Vienna: the City of Music

The Essential Guide to Austria

  • Name of The Country: Österreich in German, literally means "Eastern Empire"
  • Geographic Orientation: The Alps traverse Austria from west to east and occupy three fourths of the country. The country is drained by the Danube and its tributaries, the Inn, the Enns, the Mürz, and the Mur. The National Anthem of Austria is "Land of Mountains, Land at the River."
  • Neighboring Nations: Austria shares borders with Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.
  • Population: 8.3 Million (1.7 Million in Vienna)
  • Official Language: German (88.6% of Population); recognized regional languages: Slovene, Croatian, and Hungarian
  • Race and Religions: Over 91% of Austrians are of Germanic ethnic origin, and some 74% are Roman Catholics.

The Essential Guide to Vienna 1. Culture: Food, Drinking and Clothing

Meat Food

  • Wiener Schnitzel- A traditional Austrian dish and is a popular part of Viennese and Austrian cuisine, consisting of a thin slice of meat coated in breadcrumbs and fried.


A schnitzel sandwich (google image)
  • Tafelspitz- A typical Austrian dish. The beef is simmered along with root vegetables and spices in the broth. It is usually served with roasted slices of potato and a mix of minced apples and horseradish or sour cream mixed with horseradish.

Sweet Food

  • Sachertorte- A chocolate cake, invented by Franz Sacher in 1832 for Klemens Wenzel von Metternich in Vienna, Austria. It is one of the most famous Viennese culinary specialties.

Sachertorte Cake (google image)​

  • Apple strudel- Atraditional Viennese strudel. It consists of an oblong strudel pastry jacket with an apple filling inside. The filling is made of grated apples, sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and bread crumbs. A juicy apple strudel should be baked with good cooking apples that are tart, crisp, and aromatic.

Apple strudel (google image)

  • Linzer Torte- An Austrian and Hungarian tart or cookie with a lattice design on top of the pastry. It is a holiday classic in the Austrian, Hungarian, Swiss, German, and Tirolean traditions, often eaten at Christmas. Linzer Torte is often made like small tarts or cookies in North American bakeries.

Linzer Torte (google image)

  • Kaiserschmarrn- Alight, caramelized pancake made from a sweet batter with flour, eggs, sugar, salt and milk, baked in butter. It is one of the best known Austrian desserts, popular in the former Austria–Hungary as well as in Bavaria.

Kaiserschmarrn (google image)

  • Germknodel- A fluffy yeast dough dumpling with a mix of poppy seeds and sugar, filled with spicy plum jam and melted butter on top, often eaten with vanilla cream sauce. The dish called Germknödel in Austrian German is an Austrian, Southern German and Bohemian sweet bread. It is served both as a dessert or typically on Fridays in Catholic regions, as a main course.

Germknodel (google image)
Germknodel (google image)


  • Soft drink
    • Red Bul- The most popular energy drink in the world, according to market share. Red Bull is an adaptation of the Thai energy drink Krating Daeng, which means 'Red Bull'. The company was founded by Thai national Chaleo Yoovidhya and Austrian national Dietrich Mateschitz. Together with his son, Chaleo owns a controlling 51 percent interest in the company; however, Mateschitz is responsible for the company's operations through the Austrian company Red Bull GmbH.
Red Bull Picture (google image)

    • Almdudler- national drink of Austria
National drink of Austria (wikipedia)

  • Viennese café- Never order coffee to go
    • Einspänner - großer Schwarzer topped with whipped cream.
Einspänner coffee (google image)

    • Wiener Melange- "properly" coffee with milk and is similar to a cappuccino but usually made with mild coffee (e.g. mocha), preferably caramelised. The Viennese coffee company Julius Meinl specifies a melange as having "equal parts steamed milk and foam”, and serves theirs dusted with cocoa powder.
Wiener Melange (google image)

  • Wine- Vienna, along with Paris, Prague, Bratislava and London is one of the few remaining world capital cities with its own vineyards. The wine is served in small Viennese pubs known as Heuriger, which are especially numerous in the wine growing areas of Döbling (Grinzing, Neustift am Walde, Nußdorf, Salmannsdorf, Sievering) and Floridsdorf. The wine is often drunk as a Spritzer ("G'spritzter") with sparkling water. The Grüner Veltliner, a dry white wine, is the most widely cultivated wine in Austria.


