Architectural delights, rich history and captivating culture are some of the many things on offer in Austria’s capital Vienna. Vienna is one of the most visited cities in Europe and is ranked one of the most liveable cities in the world. Positioned finely on the eastern banks of the Dabnube River, Vienna has a wealth of things to do but below is a list of the best 10 places to visit in Vienna.
1. Schönbrunn Palace
Vienna’s most popular tourist spot, Schönbrunn Palace is a stunning 1441-room structure that has stood since the 1600s. The exterior is designed in a baroque style with a symmetrical main building and the rooms inside are fully furnished and decorated in the original style. Here you’ll get a glimpse of how royalty lived as this monument was once used as the summer residence by the Habsburgs. There’s plenty to see and do at Schönbrunn besides marveling at the Palace like visiting the zoo, the Imperial Carriage Museum, the Orangery or the Gloriette.
2. The Hofburg
Found at the heart of Vienna, this incredible palatial complex had been the residence of the Austrian sovereigns for more than 600 years dating back to the 13th century. Now the complex is home to the offices of the President of Austria and serves as a presidential base. The Hofburg palace is loaded with lovely cafés, luxury restaurants and parks but the main attraction is the famous Spanish riding school.
3. Belvedere Palace
Belvedere Palace is an impressive UNESCO World Heritage site that’s made up of two Baroque buildings, Upper and Lower Belvedere. The Upper Belvedere houses the world’s largest collection of Gustav Klimt’s paintings but there are also paintings by Van Gogh and Monet. The glorious beauty of the French-style formal gardens with numerous fountains will definitely charm you. Belvedere Palace is undoubtedly one of the top places to visit in Vienna.
4. St Stephen’s Cathedral
St Stephen’s Cathedral has been the most important church in Vienna and Austria since it was constructed. It’s beauty can be seen from a far as this structure dominates the Vienna skyline with its imposing height. Inside the church, there are 18 altars and a couple of smaller chapels. Make sure you climb up the 343 steps all the way to Steffl’s Watch Room where you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Vienna.
5. Vienna Operahouse
Vienna State Opera is a must-see attraction in Vienna and certainly one of the best Opera Houses in the world. Over the years, it has hosted the most prominent composers, conductors, soloists, and dancers in the world. Don’t leave before you visit Wiener Musikverein, a concert hall home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the House of Music.
6. Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier
The MuseumsQuartier is Vienna’s most famous quarter and is popularly known for housing many of the city’s must-visit museums. Spread over 90,000 m2 you’ll see the Naturhistorisches Museum (The Natural History Museum), Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum) and the Leopold Museum which has the world’s largest collection of paintings by Schiele or the MUMOK dedicated to Modern Art. The Museumsquartier is an unmissable attraction in Vienna.
7. Hundertwasser House
Designed by Austrian architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, this peculiar yet very vibrant house is worth a visit. This architectural delight is situated on the corner of Löwengasse and Kegelstrasse but its colorful exterior will draw you instantly to it when you’re nearby. Additionally, those who lives in the Hundertwasser House are allowed to decorate the façade around the windows however they like. Note that it can only be viewed from the outside.
Prater is one of the largest public parks in the city of Vienna. Perfectly positioned between the Danube and the Danube canal, Prater should be high on your list of things to do in Vienna with kids. A ride on Wiener Riesenrad, a giant Ferris wheel is one of the best things to do in Prater as it gives you exceptional views of Vienna. There are other fun activities to do in Prater like theme park rides, bumper cars, carousels, roller coasters and shooting ranges just to name a few.
9. Haus des Meeres
Haus des Meeres is an outstanding aquarium and zoo located in the only World War II Flak tower accessible by the public. It’s the largest aquarium in Austria and houses an astonishing 10,000 sea and land animals within the 11 stories of this building, with examples of coral reef, Amazon rainforest and tropical habitats.
Set in Wienzeile street and stretching for about 1.5km, Naschmarkt is a local flea market that has slowly become a popular attraction in Vienna. It has over 120 stands where you can buy everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to seafood and cheese. Lately the market has started offering free wifi to customers making it even more popular.