Vienna is truly one of a kind. So you’ll want to make sure you get to see all its one of a kind attractions. Here are 10 things to do in Vienna that you can’t do anywhere else:
1. Visit The Palmenhaus
The Palmenhaus, or Palm House, is the largest greenhouse in Europe and one of the largest botanical exhibits in the world. At 370 feet long, it houses about 4,500 plant species in three different climate zones. Its oldest plant is a 350 year-old olive tree, which was donated by Spain in 1974.
2. See a Show at the Spanish Riding School
The Spanish Riding School is the only horse riding institution in the world which has practiced classical horsemanship for over 450 years. If you’re wondering what “classical horsemanship” means, it’s basically like ballet with horses. You’ve probably never seen a performance like this before.
3. See a World Class Opera
Going to the opera is one of the best things to do in Vienna. Vienna is one of the few cities that has a truly world class opera company. The Vienna State Opera House hosts 350 magnificent performances every year in its beautiful French Renaissance building. It would be a shame not to see at least one of them.
4. Take a Polaroid Tour
Polawalk is the world’s first walking tour which provides you with a Polaroid camera to capture the sites as you see them. Polawalk is exclusive to Vienna, Graz (another city in Austria), and Warsaw, Poland. You can choose which area of the city you want to explore, and all the tours are led by locals.
5. Visit the Oldest Zoo in the World
Tiergarten Schönbrunn, or simply Vienna Zoo, is the oldest zoo in the world. In 1752, the royal family constructed a series of animal enclosures to house their menagerie. In 1779, the zoo was opened to the public. The original 18th century buildings have been preserved and are still part of the zoo today.
6. Visit Mozart’s (Probable) Grave
The Biedermeier Cemetery in Vienna has about 5,000 historic graves. Mozart is said to have been buried here, although no one knows for certain where his burial site is. The cemetery is open to the public, and Mozart’s likely resting place is marked with a monument.
7. Swim in the Danube River
The Danube River runs straight through Vienna. If you want to go for a swim without worrying about being swept away by the current, pay a visit to Alte Danua, or Old Danube. It’s a calm section of the river where people swim, go boating, or relax on the shore. It’s recommended that you rent a boat and chill in the middle of the water, since the shores can get very crowded.
8. Visit the Crime Museum
The Kriminalmuseum, or Crime Museum, is a truly unique experience. Warning: it’s not for the faint of heart. The museum documents some of the worst crimes in history, including the Holocaust. It has preserved human body parts and graphic photos of murder victims. Only visit if you have a taste for the grotesque.
9. Ride the Giant Ferris Wheel
Prater theme park, the oldest amusement park in the world, is home to Wiener Riesenrad, the giant ferris wheel. Constructed in 1897, this is one of the oldest currently operating ferris wheels in the world. It was the largest ferris wheel in the world until 1985.
10. Visit the House of Music
Vienna isn’t the only city with a music museum, but the Haus der Musik is a truly one of a kind experience. It’s a total of 5,000 square feet, and its exhibits range from historical displays about famous composers to scientific demonstrations of how sounds are created. It’s a great attraction for adults and kids.
Put all these Vienna destinations on your list, and you’ll have done 10 things that most people have never done before.
Featured photo courtesy: Maximilian Just/Flickr