Austria’s capital Vienna offers a blend of imperial traditions, music, and endearing charm. A city that inspires with the old and the new alike, and always has a cosy place available in a coffee house or wine tavern.
Vienna’s history dates back to the first post-Christian century, when the Romans established the military camp Vindobona. Today’s cityscape is characterised by the abundance of Baroque buildings created mostly under the rule of Empress Maria Theresia (1740 – 1780) and Franz Joseph (1848 – 1916), who was largely responsible for the monumental architecture in the city’s centre.
Your Guide to a Historic and Scenic Vienna Honeymoon
If you enjoy music and art, want to see beautiful architecture and love relaxing with food and wine, a Vienna, Austria, honeymoon could be perfect for you. As the birthplace of musicians like Mozart and Beethoven, Vienna is known as the “City of Music,” so you’ll often find live music in cafes. Vienna is also known for its Baroque architecture and opulent palaces that once housed the grand Habsburg Monarchy.
There are direct flights to Austria from New York, Washington, DC, and Chicago, making it an easy flight for those on the East Coast and in the Midwest. If you’re using your honeymoon to tour Europe, you’ll find that most European cities offer direct flights and train rides to Austria, so you can easily make it a stop on your trip. Whether you’re visiting for 10 days or one, you’ll love spending time in this romantic city.
Pros of a Vienna Honeymoon
Vienna combines old-world history with modern luxury, as the city’s beautiful and well-maintained architecture lends itself to many upscale hotels and romantic tourist attractions. Because Vienna ranks as the European Union’s sixth-largest city, there are plenty of interesting and beautiful attractions, but it does not have the large tourist crowds that you may find in Rome, Paris or London.
You’ll also find the Viennese people to be warm, approachable and welcoming. Vienna’s excellent public transportation will make it easy for you and your spouse to explore the city and surrounding area without a car or expensive rideshares, and you’ll likely find yourselves taking day trips to the ski resorts and vineyards that surround the city.
Visit the Belvedere Palace
The Belvedere is a historic complex that includes two Baroque palaces that have now been converted into an art museum. You can see some of the world’s most famous art, including pieces from Van Gogh and Monet, in what is largely considered Europe’s most stunning Baroque building.
See Beethoven’s House
Beethoven was born in Germany, but he moved to Vienna at 21 and lived there for the rest of his life. The Beethoven Museum takes you through the apartment that Beethoven lived in, and you’ll learn about his life, music and personality.
Best Hotels and Resorts in Vienna for a Honeymoon
Seeking an authentic Vienna experience? Hotel Bristol’s luxurious and historically decorated rooms will make you feel like you’re staying in an imperial palace. Plus, you’ll have stunning views of the Vienna State Opera House just across the street.
The Ritz-Carlton Vienna
The Ritz-Carlton’s iconic and historic presence extends into Austria. This five-star hotel boasts a spa, an indoor pool, four restaurants and bars, and luxurious, modern rooms.
Le Méridien Vienna
Couples seeking a contemporary or artistic hotel will love Le Méridien Vienna. The rooms feature bold colors and designs, and local bands often play live music at this boutique hotel’s restaurant and bar.
Grand Hotel Wien
Seeking a hotel rooted in history? This five-star hotel opened in 1870 as the first Viennese luxury hotel and was a popular choice for aristocrats and royalty. Today, couples can choose from many different historical rooms and dining options, which range from artistic Japanese cuisine to a classic Austrian lunch outside.
Hotel Kaiserhof Wien
The Hotel Kaiserhof Wien, located just minutes away from the city’s center, features superb customer service and free breakfast. You and your spouse will appreciate filling up on a buffet breakfast to help save money on delicious Viennese meals later.
This five-star hotel was originally built as the home of Duke Philipp of Württemberg, but became a hotel for the 1873 World Fair. To date, it remains one of the most well-known hotels in the world. (Don’t forget to try the Imperial Torte, the hotel’s specialty chocolate and marzipan cake.)
Whenever I show friends around, we love to earn our post-tour breakfast by subsequently climbing up to hilltop Gloriette Café. It is one of Austria’s most famous coffee houses, it serves an imperial breakfast and cakes. There is an outdoor terrace and seating in the grand interior. It is here that you can order Sacher Torte. Sache torte is a famous chocolate cake that is layered and separated by apricot jam.
