Cities like this in Europe are my favorite. I love all of the history and the fact that they've kept so many of the old buildings in tact. We didn't do a ton of research leading up to this trip so it was really fun to be surprised at every turn.
Our absolute favorite surprise was Prater. We thought we were just searching for this old time ferris wheel that has the best views of Vienna. Fortunately, we decided to adventure on the tram and found ourselves in this incredible sports park/carnival/water park/green space. We were in AWE. It turned out to be Wurstelprater, the oldest amusement park in the WORLD. It's open 24 hours day, 7 days a week and is FREE of charge for entry. Prater also includes a sports stadium as well as a large public park and several restaurants. We could've gotten lost in there for days and not seen anything else in Vienna and been perfectly happy. It was so peaceful compared to the more touristy spots we'd been visiting.
My second favorite thing in Vienna was Naschmarkt. Sadly, it's only open on Saturdays from 7am until 6pm but it's incredible! It ranges from fresh meat, cheeses, and fruits to garage sale type items like clothes and antiques as well as souvenirs. Nashmarkt is a great place to eat breakfast or lunch, grab some fresh produce, or go home with some cool vintage jewelry. The market was alive with locals and tourists alike, some drinking wine at 10am and others tasting every type of candy that was available. It is also located in the middle of some beautifully painted buildings so the entire experience is extremely photo-worthy.
Other top recommendations include:
Schonbrunn Palace ** The FREE gardens are the BEST part. Walk to the very top for an awesome view of Vienna
The Danube: A day trip to Bratislava via the Twin City Liner, walk along the river bank to admire all of the graffiti, OR Strandbar Hermann (if it's sunny, this is a super fun BEACH bar on the river!) There are also lots of 2-3 hour river cruises available as well.
Coffee at Alt Wien
St. Stephen's Cathedral
ANY Rooftop: Cafe Bar Bloom, Rooftop restaurant of Sofitel Vienna, Sky Bar Roof Terrace
Eat: Griechenbeisl, Albertina Passage, Cafe Central
Drink: Bockshorn Irish Pub (the smallest and oldest pub in Vienna), Loos American Bar, Kleinod