Many people regard Vienna as the ‘City of Music’ because of its deep ties to classical composers like Beethoven, Mozart, and Strauss. There’s certainly no disputing that fact, but for me, Vienna is also a place of romance. Remember what Shakespeare once wrote in Twelfth Night: “If music be the food of love, play on!”
So if you and your other half are looking for the perfect location for a romantic getaway, put Vienna on your list. Let the beauty, history, and ambience of this elegant European capital become the soundtrack to your holiday, as you and your partner form the perfect romantic duet.
Planning just a short stay? Make the most of it with our helpful itinerary: 24 Hours in Vienna
What to Do
Take a Ride Back in Time
You’ve probably seen horse-drawn carriage rides advertised in almost every city in Europe – and if you’re like me, you probably thought they were a little too corny or too touristy.
Well, it’s time to let go of your prejudices, because horse-drawn carriages are a way of life in Vienna. Called ‘fiakers’, these classic-looking carriages are constantly rumbling about in Vienna’s historical centre. You can find fiaker stands all over the city: Stephansplatz, Heldenplatz, Albertinaplatz, Petersplatz and Burgtheater are your best bets. I recommend the long tour, a 40-minute ride through the Old City and the Ringstrasse that costs about €80. Ask the fiaker coachman for a ‘porcelain ride’ – a calmer and steadier drive, so called because it was used to transport delicate porcelain by coach. Today, the porcelain drive leads to a much more relaxing and romantic ride for you and your sweetheart.
Get Butterflies in Your Stomach
Remember the moment you first laid eyes upon your Special Other? That nervous, excited sensation you had, almost as if there was something flying around in your stomach? Maybe…butterflies?
Relive those first fluttery feelings at the Schmetterlinghaus – known to English speakers at the Imperial Butterfly House. Right in the heart of Vienna you’ll find this gorgeous palm house, which contains 400 live, free-flying butterflies from all over the world. Surrounded by waterfalls and exotic plants, watch brightly coloured wings flicker in the sunlight pouring in through the glass walls and ceiling. It’s enough to make you fall in love all over again.
Josefsplatz, 1010 Wien, Austria
Tel: +43 1 5338570
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00am-4:45pm, Sat & Sun 10:00am-6:15pm
Re-enact The Kiss
In the Austrian Galley in the 18th-century Upper Belvedere Palace (now an art museum), you’ll find The Kiss, perhaps the most famous work by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt. You’ve no doubt seen this image everywhere – a golden couple passionately entwined on a bed of flowers, captured at the very moment before they kiss. Composed of oil paint and real gold leaf, The Kiss literally glows and glistens with love. No one will blame you if you feel inclined to re-enact the smooch right there in the gallery.
Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Wien, Austria
Tel: +43 1 79557134
Hours: Open daily 10:00am-6:00pm
Get a Table for Two
Feeling sweet? Head over to the Sacher Hotel’s Café Sacher to sample one of Vienna’s most famous – and most decadent – delicacies, the Sachertorte. A dense chocolate sponge cake layered with apricot jam and dark chocolate icing, the Sachertorte is heaven on a plate. Don’t bother trying to share a slice – order two pieces to avoid the inevitable quibble about who gets the last forkful.
Philharmoniker Str. 4, 1010 Wien, Austria
Tel: +43 1 514560
Hours: Open daily 8:00am-12:00am
Take it All in
Looming over the Leopoldstdt district, the Wiener Riesenrad is one of Vienna’s defining landmarks. This 212-foot Ferris wheel is located at the entrance to Prater amusement park and has been delighting visitors to Vienna since 1897. Climb on board one of its 15 gondolas and enjoy panoramic vistas of Vienna spread out before you. You can even arrange to have a candlelit dinner for two aboard the Wiener Riesenrad – but it does cost rather a lot.
Riesenradplatz 1, 1020 Wien, Austria
Tel: +43 1 7295430
Hours: Open daily 9:00am-11:45pm
Dress to the Nines
Craving a night out on the town with your loved one? You can’t do better than an evening at the Vienna State Opera. You should book your tickets well ahead of time, but rest assured there’s some very reasonable rates for every performance. Make a night of it – dress up in your best, plan a fancy dinner beforehand (or after), and don’t forget your opera glasses!
Opernring 2, 1010 Wien, Austria
How to Get to Vienna
Good news for lovebirds – your romantic escape in Vienna is just a two-hour flight away. Nonstop flights with British airways, easyJet, Austrian, airberlin and more depart daily from all major London airports. When you touch down in Vienna, don’t let confusing public transport schedules bog you down. Book your Vienna airport transfers to and from the terminal with Shuttle Direct – the fastest, easiest way to get your holiday started. Our experienced, knowledgeable drivers can even point out some of the city sights along the way!
Where to Stay:
Hotel Kärntnerhof – For the contemporary and cosmopolitan couple, this three-star boutique hotel is the perfect little oasis. Located inside a building that was once a brothel in the WWII era, the Hotel Kärntnerhof has undergone extensive renovation to become the modern but cosy hotel it is today. Decorated with clean and tasteful neutral shades and accented with Viennese Art Nouveau details, this hotel is as sophisticated as you are.
Schlosshotel Römischer Kaiser – For classical Viennese luxury, look no further than this four-star hotel in the city centre. The Schlosshotel Römischer Kaiser is housed inside a small Baroque Palace that dates back to the mid-17th century. You’ll feel enveloped in luxury from the moment you enter the elegant chandelier-lit lobby. Luckily for the contemporary traveller, the hotel has managed to maintain its classic charm without sacrificing modern amenities like soundproofed windows and flat-screen televisions.
Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof – You and your S.O. deserve the best, so why not book the Superior Queen room at this five-star gem of a hotel? Built in 1913, the Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof nevertheless has a distinctly modern flair with its bold colours and patterns. Downstairs, there are extensive spa facilities to enjoy with your sweetheart – go on, you deserve it.
About Shuttle Direct:
Shuttle Direct is the top provider of transfer services throughout Europe and North Africa. Our friendly, knowledgeable, and courteous drivers can transport you to and from hotels, airports, train stations, cruise ports, or points of interest. With our simple online booking process, planning the perfect romantic getaway has never been so easy.