Vienna, Austria’s majestic capital, is a traditional city where you may enjoy calming music and life-changing visions while living in wonderfully designed structures. It is a city teeming with relaxing nature, invigorating culture, and spectacular historic structures.
Vienna has a well-deserved reputation for being one of Europe’s greenest and cleanest cities. For eleven straight years, Vienna has been awarded the world’s finest place to live by Mercer’s Quality of Life study (2009 to 2019).
The whole city is surrounded by clean and fresh air, affordable housing, safe streets (low crime rate), dependable and inexpensive public transit, and an old-fashioned ambience. All of these features make it just as convenient for visitors as it is for natives to remain in Vienna.
Vienna, with its many museums and lush parks, is a wonderful destination for singles, couples, children, and anybody searching for a peaceful and cultural retreat. During the year, you may also attend many music and dance events in the city.
In addition to that, you may tour gorgeous palaces, authentic-smelling bakeries, and opera theaters all over the city. Hence, if you want to experience and see the greatest of Europe, you should begin your journey in Vienna.
Whether you’re visiting Vienna alone or with friends or family, these are some of the best things to do in Vienna.
Are you planning to visit other places in Austria? Check out our other tasty guides:
- Where to Find the Best Schnitzel in Vienna, Austria
- 9 Best Vienna Restaurants
- 1 Best Attractions in Vienna, Austria
- 2 Nighttime Activities in Vienna
- 3 Bringing Things to Do in Vienna, Austria to a Close
Best Attractions in Vienna, Austria
Amusement Park Prater
Vienna, Austria 1020
I doubt I’d have a better time anyplace else than an amusement park. My passion for amusement parks stems from their brilliant LED lights, exhilarating swings, visually appealing food kiosks, and, of course, the Ferris wheel.
Everything seems wonderful as I go around the rides, immersed in the lights and music that pours into my body. What better way to appreciate this great city than with a thrilling day excursion at the Prater Amusement Park?
What was once a royal hunting range is now a 3200-acre adventure park loaded with adventure, heritage, and Viennese flair.
The Prater amusement park has approximately 250 attractions, ranging from free-fall towers to traditional theme park rides, indoor and outdoor roller coasters, and the 65-meter-high huge Ferris wheel.
It costs nothing to enter the park. Even if you are not a fan of thrill coasters, you may amuse yourself by wandering about the park, dining at cafés, and admiring the environment.
There are also several nearby restaurants where you may eat with your friends and family, such as Hausegemachte Langos, Knusperhuschen, and Stadtgasthaus Eisvogel.
The Cathedral of St. Stephen
Stephansplatz 3, 1010 Wein
St. Stephens Cathedral, which dominates the Vienna skyline, is one of Austria’s most prominent Gothic edifices and churches.
The Late Romanesque Giants Door of St. Stephens Cathedral has remained on the same position for nearly 800 years, from the 12th century. This gigantic monolithic edifice was created in the early 1300s and has withstood several disasters, including the Turkish Siege and World War II.
Nowadays, it is a prominent landmark in Vienna, a popular tourist destination, and a place of prayer.
You may tour several areas inside the cathedral, including eighteen altars and many smaller chapels. You may also descend down to see various graves and catacombs where victims of the Great Plague of Vienna are buried.
The amazing view you receive after ascending 343 steps to the South Tower is the top attraction of St. Stephens Cathedral. Since it is 137 meters high, you can easily see the Belvedere Palace and the beautiful Hofburg.
You may also take the elevator to the North Tower’s viewing point, which houses the majestic Pummerin Bell.
The Hofburg Palace
Vienna, Austria 1010
Hofburg, described as a city inside a city, is one of the world’s largest palace complexes. It spans 56 acres and elegantly represents over 700 years of architectural history.
A day trip to the Hofburg might be your royal experience in Vienna, as you can see eighteen groups of imperial structures, nineteen notable courtyards, and a diverse variety of 2000+ rooms.
This palace complex has a variety of architectural styles, including Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance, Rococo, and Classicism. Therefore a single visit to this historically important structure will transport you several centuries back in time.
The Royal Chapel (Burgkapelle, since the 13th century) is the most historic edifice in the whole complex, and you may still visit it on Sundays for a musical evening with the famed Vienna Boys Choir.
There are also several additional sites to visit, including as the Natural History Museum, the Austrian Library, the Spanish Riding School, the Sisi Museum, and the Hofburg Palace Silver Collection.
