DO spend an inordinate amount of time sipping caffeinated beverages or visit one (many) of the traditional cafés for the ambience alone.
DON’T ask for a “black coffee” or a “drip coffee.” It doesn’t exist. The closest thing is a Verlängerter, but do yourself a favor and order something with espresso.
DO order a Wiener Melange.
DON’T try to see too much in one day. Many attractions are close together but it truly is a place for leisure and enjoying the finer things.
DON’T only wander the Inner City. Other districts have so much more to offer – coffeehouses, street art, wine, and the Naschmarkt just to name a few.
DO see a symphony. Vienna is known for its musical contributions and it has a number of venues that are both beautiful and well-priced.
DO indulge in cake (or a similar pastry), especially the Sachertorte.
DON’T wrinkle your nose at the street food – try a hot sausage or even a Käsekrainer that oozes with cheese at one of the many würstelstands.
DO ride the Riesenrad. The price is a bit steep, but the views are worth it, especially at sunset.
DON’T expect everyone to speak English (especially outside of the city center). You don’t need to be fluent in German, but do know the basics (please, thank you, good day, etc.). Also, while on the subject, speaking louder or slower does not make anyone understand you better – it just makes you seem rude.
DO expect to spend an entire afternoon in the Albertina.
DO take the time to visit the Naschmarkt, an eclectic flea market (and snack market) in Karlsplatz. There are deals to be had, but make sure you bargain.
DO try at least one of the local brews.
DO check out the MuseumsQuartier for modern art as well as the Street Art Passage.
DON’T dress too casually while touring through Austria – it has a more sophisticated sense of style than other places in Europe and its tourists (to avoid standing out or being barred from entrance to some restaurants) ought to as well.
DO stand to the right on escalators and the like when using public transportation. This is also common practice in the US on public transportation, but people often forget that while on vacation and end up standing two-by-two, which blocks the locals (and everyone else) from getting to their destination as well.
DO try a Viennese wine.
DO notice the details. The entire city seems to have been carved by a ridiculously talented hand and you should relish in its beauty.
DO understand that Viennese culture is more reserved than others, especially American culture. Laughing or speaking too loudly (shouting) in public is discouraged.
DON’T order tap water – it is considered impolite and may come with inflated pricing. Order a still mineral water instead.
DO stroll through Stradtpark at least once, even if just for the gilded Strauss.
DO relax. The locals are unhurried, you should be too.
-M. Ray Hall