What should I do in Vienna?
September 20, 2008 4:41 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to be in Vienna from September 26 (early morning) - 29 (afternoon). I'm 18 years old and will be traveling with friends. What should we do/ see? I've been put in charge of figuring all this out, but apart from the obvious tourist things I don't know what's good. I guess I'm looking for more off-the-beaten-path stuff. Thank you!

This can be anything: cool museums, restaurants, bars, discos, shops, historic sites, areas to walk around; anything. I'd just really appreciate recommendations from those who've been/ lived there.
posted by howgenerica to Travel & Transportation around Vienna, Austria (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Arena Vien is a former slaughterhouse complex now turned into a pretty amazing concert venue. You definitely get a taste of the local culture by catching a show here. Also, it may be touristy, but St. Stephen's is definitely worth checking out.
posted by visual mechanic at 7:26 PM on September 20, 2008

First time there? hit the touristy things - Stefansdom, the palace, etc. The Belvedere has some fantastic art - klimt's "kiss" is *huge* and is much more impressive in person.
posted by notsnot at 8:01 PM on September 20, 2008

What's on in Vienna, online newspaper, Vienna Times

Eating and drinking


Vienna events in September

Night owl breakfast spots

The Viennese Coffee House

The wombat's Hostel Bar (womBar), cheap and friendly

Last time I stayed in Vienna I was 17.

The Kunsthistorisches Museum is one of my favorite museums in the world. An extraordinary collection of amazing paintings in a really beautiful setting.

The Spanish Riding School is incredible. Nothing like it in the world. Spanische Hofreitschule & Lipizzaner, "the performances are sold out months in advance, and are pretty expensive. But, you can see their training sessions, simply by walking up to the counter, and are less than 10 Euro".

Sounds old fashioned but is actually quite amazing, the Vienna Boys' Choir: Mass is performed by the Wiener Hofmusikkapelle including the Vienna Boys Choir at the Hofburg Chapel every Sunday morning between 14 September 2008 and 28 June 2009

Not that it has anything to do with Vienna but King Tut is there until Sept. 28th.

Expat blogs are useful in finding fun things you might like:

Vienna Resource

Bon voyage!
posted by nickyskye at 8:07 PM on September 20, 2008

The obvious touristy things are plenty for three days if it's your first time there - Stephansdom (take the catacomb and steeple tours), the Naturhistorische Museum (the Venus of Willendorf! and more! we spent eight hours here alone), the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Schatzkammer and the Belvedere are essential. I also found the Freud and Jewish museums very interesting, and I really enjoyed a night at the Opera House (we saw The Marriage of Figaro) and the State Opera Museum but opera might not be your thing.

This may be a really bad idea for you, but we hung out at Karlspatz, met some freaks and went to a party that was a lot of fun. Please be careful, though.
posted by goo at 8:29 PM on September 20, 2008

And that would be Karlsplatz, sorry.
posted by goo at 8:30 PM on September 20, 2008

I enjoyed visiting the Hundertwasserhaus [wikipedia] apartments and nearby museum. The apartments were designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who created a unique architectural mixture of nature and man-made structures. Some of his artwork is on display in the museum. Won't take more than a few hours to see both.
posted by bargex at 1:25 AM on September 21, 2008

Head out to the giant Ferris Wheel (Riesenrad) -- it's in a trippy old amusement park with rides operated by fat men that look like they're in the witness protection program. It's the kind of place, I thought, where you'd go to discuss an impending murder. Very weird, but worth the jaunt. Don't bother with riding the actual Ferris Wheel unless you've got money to blow.
posted by nitsuj at 7:03 AM on September 21, 2008

There's a whole cluster of museums at the Museumsquartier, which is right next to the Kunsthistorische Museum, so that's definitely a good place to start on museums.

You'll also want to go to a Viennese café for some coffee and pastries. Café Landtmann is a bit touristy but still good. Demel is a classic patisserie -- it can be very touristy, but it's famous for good reason. Two others that come to mind are Gerstner and Café Diglas, but there are many more.

You just could walk around the first district (the inner city) -- most of that is worth seeing, so just pick some side streets to wander down at random.

If you like wine, a trip to a Heurigen (wine garden) might be worthwhile.

If you happen to have an interest in social housing, the Karl Marx Hof (apparently the longest single residential building in the world) is definitely worth visiting.

And, as people have said, the classic touristy destinations (like Stephansdom and Hofburg) really are worth seeing if it's your first visit to Vienna.
posted by klausness at 3:24 PM on September 21, 2008

Great suggestions all around. I will second the horses (Die spanische Hofreitschule) and the very interesting Museumsquartier, but also don't miss a concert at the Concert Hall of the Musikverein who do the famous New Years concerts. Don't let the music selection disturb you, it will grow on you if you don't know Classical music yet. I got some cheap seats behind the orchestra last year, and they were more than worth it!

Beware of the "Bermuda-Dreieck", though! Vienna has a great nightlife too ;-)
posted by KimG at 4:02 PM on September 21, 2008

If you want to meet some open-minded locals, sign up for couchsurfing.com and post a message to the Vienna forum. There are a couple of couchsurfing parties scheduled for this weekend, and the Vienna group is pretty active, so there's almost always something going on.

Can be a great way to get a more personal introduction to the city, and you're likely to meet someone who would be happy to spend some time with you during the day, giving you an insider view of the city.
posted by syzygy at 1:42 AM on September 22, 2008

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