10 great things to do in Vienna (Part 1)


Looking for things to do in Vienna? Read on for our pick of the city’s best museums, galleries, lunch spots, drinking dens and more.

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1. Salute the city’s favourite film

Kicking off our list of things to do in Vienna is an endearing tribute to a classic film. The Third Man Private Collection houses one aficionado’s extensive collection of ‘Third Man’ marginalia and documentation on the aftermath of the war in Vienna. Posters, lobby cards and star portraits from around the world chronicle the movie’s marketing and its unforgettable rogues’ gallery of secondaries. You can see one of Anton Karas’ original zithers and hear the haunting theme tune; also on show are spin-offs such as board games, clocks and lighters. A new section offers a fascinating insight into life in post-World War II Vienna under the four-power occupation. Visitors also get to see an excerpt from the film on a 1936 German Ernemann VIIb 35mm projector, the model in use when post-war Viennese audiences shivered through the première in 1949.

2. Grab a flea market bargain

A flea market bargain
A flea market bargain

Vienna’s largest open-air food market, the Naschmarkt, opens Monday to Saturday. Admire the stalls’ bounty, from buckets of tulips to pickles, wines and plump, purple-flushed figs, stopping for breakfast at Do-An or Tewa.

On Saturdays, it’s worth getting here at 7am or earlier to clock a bargain at the flea market, located beside Kettenbrückengasse U-Bahn station. Alongside the market, look out for the lovely Otto Wagner Houses at nos.38 and 40 – the latter’s tiles embossed with vines and flowers.

3. Experience Vienna’s arty trinity

Once the imperial stables, the Museumsquartier is now a lovely spot for lounging and people-watching, or some serious art appreciation. Before you stand three artistic behemoths: the white limestone cube of the Leopold Museum, the contemporary delights of Kunsthalle Wien, occupying the old winter riding hall, and the black basalt Museum of Modern Art, MUMOK. If you’ve only got the energy for one, make it the Leopold, with the world’s largest collection of Egon Schiele’s work, and its swish, glass-walled café.

4. Stroll through a musical park

The largest of the Ringstrasse parks, the Stadtpark stretches from just east of Schwarzenbergplatz to Stubentor, either side of the Wien river. Located beside Otto Wagner’s Stadtpark U-Bahn station, the main entrance is flanked by superb stone-carved Jugendstil colonnades. Just to the north is the park’s most emblematic building, the neo-Renaissance Kursalon, a venue for rather tacky Strauss concerts. Music is the theme here, and most visitors head for the schmaltzy but nonetheless finely executed gilt statue of Johann Strauss. Scattered around the park, you’ll also find busts of Schubert, Bruckner and Lehár

5. Discover Viennese vino

The seven square kilometres of vineyards that lie within its boundaries make Vienna the world’s largest wine-growing capital city. The most extensive area is on the northern fringe in districts 16-19, but the highest quality vines lie over the Danube in the 21st district. On balmy summer evenings, join the Viennese for an evening in a Heuriger, one of the scores of rustic wine taverns dotted among the vineyards that skirt the Vienna Woods.