7 Best things to do & see in Vienna, Austria

1. Sightseeing by bike, the ideal way to discover Vienna

An ideal way to discover Vienna is by bicycle. You can see a lot more in a day by bike. Vienna has many cycling paths, so it is the perfect city for a relaxing bike ride and sightseeing. You can easily stop at the most beautiful places and buildings you will see along the way, such as the opera house, the town hall, the Roman Catholic Karlskirche and St. Stephen’s Cathedral on the main square; Stephansplatz. You set the pace and can enjoy some highlights a little longer if you want.

Tip: You can cycle a beautiful route along the river Danube. You will not only discover the historic city center by bike, but also the beautiful surroundings just outside Vienna.

2. Discover the enchanting Schönbrunn Palace

The famous Schönbrunn and its gardens are definitely a must-see when visiting Vienna. With a total area of ​​120 hectares, Schönbrunn is one of the largest palaces in the world. You can also take a look inside the gigantic palace. The palace has 1441 rooms! Beautiful fairytale gardens adjoin the palace. Here you can stroll along the colorful flowers, fountains and ponds. Finish at the top at the 85-meter-high Gloriette. From here you have a beautiful view of Vienna, the palace and the gardens. Inside the Gloriette is a restaurant with the same great view.

3. Tiergarten Schönbrunn

Must do: In the middle of the gardens of Schönbrunn you will find a zoo! Visit the world’s oldest zoo, Tiergarten Schönbrunn, which opened its doors in 1752. There are plenty of unique animal species to spot, including the Giant panda bear, tigers, lynx, wolves, lions, polar bears. Buy your tickets in advance here to skip the line.

4. Admire the artistic Hundertwasserhaus

When you wander through the streets of Vienna, you will find the most impressive architecture and in particular the Hundertwasserhaus! This is an asymmetrical apartment complex, designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. You will be surprised by the lines and the unusual shapes of the colorful houses. It just looks like a huge work of art! The complex stands out and contrasts with the classic architectural style that you see throughout Vienna.

5. Taste the international cuisine at the Naschmarkt in Vienna

The Naschmarkt is a market in Vienna with a wide variety of food and drinks from around the world. The market is open daily and you can get delicious exotic herbs, spices, fresh vegetables and fruit here. Stroll along the colorful market stalls with food from Italy, Japan, Austria, India and many more countries. Many stables also have a cozy sitting area, where you can enjoy the delicious food and drinks.

6. Visit the Hofburg Imperial Palace

Vienna is rich in palaces and the Hofburg is one of the most impressive. This is a 13th century palace where the Habsburg family lived for many years. Today, the President of Austria lives in part of the palace. The Hofburg used to be the center of power in Austria. When you stand in front of the palace you are surrounded by impressive architecture, statues and horses with carriages. Inside the palace you will find the national library, the Sisi museum which gives you a glimpse into the life of Empress Elisabeth. Here you can also admire precious crown jewels in the treasury and view the furnished apartments of the imperial family. The centuries-old Spanish riding school is also part of the Hofburg. You can attend performances in the baroque riding hall where the white Lipizzaners perform to classical music.

7. Have fun in the Prater city park

Just outside the city center you will find the green city park Prater, where you can relax, walk, cycle or experience thrills in one of the attractions. The entrance to the park is free, but if you decide to go in some attractions, you pay per attraction. Take a ride on the roller coaster, see the city from above from the iconic Ferris wheel or whirligig. Enough entertainment for a night out!

6 Most Beautiful Lakes in Lake District Salzkammergut, Austria

1. The photogenic Traunsee

We think the Traunsee is the most impressive and photogenic lake in Salzkammergut. The lake is surrounded by charming villages, mountains and churches. With a depth of 191 meters, the Traunsee is the deepest lake in Austria!

If you visit the Traunsee, we definitely recommend to make a stop at Traunkirchen. The Johannesburg Kapelle is the eye-catcher of the village. The Kapelle is located on top of a rock and in the background you can see the rugged mountain landscape. In Traunkirchen we rented a boat to explore the area from the water. You sail past harbors and boathouses.

2. The diverse Wolfgangsee

The Wolfgangsee is a large lake that extends over two federal states, Upper Austria and Salzburgerland. There’s a lot to do. For example, plan an active day on the water; you can (kite) surf, sail, water ski, kayak, snorkel, wakeboard or paddle. Enjoy the sun on a beautiful summer day on one of the sunbathing areas or natural beaches or discover the area via one of the many walking routes.

We stopped at two points along the lake. North of the lake you will find a higher panoramic viewpoint where you can admire a large part of the Wolfgangsee. Then we stopped at the village of Strolb; a colorful authentic village with lots of flowers and kiosks where you can eat with a view of the Wolfgangsee.

3. The mysterious Hallstättersee

The Hallstättersee is a picturesque green-blue lake which is beautifully located at the – in our opinion – most beautiful mountain village in Austria: Hallstatt. We visited the Hallstättersee on a foggy early morning. The clouds hung just above the water, creating a mysterious atmosphere.

Sidenote: Hallstatt is very popular. The small village is visited by almost 1 million tourists every year. Do you want to know how to avoid this tourist crowd? Read our tips for a visit to Hallstatt.

4. The crystal clear Attersee

The Attersee is the perfect destination for a wonderful day at the water in Salzkammergut. The Attersee is one of the largest lakes in Austria. Take a cooling dip in the crystal clear water, which is even drinking quality. On a sunny day the Rosenwind blows across the lake from the north-east. This makes the Attersee a very suitable place for water sports enthusiasts.

