Vienna was one of the top five cities in the world in the decades before World War II. This is no longer valid in this form.
Austria’s capital is still the second largest city in the German-speaking world in terms of population (1.9 million) and the third largest in terms of area.
Despite this size Vienna can be explored wonderfully on foot. The legwork is richly rewarded. This article is meant to help you take advantage of just that. I’ll describe a Vienna sightseeing itinerary that allows you to get to know the 25 most famous attractions.
So you get a comprehensive first overview of the highlights of Vienna and that in a relatively short time as z. B. In a weekend or – if necessary – even in one day.
However, in terms of time, it will be impossible to actually visit all of the above-mentioned museums within one tour. To do this, you would have to divide the Vienna sightseeing route I suggested into two to three day stages.
Here’s how it should go: My Vienna sightseeing route starts inside the Ring in the city center (St. Stephen’s Cathedral, State Opera, Graben etc.).). Afterwards you will visit the highlights along the Ringstrabe (Hofburg, Kunsthistorisches Museum etc.).), before I show you the Vienna sights further outside (Schonbrunn Palace, Central Cemetery etc.).) describe.
Vienna sights in 1. District (Inner City)
The old town of Vienna with St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Hofburg and other high-caliber buildings is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Few things, therefore, are more plausible than exploring the metropolis in the 1. District to start:
1. St. Stephen’s Cathedral as the first stop on a Vienna sightseeing route
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the most visited sight in Vienna
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is an almost ideal starting point for a Vienna sightseeing tour, as it is located in the middle of the Old Town, towers over one of the city’s most important subway stations and is therefore easily accessible.
The gothic church building – officially Domkirche St. Stephan zu Wien called – is called by the Viennese Steffl. It is one of the city’s landmarks, its most famous church and may be called the most visited sight in Vienna.
The magnificent sight of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, as it can be admired today, was created with the 75-year construction of the south tower starting in 1359. This is considered an architectural masterpiece and can be climbed via 343 steps. The view from the 136-meter-high tower is not bad at all.
Another vantage point is the St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its never finished and 68 meters measuring north tower. Less legwork is required here, as an elevator takes you to the top.
Another eye-catcher is the roof of the church, whose 230.000 bricks make a fancy zigzag pattern.
The roof of St. Stephen’s Cathedral deserves attention
The Cathedral treasury belongs again to the Cathedral Museum Vienna, In which not only the sacred and historical art treasures of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, but also works of contemporary art are presented.
You can get a ticket including a multimedia guide for the Dom Museum Vienna under the following link:
Also the Catacombs of St. Stephen’s Cathedral can be visited during guided tours. On display is a large complex below Cathedral Square with 30 burial chambers that have evolved over many years into the final resting place of ca. 10.000 people has developed. (Times of guided tours: Mondays to Saturdays from 10 to 11:30 and from 13:30 to 16:30 and Sundays and holidays from 13:30 to 16:30.)
In the shadow of St. Stephen’s Cathedral is also the Mozart House, in which is the last preserved of almost a dozen apartments in which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived – from 1784 to 1787.
In the museum housed here, there are a lot of things to bring you closer to Mozart’s world. The highlight is the original Mozart apartment on the second floor. Tickets for the Mozarthaus are available online at the following link:
Tip on the side: Also near St. Stephen’s Cathedral you will find one of the most famous coffee houses in Vienna – the Mozart House Cafe Hawelka.
Directions: The U1 or U3 takes you via the station "Stephansplatz" almost directly to the Stephansdom.
Opening hours: St. Stephen’s Cathedral is open to the public from Monday to Saturday between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. and on Sundays and public holidays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Entrance: The church is generally open to the public free of charge. You can get up to the north tower for 6 euros. The catacomb tour also costs 6 euros. For the ascent of the south tower you have to pay 5 Euro.
2. High market with the anchor clock
The anchor clock at Hoher Markt
From St. Stephen’s Cathedral you could first get out of the biggest inner city hustle and bustle and continue northwards. There waits – z. B. accessible via Rotenturmstrabe and Lichtensteg – with the Hoher Markt one of the oldest squares in the city.
The tourist magnet at the Hoher Markt is the so-called Anchor Clock. The latter spans the street below, is decorated with figures and is considered one of the masterpieces of the Art Nouveau style. It was completed in 1915 – for the insurance company Anker, which had the Anker Clock installed as a clock for the public at its company headquarters.
Especially to 12 o’clock the Ankeruhr attracts a bunch of tourists because of the parade of all Dirk Nowitzki-huge figures of at least 2.60 meters high together with musical background music.
If you are already feeling hungry at this point in the Vienna Sightseeing Tour: The sausage stand at the Hoher Markt is one of the best known in the city and is perfect for a snack.
Via Schulter- and Jordangasse or Wipplingerstrabe with the Old Town Hall your way can eventually lead you to Judenplatz.
Directions: You can reach it with the U1 or U3 from Stephansplatz or with the U1 from the station "Schwedenplatz".
3. Judenplatz and Am Hof
The Holocaust Memorial at Judenplatz
In the Middle Ages, Judenplatz was the center of Vienna’s Jewish population and the core of what was then known as the Judenstadt, or Jewish City. of the Jewish ghetto, which consisted of 70 houses.
At Judenplatz you will come across the second location of the Jewish Museum, where you can learn about the history of this corner of Vienna. You can get tickets for it in advance online at the following link:
Another attraction on Judenplatz is the Holocaust Memorial from the year 2000, which commemorates the ca. 65.000 Austrian victims of the Holocaust are commemorated. Made of reinforced concrete, it symbolizes a locked library with walls made of petrified books.
