Vienna is famous for its wonderful cakes, and for many other attractions as well.
Having visited Vienna twice, I could recommend so many places to visit and things to do in this wonderful city. Somewhere near the top of the list, however, must be the simple pleasure of sitting in one of Vienna’s elegant coffee houses with a cup of delicious Austrian coffee and a piece of one of their famous cakes, or “Torte”! You would have to be incredibly strong willed to resist gazing at all the sumptuous cakes and pastries on display in the windows of countless cafés. Sachertorte is probably the most famous of all chocolate cakes. It was invented by the chef Franz Sacher in 1832 for Prince Wenzel von Metternich. Linzertorte is another popular choice. Named after the Austrian city of Linz, the Torte has a crumbly pastry base, a jam filling and a lattice top. It’s also difficult to leave Vienna without having tried a piece of Apfelstrudel, which goes particularly well with a helping of whipped cream and a cup of coffee.
There is of course, far more to do in Vienna than just eat and drink, and after sampling some of the rather fattening cakes, it would be a good idea to have a brisk walk round some of the sights in the city centre! The central area of Vienna is very compact and it is not difficult to walk between the city’s main attractions. These include St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the iconic image of Vienna and a superb example of Gothic architecture. The Hofburg Palace is another sight not to be missed. This palace was at the centre of the Habsburg Empire and contains a number of museums where you can easily while away an hour or two. The Hofburg also contains the Spanish Riding School, a highlight for many visitors to Vienna. Tickets to see the white Lipizzaner horses perform to Viennese music must be purchased in advance.
A walk around the Stadtpark, just outside the Ringstrasse, will not only provide useful exercise but also ideal surroundings for taking a breather from the hustle and bustle of the city. The park was laid out in English landscape style in the mid 19th Century. The park is popular for its fountains and also for its many statues of artists, in particular musicians. You’ll come across statues of composers such as Franz Schubert and Anton Brückner, but the most famous is the Johann Strauss Memorial, created in 1921 by the Austrian sculptor Edmund Hellmer.
If you have the time, a visit to the Prater Park is also well worthwhile. The Prater is a large public park which contains an exciting amusement park, including the Giant Ferris Wheel, one of Vienna’s most famous symbols. The park and the Ferris Wheel and a few other attractions are open all year round.