World-class museums, the opera, cafés, pastries, and the renowned Sacher Torte can all be found in the wonderful city of Vienna, Austria. Despite my short visit of two full days, I thoroughly enjoyed Vienna. I soaked up everything I could as I hurried through the city. These are the top 10 things I saw and did in Vienna.

Top 10 Things to do in Vienna

VIENNA STATE OPERA (WIENER STAATSOPER)

The Vienna State Opera is 10 times larger than its Budapest rival and is a very spectacular performance building. I purchased standing room only tickets to the Opera Nabucco for a mere few Euros. Before the event, I had a chance to have a tour of the complete opera house, and thereafter, I was able to witness the performance from the standing room only area. Everyone may now attend the opera thanks to the availability of these affordable tickets.

ST. STEPHEN’S CATHEDRAL

One of the most prominent icons of Vienna is this cathedral, which was dedicated in 1147. I had a quick peek inside the church, but the real pleasure for me was going up the countless stairs to the south tower, which provided the visitors with fantastic views across Vienna. What, in my opinion, makes St. Stephen’s Cathedral valuable are the views of the roof and of Vienna. Vienna’s top attractions are visible from the tower, and the tiled roof is quite distinctive.

BREAKFAST IN A VIENNESE CAFE

You must not miss this! If you enjoy excellent cuisine, coffee and experiencing the rich Viennese culture, you should have brunch or breakfast at a café in Vienna.

There are plenty of cafes in Vienna, which is referred regarded be the “coffee house capital of the world.” My greatest lunch in Vienna was at Cafe Central, which was my choice. I went to the bakery counter twice since the pastries were so delicious and I also drank juice and coffee. It was one of my favorite things I remember about Vienna, and it was truly amazing. This is the first thing I want to do again when I visit Vienna someday!

SCHÖNBRUNN PALACE

The Hapsburgs, who ruled the Austrian Empire, had Schönbrunn Palace as their summer home. Schönbrunn served as Vienna’s equivalent of Paris’s Versailles. Explore the palace, stroll around the well-kept grounds, and enjoy the Trianon viewpoint.

ROAM ALONG GRABEN

One of Vienna’s most well-known streets is Graben. This is a posh neighborhood with shops like Versace and Cartier. I ate my gourmet supermarket-bought lunch while people-watching from a bench. Later on, I visited the renowned chocolate shop Demel. Delectable!

HAVE A SLICE OF THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS CHOCOLATE CAKE, THE SACHER TORTE

A well-known chocolate cake is the Sacher Torte, which consists of two cake layers divided by apricot jam and topped with chocolate frosting. Franz Sacher “invented” the cake at Prince Wenzel von Metternich’s request for a few of his chosen guests. The cake was served at Hotel Sacher after it was initially served at Demel. I split a slice while I was seated in the hotel Sacher cafe. Although it wasn’t the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had, the cake was still tasty.

VISIT HOFBURG PALACE

The Hapsburgs’ official residence was the Hofburg Palace. Franz Joseph and his wife Sisi lived there from the late 1800s until the very early 1900s. The Hapsburgs ruled over their people and lived and amused themselves here. I took tours of the Austrian National Library, the Treasury and the Royal Apartments. My personal favorite display was the Austrian National Library. The large room, the décor and the endless book shelves were all very appealing to me. It was also isolated from the commotion of the main palace and cool and quiet.

HAVE DINNER AT A HEURIGER

An authentically Viennese experience is a heuriger. A heuriger is a wine garden that offers light fare and house-made wine. They serve authentic Viennese cuisine while preserving the feel of an old village. I visited the outside of Vienna, at Schubel-Auer Heuriger. The place was charming, but because they didn’t speak much English, it was a little scary.

I was seated by a sour-faced waiter and ordered a half-liter of white wine. Next, I approached the counter to select my meal. Every dish was arranged in glass cases. After indicating my preference, the waitress along with her son served and reheated the food, and I returned with my tray to my table. I sampled pickled green beans, roast beef, pork, sauerkraut and schmalz, or lard. The experience was amazing, but the food was mediocre. Dinner at a heuriger is unquestionably a must-do if you enjoy the idea of trying new foods and having a less touristic experience.

VISIT THE BELVEDERE PALACE

Encircled by an exquisite garden, the Belvedere Palace is a baroque palace. The trip to the art gallery, where I saw the largest collection of Gustav Klimt paintings in the world, was the high point for me. It is misleading to refer to Belvedere as “a palace” in technical terms. It is made up of two uniquely designed structures, each with an interesting past and distinct functions. They come together to form the Belvedere, one of the world’s most important Baroque complexes. Some of Vienna’s most recognizable landmarks, the Upper and Lower Belvedere, have stood opposite each other in the city’s third district for three centuries.

TAKE A LOOK AT THE KUNSTHISTORISCHES MUSEUM

Vienna has an incredible amount of museums, which astounded me. I visited a number of them, with the Kunsthistorisches Museum being a particular favorite. Treasures from the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque are on display in one of the most significant art chambers in the world. Highlights include the renowned Saliera, the Exotica complex and Emperor Rudolf II’s Kunstkammer.

The Hapsburgs’ collection of artwork is on show at this museum. Do you get the impression that without the Hapsburg family, Vienna would not exist today? I looked at paintings by Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio and Vermeer. The artwork and the museum’s interior design were equally striking.

Vienna is a top pick for travelers who want to see a city rich in culture, history and artistic appreciation. Just remember to begin your day at one of Vienna’s fantastic cafes.

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