time...
And if anyone wants some Vienna inspiration, I'm on Instagram and would be happy to share my account details in a PM.
The National Library is what would bring me back to Vienna one more time…..
My favorite deli in Europe is Buffet Trzesniewski Dorotheergasse 1, 1010 Wien, Austria. It’s located in the same square as St. Stephens Cathedral. They serve delicious open-faced sandwiches with tiny beers.
me too Travelmom! Thank you for mentioning Emily!
Congratulations! Thumbs up for spelling Trześniewski nearly perfect. :-)
Most people in Vienna can neither spell nor pronounce it correctly.
That is the reason they have added a cover name for their homepage: https://www.speckmitei.at/
"Speck mit Ei" means "bacon with egg", which is their top selling sandwich.
By the way, for about 90 years Trześniewski sandwiches were available at only one place, but now they have already 10 outlets all over Vienna. Founded in 1902 they will have their 120 years anniversary this year.
When we're in Vienna, we always stay at K&T Boardinghouse. It's less than 5 minutes into the Ring on the Metro, and it's in a very vibrant neighborhood. Rick Steves used to stay there when he was in town.
The property is extremely clean and the rooms very large--a great value.
The Neubaugasse Metro station is just 50 feet--across the street.
I think their email is KTBoardinghouse.AT
Speaking of the National Library, I have been rewatching the original series of "Dallas". In Season 12, JR and Bobby go to Salzburg, Vienna, and Moscow - and part of one episode is filmed in the National Library! They also go to a party at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, and visit the Spanish Riding School, among other places in Vienna.