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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
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
#2
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
#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
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
#5
Melk Abbey (Stift Melk)

Melk Abbey (Stift Melk)

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With its ornate golden-colored facade and grand baroque church towers set against an idyllic backdrop of the Wachau Valley and the Danube River, Melk Abbey (Stift Melk) looks more like a palace than a monastery. Founded in 1089, the Benedictine abbey underwent a dramatic makeover in the 18th century and is now regarded as one of Europe’s most beautiful baroque churches.More
#6
Kursalon Vienna (Kursalon Wien)

Kursalon Vienna (Kursalon Wien)

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Vienna’s most beautiful concert hall was completed in 1867 on the edge of the Stadtpark (City Park), close to the gilded statue of composer Johann Strauss, whose music is enjoyed there nightly. The Kursalon (Kursalon Wien) was designed by Austrian architect Johann Garben in Neo-Renaissance style and its original use was as a spa; just a year after it opened it was given over to music and became the meeting place of choice for Viennese high society.Recently given a facelift, the Kursalon is now returned to its gleaming, romantic best and its halls once more drip with chandeliers and elegant stucco decoration. It is known for its nightly repertoire of favorites from Strauss, Schubert, Mozart and other Baroque musicians, played by the Salonorchestra Alt Wien, which was founded in 1994. Its concerts – all performed in traditional smock coats and crinolines – are smart affairs and offer a romp through the golden age of Vienna’s classical music tradition in the early 19th century, with waltzes by Strauss accompanied by opera singers and ballet dancers as they perform to much-loved classics such as The Blue Danube.A choice of night-time entertainment packages at the Kursalon includes cocktails or a gastronomic blow-out at the concert hall’s Restaurant Johann before the music starts; in summer open-air concerts take place on the Terrace overlooking the Stadtpark.More
#7
Ringstrasse

Ringstrasse

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Marking the boundary of the First District where the old city walls once stood, the grand boulevard of the Ringstrasse traces a 3-mile (5-kilometer) scenic ring around the historic Innere Stadt (Inner Town) of Vienna. Follow the Ringstrasse loop on a sightseeing tour of Vienna to take in some of the city’s top attractions along the route.More
#8
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
#9
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
#10
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

Trip ideas

Top activities in Vienna

Melk Abbey and Danube Valley Day Trip from Vienna
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Private tour of Melk, Hallstatt and Salzburg from Vienna
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Hallstatt Day Trip from Vienna
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Hallstatt Day Trip from Vienna

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Private Tour of Melk Hallstatt and Salzburg from Vienna - Sound of Music
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Vienna City Classic Walk with a Small Group (English)

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Vienna City Classic Walk with a Small Group (English)

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$46.29  $2.31 savings
Salzburg Small-Group Day Trip from Vienna
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Salzburg Day Trip from Vienna

Salzburg Day Trip from Vienna

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Wachau Valley Wine Tasting Bike Tour from Vienna
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Vienna City Bike Tour

Vienna City Bike Tour

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Recent reviews from experiences in Vienna

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Don’t Miss
Ron_L, Jul 2021
Exploring the Gutensteiner Alps
Her English is great and she provides a wonderful perspective.
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Unique experience
Hermann_F, May 2021
Virtual Classical Music Tour of Vienna
The chance to hear professional sympatical singers, to be close to them, to hear interesting facts, to see beautiful parts of vienna, was very unique - beeing at home.
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Amazing alternative tour in the spooky heart of Vienna
Dario257, Jul 2021
Spooky Vienna Tour
I'd really recommend this tour if you want to visit the centre of Vienna from a different perspective and if you are a fan of spooky stories which probably you wouldn't hear during a usual tour.
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A Perfect Experience
Alex, Jun 2021
Daily Hofburg Palace & Sisi Museum Skip-the-line Guided Tour
It is for sure a most to visit during any trip to Vienna.
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Fantastic immersion into Austrian culture
MichaelaV, May 2021
Virtual Classical Music Tour of Vienna
Thank you for an amazing immersion into Austrian culture, I look for other virtual tours you might do & I can't wait to visit your lovely city on the Danube in person!
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Magical!
Linda, Mar 2020
Hallstatt and Alps, incl. Skywalk visit, small group tour
Recommend as a day trip from Vienna to see this magical town.
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A dream come true
skirunbike2, Jan 2020
Spanish Riding School Training Ticket
I have waited almost 40 years to see the Lipozzan Stallions in the Palace in Vienna.
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Bratislava
Doris H, Jan 2020
Discover Bratislava on a Day Trip from Vienna
I wish I had taken her contact information so friends that plan to visit could request her.
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Skip-the-Line Schonbrunn Palace Guided Tour and Vienna Historical City Tour
chanyap0924, Nov 2019
Skip-the-Line Schonbrunn Palace Guided Tour and Vienna Historical City Tour
She gave a clear history of the attractions in Vienna.
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Awesome Concert
Psychmck, Oct 2019
Vienna Classical Concert at St. Peter’s Church
Our seats were amazing and we sat right on the front row and were able to see the amazing musicians.
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Excellent trip
mrpv72, Oct 2019
Big Bus Vienna Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
relaxed day with plenty of buses and stops to see the most of Vienna.
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Vienna 2019
Paulino89, Oct 2019
Hallstatt Day Trip from Vienna
Hallstatt is great place to visit, with a wonderful view, and a great little town.
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Vienna 2019
Dennis T, Oct 2019
Vienna Like a Local: Customized Private Tour
I would recommend to other travelers to just do a 4-hour tour and you should be able to get to see all of the main attractions and then decide what you want to see after that.
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AustrianHike
61carriew, Oct 2019
4-Hour Private Alpine Great George at High Wall Mountain from Vienna
The hike Michael took us on was fantastic and amazing to see the beautiful scenery and be out in nature.
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Excellent night out
Kylie0001, Sep 2019
Vivaldi Four Seasons Concert at St. Charles Church in Vienna
Sat in the category 1 seating and was great seats to see everything.
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Food Adventure in Vienna
Stephen R, Sep 2019
Food, Coffee and Market: Small Group Walking Tour in Vienna
Will took us all around Vienna to visit the less touristy cafes, eateries, and markets of this fabulous baroque city.
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Great fun
dagwells123, Sep 2019
Vienna Walking Tour: In the Footsteps of 'The Third Man'
This guided tour is a great way to see some stunning highlights of Vienna- even if you’re not a huge fan of the film.
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Must visit
YiannisGolf, Sep 2019
Madame Tussauds Vienna
Need around 1 hour to see everything.
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Beautiful Concert
Angie N, Aug 2019
Kursalon Vienna: Johann Strauss and Mozart Concert
Might be a bit hard to see from the back row's but over all a wonderful experience.
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Wonderful view
Kevin7828, Aug 2019
Skip the Line: Wiener Riesenrad Giant Ferris Wheel Vienna Entrance Ticket
We went at night to see the lights and it was beautiful.

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.

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