Due to lack of interest, the organized tours during IMAST have all been cancelled. However, to assist you in making the most of your visit, we'd like to present the following recommendations, as provided by the wife to the former US Ambassador to Austria…
Vienna Sightseeing Suggestions
It is impossible to see everything there is to see in Vienna in three days, but many of the popular highlights are listed below.
If this is your first trip, a good way to get an orientation to the city is to take the hop-on-hop-off one-hour bus tour of the city. It departs every half hour. You board the bus in front of the Opera House.
Schonbrunn Palace - Allow most of a day for this. The palace is about a 20 minute taxi ride from the center of Vienna. You need to take the 40 room tour and then go to the Wagenburg (carriage house). There is a nice cafe at Schonbrunn. If you are game for a good walk, then walk through the gardens and go up to the Gloriette for a great view of the surrounding area. Schonbrunn is the Habsburg version of Versailles.
Hofburg - If you go to Schonbrunn, you can skip the Sisi tour and the Imperial Rooms at the Hofburg - but the Silver Collection is a must-do. If you don't get to Schonbrunn, then definitely go to the Hofburg and go to both the Imperial Rooms and the Silver Collection. (You can move quickly through the Sisi exhibit). Just walking around the Hofburg is important to get a feel for the grandeur of the Habsburg Empire.
Hofburg - the Imperial Treasury. Fabulous exhibit, including the coronation robe of the first Holy Roman Emperor. This is a must, must do.
Hofburg - the State Hall Library (entrance is in Josefsplatz). You will spend less than an hour there - but it is worth seeing.
Globe Museum - Located at Herrengasse 9 - about a block from the Michaelerplatz entrance to the Hofburg. This is a gem and is the only globe museum in the world. It is worth an hour or two of your time. There is a very famous Viennese cafe across the street called Cafe Central.
Kunsthistorisches Museum - This houses the art collection of the Habsburgs. Awesome building and collection. Nice cafe for lunch. If you don't have time to tour the museum, at least go stand in the center of the entrance lobby and look straight up - it's an amazing sight.
Liechtenstein Museum - Private collection of the House of Liechtenstein. Awesome collection of Rubens. Don't miss the Badminton Cabinet and the library. Note: the museum is closed on Wednesday and Thursday and Sunday is concert day.
Stephensdom (St. Stephens Cathedral) - The most famous landmark in Vienna.
Steirereck - outstanding and very expensive. World-class food in a beautiful setting. Possibly the finest restaurant in Vienna. Im Stadtpark.
Hotel Sacher - Anna Sacher Room (continental); Rote Bar (old Viennese). Both excellent and expensive.
Fabios - one of our favorite Italian restaurants. Chic environment. www.fabios.at, Tuchlauben 6, 1010 Wien. 532-2222.
Martinelli - another favorite Italian restaurant. Cozy and warm. Great for lunch. Freyung 3/Palais Harrach.
Meinl am Graben - outstanding food. View is terrific. It is at the end of the Graben, one of the major shopping streets. www.meinlamgraben.at. Graben 19.
Vestibul - great for lunch. Located in the Burgtheater in what was originally Emperor Franz Joseph's stables. Dr. Karl Leuger Ring 2.
Restaurant Zum Schwarzen Kameel. Small restaurant with an art nouveau interior, great food, excellent service. Very famous and frequented by locals. www.kameel.at
Restaurant Plachutta. Traditional Viennese cuisine. www.plachutta.at. This is a restaurant well known for its beef creations.
Do&Co am Stephansplatz. Asian food. The restaurant is on the top floor of the hotel and has a terrific view of Stephansplatz. Sit outside in nice weather. www.doco.com.
Le Ciel - the restaurant is on the top floor of the Grand Hotel Wien. Food is a combination of traditional French and Viennese cuisine. www.grandhotelwien.com. If the weather is nice, there is seating outside on the terrace.
You will not need a car. Taxis are plentiful and public transportation is clean and safe. The U-bahn (subway) is very convenient, well marked and user-friendly.
In the summer, it gets hot in Vienna (85-90 F) and most of the buildings are not air-conditioned. In the fall and winter, you will need warm clothes - preferably lots of layers. Although it gets very cold outside, all the buildings are hot inside.
You definitely need comfy walking shoes.
Two great places to walk are the Graben and the Kartnerstrasse. Both are shopping streets closed to vehicular traffic.
For more information on any of the activities or sights mentioned above, you may contact the Vienna Tourist Board:
Tel. (+43 1) 24 555
Fax (+43 1) 24 555-666