Another eye-catcher is the monument to the poet Gotthold Ephraim Lessing.
When you have taken it all in, you can go to the neighboring square At the Court which was one of the locations for the famous film classic and Vienna film par excellence called "The Third Man*". However, even without this movie fame, it is one of the most historically important places in the city.
Worth seeing are especially the Marian column (by the way, a copy of the original version made of sandstone, donated at the end of the Thirty Years’ War) and the church at the court, from the balcony of which, among other things, the end of the Holy Roman Empire was announced.
Directions: Take the U1 or U4 to "Schwedenplatz," the U2 to the "Schottentor" station, or the U3 to the "Herrengasse" station.
4. Pedestrian zone: Kohlmarkt, Graben, Karntner Strabe
A stroll along the Graben can be worthwhile even for the shopper
Shopping is not really my passion. Visually, however, Vienna’s most famous shopping streets (with the exception of Mariahilfer Strasse, which is a little further out) have a lot going for them, so they can be interesting even for those who don’t like shopping.
The Kohlmarkt Is quickly reached from the square Am Hof via Bognergasse. It is rich in noble boutiques, leads to the Michaelisplatz in the shadow of the Hofburg, to which, however, it should go after this route only a little later.
The Graben is again probably the most famous shopping street of the city, the sight of which definitely makes an impression. Above all, it’s worth taking more than one look at the 21-meter-high Baroque Plague Column. A short detour to St. Peter’s Church is also worthwhile.
And, poof, you’re already back at Stephansplatz, from where it’s straight on to the next pedestrian zone full of shopping temples: the Carinthian Street.
Directions: U1 or U3 to the station "Stephansplatz.
5. Imperial Crypt
From Karntner Strabe turn right into Marco d’Aviano Gasse to get to the Imperial Crypt with your five bulging shopping bags.
The Imperial Crypt is also called the Capuchin Crypt, is located below the Capuchin monastery and was completed in 1633. It serves as a burial place for 19 empresses, 12 emperors and other family members of the Habsburg and Habsburg-Lothringer dynasties.
Directions: Take the U1 or U3 via the station "Stephansplatz".
Opening hours: Open daily between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. On Thursdays the Imperial Crypt is already accessible from 9 am.
entrance fee: 7,50 Euro. For a guided tour you have to pay 10,50 Euro.
Albertina has a lot to offer, not only on the inside
Via Gluckgasse and Lobkowitzplatz the tour continues to Augustinerstrabe. There you are already at the Augustinertrakt of the Hofburg. Here is the Augustinian Church Worth a look or two before continuing on to the Albertina, which is also part of the Hofburg.
I will talk about most of the attractions in the Hofburg later on. At this point, the Albertina can be easily integrated into the Vienna sightseeing tour.
Built from 1744, it served as the residence of the Habsburgs. The building is an absolute eye-catcher – especially from the Albertinaplatz with the statue of Duke Albert in front of the building front.
The graphic collection of Duke Albert in the Albertina is one of the most important of its kind in the world. Especially drawings like Michelangelo’s male nudes or Durer’s field hare are among the most famous works of art at all.
Also the Exhibition of Modern Art under the name "Monet to Picasso," in which universally beloved classics such as Monet’s water lilies or Degas’ dancers are exhibited, draws the masses to the Albertina.
In addition to the world-class art, there is also the extremely magnificent rooms of the Habsburgs to explore – absolutely worthwhile!
Admission: 17,90 Euro. You can buy your online ticket at the following link:
Directions: Among other things with the U1 or U3 via the station "Stephansplatz.
Opening hours: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Wednesdays and Fridays even until 9 p.m.
7. Vienna State Opera
The State Opera is a particularly chic Viennese magnificent building
The Vienna State Opera is located in the direct neighborhood of the Albertina. In its present form it exists since 1869. During the Second World War, however, the State Opera House was severely damaged and subsequently rebuilt.
The Vienna Opera House might look familiar to you from Bunte reading at the hairdresser possibly at least from the annual Opera Ball. However, it is not only suitable for coffee gossip, but also as an important meeting place for the cultural, political and business elite in Austria.
By the way, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is made up of the orchestra of the State Opera House.
The State Opera House is an impressive sight from the outside alone. Inside, of course, the building also presents itself magnificently.
Tickets for the performances are not cheap. There is, however, a trick to buying discounted tickets:
Low-priced standing-room tickets (10 euros) are sold 80 minutes before the start of a performance to those willing to stand. For this you would only have to go to the standing room ticket office. Go to the schedule under this link.
If you’d like to get to know Imperial Vienna while getting a behind-the-scenes look at the State Opera, then the following might also be worth checking out Guided tour may be interesting for you:
Under the following link you also have the opportunity to secure a ticket for a Mozart concert at the State Opera:
(might be too touristy for real classical music lovers though)
Perhaps just as interesting for you: In the movie "Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation*" the State Opera can be seen from the inside in a long scene. If you can’t take the time to go sightseeing or visit the opera, and you’re in the mood for a load of action cinema, then you’re not entirely out of luck with this film.
Directions: Take the U1, U2 or U4 and get off at "Karlsplatz".
8. Hotel Sacher and Cafe Sacher
You will find the Hotel and Cafe Sacher near the back of the opera house. Hotel Sacher was founded by the son of the inventor of the original version of the Sacher cake. The opening took place in 1876.
