Vienna is a shining city that emphasizes its history, as you can tell by many of its attractions. Visiting the city is such a unique, memorable experience that you'll likely want to come back time and time again. Did you know that in Vienna wine has been grown in the city since the middle ages?
A visit to Vienna would not be complete without visiting some of the many cultural attractions along with exploring the cities lively wine scene. As you are planning your next trip to Vienna, either on a river cruise on the Danube or a land based trip, check out some of these experiences.
Constructed in 1696 as a hunting lodge, the Schönbrunn Palace later became the elaborate home to Austria's most admired royal families, the Habsburgs. As it stands today, the palace is open to the public. Take a tour through the Habsburg family's apartments and visit the Hall of Ceremonies and Mirror Room before leisurely strolling through the gardens.
St. Stephen's Cathedral
This stunningly beautiful cathedral is Vienna's most cherished structure. This 12th Century gothic cathedral has more history than you could ever imagine, surviving the Turkish siege in 1683, having mourners come to pay their respects to Amadeus Mozart, and being the place where Napolean held his farewell proclamation in 1805. The structure also survived two attacks in World War II.
Hundreds of vendors set up their stands every Monday through Friday at the largest market around the Naschmarkt. This outdoor market in the Wieden District sells all sorts of local, fresh produce, dairy products, and meats. You can even sit down at any of the quaint eateries and cafes to appease your appetite after taking in all of the delicious smells.
This 13th Century palace holds several excellent attractions. You'll need to spend most of the day there to receive the truly royal experience. Be sure to visit the Swiss Court and the Imperial Apartments.
The Belvedere Palace is two palaces conjoined by a beautiful 17th-century French-style garden. You don't want to miss the unique Baroque architecture or the authentic Austrian paintings on display.
Once you have had a chance to explore the city, it is on to explore Vienna's wines both in and outside the city. A great way to get to the vineyards and wineries around Vienna is by the Heurigen Express, the wine train that travels through the vineyards and past over 180 wine taverns.
Grüner Veltliner is one of Austria's most famous wines, but there's so much more to discover. Most of the wine in Austria comes from the eastern side of the country by Vienna. The favorite white varietals here also include Riesling and Zierfandler. The famous red wines hailing from this country are notably Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch.
Heuriger's are the local name for wine taverns where the local winemakers serve up their current vintages alongside local fare in a welcoming, cozy environment. Here are a few favorites to check out while in the area.
For an adventurous and refreshing trek, try hiking up to this hilltop tavern through well-traveled nature paths. Nestled up high between its vineyards and those of Klosterneuburg Abbey, you get perfect vistas of Kahlenberg village and the Danube.
In the warmer months, sit on red deckchairs with a glass of G'mischter Satz by the vineyards or on the viewing terrace. Apart from great wine, Hirt's traditional Viennese tavern dishes are delightful.
If you are looking to venture a bit further out, I highly recommend visiting this biodynamic vineyard owned by Johannes Zillinger. Mr. Zillinger learned from his father about the craft of organic winemaking and views the vineyard as a habitat and protecting the environment instead of poisoning it. The vineyard began organic viticulture in 1983 and was one of its pioneers in Austria. This 350-year-old winery will bring you back to the days of old-world farming, and you are sure to learn a lesson or two about the importance of sustainable, healthy ecosystems in the wine world.
With so much to explore in and around Vienna, it is nearly impossible to find yourself bored, especially if you love a lively culture that treasures wine, great food, classical music, and beautiful architecture. If you would like to know which destination fits your wine tastes, take our quiz and learn about many of the world's great wine destinations. Those looking for clean organic wines, visit Erin’s wine page to discover all of the clean crafted wines.
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