  • Lederhosen- knee-breeches (knickerbockers or shorts) made of leather.
two men are wearing Lederhosen
  • Tracht- tradational clothing for women in germen ethnical coutries

Wemen who wear Tracht
Wemen who wear Tracht
  • Dirndl Dress- A type of traditional dress worn in southern Germany, Liechtenstein and Austria, based on the historical costume of Alpine peasants

Austrian ladies pose in traditional wear known as "Dirndl" at a farmers market in Vienna, Austria. (flicker image)
Austrian ladies pose in traditional wear known as "Dirndl" at a farmers market in Vienna, Austria. (flicker image)

2. Currency

EUR = 1.41584 CAD; 1 CAD= 0.70629 EUR (Exchange rate is variable, check the url for the latest exchange information.) The Sign for Euro is €.

3. Security and Safety Information

o Avoid walking around the Karlsplatz station or Schwedenplatz station, because there are drug addicts.
o Prostitution is legal, even on the street, and is common around the area of the Prater and around the Westbahnhof. Female travelers need to pay attention.
o If you see people gambling on the streets (usually in popular tourists' destinations like Stephenplatz or Mariahilferstrasse) stay away!
o Beware of Pickpocket.

4. Tips for tourists

o Tip:10%, to mention the amount of the bill plus tip when you pay.
o Your best bet for receiving tax refund is to find a refund office in the city. Otherwise, indicate that you need to receive tax refund at check-in.
o Embassy of Canada: Laurenzerberg 2, (3rd floor) A-1010 Vienna, Austria Tel.: +43 (1) 531-38-3000

Itinerary- 7 Days in Vienna

Departing Flight Information - Sep 06 2010
British Airways Flight 98
Departs: 2010/09/06 at 7:55pm Toronto(YYZ) Arrives: 2010/09/07 at 8:10am London(LHR)
British Airways Flight 700
Departs: 2010/09/07 at 9:50am London(LHR) Arrives: 2010/09/07 at 1:10pm Vienna(VIE)

Returning Flight Information - Sep 13 2010
British Airways Flight 697
Departs: 2010/09/13 at 11:50am Vienna(VIE) Arrives: 2010/09/13 at 1:10pm London(LHR)
British Airways Flight 99
Departs: 2010/09/13 at 3:25pm London(LHR) Arrives: 2010/09/13 at 6:25pm Toronto(YYZ)

Ticket Price (CAD)
Adult Fare: 2x$532.00
Adult Tax: 2x$354.15
Total: $1772.30 CAD

Day One- September 7th, 2010- Half day with a local couple

13:00- Arriving at Vienna International Airport. A local couple, Peter Längauer and Ann Längauer, will come to pick you up to where they live. (Couchsurfing**)

14:00- Free time: Chatting with the local couple and going out with them, walking or shopping depends on what the couple would like to do. We suggest the couple to try some delicious local fruit and vegetable in Naschmarkt. (Naschmarkt, Vienna's open-air market which takes place from Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm. Situated close to the Karlsplatz, just south of Ring street, this is the best place in the city to get fruit and vegetable.
Schoenbrunn Palace
Schoenbrunn Palace

17:30- Dinner time: Advices from Mr. and Mrs. Längauer according to their experiences will be helpful. )

19:00 to 22:00 Concert, including preparation (dressing up, driving, etc.)

Concert Detail Information:
Orchestra: Residence Orch.
Venue: "Auersperg Palace" at Auerspergstrasse 1, Veinna
Admission: 19:45
Begin: 20:15
End: 21:45
A section- 46 Euros per person, 128.8 CAD for 2 people

Live in the local couple's house.

Day Two- September 8th, 2010- One day in the Schönbrunn Palace Area

8:00- wake up and have breakfast with the local couple
8:40- Travel the Schönbrunn Palace including the Zoo and theater inside
12:00- Lunch in the Schönbrunn Palace Area
12: 40- Free time: Walking and sight viewing around the Schönbrunn Palace Area, drinking coffee or buying some gifts depends on what the couple would like to do.
13:10- Travel East to the Parlament and Rathaus Church.
16:30- Move out of the local couple’s house and move into Am Sachsengang Hotel. Five nights for 360 CAD including breakfast.

Address: Schlosshoferstr 60-62 Gross Enzersdorf 2301 Vienna, Austria.
17:00- Casino and Dinner (160 CAD):
Casino Wien More Info
Kärntner Straße 41 1010 Wien
Tel. +43/1/512 48 36

Day Three- September 9th, 2010- A Day out of City Vienna with local people and other tourists (Nature: Danube, Countryside)

9:00 to 18:00- Wine Tasting Bike Tour departing Vienna(179 CAD for 2 people) : To participate in a day trip of wine tasting, easy biking through breathtaking scenery, swimming in the Danube and feasting on a BBQ lunch in one of Austria's best wine regions. Leave Vienna behind for an easy cycling tour in the Wachau Valley. Sample wine at all wineries and visit 6 stunning villages up close, with lots of photo opportunities before going swimming in the Danube, or playing a bit of beach volleyball. The couple will learn how real Austrian schnapps is made and meander through the magnificent fortress ruins of Dürnstein (King Richard the Lionheart's prison).