The majority of this location is completely free to see; but, you will need to pay for few unique building admissions, which are well worth it.
The address is Schnbrunner Schlostrae 47, 1130 Wien, Austria.
Every location in Vienna has some kind of history attached to it. History makes this site appealing to folks who like learning new things everywhere they go.
Schnbrunn Palace, located a few miles west of Vienna’s center, is yet another stunning landmark of this elegant city. Its origins may be traced back to the 15th century, when Emperor Maximilian II purchased a tiny vacation home.
Between 1696 and 1730, the palace underwent several renovations. It was expanded between 1816 and 1819, with the repair finished in late 1952, after Wartime damage.
This vast castle, in addition to being a remarkable example of baroque architecture, also houses the Imperial Carriage Museum, the Orangery, the Privy Garden and labyrinth, and the Schnbrunn Zoo. A day trip to see all of these sights is a must.
You may also see the opulent chambers and apartments of Maria Theresa (the Habsburg empire’s sole female monarch), Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth, and Archduke Franz Karl.
Extend your tour to include stops in the Mirror Room, the Hall of Ceremonies, and the Blue Staircase.
13b Maxingstrae, 1130 Wien, Austria
The Schnbrunn Zoo, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the world’s oldest zoo, having been created in the mid-15th century. The building of Tiergarten Schnbrunn was authorized by Holy Roman Emperor Francis I, Maria Theresa’s husband.
The zoo initially housed just a modest collection of animals to serve as a royal vivarium. In 1779, Schnbrunns Zoo reopened to the public. It has subsequently survived a few shutdowns owing to World Wars and the 1980s financial crisis.
The Schnbrunn Zoo now houses approximately 700 animal species, including those that are critically endangered, such as bamboo bears. There are various beautiful creatures to see here, including Siberian tigers, pandas, hippos, and even one-horned rhinoceroses.
Check the zoo’s schedule to make sure you’re available for public feeding and training times, when you may see sea lions leap out of the water to collect food. Numerous other creatures, like Northern Rockhopper penguins, Arctic wolves, Siberian tigers, koalas, and even cheetahs, are on track.
After seeing the diverse species, you may enjoy ice cream or drink beer at the zoo’s cafés, beer gardens, and ice cream parlors.
State Opera of Vienna
Vienna, Austria, Opernring 2, 1010
At its foundation, opera is a storytelling art form in which performers express strong emotions via music and singing. If you like opera and how it makes you feel, you should not miss a visit to the Vienna State Opera.
The Vienna State Opera, often known as the Sunken Box, is regarded as one of the world’s most important opera theaters because to its enormous repertory. More than 35 opera artists, including Mozart, Strauss, Klmn, Lehr, and others, have debuted on this stage.
If you want to leave with an amazing experience, attending a performance at the Vienna State Opera is the best option. Every season, more over 50 operas and ballets perform; there is a production virtually every day.
Just buy your admission tickets in advance to ensure a spot. You may also join a guided opera house tour to see the Renaissance-style architecture and participate in the BTS of this creative masterpiece.
The finest highlight is the Opernball (Vienna Opera Ball), which turns the building into the city’s most magnificent ballroom for one night only.
This lovely event gathers over 5000 attendees to experience the most royal of festivities, which occurs just once a year but is so big that people from all over the globe come to participate.
You have the option of attending the ball (for a price) or grabbing a table while gowns and tailcoats dance the night away.
Nighttime Activities in Vienna
Tram Tour of the City
Who would have guessed that one of the nicest things to do in Vienna is also one of the most affordable? The Viennese Tram network is one of the world’s biggest railway networks, comprising 180 kilometers with five subterranean lines, 29 trams, and 127 bus routes.
One of the nicest things about these rides is that they haven’t been rebuilt, so they still have that old-fashioned, 19th-century feel to them. Also, there is no restriction on where you may go by tram. You may sit inside as long as there are tracks and see the splendor of this city.
I suggest taking a trip in the evening, when the carriages light up and the whole city changes landscape.
The yellow Vienna Ring Tram runs from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with fresh trips every hour or thirty minutes.
Along the journey, you’ll see the Vienna State Opera, Vienna Art History Museum, Natural History Museum, Imperial Palace, City Hall, Burgtheater, and the University of Vienna.
