Sights in Vienna

When visiting Vienna, there is much to see: from the historic old town with Gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral or the Imperial Palace to the magnificent baroque palace Schönbrunn. One can also find various museums such as the Museum of Fine Arts on one hand but also modern architecture at the MuseumsQuartier. Discover the city which has been nominated most liveable city consequently in the last ten years.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

Better known by its German name “Stephansdom” is one of the most important gothic structures of Austria and the symbol of Vienna, located in the center of the city. First constructed in the 12th century but then completely rebuilt through extensions by the initiation of the Habsburg Duke Rudolf IV between the 1339 and 1365. The cathedral contains numerous valuable altars and side chapels and is beautifully decorated with gold and precious stones. It is also the resting place of numerous important people such as emperors, dukes, cardinals and archbishops. Guided cathedral tours are offered on a regular basis, you can find more information on the cathedral’s official site: www.stephanskirche.at. (Source: Vienna Info)

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Schönbrunn Palace

The beautiful Rococo (late Baroque) palace is a very important architectural and historic monument in the country. Many well-known Habsburg rulers resided here, such as Maria Theresa, Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth. The palace has a total of 1,441 rooms and is surrounded by beautiful gardens including several attractions such as a zoo, botanical garden, the Neptune Fountain, maze, palm house, a Gloriette and many others. The beautiful palace park is open for visitors free of charge, as for the palace and zoo there is an additional admission fee. (Source: Vienna Info)

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Tip: The Schönbrunn Palace is the most visited tourist attraction in Austria. To avoid long lines at the ticket counter you should buy your ticket online in advance. 

Belvedere Palace

The historic building complex was built by Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt for Prince Eugene of Savoy and consist of two palaces, Upper and Lower Belvedere. The baroque palace ‘Upper Belvedere’ houses one of Austria’s most valuable art collections, including works by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka. Some of Gustav Klimt’s most renowned works are exhibited here, such as “The Kiss” and “Judith”. Special exhibitions are also held in the Lower Belvedere and the Orangery. The two palaces are connected by gardens which include decorative fountains, cascades, baroque sculptures as well as a botanical garden. (Source: Vienna Info)

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Tip: You can make appointments for a tour with the Upper Belvedere in advance, for a group of 10 or more people, free of charge.

Vienna State Opera

Is one of the first major buildings on the Ring Road and was built between 1861 and 1869. It was built in the Neo-Renaissance style by the renowned Czech architect Josef Hlavka. Was inaugurated in the presence of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth of Austria. There are over 60 operas and ballet works in one season and the program differs every day. Subtitles are available and can be integrated manually by the audience members. (Source: Vienna Info)

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Hofburg

The Hofburg was the imperial palace of the Habsburg empire rulers for more than seven centuries. It was inhabited by the imperial family until 1918. It was originally built as a castle in the 13th century, but with the increasing power of the Habsburgs, it was extended in a magnificent residence. Nowadays the imperial palace serves as the official residence of the Federal President and houses an important congress center and numerous museums and art collections. The palace is located in the city center and faces the Heroes Square (Heldenplatz). (Source: Wikipedia)

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St. Charles’s Church

Located in the Charles Square (Karlsplatz) the church is one of the city’s greatest baroque buildings, finished in 1739 and is consecrated to Saint Charles Borromeo. The church is composed from diverse historical architecture elements, such as the façade which corresponds to a Greek Temple portico, its two neighboring columns inspired by Trajan’s Column in Rome, the two towers pavilions which show the influence from the roman baroque and the beautiful green colored dome. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Hundertwasser Haus

The house designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser is one of the city’s architectural highlights with visitors coming from all around the world to see it. The house resides in the Hundertwasser Village, which is open to visitors, however the house can only be viewed from outside. The house is viewed as an oasis in the heart of the city thanks to the colorful façade and the numerous trees and shrubs on the balconies and roof terraces. (Source: Vienna Info)

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Danube Island

The Donauinsel is located in central Vienna and lies between the Danube River and the Neue Donau (New Danube) excavated channel. The island is around 21km long but only between 70m – 210m wide. Several restaurants, bars and nightclubs are located on the island as well as beaches and sport facilities. The island is also a hotspot location for festivals, such as “Lichterfest” and the most well-known “Donauinselfest”, which is the biggest free open-air music festival in the world. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Mariahilfer Street

Is one of Vienna’s longest and best-known shopping street. The inner street is 1,8km long and builds the “border” of the 6th and 7th district. The street houses numerous stores, shopping malls, restaurants and pubs. On one side of the Mariahilfer street, there is also the “Museumsquartier” (museums quarter) located, which includes several museums of mostly contemporary art.

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Old Town

The old city of Vienna is located in the 1st district and includes the well-known Ringstraße (literally ring road), the shopping streets Kärtnerstraße and Graben as well as the new luxury shopping area Goldenes Quartier (“golden quarter”). The old city consists of several squares and alleys with beautiful architectural buildings which are all encircled by the Ring Road. Also along the Ring Road, some well-known magnificent architectural buildings are located such as the Rathaus (city hall), the Austrian Parliament Building, Vienna State Opera, Burgtheater, Votivkirche, Urania Observatory, University of Vienna building, Palace of Justice and several other palaces.

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Naschmarkt

Is Vienna’s most well-known market, is about 1,5km long and is located on the Wienzeile over the Wien river. The market has been around since the 16th century and offers a great variety in foods and condiments from all around the world. There are several restaurants which serve traditional Viennese food, but also seafood and non-European cuisine. There are numerous stalls with fresh vegetables and fruits, condiments and nuts, but also some clothing and accessories stalls. The market is open from Monday to Friday from 06:00-21:00 and Saturdays from 06:00-18:00.

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Parks and Gardens

Volksgarten

It is the public garden of the Hofburg Palace, located in the first district dating since 1821. The garden was open to public since 1823 and was built on the ruins of the city fortifications which were destroyed by Napoleon. At the center of the garden stands the neoclassical Theseus Temple, a small-scale replica of the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens. There are also two fountains and several monuments in the park, as well as a coffee house and a discotheque.

Augarten

Augarten is a public park in the 2nd district and the oldest baroque park of Vienna. The park offers beautiful flowery landscapes as well as alleys lined with beautiful trees. The garden also houses different facilities such as Vienna Boys’ Choir in the Palais, the Porcelain Manufactory and Museum and the Austrian Film Archive. (Source: Vienna Info)

Stadtpark

Is the most central park in Vienna dating since 1862 and is divided in two sections by the Wienfluss (“Vienna river”). Several monuments of famous Viennese are located in the park such as marble statues and bronze busts, as well as the popular “golden Johann Strauss memorial” one of the world’s most photographed monuments. (Source: Vienna Info)

Prater Amusement Park

Is a large public park in Vienna, which also includes an amusement park and one of Vienna’s most famous symbols, the Giant Ferris Wheel.

 

Museums

Vienna is well-known for being the city of music, but its museums also contain some of the most popular art collections in the world.

Weltmuseum – one of the most important museums of ethnography in the world

Museum of Modern Art – Mumok – contemporary art museum focusing on the art of the 20th and 21st century

Albertina – well-known for its masterpieces in the collection and for the outstanding “Monet bis Picasso” exhibition

Belvedere – contains some of Gustav Klimt most popular works, such as “The Kiss” and “Judith”, but also works from other well-known artists.

MAK Museum – one of the main features of the museum is design, shows furniture, china, silver and textiles from to middle ages to the present day

Art History Museum (Kunsthistorisches Museum) – contains major art works of European art history

Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum) – contains around 20 million objects as well as specimens of animals that are either extinct or threatened with extinction