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Things to do in Vienna

Things to do in  Vienna

Welcome to Vienna

Once one of Europe’s great Imperial cities, Vienna still bears the hallmarks of its glory years: opulent baroque palaces, prestigious opera houses, and high society balls held during its annual Carnival celebrations. The Austrian capital remains an enchanting place, elegant but not showy, romantic but still reserved, and oozing with old-world charm. The most striking monuments are congregated in the historic center of Vienna—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and along the Ringstrasse, the historic ring road that loops around the Old Town and Museum Quarter (MuseumsQuartier). Impressive buildings abound, from the grand Rathaus, or Vienna City Hall, to the Austrian Parliament Building and the Gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral, to the magnificent halls of the Burgtheater and the Vienna Opera House (Staatsoper). Just outside of the center, the imperial palaces of Schonbrunn Palace (Schloss Schonbrunn) and Belvedere Palace (Schloss Belvedere) are the city’s most prized attractions, while the legendary Spanish Riding School shows off Lipizzan horses. Vienna’s strategic location, close to the borders of Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, makes it a great base for exploring other European cities on day trips to Bratislava, Budapest, Salzburg, and beyond. Closer to home, opt for a romantic Danube River cruise, enjoy wine tasting in Wachau Valley, or take a hiking or bike tour through Vienna Woods.

Top 10 attractions in Vienna

#1
Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn)

Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn)

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Built to rival the opulence of Versailles, Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn) was once a summer residence of the Habsburg monarchs. Today, this baroque palace is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historic monuments in Austria.More
#2
St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom)

St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom)

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With its dark Gothic spires, intricately tiled roof, and imposing bell tower, St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom) is one of Vienna’s star attractions. Centrally located on Stephansplatz square in the city’s UNESCO-listed historic center, the cathedral is architecturally stunning both inside and out. It’s also a site of great historical significance—Emperor Friedrich III and numerous other Habsburg dignitaries were buried here.More
#3
Hofburg Imperial Palace (Hofburg Wien)

Hofburg Imperial Palace (Hofburg Wien)

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Formerly the winter residence of the Austrian royal family, the Hofburg Imperial Palace (Hofburg Wien) is now a lasting tribute to the glory of the Habsburg Empire. It’s one of Vienna’s most magnificent baroque palaces, located within Vienna’s UNESCO-listed historic center. Visitors to the Hofburg can explore the Imperial Apartments, visit the Sisi Museum and the Silver Collection, or watch a performance at the world-famous Spanish Riding School.More
#4
Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper)

Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper)

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A masterpiece of Renaissance architecture and one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world, the Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper) is a hallowed venue for opera fans. Each year, the auditorium hosts 350 Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna State Ballet (Wiener Staatsballett) performances, as well as the Vienna Opera Ball.More
#5
Kursalon Vienna (Kursalon Wien)

Kursalon Vienna (Kursalon Wien)

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Vienna’s most beautiful concert hall, the 19th-century Kursalon Vienna (Kursalon Wien sits on the edge of the Stadtpark (City Park near the gilded statue of composer Johann Strauss, whose music is enjoyed in the concert hall each evening. Recently given a facelift, the Kursalon’s lavish interiors have returned to their former glory.More
#6
St. Peter's Church

St. Peter's Church

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Also known as Peterskirche, St Peter's Church in Vienna is the second oldest church in the city. The original church building was rumored to have been established by Charlemagne, but it burned down in 1661. The new church, inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, was consecrated in 1733 and a relief plaque on the outside of the church tells the legend of Charlemagne. St Peter's Church was the first domed structure in Vienna and features an ornate interior with colorful frescoes and gold stucco. Most notable for visitors are the gilded pulpit with a representation of the Holy Trinity atop the canopy, a gold and silver sculpture of the Martyrdom of St. John opposite the pulpit and the fresco in the cupola depicting the Coronation of the Virgin.Over the years, the 18th-century paintings in the church grew darker and the interior began to turn gray, but a massive renovation project from 1998 to 2004 restored the frescoes to their original bright colors.More
#7
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien (Museum of Fine Arts)

