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10 Best Things to do in Vienna, Austria

Country manager @ Trip.Expert
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Vienna, the City of Dreams, has a great reputation as a fantastic vacation destination. The city has fascinating royal history, romantic imperial architecture, wonderful museums, imposing churches, and endless charm. The city offers unforgettable experiences to everyone, for backpackers to couples and families. Vienna is very much part of Classic Europe, and the monumental historic center of the city and Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens were declared by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Nevertheless, the city is modern, cosmopolitan, with bustling shopping centers, praised culinary scene, and great nightlife. Also, Vienna is the greenest city in the world and almost half of its area, is covered with vegetation and the splendid parks and gardens are a true joy to all.

Here are the top 10 must-sees at Vienna, that everyone who visits the city should not miss. Discover the magic of the City of Music and Dreams with a map-based itinerary that will lead you to all of Vienna's highlights.
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10 places   
Schönbrunn Palace
  Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Wien, Austria
It is hard not to be excited and overwhelmed when you visit the glamorous and glorious Schönbrunn Palace. One of the enthralling palace complexes in whole Europe, Schönbrunn is the most popular attraction in Austria and a do-not-miss experience. The majestic Baroque Palace used to be the summer residence of the Habsburg emperors and their families since 1569 and until the end of the monarchy in 1918. It was Emperor Maximilian II who first used the property. But the significant change in Schönbrunn made only in the days of Emperor Leopold I that Schönbrunn was in his possession since 1686. Leopold I wish to build his son, Joseph, a proper residence. Partly, due to the siege of Vienna by the Turkish in 1863 which had an effect on Schönbrunn as well. Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach was chosen for the complicated task and the ambitious plan was launched in 1696. Nevertheless, it was Maria Theresa, daughter of Emperor Charles VI who received Schönbrunn as a gift, who had a major contribution on turning Schönbrunn into a political center and stately summer residence. With the help of the architect Nikolaus Pacassi, the Palace was greatly expanded from 1743 to 1749.

The Palace has an almost unbelievable number of rooms, in its glory days 1,441 rooms were built for the emperors' summer residence. Today, only 45 are open to the public, but even so, it is easy to enjoy the place's beauty and imagine its past opulence. Due to its history, architecture, and Rococo interiors design, Schönbrunn has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Except for the marvelous Palace, Schönbrunn includes a stunning park that is open to all since 1779. The park has outstanding gardens, with green lawns, beautiful flowers, and shading trees. The lovely statues, fountains, maze, and exceptional palm house also add to the park's splendor. At Schönbrunn you can also visit the Imperial Carriage Museum and a splendid zoo which is the oldest in the world. Also, do not miss the Gloriette, an exceptional building from 1775 which turns into a café that offers testy pastries and a panoramic view of Vienna.
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  1040 Vienna, Austria
Karlskirche, also known as St. Charles Church among English speakers, is a stunning baroque prayer house that is a must-see while visiting Vienna. Karlskirche was designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, an Austrian architect who specialized in Baroque architecture. Karlskirche was the last work of Fischer von Erlach who died in 1723, and therefore the church was completed with the help of his son Joseph Emanuel and was inaugurated in 1739. The catalyst to the church's construction was the oath taken by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI at the plague epidemic. The church is dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo, the emperor's patron saint, who was taking care of considered healing those who were sick in a plague.

The church's interior is magnificent, with high alter and grandiose 1250sqm frescoes by Johannes Michael Rottmayr. A special elevator will lift you up to take a close look at the spectacular frescoes and will give you another unforgettable memory from the City of Dreams.
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Vienna State Opera
  Opernring 2, 1010 Wien, Austria
Vienna State Opera is another important institution in Ringstrasse, and no trip to Vienna is complete without. The lavish Opera was the first significant and central building in Ringstrasse and was designed in a neo-Renaissance style by August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll. Opened in 1869, to the sounds of Mozart’s "Don Giovanni", the Opera immediately added to the credibility and reputation of Vienna as the City of Music. A large part of the Opera was ruined in 1945, during World War II bombings, and was re-opening in 1952 after a long process of restoration.

The State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper) is considered one of the finest in the world and gain fame far beyond Austria's borders. The building is shared with Vienna State Ballet, and together they perform about 50 operas and ballet. This volume of productions is exceptional and sets a high bar that no other opera house in the world succeeds to pass. Another wonderful event that is happening at the State Opera is the Vienna Opera Ball. One night a year that the Opera turns into a dance floor and generates a magical and unforgettable night for all the attendees.
  Albertinapl. 1, 1010 Wien, Austria
Albertina museum resides in a stately Habsburg palace and includes modern art masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism like van Gogh, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, and many others. The museum is world-famous for its graphical collection, which contains more than a million prints and 60,000 drawings. In this rich and comprehensive collection, you will be able to see works of eminent artists as Cézanne, Dürer, Ruben, and Klimt. Albertina museum provides you a unique experience and an opportunity to view everlasting artworks of marvelous artists. If you love modern art, this is a must museum.
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Austrian National Library
  Josefsplatz 1, 1015 Wien, Austria
Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, the Austrian National Library, is an exceptional library that gains fame for its hall which is considered as one of the most beautiful library halls in the whole world. Originally, it was the Court Library and part of the Hofburg imperial residence. Today, the place provides an exquisite home to more than 11 million objects that the library holds.

