Vienna, the imperial jewel of Austria, is one of the most gorgeous capitals in Europe, as well as the rest of the World. Full of glamour, art, history, and charm, this city is unlike any other on Earth. If you would like to fully explore Vienna, and to visit at least all of its major sights – it is recommended to spend here at minimum 3-4 days.
Vienna is a very walkable city and you can access most of its attractions easily on foot. Filled with numerous grand palaces, cathedrals, and museums this city can be rather windy, therefore don’t forget to grab a sweater even for the hottest of Summer days.
1. Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s) Cathedral
This gorgeous Gothic masterpiece is located right in the center of Vienna and one can simply observe it for hours on end, as it is absolutely beautiful from the inside and out. Besides admiring the astonishing artwork inside the church, you can also go up to one of its two spiral towers that offer an amazing, panoramic views from the heart of Vienna. The left tower includes an elevator ride to the top, while you can access the right one by taking the stairs. In addition to going up – you can also go down to the crypts and the catacombs located below the ground, however this is only available with a guided tour.
Please note: the Church is closed to visitors whenever a mass is performed however if you do go inside during a religious service – please try to be very quiet and respectful to your surroundings.
2. Belvedere Palace
Belvedere is a beautiful and historic palace which once served as one of the main residences to the Austrian royals. Inside the palace you will now find an important art collection which is worth a visit. Surrounding the Belvedere is a gorgeous park that includes a garden, fountains and some interesting statues. When the weather is nice many locals come here during their lunchtime to sit outside and enjoy a little break from work.
3. The Hofburg Palace
The Hofburg Palace, which used to be one of the main royal residences as well, is located in the heart of Vienna, not far from the Stephansdom and the Museums Quartier. Inside you will find a beautiful art collection as well as the royal apartments, and the famous imperial silver collection which is stored in this place. Go to the official website to get more information about the current exhibits and to plan your visit.
4. Museums Quartier Wien
This large complex is a home to a number of important museums located close to each other in one designated space. Whether you are interested in art, dance, architecture, theater, or even something for children – you will find it all in this one extensive cultural network. Once you get tired from exploring these vast treasures, step inside the fun, inner courtyard for a quick refresh. Learn more about this complex and what it has to offer on the official website.
5. Schonbrunn Palace
This amazing palace is located a bit off the main center, on around 30-minute drive from the city center. The palace holds a beautiful collection of the royal memorabilia, including the art paintings, the royal utensils and the royal apartments fit for the Kings and Queens that once occupied this important building.
The palace is also situated next to a wonderful, hilly and large park area that offers amazing panoramic views of the city that lies beyond. Wander through the green maze that’s on the right side of the palace and you will feel like a character from the Alice in Wonderland. Visit the official website for more information.
6. Karlskirche (St. Charles’s) Church
Karlskirche is a simply gorgeous, large church which was built in the style of baroque and has been featured on the numerous postcards and book covers about Vienna. Pay a visit inside to admire the outstanding religious artwork, the dome and the statues located there. You can also take an elevator up to enjoy a nice panoramic view from its observation deck.
7. Staatsoper Opera House (Vienna State Opera)
If there’s one activity that you must not miss while visiting Vienna – it is attending an opera show in the main, historic opera building named Staatsoper, which was originally built in 1810. Please do keep in mind that it’s best to book your tickets way in advance in order to get a good price for a decent seat. Visit the official site to book your tickets.
8. Prater Public Park
This beautiful, historic, large public park is located on the outskirts of the city center and is a perfect place to spend a hot, Summer afternoon. Inside you will also find an amusement park and the famous Wiener Riesenrad (a 212-ft tall ferris wheel) that offers awesome top views of the surrounding area. This wheel was originally built in 1897, survived a fire and a bombing during the WW2, was later fully repaired and it is still in use today.
9. Danube Tower (Donauturm)
Danube Tower is an 826-ft high tower that includes a rotating restaurant and an open-air observation deck. It’s located a bit far from the city center and can be accessed by a car or a bus on a 15-20 minute drive. Since this is the highest point from where you can view the city of Vienna from up above – it is definitely worth a visit. I
n addition to offering some amazing views, the tower is also open for… bungee jumping, every weekend from April to October, weather conditions permitting. If you are up for some extreme fun – please book your tickets in advance as there’s a high demand for this activity.
10. Hundertwasser House
Hundertwasser is one of the coolest, modern architectural masterpieces of Vienna. This fun building is an actual apartment complex that since its opening has been continuously inhabited by regular people. Designed by an Austrian architect, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, it was built in the 1980s and has quickly become one of the most visited sights in Vienna. Visit the official site dedicated to this talented architect to find out more about his life and his museum.