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien (Museum of Fine Arts)

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The royal Habsburgs were collectors, and their holdings—from armor to artwork—make up the heart of the vast Kunsthistorisches Museum. In this palatial building topped by an octagonal dome on Vienna’s Ringstrasse, explore the thousands of artifacts, masterpieces, and treasures that make up one of Austria’s foremost museums.More
#8
Historic Center of Vienna

Historic Center of Vienna

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The Historic Center of Vienna is the beating heart of Austria, and the home of top attractions such as Vienna’s city hall, Parliament, and the lively Museum Quarter. Also known as the First District or Inner City and preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the area is rich with baroque castles and gardens, as well as the 19th-century Ringstrasse, a beltway of grand buildings, monuments, and parks that encircles most of the inner city. There are enough landmark sites here to keep you snapping photos all day long.More
#9
Belvedere Palace (Schloss Belvedere)

Belvedere Palace (Schloss Belvedere)

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Built in the 18th century as the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy, the magnificent Belvedere Palace (Schloss Belvedere) is among the many treasures of Vienna’s Baroque era and a UNESCO World Heritage–listed monument.More
#10
St. Charles's Church (Karlskirche)

St. Charles's Church (Karlskirche)

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An elegant dome and slender columns hint at the rich interior of St Charles Church, where large windows illuminate gilded details and marble. The baroque masterpiece was built to celebrate the end of a devastating plague epidemic, and its treasures include an elaborate pulpit, religious paintings, and sculptures.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Vienna

Hallstatt Small-Group Day Trip from Vienna
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Melk Abbey and Danube Valley Day Trip from Vienna
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Hallstatt Day Trip from Vienna
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Hallstatt Day Trip from Vienna

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Salzburg Small-Group Day Trip from Vienna
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Wachau Valley Wine Tasting Bike Tour from Vienna
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Salzburg Day Trip from Vienna

Salzburg Day Trip from Vienna

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Bratislava Day Trip from Vienna Including Catamaran Cruise
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Things to do in Vienna this...

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Recent reviews from experiences in Vienna

star-5
Great afternoon learning about and seeing Vienna
RS_F, Jun 2022
Historical Hitler Walking Tour of Vienna
Great way to see much of the inner city
star-5
A lot of sights for a day trip from Vienna to Budapest
Neal_Z, Jun 2022
Budapest Small-Group Day Trip from Vienna
We got to see a lot with limited time for a day trip from Vienna.
star-5
Great day in Vienna with this private tour!
kathyg97, Jun 2022
Vienna: Old Town Highlights Private Walking Tour
Ute is an exceptional guide, allowing us to see so much more than we would have on our own.
star-5
Got to see parts of...
Oydis_C, Jun 2022
Vienna Highlights Small-Group Bike Tour
Got to see parts of Vienna we otherwise wouldn’t have seen.
star-4
To see a city on a bike...
JonAnders_T, May 2022
Vienna Highlights Small-Group Bike Tour
To see a city on a bike is always the best way to see new placed.
star-5
Great to do when you are short of time
moorem, May 2022
book a driver at your disposal in Vienna
We got to see as much as we needed to know whether we wanted to come back which we will.
star-5
Vienna day trip to Bratislava
S_C, May 2022
Bratislava Day Trip from Vienna Including Catamaran Cruise
Good way to see Bratislava from Vienna.
star-4
Vienna trip
James_R, May 2022
Skip the Line: Schonbrunn Palace & Gardens Guided Tour in Vienna
Beautiful gardens about to go into their Spring glory.
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Budapest 2022
J_M, Apr 2022
Budapest Day Trip from Vienna With Hotel Pick-Up
You get a chance to see both the Buda and Pest side and significant historical landmarks.
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Great Way to see Vienna
Morten_S, Apr 2022
Bicycle tour - Vienna Complete
Great Way to see and hear about Vienna with Eddie the tour-guide.
star-5
Amazing tour
Makayla_B, Apr 2022
Vienna's Highlights: Food, Coffee and Market Small Group Walking Experience
A great tour to see many areas of Vienna.
star-5
classic vienna experience for music lovers
Kayla_B, Apr 2022
Concert in St. Anne's Church Vienna: Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn and Schubert
sat front row to see very talented musicians play iconic pieces from famous vienna composers!
star-5
Great Tour, Fantastic Value
Ashley_G, Mar 2022
Half-day bike tour in Vienna
His English was very good.
star-5
Very fun and informative tour!
Terry_H, Mar 2022
Vienna Like a Local: Customized Private Tour
He did exactly what we wanted, which was to see as much as we could in a short amount of time.
star-5
So fun and so much food!
Jasmine_T, Jun 2022
Vienna's Sweet and Savory Food Scene Small Group or Private Tour
It was also nice to visit the different districts and see the diversity in Vienna that you probably wouldn't see or notice as a typical tourist in the city.
star-5
An Unforgettable Experience
Jared_M, Jun 2022
Nabiel's Vienna Cooking Class
We have encouraged each and every one of them to add this to their list of things to do if they are ever in Vienna because it is that special.
star-5
Skillful guide and fun storyteller!
Maureen_H, Jun 2022
Vienna City Center Small-Group Walking Tour
We toured some quiet little tucked-away gems along with main attractions.
star-5
Outstanding!
Andrea_S, May 2022
Vienna - The Ultimate Budget Tour
So much to see & learn about.
star-5
Beautiful city and great tour
Vern_C, May 2022
Salzburg Small-Group Day Trip from Vienna
Stopped at Mondsee to see the church where Sound of Music was filmed.
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Highlight of our summer vacation!
Claire_C, May 2022
Hallstatt Small-Group Day Trip from Vienna
We paused at three different lakes and then in the town of Mondsee to see the wedding cathedral from the Sound of Music!
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All about Vienna