Postcard of Vienna
Postcard of Vienna

Departure Point: Mariahilfer gurtel 21, 1150 Vienna, Austria.
Vienna Departure Time: 9:00am Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

18:30- Dinner and Spa

Day Four- September 10th, 2010- One day of Culture: the Museums District

9:00- Spanish Riding School- Morning exercise with music (34 CAD for 2 people)
11:00 Lunch
11:40- Visit the Hofburg Palace, Sisi Museum, Butterfly House, Opera House and Spittelberg.
17:40- Dinner Time
19:30-Vienna Mozart Concert at the Musikverein (152 CAD for 2 people)
Concert Detail Information: Departure Point: Either the Golden Hall or the Brahms Hall of the Musikverein
Departure Time: 8:15pm Duration: 3 hours (approx.) including preparation (dressing up, driving, etc.) Return details: Concludes at 10:00pm

Day Five- September 11th, 2010- Local wedding in Giant Ferris Wheel, Votive Church
8:00-Wake up and be ready for the Wedding (Dressing up).

10:00-Wedding start. A maximum of 12 people can be invited. The price for the standard packages is at EUR 960 (1344 CAD) for one hour. The booking process, organisation, rental charges for one cabin, a flower bouquet for the wedding table and support service on location are included in the price. (http://www.wien.gv.at/english/administration/civilstatus/wedding/giantwheel.html)

11:00- Play in Prater Park where is next to the Ferris Wheel: An amusement park and section of the Wiener Prater (a park) in the second district of Vienna, Leopoldstadt. The best-known attraction is the Riesenrad, a Ferris wheel. The park also features various rides, bumper cars, carousels, rollercoasters and more. The couple will have picnic here.
15:00- Visit the Votive Church.
the usage of our budget

18:00- Go back to the Ferris Wheel and have the romantic Candlelight Dinner for two (1 hour for 200 EUR= 280 CAD).

Day Six- September 12th, 2010- St. Stephen's Cathedral, Austria National Library, Zentralfriedhof, Viennese City Park
10:00- To participate the worship in St. Stephen's Cathedral Church
13:00- Visit the Austria National Library and feel the acadamic environment of Vienna where Karl Popper was born into.
15:00- Zentralfriedhof, the largest and most famous cemetery among Vienna's nearly 50 cemeteries. Interred in the Zentralfriedhof are notables such as Beethoven and Schubert who were moved there in 1888, and Johannes Brahms.
18:00 Walk in Viennese City Park. And all else is free time.

Day Seven- September 13th, 2010- Back to Toronto
9:00- Check out the hotel
11:00- Leave Vienna


Vienna Map (Google Image)
Vienna Map (Google Image)

Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss II (worldpress.com)
Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss II (worldpress.com)

Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss II (worldpress.com)

Johann Strauss II was one of the greatest composers born and passed away in Vienna, who have been greatly influenced in and by the city. The Beautiful Blue Danube Waltz, one of his most famous works, represents the rich musical culture of Vienna and the influence of the Danube River to the Viennese people. Music represents the high-quality of life and Danube represents the nature, love and romance for the couple.

The Wiener Riesenrad in the Prater Park (cusoon.net)
The Wiener Riesenrad in the Prater Park (cusoon.net)

The Wiener Riesenrad in the Prater Park (cusoon.net)

Riesenrad, the largest Ferris wheel in Vienna, was erected in 1897 to celebrate Emperor Franz Josef l's golden Jubilee and rebuilt after the World War II. It represents persistent love, leisure and the share of happiness for the couple.

The Votive Church at Ringstrasse (at Ring Street) (old picture.com and vescc.org)

The Votive Church at Ringstrasse (at Ring Street) (old picture.com and vescc.org)

The Votive Church is one of the most beautiful and famous churches in Europe. It was constructed in 1879 and dedicated twenty-six years later on April 24th, 1879, the occasion of the silver jubilee of the royal couple. It is located at The Ring Street. Although ring represented political power centuries ago, it represents a close relationship today. This church represents loyalty, puriness and grace within religion for the couple.

Done by David Lu and Cynthia He in Early March 2010