The luxury hotel belongs to the illustrious circle of Leading Hotels of the World. Under this link* you can have a look at the offers for the hotel.
The directly adjacent Cafe Sacher is probably the best known of the Viennese coffee houses that are part of the UNESCO world heritage. Above all, it brings the original Sacher cake as one of the first versions of the world-famous Sacher cake to the not too small clientele.
Accordingly, there is sometimes a long queue to taste the famous piece of cake together with Viennese Melange and the like in this elegant but expensive cafe.
At Cafe Sacher queuing is the order of the day
Directions: Take the U1, U2 or U4 via the stop "Karlsplatz".
Opening hours Cafe Sacher: Open daily from 8 to 24.
9. House of Music
Haus der Musik is the sound museum of the city of Vienna, praised for its innovative and interactive design.
I mention it here rather for the sake of completeness, since a visit takes quite a lot of time and the building is not the first address in Vienna for a superficial glance.
If you want to save the Haus der Musik for another day in Vienna, you can go straight from the Hotel Sacher to the Ring. Otherwise, the following exhibition awaits you in the museum:
1. Floor: Here the museum offers you information about the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, located in the apartment where Otto Nicolai lived when he founded the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
2. Floor: In the so-called Sonosphere, you can try your hand at sound experiments and go in search of the Vienna Philharmonic that lies dormant within you.
3. Floor: Here is a room dedicated to many of the great composers of music history, who also made Vienna happy with their fiddling (Mahler, Mozart, Beethoven etc.).). In these rooms there are, among other things, personal items such as instruments of the musicians as well as information about their life and work to explore.
4. Stock: On the virto|stage you can personally influence the stage set and the music by body movements.
Admission: 13 euros. Click here for the online ticket:
Approach: Take the U1, U2 or U4 via the "Karlsplatz" stop.
Opening hours: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Vienna sights on and around the Ringstrasse
Within the Ringstrasse there are beautiful old town alleys like this one, but also the Ring itself has many sights to offer
The "Ring" is probably the most famous street in Vienna. It leads around the historic center. Surrounding this boulevard are a number of the city’s most famous sights.
A tip for you if you’ve had enough of city walking: The yellow Vienna Ring Tram Will transport you around the ring for 9 euros.
However, there are also public streetcar lines of the Wiener Linien, which are suitable for an unofficial and cheaper round trip along the Vienna sights on the Ring – namely the Streetcars Nr. 1 and 2.
For example you could take streetcar 1 from Karlsplatz in the direction of Prater and get off at Schwedenplatz. From there, take streetcar line 2 in the direction of Dornbach until you arrive back at Karlsplatz.
Back to the continuation of the Vienna sightseeing tour on the Ring: It is a good idea to start at the Stadtpark and work your way clockwise from there to the north.
10. City Park
The city park is a perfect place to relax
The Stadtpark is an idyllic and very centrally located park and the oldest preserved example of its kind in Vienna. From 1862 it was – at first in parts – accessible.
The park offers many, many benches, a picturesque pond, the river with the imaginative name Vienna and altogether a wonderful place to relax from the city bustle for a moment.
Other highlights of the park are the Kursalon Hubner (originally used for music and dance events, nowadays used for events like weddings or balls), the Johann Strauss Monument from 1921 for the waltz king as well as the Schubert Monument.
Directions: The U4 takes you quickly to the park with the stop "Stadtpark".
11. Belvedere Palace
The Lower Belvedere is the part of the Belvedere Palace located near the Ringstrasse
The Belvedere Palace is located a few hundred meters south of the Ring. The two parts of the palace – the Upper and Lower Belvedere – are connected by a large and elaborately landscaped palace garden.
The palace garden is also the oldest part of the complex and was built as early as 1700.
The Lower Belvedere Is located further north and is the first building of the Belvedere Palace that you reach from the ring road. It was completed in 1716 and served as a residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy, who was the lucky nobleman for whom the magnificent building was built.
The Upper Belvedere was again completed around 1725, but interestingly was initially intended only as a small building to visually close the complex.
Construction escalated, however, to the point where the Upper Belvedere took on much larger dimensions and could eventually be used for representative purposes.
The palace complex houses an art museum with the most extensive collection of works by Austrian painter Gustav Klimt on the entire planet Earth. The collection of other works of art from Austria is similarly outstanding and significant.
Directions: Take the U1 to the stop "Taubstummengasse" and then walk for about a quarter of an hour or take streetcar D to the stop "Schloss Belvedere".
Opening hours: The Lower Belvedere is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Fridays until 9 p.m. The Upper Belvedere is again open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Fridays also until 9 p.m.
Entrance: There are separate tickets for the Lower Belvedere (with the art exhibitions) and Upper Belvedere (with the most visited art museum in Austria). The cheapest ticket option costs 14 euros:
12. Karlskirche and Otto Wagner Pavilion
The magnificent Karlskirche
The next stop on your Vienna sightseeing itinerary can be the Karlskirche, which is nothing less than my favorite building in Vienna.
Especially the detailed decorated towers give the Karlskirche a very special look and are simply unbeatable if you ask me. Not without reason, the sacred building is the second most famous church in the city after St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
The listed Baroque masterpiece is located on Karlsplatz square. The building was erected during the plague epidemic in the 18th century. Century decided. Completed in 1739.
The frescoes inside the dome can be admired thanks to an elevator. The latter, however, is certainly no optical gain for the interior of the church.