When to visit

Winter is a magical time to visit Vienna, with its UNESCO-listed palaces lit up with festive illuminations, atmospheric Christmas markets, and the New Year’s Eve Imperial Ball marking the start of the ball season. After a long winter, spring is the time for sipping Viennese coffee at a terrace café and strolling beneath the cherry blossoms in Stadtpark.

Currency
Euro (€)
Time Zone
CEST (UTC +1)
Country Code
+43
Language(s)
German

People Also Ask

How can I spend 3 days in Vienna?

Three days in Vienna will give you enough time to see many of the city's highlights and still have time left over to check out a classical music concert, spend time sampling coffee drinks in local cafes, and take a day trip out into the Austrian countryside.

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What are two things Vienna is famous for?

The two things Vienna is perhaps best known for is its baroque architecture and its long association with classical music. Baroque highlights include the famous Schönbrunn Palace and the Belvedere. The city is also a great place for classical concerts, with regular live performances at the famous Musikverein and at churches across the city.

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What are popular recreation activities in Vienna?

While Vienna proper is a great place to explore by bike, fans of outdoor recreation who want something a bit more vigorous will find better cycling still in the narby Wachau Vallwy, a popular spot for bicycle wine tours. Not far from Vienna, the Ötscher-Tormäuer Nature Park is a great spot for summertime hiking.

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What can I do for free in Vienna?

Vienna is full of free things to do, from wandering Schönbrunn's Palace Park to visiting the interiors of St. Stephen's Cathedral. Many of the city's top museums are also free on the first Sunday of the month, including the Wien Museum Karlsplatz and the Römermuseum (Roman Museum).

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Is Vienna worth visiting?

Vienna is absolutely worth visiting, particularly if you're a fan of architecture and the arts. It's full of museums, historical palaces and churches, and entertainment options (particularly of the classical music variety) and makes an excellent base for visiting other nearby spots such as Bratislava and Salzburg.

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Is 2 days in Vienna enough?

While Vienna merits plenty of time, two days is definitely enough to get a sense of the city. You’ll have enough time to visit the historic Schönbrunn Palace and Hofburg Imperial Palace, see “dancing” Lipizzaner horses at the Spanish Riding School, and check out a museum or two.

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Frequently Asked Questions