How to Study Abroad in Vienna, Austria
Vienna is the capital of Austria and is the largest city in the nation and the 10th largest in the European Union with a metropolitan population of 2.4 million people. The official language of the country is German, which makes Vienna a good place to study abroad if you want to learn the language. Vienna is also a good place to study if you are interested in art history, architecture, or international relations.
So besides studying, what should you do if you are studying abroad in Vienna, Austria? Here are some of our tips for getting the most out of your study abroad experience in Vienna:
1. Listen to the music. Vienna has been home to many musical geniuses, including Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and Haydn. There are many monuments dedicated to these musicians, as well as the Haus deer Musik, an interactive museum dedicated to music and musicians. There are also live musicians playing in the streets on most days. Throw them a coin or two and keep the tradition alive for future generations of musicians.
2. Visit the beautiful Schonbrunn Palace. The Schonbrunn Palace is the former summer residence for the Royal Family in Austria. In the 1960s, it was converted into a museum and has been a major tourist attraction since then, but don’t let the hoards of tourists keep you away from this UNESCO World Heritage Site. This palace contains 1,441 rooms and demonstrates the wealth of the Habsburg monarchy. The Holy Roman Emperor Maximllian II purchased the land where the palace would be built; his original intention for the land was to be used as a recreational hunting ground. Today, it is home to the beautiful palace and many gardens. My favorite part of the Schonbrunn Palace is the hedge maze in the gardens; it took me a while to find it, but the search was part of the fun.
3. Eat sachertorte! This chocolate cake was first made in Vienna as early as the 1700s. There are two bakeries who claim they made the first sachertorte, but nobody knows for sure who really did create it. However, in my opinion, it does not really matter who made it first, just that it was made! This cake is absolutely delicious and the “original” can only be found in Vienna, so while you are studying there, I recommend you eat a lot of it! Try it at every restaurant you can find it and see if you can figure out the differences between the original version and “Demel’s” version.
4. Admire the Lipizzan Stallions at the Riding School of Vienna. These majestic animals are world-renown for their beauty and elegance. Developed by the Habsburg nobility during the 16th century, the breed is now used for classical dressage shows. You can take a tour of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna for only 16 Euros in order to see the training facilities, the main performance hall, and visit the horses in the stables. If you want to see an actual performance, you will need to book your tickets ahead of time because the shows sell out quickly.
5. Wonder at the St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansplatz). This is the most important religious building in Vienna and is the current seat of the Archbishop of Vienna. With it’s multi-colored tile roof, the building is recognized around the world. Consecrated in 1147, one of the other most recognizable parts of the cathedral is the south tower. It took 65-years to build the tower, which was completed in 1433. Today, you can pay an extra fee to climb up the tower and see the city from the highest point of the cathedral. The views are absolutely spectacular, and even if you are afraid of heights like I am, I think it is worth the effort.
Have you studied abroad in Vienna? Do you have any tips for other students who are planning on studying there? Share them with us in the comments section below.
How to Study Abroad in Madrid, Spain
How to Study Abroad in Prague, Czech Republic
See All Our Study Abroad City Guides: How to Study Abroad Without Breaking the Bank