If you’re in Vienna at Christmas time, you should visit the Christmas market in front of the Karlskirche on your screen.
Opening hours Karlskirche: Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays and holidays from noon to 7 p.m.
Admission Karlskirche: 8 Euro
In addition, the Otto Wagner Pavilion the Karlsplatz. It was completed in 1898 and served as a station building of the Vienna City Railway. The architectural design is by the famous Viennese Art Nouveau architect Otto Wagner.
Inside the pavilion you will find, almost logically, an exhibition about the life and work of this good man, which belongs to the Wien Museum.
The main building of the Wien Museums you could also pay a visit at Karlsplatz. It is open to the public free of charge on the first Sunday of every month.
On the side: Also part of the Wien Museum are, among others, numerous musician’s apartments (Schubert, Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Johann Strauss), the Prater Museum as well as the exhibition in the Hermesvilla located in the Lainzer Tiergarten.
Opening hours Otto Wagner Pavilion: Open from April to October Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 am to 6 pm.
Admission Otto Wagner Pavilion: 5 euros
approach: The U1, U2 and U4 bring you here via the station "Karlskirche".
There is more than enough to eat at the Naschmarkt
Even though the whole market area stretches far to the west – the part of the Naschmarkt close to the city center can be reached relatively fast from Karlsplatz.
Here you will find more than 120 market stalls, mainly selling foodstuffs. In addition, there are many restaurants (of which the Neni is especially popular). All in all, this makes for a very popular place to eat, especially for tourists.
To be more precise: The Naschmarkt is one of Vienna’s most popular sights and, accordingly, tends to be a tourist attraction.
Nevertheless, the market is not a tourist attraction plucked from the ground. Already in 1780 the first market stalls were located in this corner of the city. On Saturdays there is also a popular flea market at the Naschmarkt. The best thing to do is just get inspired by what’s on offer.
An alternative could be the following guided tour of the Naschmarkt, where you’ll be provided with plenty of background info:
PS: On the edge of the Naschmarkt are the Wienzeilenhauser designed by Otto Wagner with the Majolica House (address: Linke Wienzeile 40) worth a photo or two. They offer art nouveau facades of the extra class.
Market Hours: Most stalls bring their wares to the people between 6 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturdays. On Sundays and holidays, the market stalls and restaurants are closed.
Approach: Take the U1, U2 or U4 to the station "Karlsplatz".
14. Hofburg with its museums
View of a small piece of the huge Hofburg
For over 600 years, the Hofburg was the not-so-modest residence of the Habsburgs, making the complex of buildings the central point of the Holy Roman Empire.
Back in the day, the Hofburg served as the seat of government and center of administration, as well as a place for the imperial family to stay during the winter months.
It is home to several Vienna sights at once:
Albertina: I have already described the Albertina as one of the most important art museums in the world.
Sisi Museum: Here you can see an exhibition of personal belongings of the famous Empress Elisabeth. The Sisi Museum deals with her life and death and the Sisi myth. Illustrated by hundreds of personal items such as gloves, clothes, fans, Sisi’s u-egg collection (joke!) or death certificate.
Imperial Apartments: The Imperial Apartments offer a glimpse into the private chambers of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth, respectively. Sisi. At Tante Erna’s in the Lappenstuhl district of Bramsch, the facility would be described as Gelsenkirchen Baroque; in Vienna, the style works. No kidding: this glimpse into the life of the imperial family is impressive. The furniture was built in large parts in the second half of the 19th century. Century made.
Silver Chamber: Here you can see a presentation of the Imperial Silver Collection and the Habsburg Table Room, which has belonged to the State of Austria since 1918. Accordingly, there is a lot of partly ancient and precious glass, porcelain to see, with which was imperially fed.
View over the Kohlmarkt to the dome of the Michaelertrakts of the Hofburg
In the Michaelertrakt again for over 450 years the Spanish Riding School operated. This is the oldest riding school in the world and the last place where classical horsemanship from Renaissance times is still taught.
Only Lipizzaners are trained, which conversely means that my beloved mini Shetland ponies cannot enjoy noble training at the Spanish Riding School!
During the tour you get to see the public morning work and can watch the exercises of the riders and horses. The fun is accompanied by classical music.
(Saves a euro or two over buying individual tickets)
The Imperial Treasury finally consists of a collection of preciousness of the Habsburgs, which logically has it in itself and is one of the most significant of its kind.
It is part of the Kunsthistorisches Museum and housed in the oldest part of the Hofburg (the Schweizertrakt). Among the collection highlights are the imperial insignia of Austria and the imperial crown.
Also part of the Hofburg complex: the largest part of the National Library of Austria, the Augustinian Church, the Hofburg Chapel and the Federal Monuments Office.
From the outside, the following places around the Hofburg are wonderful to visit:
- Heroes’ Square
- Underpass between Michaelerplatz and Heldenplatz
- View of the Hofburg from Michaeler- and Josefsplatz
- Castle Garden with the elegant Art Nouveau Palm House, which was completed in this form in 1906 and in whose left wing is the Butterfly Garden
Approach: Among other things about the station "Herrengasse" of the U3.
Opening hours: The opening hours are slightly dependent on the respective exhibition. In general, however, the following times apply: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from September to June, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily in July and August.
Admission: The price of admission depends on the ticket option chosen.
15. Volksgarten with adjacent Burgtheater
The view from the Volksgarten to the Burgtheater
The Volksgarten is from the Heldenplatz resp. the Hofburg can be reached in a flash and, as a green oasis in one of the city’s tourist hotspots, is perfect for a short break. The rose garden, some sculptures, the snow-white Theseus temple – there is a lot for the eye.