The highlight of the library is, of course, its outstanding baroque state hall which is approximately 80 meters long and reaches the height of 20 meters. The state hall was built between 1723 and 1726 and contains more than 200,000 volumes, impressive Venetian baroque globes, and its dome is beautifully ornamented with frescoes by Daniel Gran.
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The Hofburg
  1010 Vienna, Austria
The Hofburg is a marvelous reminder of Austria's Imperial past, and of Vienna as a European center. Built during the thirteenth century and expanded with the centuries, the Hofburg is considered one of the largest palace complexes in the world. Until 1918, the Hofburg used to be the imperial palace of Habsburgs, a powerful royal house that ruled for seven centuries. The Habsburg family used to live in these palace complexes who also serve at the seat of the Habsburg's emperors' government.

The Hofburg today with its majestic gardens, hosts entrancing museums as Sisi, Ephesus, and Papyrus Museums. Also, the place is home to outstanding collections like the collection of Arms and Armor, Imperial Silver Collection, or Historic Musical Instruments. Other visitors' favorites are the Imperial Treasury, the Spanish Riding School, and the Imperial Apartments of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth. Loyal to its original purpose as a governmental center, Hofburg is also the seat of the Federal President of Austria.
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St. Stephen's Cathedral
  Stephansplatz 3, 1010 Wien, Austria
Start your vacation in thrilling Vienna at St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom), one of the city's most prominent symbols. The remarkable Gothic Cathedral with the untypical colorful roof was first constructed in 1147 as a Romanesque church but burned in 1258 when only one façade stayed still. The church was re-built in the 14th and 15th centuries and turned into a spectacular Gothic Cathedral. The Cathedral is entwined in the daily life and chronicles of Vienna and Austria, witness to many of the country's historical events. In 1945 during the Second World War, the St. Stephen's Cathedral was almost destroyed and the reconstruction was completed in 1952.

The Cathedral has a wonderfully palatial interior with a golden touch and beautiful altars and chapels. It is approximately 107 meters long and its width is 34 meters. The tallest of the four Cathedral towers is almost 137 meters, and it provides a splendid panoramic view of Vienna. Also, don't miss one of Europe's famous bells, Pummerin, which is one of the largest swinging bells on the continent. The Cathedral has also impressive tombs, Ducal Crypt, and catacombs and is the last resting place of historical figures as Emperor Friedrich III, Prince Eugene of Savoy, and many other notable Austrians.
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  Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz 1, 1010 Wien, Austria
Wiener Rathaus, the imposing building of Vienna's City Hall, is another fetching place to visit in wonderful Vienna. Located at Innere Stadt, in Rathausplatz, one of Vienna's main squares, Rathaus was built during 1872 – 1883. It was planned by the architect Friedrich Schmidt and the building construction followed Schmidt's marvelous Gothic Style design. The City Hall tower is a fantastic vantage point over some of the city's main attractions. It is almost 100 meters, has two winsome spiral staircases, and at the top of it, you will see the 650 kg statue of Rathausmann.
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Austrian Parliament Building
  Dr. Karl Renner-Ring 3, 1017 Wien, Austria
Located in Ringstrasse (Ring Road), a 5 kilometers grand boulevard with some of the best attractions and monuments in Vienna. But even among all the palaces and beautiful large buildings in Ringstrasse, the Austrian Parliament is absolutely eye-catching. As not like other buildings in the area, the Parliament design was inspired by ancient Greece architecture. The Parliament is also right next to a marvelous neo-renaissance palace, Palais Epstein, which was designed by Theophil von Hansen, the same architect of the Parliament.

The Austrian Parliament was inaugurated in 1883, after ten years-long construction due to the size of the building that extends approximately across 14,000sqm. In front of the building, you will be able to see another Greek motive, a fountain, and an impressive statue of Athene, the Greek goddess of wisdom. The interior of the building is no less stately with 1600 rooms and an outstanding chamber that imitates a theater form.
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  Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Wien, Austria
The MuseumsQuartier (MQ) is located in what used to be the imperial stables, and here as well, you will be able to find the fingerprints of the remarkable architect, Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. The MuseumsQuartier is one of the largest quarters in the world that is dedicated to culture and art. The baroque buildings add majestic imperial glamor and are the perfect decoration for the magnificent artworks in the museums. The MuseumsQuartier is evidence to Vienna as leading cultural force in Austria and Europe. The 90,000sqm site contains 60 fine cultural institutions, and the main museums to visit are Leopold Museum, Mumok, Kunsthalle, Architekturzentrum, and Zoom. The site is full not only of museums and other cultural institutions, but it also has plenty of restaurants, cafés, bars, and a splendid bohemian and artistic atmosphere.
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Vienna is highly accessible by foot and public transportation, therefore a car is usually not needed. You can easily use buses, trams, trains, and underground lines that are available most of the day. There are also special night lines from 00:30 until 05:00.

Read more about Vienna's transport system, tickets, and validation at City of Vienna.

Attractions' Tickets

It is recommended to buy tickets to the main attractions in advance. Not only because they are very popular but also due to the Coronavirus restrictions.

We provide an option to buy tickets via GetYourGuide which offers the best prices with free cancellation.

Vienna historic center

Vienna's historic center and one of the most enthralling areas in Austria is Innere Stadt, which circle by Ringstraße and includes many of Vienna's popular attractions.

MuseumsQuartier tickets

If you wish to visit more than one museum at MuseumsQuartier, consider buying combine tickets. You can find the tickets at MQ Point. MQ Point serves as a museum shop and is located at the main entrance of MuseumsQuartier, at Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna.

You can read about the different tickets and tours in MuseumsQuartier at MQ Point website.