A trip to Vienna is a unique adventure. The capital of Austria is home to the famous apple strudel, sacher cake with apricot filling and the unique Viennese coffee, but there is much more to it than the aforementioned famous delicacies. Vienna is considered one of the best and most beautiful cities to live in the world.
Modern-day Vienna will be to every adventurer’s liking - it's charming, cozy and safe. Amazing architecture, well-groomed parks, a plethora of art galleries, majestic temples, wide city squares and boulevards, all accessible to visit, take in and enjoy your pet.
To make your walk interesting and captivating, we are going to go over a few must-visit places for you and your four-legged companion.
The Best Dog-Friendly Sightseeing Routes of Vienna
The historical center of Vienna, also known as the “Inner City” is the central district of the Austrian capital. In this tourist hub you can still take a walk on 19th century streets, take in a large variety of parks and gardens and view several architectural ensembles of castles and monuments. Due to the staggering variety of vintage buildings and structures, the district was added to the list of Unesco Heritage Sites in 2001.
We will begin our journey through the capital of Austria at the Saint Stephen’s Cathedral. This building is a symbol not only of Vienna, but the country as a whole. Its majestic spire rises to almost 140 meters and is seen from most of the other districts in the city. The magnificent cathedral is built in the gothic architectural style and is located on the main square of the city. Its beauty is not the only claim to fame St. Stephen’s Cathedral has. It holds a substantial display of religious icons, utensils and world-famous works of art.
You can’t visit Vienna and not see the opera. Take a brief 10 minute stroll with your four legged friend and check out this famous building. “Vienna State Opera” are, perhaps, the words that best describe the true essence of Vienna - the city where pomposity, solemnity and inspiration meet. Vienna was, and will remain, the center of European classical music, and the Vienna opera theater is one of the most prestigious and famous places where you can see ballet, opera performances and symphonic orchestra concerts.
The next landmark on your route should be the Hofburg. Beautiful, grandiose and wide-ranging are the most common words used to describe this park-palace complex. Built as the place of residence for the Habsburg dynasty, the Hofburg unites 19 palaces and 18 structures, all built between the late 14th century to the early 19th century, and uses a wide variety of architectural styles for its palaces and buildings: gothic, renaissance, barocco and empire. While leisurely strolling and taking in the power and unity of the massive Austrian Empire represented by the Hofburg, challenge yourself to figure out which building uses which architectural style.
While on the subject of Hofburg, we recommend starting your journey there from the Michaelerplatz square. This is the section of the Hofburg with the famous Michaelertor (Michael’s Gate) and the facade of the Michael’s Palace.
Not far from the Hofburg, you might be able to spot a massive building with arrow-like windows and a tall tower. This is neither a cathedral nor a palace, but the Vienna Town Hall, the center of municipal bureaucracy in the capital of Austria. The facade of the building is divided by five towers, with the central one holding the statue of Rathausmann - an armed knight holding a banner, the protector of the city's liberty and privileges.
Not far from the town hall, between the trees of a nearby courtyard, you can make out the outlines of the Votivkirche Church. Translated as “Votive Church”, it was built in 1879 using the then-popular neo-gothic style. The building is lavishly decorated with carvings, statues and chimeras, the main entrance holding the hallmark of all gothic cathedrals - a massive rose window.
To fully enjoy the atmosphere of the city center, take a stroll on the following streets: Annagasse, Weihburggasse, Seilergasse and Habsburggasse. If you happen to visit one of the many spacious squares like Am Hof and Freyung you might be able to see and visit some of the excellent markets to try out and taste some of the local produce and pick yourself up a souvenir or two.
There is one more church that is worth a visit - the Karlskirche. In 1713 the city was in turmoil, recovering from the seventh wave of the Black Plague. As was the custom, The Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI gave a vow to erect a temple in the name of his patron saint - Charles Borromeo, who was revered as a healer for the plague sufferers.
The Karlskirche unites several architectural styles; the dome reminds of a roof of the Roman St. Paul’s Cathedral, the portico is taken from classical Greek architecture, massive columns on each side of the building remind of Islamic minarets, the barocco-esque facade is decorated with countless sculptures. The pediment is overlooked by allegorical figures depicting Mercy, Repentance, Faith and Humility with the middle taken by the statue of Charles Borromeo, blessing the city, who’s deeds are depicted on the bas-reliefs that snake their way up the 47 meter column. We recommend visiting this church in the evening, where you will be able to see the reflection of the magnificently illuminated building in the oval-shaped body of water.
No less majestic than the Karlskirche, we recommend visiting the Belvedere Palace, a large and elegant palace complex consisting of two sections - the Lower and Upper Belvedere, with a large garden decorated with sculptures and fountains situated between them. Check this place out while on a stroll with your pet, and make sure to take a few photos, we are sure you are going to enjoy it.
If you have fully taken in the city's architecture and want a relaxing walk through nature, you should check out the Vienna Woods. You can throw together a picnic, pick some mushrooms, sunbathe or just enjoy the various view-points. This is a popular place for walks for the dwellers of Vienna, and as a worthy side-note, Kafka and Freud enjoyed spending their time here.