From the Volksgarten, the Burgtheater, another magnificent building in the style of historicism on the Ring, can be easily overlooked. Opened in 1888, this national theater of Austria is worth seeing not only from the outside. Inside there are among other things ceiling paintings created by Gustav Klimt to see.
Opening hours: Open from April to October between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. and from November to March between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Approach: Take the U2 or U3 via the "Volksgarten" station.
16. Museum of Art History and Natural History
In the foreground the Executive Monument, in the background the Kunsthistorisches Museum
The Museum of Art History is another Viennese museum that is one of the most important in the world. It is located on Maria-Theresien-Platz and is thus one of the Hofburg’s neighbors.
It was opened in 1891 and developed from the collection of the Habsburgs. Nowadays it is one of the most visited among the Vienna sights.
The Picture Gallery boasts works by Vermeer, Velazquez, Rubens and other big names. In addition, there is a collection of treasures from the Orient as well as a Kunstkammer with rare treasures from the Middle Ages and subsequent eras to admire.
However, the building is also worth seeing for its magnificent rooms alone.
Other offshoots of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in the city area: Treasury in the Hofburg, Imperial Carriage Museum at Schonbrunn Palace, Collections in the Neue Burg, Vienna World Museum, Theseus Temple in the Volksgarten and the Austrian Theater Museum.
Admission: 16 euros. It may also be advantageous to purchase one of the following combination tickets for the Kunsthistorisches Museum as well as the Imperial Treasury or the Leopold Museum:
The Natural History Museum is in turn the sister building of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, located on the opposite side of Maria-Theresien-Platz.
It is one of the most important natural history museums on the planet. There is a botanical section, a skeleton collection, a dinosaur hall, a meteorite collection, a replica Carboniferous forest, an archaeological exhibit in the prehistoric collection and more to explore.
Directions: With the U2 via the station "Museumsquartier.
Opening hours Kunsthistorisches Museum: Open daily at least from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Thursdays even until 9 p.m.
Admission to the Kunsthistorisches Museum: 16 € (For the special exhibitions you have to pay extra.)
Opening hours Natural History Museum: Open daily except Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Extended opening hours until 9 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Admission Natural History Museum: 12 €
One of the eye-catchers in the MuseumsQuartier is the mumok
The popular MuseumsQuartier is already located on the edge of the Inner City and is thus already off the ring road. It is a must on any Vienna sightseeing itinerary and can be reached from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in no time at all.
At the main entrance of the building complex baroque look is delivered, while in the inner courtyard clearly more modern elements prevail. This includes the colorful outdoor seating, which brings many people to this indoor area in summer.
The MuseumsQuartier consists of Nine facilities, which together provide a very diverse cultural offering. Among the most popular of these are the Leopold Museum and the mumok.
The exterior of the building is decorated with shell limestone Leopold Museum exists since 2001. Among the highlights is the world’s largest collection of works by the painter Egon Schiele. Gustav Klimt is also very well represented.
Opening hours: Open daily except Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Thursdays even until 9 p.m.
Admission: 14 euros. You can get your online ticket to avoid the queue by clicking on the following link:
The mumok (= Museum of Modern Art) is again located right across the street in a futuristic building. You will find a collection of Pop Art, Dadaism, Surrealism, Expressionism and Cubism works as well as works of Viennese Actionism. Many of the most famous artists from these directions are represented with works.
Opening hours: Tuesday through Sunday between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., on Thursdays even open until 9 p.m. On Mondays, the mumok is only open from 2 to 7 p.m.
Admission: 13 Euro.
The Vienna Art Gallery is another popular address for contemporary art, which is part of the MuseumsQuartier. I have already mentioned an additional location of the Kunsthalle at Karlsplatz. Admission: 3 euros. On Sundays you only have to pay as much as you like.
Other exhibitions that belong to the MuseumsQuartier are the following: Architekturzentrum Wien, Zoom Kindermuseum, Dschungel Wien, Tanzquartier, Halle E+G for events and an infopoint for families and children.
After exploring the MuseumsQuartier, it’s a good idea to continue on to the nearby quarter Spittelberg to stroll. Around Spittelberggasse, a particularly picturesque corner and one of Vienna’s most popular residential areas is waiting to be explored there.
The actual Vienna sightseeing tour, however, leads you to other monumental buildings on the Ringstrasse.
Directions: Take the U2 via the "Museumsquartier" stop.
The parliament building at the Ringstrabe
Not far from the MuseumsQuartier you will come across the Parliament Building and thus the seat of the Austrian Parliament, Federal Council and National Council.
The building was richly decorated with many statues and the Pallas Athena fountain in front of the main entrance. The latter is supposed to symbolize the state wisdom, in which, unfortunately, one must sometimes doubt.
The design of the historic meeting hall was inspired by ancient theaters. The result is a building of historicism that is as important as it is huge, offering 1.600 rooms to offer. Thus, the parliament building beats Schonbrunn Palace in terms of number of rooms.
Approach: Take the U2 via the "Rathaus" station.
19. City Hall
The towers of the town hall seen from Heldenplatz
The Vienna City Hall is a neo-Gothic building from 1883 and thus similarly old as the parliament building. Among other things, Vienna’s mayor works in these hallowed halls.
