Sights in Vienna

Attractions, day trip destinations and interesting facts about Vienna

Art and culture is in Vienna’s DNA. It appears on virtually every corner. Here are some highlights for your holiday in Vienna.

Sights

The Vienna Ring Road is 5.3 km long. Some of Vienna’s most famous sights can be found on it. The monumental buildings that were built during Historicism between the 1860s and 1890s include the State Opera, Austrian Parliament Building, Museum of Art History and Museum of Natural History, the Burgtheater and Vienna’s Town Hall.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral is Vienna’s landmark and Austria’s most important Gothic building. It is situated in the centre of the 1st district. The imposing cathedral is 137 m high and houses a range of art treasures. Climb the 343 steps to the Türmerstube steeple and enjoy the magnificent view over Vienna.

Vienna State Opera offers a varied programme of operas and ballets. Be enchanted by the impressive performances. The world-famous Opera Ball takes place once a year at the Vienna State Opera. Join a guided tour to get glimpse behind the scenes of the grand opera house. The building was built between 1863 and 1869 as one of the first stately buildings on the newly created Ring Road.

Up until 1918 Hofburg Vienna was the residence of the monarchy of the vast Habsburg Empire. The imperial apartments furnished true to the original, the authentically staged Sisi Museum and the Silver Collection, an extensive collection of objects and items used in the Imperial household, grant historical insights into court traditions back then. The Hofburg is also home to the Spanish Riding School and a chapel where you can hear the Viennese Boys Choir at Sunday Mass.

You can get to know modern Vienna in the MuseumsQuartier (MQ). The former court stables were converted into an art and culture area where the old and new were combined in a unique way. Two renowned museums are accommodated in the MQ, the Leopold Museum and the Mumok (Museum of Modern Art). You can also find the Kunsthalle, the Tanzquartier as well as interesting design shops, cosy restaurants and cafés in the MQ. The very popular inner courtyard with specially designed seating for chilling has a very special flair in the summer.

The mirrored buildings, the Museum of Art History and Museum of Natural History, are among Vienna’s grandest buildings. The Museum of Natural History houses one of the most extensive collections of natural history in the world. There are also children’s guided tours here. The rooftop terrace offers a fantastic view over Vienna city centre. The Museum of Art History was built by Emperor Franz Joseph for the Imperial collections and is one of the most important museums in the world with its unique art treasures from 7 thousand years.

Vienna’s town hall is an impressive Neo-Gothic building on the Ring Road. Various events are held in front of the building on Rathausplatz square in the summer and winter. An open-air film festival with huge screen is one of the attractions in summer. In the winter the square transforms into a traditional Christmas market and ice rink.

The Vienna Stock Exchange was built from 1874 to 1877 based on plans by the eminent Ring Road architect Theophil Hansen, who also built the Parliament. Shares and other investment products were actively traded here until 1998.
Today it offers event rooms. On the lower ground floor: one of Vienna’s best florists and a restaurant.

University. The Ring Road building built according to plans by the architect Heinrich von Ferstel was opened in 1884 by Emperor Franz Joseph I. The highlights of this architectural design are the arcaded courtyard created as a campo santo, the large ballroom with reproductions of ceiling paintings by Gustav Klimt and the university library’s large reading room.

Café culture

The Viennese café culture has a long tradition. Some of the most famous Austrian artists and intellectuals traditionally engaged in debates and discussions in cafés and had their best ideas and boldest epiphanies there. The café culture is more alive than ever today. Chatting, reading, thinking or just watching: for many Viennese the café is the cosiest living room and most beautiful office. Here are just a few of the many cafés in the city centre: Café Central, Café Hawelka, Café Landtmann, Café Mozart, Café Museum, Café Diglas, Café Prückel, Café Schwarzenberg, and many more.

Classical music

Vienna is world famous for classical music. Several classical concerts are on offer every day in the city of music. Concerts in the Wiener Musikverein, where the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s New Year’s concert takes place in the Goldener Saal, are highly recommended. There are also performances every day at Vienna’s Konzerthaus. This is also a rarity in architectural terms as it’s a mix of Historicism, Secessionism and Art Nouveau. Concerts also take place on a smaller scale but also with top musicians at Palais Auersperg. The Schönbrunn Palace Concerts, an original Mozart venue, are definitely worth listening to.

You can find more information about the events and sights in Vienna on the WienTourismus website.

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