There is no other city that combines Western European luxury and Eastern European history and beauty like Vienna, Austria. Baroque houses charm those who wander on its elegant boulevards, while sleek cafes are filled with networking businessmen. It’s no wonder there are so many interesting things to do and places to visit in Vienna!
Remains of pre-Roman history in the Danube River Valley make Vienna a fascinating site of human settlement. Celtic and Viking heritage adorn a vast collection of museums. And any interaction with the locals will expose a rather complicated, if not completely confusing, lineage, as anyone would find a way to tie their genealogy to the Habsburg dynasty. A charming imperial city, Vienna bears the hallmarks of a capital steeped in history, perfectly contrasting with its modern infrastructure. There’s no wonder there are so many interesting places to visit in Vienna!
Planning your visit in Vienna
Vienna has many hotels and other facilities in the vicinity of the airport and the central area. There are hotels in all price ranges. The city is home to monuments and parks that are popular tourist attractions. New, ornate churches can be seen nearby, as well as other structures such as the Senate, the University and the Opera House.
When booking all the beautiful places to visit in Vienna, be mindful that most of the attractions are closed on public holidays in the area. Public holidays include 1 and 6 January, the Monday after Easter, 1 May, the Thursday of Ascension, the Feast of Corpus Christi, 15 August, 1 November, 8 December, 25 and 26 December. On these days, all libraries, palaces, and shops are closed.
Best places to visit in Vienna
- Kuntshall Wien is a museum with a collection of modern and contemporary art. The artists are both Austrian and international artists. This museum is run by the city of Vienna.
- The Sigmund Freud Museum is dedicated to the Father of Modern Psychology. It is run by the Sigmund Freud Society and traces the doctor’s life and work.
- The Schonbrunn Palace was built as the summer residence of Empress Sisi. The grounds include a park, a zoo and a large maze that are available for a walk, as well as an ornate, Baroque-style mansion. There’s so much to see in this palace that you’re expected to spend a whole day here. It’s also one of the most crowded places to visit in Vienna.
- The Belvedere Palace was built for Prince Eugene of Savoy as a summer home in the Baroque style. This palace was at the center of the old Hapsburg Republic. This is where the Austrian Gallery Belvedere is housed. It is now open for tours and contains artwork and historical information. The gardens are spectacular and are also open for touring.
- Across history, Vienna has welcomed the world of art and happily hosts many of its own world-famous artists. Over the years, the kings and queens of Austria have been avid art lovers, making Austria–and Vienna in particular–a treasure trove for fine art. Many of these masterpieces can be seen in the Museum of Fine Arts. This majestic building exhibiting works from all over the world, including those of its favorite son.
- The Imperial Palace is located in the heart of the capital, and it was from here that the Hapsburgs ruled for seven centuries. It was built in the early 13th century. The Gothic chapel on the site is still open for services on Sundays. The Vienna Boys Choir performs here and the palace has free tours during the week. So do your best to add it to your list of places to visit in Vienna!
- The Gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral is located near the Imperial Palace. The construction of this ornate cathedral began in the thirteenth century and was completed in the fifteenth century. The steeple of St. Stephen’s can be seen all over the area. Climb the 343 stairs of the almost claustrophobic stairway to the watchman’s lookout in the South Tower or head down from the North Tower to the catacombs beneath the cathedral, where 14 members of the Habsburg dynasty are buried beside the bishop’s mausoleum.
- For stunning views of the city, head to the Danube Tower, known locally as the Concrete Needle. The tower is more than 350 meters high; with your head in the clouds, Vienna never looked so good.
Top things to do during your visit in Vienna
A city of music, Vienna was home to some of the greatest composers of history. Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Strauss were all very proud to call Vienna their birthplace. The artistic legacy of Vienna has been maintained to the present day. The Vienna Boys Choir is always popular, and the Vienna Philharmonic remains a world-class orchestra.
A theater break is always a rewarding experience; watch the latest film and dance creations, or just sit back and enjoy the finest of classical opera after discovering various other places to visit in Vienna.
Despite their love of the arts, they also love to shop in Vienna. Markets are distributed all over Austria’s capital city, but the most common is the Naschmarkt. From the 16th century, everything from children’s shoes to apples can be purchased. If you can handle the traffic, there’s plenty of bargains.
Speaking of children, one of the places to visit in Vienna with the family is Prater, Vienna’s largest funfair. If there is too much noise and traffic, flee to the open fields or take a stroll through the nearby woods and hang out with the animals.
A wide range of events and exhibits are held throughout the year. If you just want to relax and watch the world go by, make a beeline for one of Vienna’s many coffee houses. Take the weight off your feet and exchange your day’s thoughts with your fellow coffee connoisseurs.
For those in need of something a little stronger, a visit to one of the town’s wine taverns will have you unwinding in no time. Vienna boasts a vibrant nightlife catering for people of all ages, young and old.
About the author
Cristina Popescu is a Romanian blogger who has been traveling since 2008. She has visited 100+ countries across all continents and accumulated firsthand knowledge about beautiful travel destinations. There is nothing she won’t try at least once in a lifetime and she wishes to encourage others to get out and see the world, too.
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