The Town Hall is a magnificent building in keeping with Vienna’s importance and size, and the successor to the Old Town Hall in Wipplingerstrasse, which had become too small in this respect.
The main tower is almost 100 meters high and up there in lofty heights decorated with the so-called city hall man. At the front side of the city hall you can admire a beautiful arcade.
By the way, in 1938 a part of the parapet on the second floor was removed so that Adolf Hitler could give a speech from a wooden balcony. However, this wooden balcony was later replaced by one made of stone.
Directions: Take the U2 via the "Rathaus" station.
20. Votive Church
Beautiful old Viennese buildings and the Votiv Church
The Votivkirche is a neo-Gothic church building located even a few meters further north on the Ring, and is one of the most important of its kind. The two towers are 99 meters high, making the Votivkirche the second highest church in Vienna.
The church building was donated to commemorate the knife attack on Emperor Franz Joseph. (By the way, the attack only resulted in a minor injury to the neck.) The Viennese were happy about the completion of the Votivkirche in 1879 after a construction period of more than twenty years.
In the museum belonging to the church, the Antwerp Altar is considered the biggest highlight, as it is counted among the most important works of art of its kind.
Directions: U2 to the "Schottentor" station.
Vienna sights further out
Some of the most famous Vienna sights are located outside the Inner City and are therefore rather less easy to integrate into a Vienna sightseeing tour, unless you are the Harzer Wandermeister of 1999.
However, you can easily reach it by public transport from the center of Vienna.
21. House of the sea
The House of the Sea is an aqua zoo housed in a World War II flak tower.
If you – z. B. in case of rainy weather – if you feel like taking a look into numerous aquariums, then the Haus des Meeres is the right place for you to visit.
A nice side effect can be that you get a nice view over Vienna in front of your lens thanks to the observation deck on the ninth floor.
Directions: Take the U3 to the "Neubaugasse" stop.
Opening Hours: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Thursdays the opening hours are extended by three hours, so that the House of the Sea closes only at 9 p.m.
Admission: 18,90 Euro.
22. Hundertwasser House& Museum Hundertwasser
You can actually live in it: the Hundertwasser House
The Hundertwasser House is a residential complex with 52 apartments and four stores, designed by the famous artist with the almost unbeatable pen name Friedensreich Hundertwasser and completed in 1985.
The complex stands out with a great many plants in the corridors and on the roof, as well as the colorful, multi-faceted and unique facade. A visit from the inside is unfortunately not possible.
Opposite is a small shopping center called Hundertwasser Village With toilets designed by Hundertwasser.
The Museum Hundertwasser lies again only approx. five minutes walk from the Hundertwasserhaus. It has taken up residence in the Kunst Haus Wien designed by the artist. On display are logically works by Hundertwasser. But also other exhibitions with contemporary art are offered.
Directions: From the stop "Landstrabe" of the lines U3 and U4 in about one kilometer walk accessible.
Opening hours Museum Hundertwasser: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission Museum Hundertwasser: 11 euros. You can get your ticket in advance online at the following address:
23. The Ferris wheel in Wurstelprater& Vienna Prater
Giant Ferris Wheel in the Wurstelprater is one of the landmarks of Vienna
The Prater is a huge park (6 square kilometers to be exact) located between the Danube and the Danube Canal, which is perfect for local recreation with its forests, meadows and water areas and still relatively central location.
Part of the Prater is the unofficially called Wurstelprater amusement park. This is home to the famous Ferris wheel with its beautiful red gondolas, which is one of the landmarks of the city, as well as roller coasters and the ever-popular wax museum Madame Tussauds.
The fancy gondolas of the Giant Ferris Wheel have been making their rounds since 1897 and have managed to save their historic charm up to the present day without being replaced by new-fangled specimens. A break in the operation was necessary due to the almost complete destruction of the Wurstelprater during the Second World War.
Admission: 12 euros. The following ticket offers might be interesting for you:
Directions: U1 or U2 to the stop "Praterstern".
Ride times Ferris wheel: The times that the Ferris wheel is in motion each day vary depending on the time of year. However, the core time is between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. In the high season between May and September, however, the ride is possible, for example, even between 9 and 24 clock.
24. Schonbrunn Palace
The palace garden offers great views over the palace, its garden and parts of Vienna
Schonbrunn Palace is the second most visited sight in Vienna after St. Stephen’s Cathedral. This largest castle in Austria is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Not only the castle is worth seeing, but also the surrounding castle garden, the zoo and the wagon castle. But first, some info about the castle itself is needed:
A) Schonbrunn Palace
There was no stinginess in the construction of Schonbrunn Palace
The palace Schonbrunn was built from 1743 to the still visible splendor for Empress Maria Theresia. expanded. From then on it served for many decades as the summer residence of the imperial family.
Several hundred people belonged to the court. In the castle, if you counted the rooms, you would come up with the crazy number of 1.441 come. A large part of the premises (especially the state rooms) is now a museum, which you – as well as several million other visitors per year – can visit.
Here you can see, among other things, the former living quarters of Sisi and Emperor Franz. However, the palace was not only intended for living, but also for representative purposes.
With the state rooms was really thick to show off, which probably could not hurt, because the inbred often not exactly model faces of the Habsburgs (keyword: Habsburg lip) were not always the perfect calling card.
Highlights beyond Sisi’s living quarters include the Napoleon Room (presumed bedroom of Napoleon during the occupation), the Million Room (with very precious paneling of rosewood), the Grand Gallery (centerpiece of the palace), the Porcelain Room (study and playroom of Empress Maria Theresa) and the Vieux Laque Room (former study of Emperor Franz, later converted into a memorial room for him).
