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Plan Your Trip to Vienna: Best of Vienna Tourism

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Explore Vienna

With its Baroque palaces and manicured gardens, Vienna is all elegance and charm. What’s more, they’ve got a huge opera scene—with three houses including the Vienna State Opera—and a deep connection to classical music (Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn all lived here). But it’s not all history at its (literal) finest. To see a modern side, check out MuseumsQuartier, a creative district packed with exhibits, shops, and restaurants. Coffee culture’s a real thing, and there are tons of cosy cafés where you can grab an espresso and a slice of sachertorte and hang out for the day. Want to trade your coffee for something stronger? Head to a vineyard (there’s around 400 of them) or wine tavern for drinks and schnitzel. That’s just the start—we’ve got more recs below.

Travel Advice

How to spend 3 days in Vienna

Cathedrals, cafes, and classical music galore
Read on

Vienna’s coffee shop culture

Coffee Shops are an integral part of life in Vienna. Throughout the city’s history, they have been political hotspots, literary centres of philosophical debate, and—for people in cramped apartments—extended living rooms where locals can linger over coffee and sweet treats. There is no rush to turn tables, and in fact, many travellers find the waiters gruff—but it’s all part of the charm.
carlyhulls, Vienna, Austria
  • Cafe Sperl
    Whatever you do, do not simply order “a coffee” in a Viennese coffee shop. The Viennese melange is the ideal mix—an espresso shot topped with warm milk and a small amount of foam. Order yours at the richly decorated Cafe Sperl. Chandeliers twinkle overhead, red velvet settees invite you to stay awhile, and if you are lucky, a musician might just appear to perform on the grand piano.
  • Café Jelinek
    The rustic Cafe Jelenik is home to students and couches that can comfortably swallow you whole. Leaning more toward the bohemian than the imperial side of Vienna, Jelenik reliably serves traditional Sacher Torte cakes, gulasch soups, and apfelstrudel alongside many coffee varieties. You won’t find waiters in bow ties here, but you will find a cosy spot to get lost in a book or newspaper for hours on end, without interruption.
  • Kleines Cafe
    This picture-perfect cafe can be found on a cobblestoned courtyard in Vienna’s historic city centre. With tiny wooden tables and mismatched chairs, it lives up to its name (“kleines” means “small”), though it feels larger than life, thanks to cleverly positioned mirrors.
  • Konditorei Oberlaa
    Hidden away in a leafy green corner near Schonbrunn Palace, Cafe Dommayer has a coffee menu with endless pages (try the Maria Theresia kaffee with orange liqueur-infused espresso); waiters stand at the ready to bring you plates of pastries and cakes heaving with whipped cream. Grab a marble interior table lit by a chandelier and enjoy the real treat: watching the aristocratic locals, bedecked in furs and pearls, sip their coffee in companionable silence.
  • Balthasar Kaffee Bar
    If all these traditional coffee houses overwhelm with their gruff waiters and opulence, allow me to introduce a more modern alternative, if you just want a really good flat white or filter coffee. Balthasar Kaffee Bar takes its beans and brewing seriously and will give you a caffeine jolt with a smile—ushering in the next generation of Viennese coffee traditions.