Or we hang out at charming hideaway Landtmann’s Jausenstation. It is a quiet pavilion and snack bar that offers freshly baked bread, fresh seasonal herbs from the garden, and its claim to possibly be the best Kaiserschmarrn (a fluffy shredded pancake) in the city. It is open from 10.00 am weekdays, and 9.00 am on weekends
Also located on the grounds of Schonbrunn Palace, the Vienna Zoo can be visited as well. It is the oldest continuously operating zoo in the world and focuses on preserving endangered species. The most popular attraction in the zoo is the giant pandas. The Vienna Zoo dates back to 1752 when Emperor Franz Stephan I built it to house his menagerie of exotic animals. Today the zoo focuses more on species preservation and housing animals as close to their natural environment as possible. Many of the original buildings of the Vienna Zoo are still intact.
Hofburg Palace was once the home to the Hapsburgs but is now the official residence and office of Austria’s President. It is also home to a lot of Vienna’s best Museums and galleries as well as the home of the Spanish Riding School. Hofburg Palace is one of the largest palace complexes in the world and is located in the heart of Vienna.
Walking through the palace grounds gives you a real appreciation for the size and beauty of this complex. Make sure to check out the incredible semi-circular Neue Burg and take a tour through the imperial apartments. There is no doubt you will be impressed by this stunning example of baroque architecture.
You can book this tour of Hofburg Palace to learn of Austrian heritage. Guided tours are available here and this one takes you through the Imperial Apartments, the Sisi Museum, and the silver collection. You’ll avoid long lines at entry and there is easy cancellation within 24 hours of activity.
A real highlight of the Hofburg complex is an Art Nouveau greenhouse – the Palmenhouse. Once used by the emperor as a place of relaxation, it contains the Schmetterlinghouse (Butterfly house). It is a beautiful display of hundreds of butterfly species living in a large tropical rainforest setting and is the perfect place to enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine while touring the complex itself. Hofburg Palace.
In the summer, the terrace of the coffee house opens to views of the Burggarten. This was the former Emperor’s garden and is now a popular city park. The Schmetterlinghouse is the perfect place for people watching for tourists and locals alike.
Vienna State Opera House
If there is one thing that you do not want to miss when you visit Vienna it is the Vienna State Opera House (Wiener Staatsoper). Trust me, we missed it and we have always regretted it. Located in the city center and home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna State Opera House, (Wiener Staatsoper) was built-in 1860 in the early Neo-Rennaisance style, the opera house is one of the world’s largest and most beautiful. It truly is a work of art.
Insider Tip: The Vienna State Opera House hosts over 300 performances a year. If you want to save yourself some money but still enjoy a show as well as the architecture, buy yourself some standing-room-only tickets. It is much cheaper and you can tour the entire building before the show starts. A perfect way to get a little culture without spending a lot of money. Vienna state opera.
If you don’t plan to see the opera, you can take guided tours of the Opera house that happen daily and let you see the interior of the building. You are also free to tour the opera building on your own. Skip the line Entry is always a good idea to avoid the crowd, book this ticket in advance for a guided tour including a streamlined entry process and guided journey through the building. (easy cancellation and last minute bookings)
Austrian National Library
You don’t have to be a bookworm to enjoy the Austrian National Library. Located in the Neue Burg Wing of the Hofburg this library contains over 12 million items and it’s the biggest library in Austria.
The State Hall is by far the most impressive part of the library. Originally part of the original Court Library it is massive at 80 meters long and 20m high! The walls are covered in ornate decorations and of course a lot of books. It is a perfect place to escape the business of the rest of the Hofburg Palace.
Visiting the State Hall itself costs 8 € per adult and6 € per student and is well worth the price of admission.
Museum-lovers will enjoy perusing the art at Albertina Museum. In this museum, you’ll find everything from French impressionists to Russian Avante Garde. See the greats on display from Picasso to Cezanne and Munch to Chagall. What makes this museum unique is that it houses one of the most important print rooms in the world with 65,000 drawings and one million master prints. Here’s a fun fact, in 2018 The Albertina Museum was named one of the Seven Urban Wonders of the World. You can book tickets in advance here.