This blog post was updated on July 21, 2021.
Vienna is one of Europe’s most beautiful and cultured cities with something for everyone — especially for those of us who like a dose of style while we travel.
Here are five of my favorite things about Vienna, some you might not have been aware. If you plan on visiting during Austria’s National Day on the 26th, be sure to add some of these stops to your celebratory agenda!
A traditional riding school for Lipizzan horses, The Spanish Riding School epitomizes aesthetic excellence and precision and offers visitors the chance to see some dancing horses while on vacation. Opened in 1565, the school marks its 450th anniversary this year.
Admire a masterpiece of modernist architecture … at the post office?
The prospect of adding a post office to your sightseeing tour of Vienna might sound boring. But the Austrian Postal Savings Bank, designed and built between 1904 and 1912 by modernist architect Otto Wagner, is a rare example of a perfect union between form and function and suggests a time in history when everyday doings by everyday people were held in high regard.
Drink in 1908 Grandeur at Loos American Bar
Designed by celebrated Viennese architected Adolf Loos, this tiny but opulent turn-of-the-century cocktail bar in the heart of the city ensures an elegant night out and is more than a safe bet for a classic and delicious cocktail. Be sure to clean up a bit before dropping by for a night of You might not be let in wearing shorts and flip-flops. Best enquire with the bar about the specifics of its dress code.
Have a slice of Sachertorte at Hotel Sacher
For those of you with a sweet tooth, a must-taste treat is the famed Sachertorte chocolate cake – and there’s no better place to try it than in the city where it originated, Vienna! Created in 1832 by hotelier Franz Sacher for Prince Wenzel von Metternich, the fluffy textured cake with apricot jam under a laying of rich chocolate icing, the Sachertorte was an immediate hit. It is still served at the historic Hotel Sacher using the same recipe as the original.
Be seduced by the Schönbrunn Zoo
Vienna’s Schönbrunn Zoo is the oldest zoo in the world still in operation. For many it’s the world’s best zoo as well. Since Emperor Franz I opened it back in 1752 it’s been enchanting visitors. It’s done the same for the residents too. In 1906, the zoo was the first place where an African elephant was conceived in captivity. In 2007, the first panda conceived in captivity was born here. Maybe it’s the setting getting the animals in the mood to start a family. Known as Teirgarten Schönbrunn, the zoo is set within the ground of the lavish Schönbrunn palace.