Through headphones, you may learn more about these landmarks in Viennese; the 25-minute journey provides all required information in eight languages.
Nevertheless, the Viennese Tram network is more than simply a mode of public transit. It is the ideal approach to transform any event into a memorable experience. You may also reserve these trams for unique wedding trips, birthday parties, and other occasions.
Markets for Christmas
13 Karlsplatz, 1040 Vienna, Austria
If you are spending a wonderful Christmas evening in the city, one of the finest things to do in Vienna during winter is to visit this market.
Christmas markets are a long-standing tradition in Vienna, dating back to the Middle Ages, when Albrecht I allowed Viennese inhabitants the right to have a December market.
From that day on, the totality of these markets has altered significantly, with over twenty Christmas markets now selling a diverse variety of seasonal goods, arts and crafts, handcrafted toys, jewelry, tasty delicacies, Christmas cuisine, and so on.
The Viennese Dream Christmas Market, located just in front of City Hall, is guaranteed to get every visitor in the holiday mood. The stunning surroundings and mouth-watering fragrances alone are enough to set you up for a season of bliss.
If you’re traveling with children, make your way inside City Hall, where numerous activities take place, such as teaching youngsters how to create Christmas cookies and candles.
Moreover, on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, you may enjoy free admission and listen to the delightful sound of foreign choirs performing carols.
Christmas Village Belvedere Palace, Maria Theresien Plaza, Christmas Village at the Old General Hospital, Schnbrunn Palace Christmas Market, and Spittelberg Christmas Market are just a few of the distinctive Christmas markets in Vienna.
The Catholic Church of Saint. Peter
1010 Vienna, Petersplatz 1.
Peterskirche, or St. Peters Catholic Church, is a wonderfully architected Baroque architecture and Vienna’s earliest domed construction, located on Vienna’s oldest Christian church site.
Many Viennese think that this religious site dates back to the 4th century AD, when a house of worship was just where Peterskirche now stands. Several different churches have been erected throughout the ages (1600 years), making this location highly precious to many Viennese.
Moreover, Peterskirche is a richly ornamented church that seems more majestic than any other church structure in Baroque architectural style.
The church’s exterior is beautiful, with a domed top and two magnificent towers that give off a classical appearance. The hues are white, beige, and sea green(ish), which make for wonderful photographs.
Within, you’ll discover spectacular paintings (from the 1700s), wood sculptures, altarpieces, and a highly ornamented interior with gold stucco. The entrance to Vienna’s most beautiful building is free, and it is easy to find since it is in the city’s centre.
Visiting this church is one of the greatest things to do in Vienna for getting a sense of the city’s character and history. Peterskirche also hosts concerts and organ recitals on occasion, making the venue appealing to music aficionados.
Every day from 3 to 3:30 PM, you may listen to live organ music. These live activities are free; however, you may give in order to view Peterskirche, a great work of art.
Tours by Horse-Drawn Carriage (Fiaker)
1110 Wien, Haidestrae 406, Austria
Horse-drawn carriages have been used for centuries in Vienna and are an entertaining way to tour the city. Despite the abundance of public and private transportation in the city, visitors from all over the globe want to explore with a Fiaker.
The nicest thing about these carriage journeys is the historically dressed coachman and the true tales about various locations he tells you.
Hearing true and intriguing facts about each location you visit will provide you with an experience that no guide could ever provide. These tales disclose the mysteries of Vienna’s ancient past, allowing you to discover a bit more about the intriguing city that is Vienna.
You may immediately grab a Fiaker and enjoy a conventional ride at set low pricing. For example, a 20-minute trip costs roughly $60, a 40-minute journey costs $90, and an hour travel costs $130.
Bringing Things to Do in Vienna, Austria to a Close
While Vienna is a year-round destination, I strongly advise you to come during the winter. The snow adds to its ancient appeal and exquisite architecture.
The abundance of activities to do in Vienna throughout December will help you to have a spectacular Christmas. At the old churches, you will be near to the Lord, experience the Christmas feelings in the snow-covered beautiful marketplaces, and dance away the Victorian age at the Vienna State Opera.
The carriage trolley and the whole city’s façade are like scenes from an artistic film, with beauty around every turn. It’s nirvana for anyone who love art, architecture, and history.
Every street has a tale to tell that will transport you to the past, and believe me, you will not want to return to reality.
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- 9 Best Vienna Restaurants
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