While strolling through the Vienna Woods you might be able to see the odd-looking Lichtenstein Castle, a stereotypical medieval castle, which is now home to the Duke of Urach, but was originally built for the Lichtenstein household. The castle gets its uniqueness in its stretched, but very narrow architectural plan, which makes it seem like it almost grew out of the ground.
On the hills of the Saint Georgenberg mountain, in the district of Liesing, right beside the Vienna Woods, you might be able to see the Wotruba Church, one of the most unique landmarks of the Austrian capital. This building, with its unique geometry, is located in the picturesque corner of Vienna and seems like it was created by some amateur Tetris player. It is quite hard to comprehend that this building is actually a religious structure, and a church no less! The Temple of the Holy Trinity belongs to the Roman Catholic Church and is more commonly known as the Wotruba Church, for the name of architecture who dared brave such a unique project.
If you are exhausted from all the sightseeing you have been doing, it's probably a good time to lay down on a comfortable bed and enjoy some much needed rest. Here is our compilation of some excellent hotels, which are all dog-friendly!
This dog-friendly hotel is located in a historical area, not far from the Schönbrunn palace and the Westbahnhof railroad station, with the city subway station not far off. The suites are furnished with modern furniture and bathrooms come with a shower. You also get the pleasure of enjoying free air conditioning and Wi-Fi.
The Star Inn Schönbrunn serves a buffet-style breakfast, which includes some baked goods, juices, cold-cut meats, fruits, coffee and champagne.
If you feel snacky, the lowest level of the hotel has a little section dedicated for such emergencies. If you desire some tea or coffee, swing by the reception desk, where they will provide you with some at no charge.
The hotel will house your pets free of charge, but do require notice prior to arrival to prep the suite.
Hotel Regina is a hotel with a centuries-old history, which is located in the antique building beside the Votivkirche and a small park, not far from the Ringstrasse and the University of Vienna.
The suites have great sound dampening and are lavishly furnished with a large living area, a bathroom and a TV. From the windows you might be able to see the palace and the university.
The hotel comes with a dog-friendly restaurant that serves traditional Austrian and Viennese dishes, some international foods, as well a selection of excellent local wines.
Beside the Hotel Regina you will find many of the famous tourist restaurants, shops and cafes.
If you wish to stay at the Hotel Regina with your four-legged companion, there will be an additional surcharge of €10 per day.
The AZIMUT Vienna is located beside the central railroad station and the royal palace of Belvedere.
The hotel is officially certified as environmentally friendly. The beds are comfortable with spring mattresses. The suite will come with a TV, a small desk and a bathroom. Each floor has a section for making your own tea or coffee.
Breakfast is served at a buffet with a selection of organic fruits and veggies and some fresh local delicacies.
The hotel comes with a bar, which offers traditional Viennese coffee like the Melange or the Einspänner, which you can sip at their cafe, as well as shorle (a mix of wine and mineral water), and a variety of other drinks and cocktails, which are served on the “schanigarten” terrace.
If you wish to stay at this hotel with your dog, there will be an additional surcharge of €10 per day.
The ARCOTEL Wimberger is located beside a subway and tram station, which allows you quick access to the main tourist landmarks of Vienna.
The hotel complex comes with a fitness center, a hot tub, a sauna with a view of the city and free Wi-Fi.
The spacious suites are furnished with modern furniture and come with air conditioning. You will get your own desk, bathroom with a shower, as well as a hygienic kit.
Breakfast includes coffee, fresh baked goods, waffles, cold-cut meats, some hot dishes like baked potatoes and mushrooms, fruits, jams, sauces and vegetables. The hotel also comes with its own restaurant, which serves fresh popular classical Austrian dishes with elements of international cuisine.
If you so desire, the hotel comes with a bar that features a wide selection of drinks and snacks. In the summer months, you can enjoy the drinks in the inner courtyard of the hotel.
ARCOTEL Wimberger is a dog-friendly hotel, but will require a daily surcharge of €15. Pet water and food bowls are provided upon request.
The Grand Ferdinand Vienna is located in the center of Vienna on the Ringstrasse Boulevard.
The suites are modestly furnished, with the floor made from eco-friendly materials. All suites come with air conditioning, a TV, a safe and a mini-bar. Each suite has its own bathroom and shower.
Breakfast is served at the Grand Étage restaurant, which is located on the roof, giving you a panoramic view of the city. The hotel roof comes with a swimming pool! There are three additional restaurants and a souvenir shop that work on the Grand Ferdinand Vienna hotel grounds. The reception desk is open 24/7.
If you wish to stay at the Grand Ferdinand with your dog, there will be a surcharge of €30 per night.
If you want to spend your vacation in Vienna with your four-legged friend, we think it is an excellent idea. There is always something to do, somewhere to visit or some food to try. The rich architecture and orderly streets allow you to take a fair number of great photos for your photo album, or even throw together a photo session. The dog-friendly capital of Austria will also be to your pet’s liking, the city has many hotels, cafes, restaurants, landmarks and parks, all accessible and quite positively disposed to your puppy.
Head to Vienna with your pet, study the city, try out new dishes and enjoy the trip!