Admission: The ticket costs 16 Euro in the simplest version. The following offers could be interesting for you:
(the easiest ticket option)
(more rooms than on the Imperial Tour)
Opening hours: Open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. (from November to March) or until 6:30 p.m. (July and August), depending on the season. In September and October and from April to June it closes at 17:30.
B) Palace Garden
The Gloriette is not only worth seeing in its own right, but also offers great views over the palace grounds and parts of Vienna
The baroque garden of the Schonbrunn Palace is a spacious complex in keeping with its status. During my visit in autumn I especially liked the walk through the palace garden.
The Neptune Fountain, the Roman Ruin and the Labyrinth area are stops you could make on your tour of the park. By the way, the castle garden was featured in the James Bond film "The Touch of Death*".
The highlight of the Schossgarten is the Gloriette – a splendid panoramic terrace offering views over parts of the palace garden, the palace itself and large parts of the city.
It is definitely worth going up the hill. To the side of the Gloriette, it is also recommended to walk through the "wooded" sections located there, which are much less frequented than the main paths between the palace and the Gloriette.
To the left and right of the Gloriette there are still a few less frequented paths to explore
Opening hours Schlossgarten: The palace garden is closed at sunset, which leads to very different opening hours throughout the year.
Admission: Free of charge.
C) Schonbrunn Zoo
The Schonbrunn Zoo was opened in 1752 by order of the Habsburgs. Today it can call itself the oldest zoo in the world still in existence.
It is also very well visited and with its more than 8.700 animals certainly worth seeing, even though I’m not a big zoo fan myself. Highlights are certainly the polar bears and the South America park.
Admission: 20 euros. To avoid possible queuing, you could secure your ticket online in advance at the following link:
Opening hours: Opening hours vary depending on the season. The zoo is open daily at least from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
D) Carriage Museum
In the museum belonging to the Carriage Museum of Schonbrunn Palace you can see the noble cars of the Austrian emperors and other noble houses (among others Thurn and Taxis).
Opening Hours: Open from mid-March to the end of November between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and from December to mid-March between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Admission: 9,50 Euro. An online ticket is available at the following address:
Directions Schonbrunn Palace: Take the U4 to "Schonbrunn" station, from where you are about five minutes walk from the entrance to Schonbrunn Palace.
25. Central cemetery
The cemetery church of the Central Cemetery
The Vienna Central Cemetery was opened in 1874. It replaced Vienna’s five so-called "communal" cemeteries, and at the time was located well outside the city gates.
With 330.000 graves and ca. 3.000.000 dead, it is the largest cemetery in Europe – based on the number of dead people. Also in terms of area, it is one of the largest of its kind in Europe. Therefore, you should not underestimate the vastness of the complex during your exploration.
After its opening, the Central Cemetery was anything but popular with the Viennese and was considered desolate because of the still sparse planting. The graves of honor were created to give the cemetery a better image.
On the tourist radar it is precisely because of this Graves of honor and graves of Beethoven, Brahms, Strauss, Udo Jurgens, Falco, Curd Jurgens, G. W. Pabst and other celebrities landed here.
Regarding Beethoven’s grave, his body was originally buried at the Wahring Cemetery and was later transferred to the Central Cemetery. Not included, however, was the skull of the musical genius, which must have been stolen not long after his death.
Beethoven’s Tomb at the Central Cemetery
Yes, this is how one imagines a grave of honor to be
Worth seeing Art Nouveau buildings such as the cemetery church, eerily beautiful gravestones and other places such as the Old Arcades also provide a special atmosphere. Further information about the Central Cemetery, such as a map, can be found under this link.
If you want to learn especially much about this interesting Viennese place at first hand, then you should definitely consider the following excellent guided tour of the Central Cemetery have to be on the radar:
PS: The cemetery was one of the filming locations in the classic movie and Vienna movie par excellence – "The Third Man*".
Opening hours: Open from November to February between 8 am and 5 pm and from April to September between 7 am and 7 pm. In March and October accessible from 7 to 18 o’clock.
Approach: Take the S7 to the "Zentralfriedhof" station, from where you can walk to the central areas of the cemetery.
Falco’s very special tomb is definitely worth seeing
Some final Vienna tips
To help you get a quicker overview of the location of each stop on the Vienna sightseeing tour, here at the beginning of my Vienna tips is a map with the location of the places mentioned marked:
1. Perks: Vienna City Card vs. Vienna Pass
If you want to see many of the above Vienna sights from the inside, then the entrance fees can add up to a tidy sum. The Vienna City Card and the Vienna Pass can help you save money.
The Vienna City Card offers 24-, 48- or 72-hour tickets for the use of public transport in the city area (Wiener Linien). In addition, the card gives you discounts at many sights, museums, restaurants and stores (including attractions in the Hofburg and Schonbrunn Palace and Zoo).
A normal 24-hour ticket of the Wiener Linien costs 8 euros, so that for example the purchase of the 24-hour variant of the Vienna City Card for 17 euros can quickly pay off.
The Vienna Pass again does not include free use of local transportation, but does include free admission to many of Vienna’s most famous attractions. If you want to see many of the attractions mentioned in this text (Schonbrunn Palace, Spanish Riding School and other attractions around the Hofburg, Giant Ferris Wheel, etc.), you should buy a Vienna Pass.), you can quickly save quite a bit on entrance fees.
