Wednesday 9 March 2016

Ideas for a weekend break in Vienna

Vienna has everything you need for an action (or culture) packed weekend break. While the city is certainly child-friendly, you might want to escape by yourselves for two or three days so you can zoom around and take in as much as possible. Here’s some ideas for memorable sights and experiences.

The Spanish Riding School
You can’t visit Vienna without seeing this amazing riding school and its famous white Lipizzaner horses. There’s a guided tour that explains the history of the school and the stunning white horses, during which you’ll see the stables and the huge performance hall. If you go on certain Saturdays or Sundays you might be lucky to actually see a performance, but you’ll need to book in advance. 
Visit the Naschmarkt
An oasis of chaos in an otherwise orderly city, this open air market sees hundreds of vendors descend on it every Saturday to sell antiques, bric-a-brac and exotic food. 
Savour a coffee
Vienna has a long history of coffeehouses and they’re an important part of the city’s history. People like to hang out in cafes here, people-watching, chatting and maybe even sketching or writing. You’ll never feel under pressure to drink up and move on in Vienna, so order an apple strudel to go with your latte.

A night at the opera
Whether you’re an opera buff or not, it’s always worth going to the Vienna State Opera, even if it’s just to see the spectacular architecture outside and inside, or to get a look behind the scenes. Vienna opera tickets can be surprisingly cheap if you book in advance and it’s something you’ll remember for a long time. 
Head to the Museumsquartier
This is the creative area of Vienna, with arts centres, museums and exhibition halls. There’s the modern art at the Leopold Museum, or the Kunsthalle Wien. 
See the Schönbrunn Palace
This impressive palace offers guided tours through the grand rooms, or you can stroll through the amazing gardens (and a maze), or visit the zoo – one of the world’s oldest. 
Try some Viennese wine
Vienna has its own vineyards and wineries, which is an unusual city feature! They’re there to be enjoyed, so give them a go. During summer months you can visit the taverns scattered throughout the vineyards. 
See St Stephen’s Cathedral
In the old part of the city, this Gothic cathedral looms over the city and it sports some stunning (and creepy) catacombs. If you prefer to stay above ground, climb one of the Stephansdom Towers for some stunning views of Vienna. 
Visit the Sigmund Freud Museum
The museum is based in the home and offices of the “Father of Psychoanalysis”. You can see some of his old letters, his photos and some of his original furniture. There are different exhibitions throughout the year, too. 
See the Hofburg Palace
This huge palace has been home to Austria’s monarchs and rulers since the 13th century. It’s a massive complex and you could easily spend the entire day there looking at the imperial silver or roaming through the Imperial Apartments. 

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