5. The iconic Mondsee

Next to the Attersee is the Mondsee. We drove a jawdropping route along this lake. Enjoy the beautiful mountainous environment, the clear water and be sure to visit the town of Mondsee. It is known for beautiful architecture such as the colored houses, the former monastery that now has been transformed into a four-star hotel and the Basilika St. Michael Mondsee which was used as the film setting of The Sound of Music. In the evening we had a delicious dinner on one of the terraces and we were entertained by a performance by locals with Schuhplattler. This is an energetic traditional folk dance, where men in lederhosen stamp and clap their hands, thighs and soles to the beat of the music.

6. The idyllic Fuschlsee

The Fuschlsee is an idyllic lake in Salzkammergut where you can stroll along the water. Relax on one of the jetties and dip your feet in the water. You can enjoy a beautiful view over the water from here. It is the perfect place to completely unwind.

Discover Ice Paradise Eisriesenwelt: The largest ice cave in the world!

Here’s what you need to know before visiting Eisriesenwelt

Tours & Tickets

You can visit the Eisriesenwelt from May to October. In the high season it is extra busy. Make sure you get to the cave in time to make sure you can join one of the many tours. You can book your tickets online so you don’t have to queue. Booking in advance is also cheaper. There are English and German spoken tours.

What do you need to wear?

It is important that you dress warmly during your visit to the ice cave. The temperature in the ice cave is freezing cold, even in the summer months. If it’s a warm day outside, bring extra clothes that you can put on before entering the cave. Also wear good shoes and thick socks. We were wearing sneakers and at one point our toes were almost frozen!

When is the best time to visit the cave?

We recommend visiting the ice cave in good weather conditions. Many think this is the perfect activity to do on a rainy day. But you will walk in the open air for about 40 minutes before reaching the ice cave. If you get soaked, it gets even colder when you enter the cave. Then you cannot fully enjoy this natural phenomenon. And that is too bad!

The road to Eisriesenwelt

We bought a combination ticket including a return ride with the cable car + a tour through the ice cave. From the information center it is a 20 minute walk to the funicular that takes you from 1000 meters to 1500 meters in just 3 minutes. From the cabin you have a beautiful view, but you should not be afraid of heights, like Abel ;-). Once at the top, you can enjoy the panoramic view over the valley and the mountain peaks. From here it is a 20 minute walk before you arrive at the entrance of the ice cave. The walk to the cave is already spectacular. You walk through the rugged mountain landscape via winding roads and along the steep abyss. Along the way you will spot many alpine crows. Be surprised by the changeable weather high in the mountains. One moment we had sun and blue skies, and a few minutes later the mountains had completely disappeared because of the fog.

After 20 minutes you will arrive at the huge opening of the cave. From here you have a beautiful view. Only a few people are allowed in the cave at a time. So wait for the moment when the guide will take you on an unforgettable tour through the Eisriesenwelt. There is no lighting in the cave so a number of people is responsible for shining an oil lamp which will be handed out at the start of the tour. As soon as the door to the cave opens, the flow of hot and cold air creates a strong gust of wind. So be prepared for this.

The trip through the ice cave

In about 1 hour you will discover the first kilometer of the cave. You will admire meters high ice formations, frozen lakes and impressive ice tunnels. Via 1400 steps and steep, narrow stairs you climb through the underground tunnel system of the cave. During the tour, the guide will tell you all about the history of the ice cave and explain how the ice was formed. At special sights the guide will shine extra light by using magnesium rods.

The ice formations still change every year. This is due to the temperature differences and the wind that enters through the entrance and draft holes. In the summer some ice sculptures melt away and the ice sheet becomes thinner and in the winter this meltwater freezes again, then the ice sheet grows back.

Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures in the cave. To give you an idea of ​​what to expect inside, we were allowed to use the photos from Eisriesenwelt. During the tour it is darker in the cave which makes it a bit mysterious.


3 Tips for Your Visit to the Popular Hallstatt, Austria

1. Set your alarm early to avoid mass tourism

Hallstatt is often considered one of the most beautiful villages in Austria. And we totally get that. It’s magical, idyllic and it looks like a postcard! The fog clouds hanging over the village that day made it mysterious and we were super excited to explore Hallstatt. The houses are built against a steep rock mountain and the village is surrounded by high mountains and a green-blue lake, the Hallstättersee. Unfortunately, Hallstatt’s beauty also has a downside. The small village is overrun by tourists. If you want to avoid them and experience how Hallstatt can be itself for a while, you really need to get there early.

Many day trips to Hallstatt are organised. So make sure you have discovered most of the town before 10am. Then the first tourists arrive by tour bus or boat. We arrived in Hallstatt around 8:30 am, so we had enough time to discover the village. Hallstatt wakes up, slowly all the shops are opening and the locals get ready for another busy day. The advantage of arrive early is that you can enjoy the beautiful viewpoints. You can also spot all kinds of animals who only pay attention to you. Charming swans like to follow you and cats come to cuddle.

2. Go by car

In the past, you could only reach Hallstatt by boat, but later a road has been built and you can reach it easily and quickly by car. Therefore, visit Hallstatt early by car. Then you still have a spot in the parking lot that is only a 5 to 10 minute walk away.

3. Respect the rules of the residents of Hallstatt

The village is so small and in proportion there are way too many tourists who visit Hallstatt on a daily basis, so try to inconvenience the residents of Hallstatt as little as possible. For example respect their rules and don’t fly your drone.