What to see, eat and do in Vienna: Expert expat travel tips

A former Opera Australia tenor, David Corcoran is now a personal development trainer who specialises in voice. Born in Melbourne, he spent 14 years in Sydney before moving with his family to Vienna nearly five years ago for his wife's work opportunities.

SEE

St Stefan's Cathedral is an amazing building in the centre of town.  You can take the steps to the top for a view of the whole of Vienna – I like that it's kept the tradition of nothing higher than the spire, instead of having skyscrapers overshadowing the main square. The nearby Graben is a lovely shopping street that lights up each December with Christmas markets serving hot gluhwein and Hungarian goulash. We admire the wooden toys and usually buy a tealight candle ceramic dish: everything in the market is handmade, and there's no plastic.

DO

In autumn, go walking in Neuwaldegg​ forest, 25 minutes by tram from the centre of the city, to see all the leaves falling. In winter, we go ice skating at Rathausplatz, where you can also buy gluhwein supercharged with rum or Aperol.

EAT

I used to dislike the idea of wurstelstands (Viennese sausage stands), but for a late-night snack or some local culture, you can get a Viennese sausage from the grill on a slice of bread with a pickle for a couple of euro. Some are better than others, and I see many people, from older men and women or younger people, enjoying the tasty, oily, greasy fast food of Vienna. I go to Bitzinger's outside the Albertina Museum for a sausage with mustard and a radler, a lemony, low-alcohol beer.

DRINK

We live next door to the Golden Harp Irish pub in Josefstadt, so I frequent it for a Guinness. I used to think it was done this way for the Viennese until I went to Ireland recently and saw they had literally copied every pub in Ireland. The atmosphere is relaxed, there is a mixture of languages and some smoke-free sections: most Viennese establishments still allow smoking in certain sections, which I try to avoid.

AVOID 

Kartnerstrasse on a Sunday has too many tourists walking around wondering why all the shops are shut. Sundays are a sacred day in Vienna. People spend time with their families, get outdoors into nature, rest and take it easy. This is something every city could aspire to reclaim.

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