Vienna is a city that is rich with sightseeing opportunities and tourist-centered activities. The city’s historic center is characterized by Baroque palaces, Medieval churches and entire streets that are lined by centuries-old buildings. These sometimes-fairy-tale-like streets contain an amazing array of attractions, from performances spaces serving up world-class music to carnival-like parks to authentic shopping streets.
Spending some time in Vienna? These activities should definitely find their way onto your itinerary.
See a performance by the Vienna Boys Choir
As their name suggests, the members of this choir are quite young, but they are already world-class performers, and they provide a show that is nothing like the type of youth performance seen at local schools. The Boys Choir has been performing since the late 15th Century, when the group was founded by the Hapsburg family. During the school year (September through June) they sing at the high mass at Vienna’s Imperial Chapel. They also perform regularly at the Musikverein, a theater in central Vienna.
Ride the Ferris Wheel in Prater Park
This park is characterized by a giant Ferris wheel that has towered over picnicking families and walkers for more than a century. This wheel is still in use and has ornately decorated cabins that are large enough for a whole family to sit in. Other such rides were built in major world cities at the same time as this one, but most have since been torn down. This makes Prater’s wheel (dubbed the Riesenrad in German) one of the best remaining examples of what was once one of the world’s most popular rides.
Shop at Vienna’s outdoor markets
Vienna has nearly two dozen outdoor markets. These are scattered throughout the city. In addition, Christmas markets take place in major public areas during the winter holiday season. All these markets are open daily, except on Sunday. Some areas even have farmers markets that are usually held on Saturday mornings. In general, markets located near the center of Vienna are more pricey and more tourist oriented. Those in the neighborhoods and outside the main tourist areas are cheaper and more authentic. Christmas markets are a popular attraction for wintertime visitors to Vienna. Some skiers and winter sports enthusiasts stop off in Vienna just to peruse the markets for a few days before heading off to the alps.
Visit the Haus des Meeres Aquarium Zoo
This is a world class zoo with a wide array of worthwhile exhibits and life-like habitats. A greenhouse rainforest area gives the illusion of a naturally-lit tropical forest, even in the middle of the cold Austrian winter. Miniature-sized primates, exotic reptiles, and giant aquariums with sharks are also on the list of photo-worthy features. The building that houses this attraction was once an air raid shelter and radar installation. Visitors can enjoy some amazing views of the rooftops of Vienna from an observation tower on the top of Haus des Meeres.
Hear classical music throughout Vienna
Vienna is one city where classical music is still thriving. Hundreds of years ago, famous composers like Mozart spent time in this place, performing, writing and perfecting their skills. The Vienna Opera House hosts a variety of classical music performances and ballet shows. The Hofburg Orchestra, meanwhile, plays all summer and fall in the historic halls of Hofburg Palace. They also perform during special events such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve. These performances includes pieces by some of classical musics most recognizable names: Strauss, Beethoven and Mozart. Smaller chamber music quartets and other orchestras and choirs perform at various venues around the city throughout the year.
Wander through the Innere Stadt
This area of central Vienna is filled with attractions and amazing architecture. Every visitor to this city should take a few hours to simply wander around the Innere Stadt and take in the sights and historic atmosphere. In addition to Vienna’s most famous and oldest structures, this district is home to some great shopping streets, world-class restaurants and nice mix of nightlife venues. Much of the Innere Stadt has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Since the district is compact, it is possible to walk around and explore on foot without too much difficulty (this is even possible during the wintertime, provided you are dressed appropriately).