The Vienna Pass is available for 1, 2, 3 or 6 days. The one-day option costs for example 70 Euro.
So whether and – if so – which one you should buy can be determined with a Vienna to-do list and some simple mathematics.
2. Vienna tips on how to get there
The waltz king Johann Strauss, being Viennese, did not have to travel far to see St. Stephen’s Cathedral& Co. (here: the Strauss monument in the city park)
Vienna can be reached from many German cities in reasonable driving times per Train accessible. From Nuremberg or Munich the travel time is hardly more than four hours.
Long-distance buses can also get you to Vienna in reasonable travel times. Vienna is well connected to the long-distance bus network of Flixbus with several stops. For example, there are direct connections from Nuremberg, Munich, Stuttgart or Leipzig.
By plane, of course, Vienna is also accessible via the airport located southeast of the city. I almost always look for cheap flight deals on Skyscanner:
For the Airport transfer finally, the S-Bahn (S7) or the CAT (City Airport Train) are the main options. The latter offers the fastest variant for the trip to the city center. You can secure your ticket in advance at the following link:
If you want to gondola directly from the airport to your accommodation, you could of course treat yourself to a private airport transfer:
3. Vienna tips on conveniently located and good accommodations
Vienna is rich in splendid accommodations (here: parts of the Wienzeilenhauser designed by Otto Wagner)
If exploring the most famous sights of Vienna is on your agenda and maybe even on only one weekend, then the 1. District is a good point of reference when looking for a hotel.
The 1. District (Innere Stadt) is not only home to most of the sights, but also most of the hotels. Due to the good public transport network, you don’t have to worry too much about an extremely central location of your accommodation.
Here are some Suggestions for your accommodation search:
(from ca. 60 €/night for a double room and ca. 15 €/night for a bed in a dorm): This very well rated hostel is located at the Naschmarkt. It has both double rooms and dormitory beds on offer and is a good choice especially for single travelers looking for a connection.
(from ca. 60 €/night): Josefstadt is a quiet district that borders directly on the Innere Stadt (inner city). The family-run Urban Stay Columbia is located in this lovely corner of the city, conveniently within easy reach of the city center.
(from ca. 80 €/night): These apartments, which have rave reviews, are located south of Westbahnhof and offer practical and cost-saving self-catering options.
(from approx. €85/night): The Apollo Hotel is located in the hipster neighborhood of Neubau near the Westbahnhof train station and also stands out with an excellent rating profile.
(from ca. 100 €/night): This offshoot of the Motel One chain has set up shop near the main train station and has the chain’s usual perks to offer.
(from approx. 120 €/night): On the border of the 1. This hotel is located in the 1st district of Neubau, with highlights like the Museumsquartier and Spittelberg on the doorstep.
(from ca. 220 €/night): One of the highlights of this 5-star luxury hostel located on the Danube Canal in Leopoldstadt is the breakfast room, which can be counted among the best vantage points in Vienna.
(from ca. 400 €/night): Hotel Sacher is the most famous posh hotel in Vienna that you probably knew about well before your first trip to Vienna.
For essential More detailed info on Vienna’s most suitable districts for tourists and top accommodations located in them you should have a look at the following article of mine:
4. Vienna tips on good city tours and sightseeing
Getting to know Vienna’s old town is especially good with the help of a local guide (here: the Lessing monument on Judenplatz)
Guided city tours are an excellent way to be made aware of peculiarities and details that would otherwise remain hidden from you while visiting the Vienna sights.
Good tour offers to get to know the main attractions in detail of the city are the following:
This tour, which is highly rated and lasts up to two hours, brings you closer to Vienna’s old town and its most important sights.
If you’re looking for a tailor-made tour of Vienna, then take a closer look at this offer. In this customizable tour, a local or a native brings you closer to his/her hometown.
This tour through the city center offers you two hours packed with exciting historical knowledge. On this way you can learn a lot about the beautiful city.
You can cover a lot of distance on a bike, so this guided bike tour is a great way to see a lot of great Vienna quickly.
With an e-bike you can explore Vienna even more, so this 3-hour tour offer might be interesting for you, too. The offer includes not only the one-hour guided tour, but also the full-day use of the e-bike for further independent exploration of the city.
: I must admit that I still grin a bit at the sight of Segway riders. However, this does not change the fact that the strange parts are particularly well suited for urban explorations.
: If you want to move around as little as possible by yourself while taking in the sights of the city in a special vehicle, then this is the offer for you.
5. Vienna tips on recommended travel guides
Besides blog articles and city tours, travel guides are of course also a wonderful way to learn a lot about Vienna. There’s a lot to choose from. I consider the following Vienna books to be particularly suitable for exploring the most famous Vienna sights:
: Like most Marco Polo guidebooks, this compact Vienna edition is great for getting an overview of the most important sites for a relatively short stay.
This Vienna guide by CityTrip also provides the most important information in a short and crisp way. I found the four walking suggestions very useful for trip planning.
: If you are looking for much more comprehensive and in-depth info, then I can again especially call you this comprehensive guide from the house Baedeker. Clear recommendation!
To think even further outside the box, I also recommend this "User’s Guide to Vienna*" where you can learn a lot about living in Vienna.
In addition, be sure to take a look at my other Vienna articles and if needed also my report about nearby Bratislava, if you have not already done so:
Have fun exploring the most famous sights in Vienna!
Pin this article on Pinterest about a handy Vienna sightseeing itinerary you can use to explore Vienna in a weekend or a day: