With wedding cake architecture everywhere you turn, swathes of red roses blooming in every park, and the sound of violins never far away, it’s no surprise Vienna is known as one of the romantic cities on the planet. So if there’s a special someone you’d like to spend some quality time with, we’ve put a list together of what to do in Vienna for the die-hard romantic.
1) It started with a kiss
Gustav Klimt’s painting The Kiss is a world-famous depiction of all-consuming love. So come and see the passion for yourself. The setting itself is romantic enough, with all the finery of the Upper Belvedere Gallery in Prince Eugene of Savoy’s summer palace. And the painting adds to the mood, with a sensual explosion of colour set against a shimmering backdrop of gold leaf.
2) Drink to love at Esterhazykeller
Take your loved one back in time to a 17th century wine tavern, housed deep in the Esterhazy palace. Cross the cobbled courtyard and take your place in one of the secluded wooden booths for an intimate drink. Choose a crisp dry white, Viennese of course. Gruner Veltliner is probably the most popular variety in town.
3) Take a horse-drawn ride
With the Spanish Riding School, Vienna is famous for its horses. But you don’t have to go to the school to see one. Walk over to Stephansplatz or the Albertinaplatz and you’ll be able to take a horse-drawn carriage through the city. We recommend going after night has fallen – all the city’s landmarks are lit by spotlight which only adds to the romantic atmosphere. The locals call the carriages ‘fiaker’.
4) Serenade your loved one
Vienna is the home of classical music, and if music be the food of love, play on. Stroll in the footsteps of the great composers – you can pick up a map with a suggested itinerary at the Tourist Information Centre. Dance a waltz in the Stadtpark. Or for the ultimate Romantic evening, what about a night at the Opera? Wonder what’s playing… the Elixir of Love, The Marriage of Figaro?
5) Go head over heels
The Riesenrad Ferris wheel has been slowly revolving in the Viennese sky since 1897. It’s a lovely way for couples to rise above it all and just concentrate on each other, or on one of the best views of the Viennese rooftops. Buy your candyfloss and toffee apples on the ground then sweep him or her off their feet with this Romantic fairground attraction.
6) Push the boat out
There are plenty of boat cruises and tours to enjoy along the Danube, from which you can see the beauty of Vienna slowly drift by. But what about a boat ride that’s a little bit more intimate? Hop over to the Donauinsel, an island in the Danube, and you’ll be able to hire a pedalo to enjoy together.
7) Say it with roses
The Volksgarten is the perfect location for a bit of me-and-you time. Directly next to the Hofburg buildings, it’s ideal if you want to rest those legs after a heavy morning’s sightseeing. And one thing to see while you’re here is the immaculate rose garden. It’s filled with blooms, and you might even see a bride and groom getting their wedding photos taken with the roses as a backdrop.
8) Eat by candlelight
How about some sweets for your sweet? Vienna knows how to captivate anyone who loves the sweeter things in life, so make sure to eat a traditional meal while you’re here and don’t hold back on the dessert. Viennese classics included Sachertorte, a cake with two layers of chocolate and apricot jam, Apfelstrudel, pastry filled with apples, and Kaisershmarm, shredded pancakes and jam.
9) Make a Freudian trip
Sigmund Freud developed his theory of the unconscious while living in Vienna, and his critics say he did tend to have a bit of a one-track mind. If you’re feeling amorous yourself, why not follow in the great man’s footsteps. He used to come and enjoy a coffee at Café Central, and this romantic eatery hasn’t changed much since then. Why not order some homemade pastry, with two forks?