With its lush green parks, architectural masterpieces steeped in history, mouthwatering culinary creations, and beautiful city streets, it’s hardly surprising that Vienna has been named the world’s most livable city for 10 consecutive years according to the Mercer Quality of Living survey.
Offering something for everyone – whether you’re a culture vulture, an adventurous foodie, or an unapologetic shopaholic – it also draws in visitors from all around the world and is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations in Europe. Even better? It’s just six hours from Dubai. So, if you’re making your way to Wien or looking for your next city-break fix, Savoir Flair has you covered. Discover our picks as we reveal where to sleep, eat, and sightsee in the Austrian capital.
With over 420 hotels in the city, choosing the right place to stay can be overwhelming, to say the least. But the good news is that we found the perfect place that ticks all the boxes – and then some. The first-ever Andaz by Hyatt property to open in Austria, the Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere is not yet a year old and is already making waves in the Viennese travel scene thanks to its blend of classic and contemporary styles, artistic touches, and state-of-the-art offerings.
Designed by architect Renzo Piano and interior designers Claudio Carbone and Gabriel Kacerovsky, the soaring 16-floor hotel (which comprises of two towers with interconnecting bridges) rises above Vienna’s Quartier Belvedere and is impressive from the off – a bright lobby that blends Scandi-style minimalism with cozy, homely touches perfectly echos the style of the 303 rooms and suites.
Inspired by Prince Eugene of Savoy, one of the leading art collectors of his time and the man behind the iconic Belvedere Palace, the hotel is the next best thing to staying in an actual art gallery. Quirky paintings and pictures adorn the walls in the lobby, rooms, and beyond, perfectly offsetting the clean lines, neutral tones, and minimalist design.
The ultimate stay with a view, every single guestroom and suite boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that look out across the Quartier Belvedere and beyond. Chic marble bathrooms house all-natural amenities created exclusively by local apothecary Saint Charles Apothecary (more on that later), and little touches like arty coffee table books and illustrated city maps add a touch of je ne sais quoi.
Inspired by Nordic design and the Northern Lights, the chic rooftop lounge Aurora is the perfect place to relax with a sundowner and gaze out across the skyline. Once your feet are back on the ground, the hotel’s signature eatery Eugen21 is the definitive place to dine on Viennese cuisine and enjoy a cozy night in. Alternatively, you can take a seat on a bicycle-saddle bar stool at Cyclist bistro where fresh salad bowls, grills, and soups are served up all day. You can then head down to the spa for a massage or sauna session for the ultimate dose of relaxation.
Once you’re out and about, it’s an easy 30-minute stroll or a short tram ride into the heart of the city. The hotel is located right next to the train station, Vienna International Airport is just 17 kilometers away and, on your doorstep, you’ll find the beautiful Belvedere Palace and its gardens as well as contemporary art museum Belvedere 21. Now do you see why we said it ticks all the boxes?
It would be criminal to leave Vienna without trying the iconic sachertorte, a rich chocolate sponge layered with apricot jam and smothered in dark-chocolate icing. Although there are countless cafés and restaurants serving up their own version, it’s at the Sacher Hotel where you can try the original.
Created in 1832 for the court of Prince Metternich, who requested an extra special dessert for an elite occasion, 16-year-old kitchen apprentice Franz Sacher stepped in after the head chef fell ill and created a cake that would go on to become the symbol of the hotel – and of the city. But be warned: you won’t stop at just once slice. It’s well worth the inevitable queues (and calories).
Overlooking Danube Canal, Motto am Fluss is the ultimate Viennese date night spot. Its mood lighting, chic interiors, and unparalleled views draw in elite clientele and cool kids alike, all of whom want a piece of the gourmet pie. The Austro-International menu boasts everything from organic meats to freshly caught fish, wiener schnitzels, hearty goulashes, and smoked trout. Try to bag yourself a spot on the terrace in warmer months, and you’re set.
Another spot that deserves a shout-out is the adorable Fenster Café, a literal hole in the wall famed for using the finest beans and organic milk to make the best cup of coffee in town. Simply place your order through the fenster (window) and wait for your caffeine fix. Oh, and be prepared to have your mind blown, especially if you order the cornettocinno, a creamy cappuccino that comes served in a chocolate-coated ice cream cone. Need we say more?
But it’s not all schnitzels and strudels – Vienna’s bustling veggie food scene can tempt even the most avid of carnivores to swap their burgers for their beans. Plant-based hotspot Tian Bistro serves up experimental soul food made with sustainably sourced, organic ingredients that will completely change the way you see cauliflower, couscous, and corn. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it’s the perfect place to get your five a day and give your body a break from the heavier local dishes.
Art enthusiasts will be in actual heaven, with Vienna’s extensive array of museums and exhibitions ranging from The Albertina (home to works by Klimt, Picasso, and Baselitz) to the MAK design museum that houses contemporary and experimental works across architecture, installations, and textiles.
But there’s more. Spread over 90,000 square meters, the Museumsquartier encompasses 60 cultural institutions and is the perfect place to while away an afternoon, discovering everything from photography and gaming culture to literature, fashion, dance, and fine art. Head here on a warm, sunny day and bask in the rays on one of the iconic purple loungers that are dotted across the square.
Take a stroll through the Naschmarkt, where over 100 stalls selling fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and spices are bound to stir up your taste buds. Or, if it’s a splurge you’re after, you’ll find stores such as Prada, Miu Miu, and Saint Laurent in the luxurious new shopping area, Goldenes Quartier.
Embrace your inner kid at the Prater amusement park, where you can ride the famous Wiener Riesenrad ferris wheel and take in panoramic views of the city, or pay a visit to the aforementioned Saint Charles Apothecary. Here, you can stock up on herbal remedies and holistic beauty products in the most Instagrammable pharmacy in town. Wherever your wanders take you, the wonderful world of Wien awaits.
For more information or to book a stay at the Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere, click here.