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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

Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn)

Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn)

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
Melk Abbey (Stift Melk)

Melk Abbey (Stift Melk)

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
Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper)

Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper)

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
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien (Museum of Fine Arts)

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien (Museum of Fine Arts)

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
Hofburg Imperial Palace (Hofburg Wien)

Hofburg Imperial Palace (Hofburg Wien)

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
Vienna Prater (Wiener Prater)

Vienna Prater (Wiener Prater)

One of Vienna’s most beloved parks, the Prater is both an oasis full of greenery and a family-friendly amusement park. Enjoy views of the Danube from the towering Ferris wheel earns big views of the Danube, walk down leafy avenues, visit museums, and join the local crowds turns that out for Sunday races at the Prater race track.More
Spanish Riding School (Spanische Hofreitschule)

Spanish Riding School (Spanische Hofreitschule)

Vienna’s storied Spanish Riding School (Spanische Hofreitschule), established in the 16th century, is the world’s oldest haute école of classical equitation. Experience the Renaissance tradition of classical dressage—on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list—by witnessing the Viennese institution’s morning exercises.More
Wachau Valley

Wachau Valley

With rolling vineyards of grapes and apricots, plus a collection of more than 5,000 historic monuments, it's no wonder that the Wachau Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Austria's most popular tourist attractions. Here, the Danube River carves a picturesque path through the valley's towns of Melk and Krems, uniting a harmonious blend of wineries, Gothic churches, and medieval castles.More
St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom)

St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom)

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
Natural History Museum Vienna (Naturhistorisches Museum Wien)

Natural History Museum Vienna (Naturhistorisches Museum Wien)

With a permanent collection of more than 30 million objects, the Natural History Museum Vienna (Naturhistorisches Museum Wien) is one of the most renowned museums of its kind. Wander the Wunderkammer-like halls, and marvel at treasures ranging from dinosaur skeletons to the 29,500-year-old Venus of Willendorf.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Vienna

Recent reviews from experiences in Vienna

Extremely knowledgeable tour Guide
JoseL_M, Nov 2021
Vienna Highlight Tour-yue walk
Yue is the perfect guide Yue was a excellent tour guide who created the best tour for me, I managed to see all the sights as well as some of the iconic art masterpieces of Vienna.
Excellent experience
Fares_M, Nov 2021
Walking Tours for Time Travelers
I had English audio).
Best way to see Vienna
Carole_P, Nov 2021
Vienna City Bike Tour
Best way to see Vienna.
A week in Vienna
Margaret_L, Oct 2021
Vienna Pass Including Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket
Made good use of the Hop on Hop off buses to explore the city and identify places we wanted to visit during our stay.
Great tour
Keith_C, Sep 2021
Vienna City Classic Walk with a Small Group (English)
This was a great way to see and learn about Vienna.
Great overview of Vienna
Dalice_M, Aug 2021
Private Tour: Vienna City Highlights Tour
This us the perfect first day tour to then use as a catalyst to see sites in more detail.
Fun and informative ride around Vienna.
Robert_Phelps, Aug 2021
Big Bus Vienna Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
It was an enjoyable experience to see Vienna with the Bus.
Great way to see Budapest in a day
Valentina_S, Jan 2022
Budapest Small-Group Day Trip from Vienna
We took a trip through Europe and wanted to see several cities in addition to spending time in some of the larger ones, so from Vienna we booked a day trip to Budapest.
Wonderful experience
vanessa_l, Dec 2021
Skip the Line: Schonbrunn Palace Guided Tour in Vienna
What a great surprise : my family of 6 came on Christmas day to visit beautiful Schonbrunn.
Best of the best!
Katherine_D, Dec 2021
Private Half-Day Sightseeing Tour in Vienna
Of course, we wanted to see all Vienna's highlights but we also wanted to see and learn about how and where people live.
Exceptionally memorable experience
Jeffrey_H, Oct 2021
Small-Group History Walking Tour in Vienna: The City of Many Pasts
She was especially accommodating because one member spoke Spanish and a little English so she spoke clearly and slowly to him.
Comfortable way to see the Lake Region.
Charmaine_W, Oct 2021
Hallstatt Small-Group Day Trip from Vienna
Great way to see Hallstatt .
Pleasant day trip option
Anna_N, Oct 2021
Hallstatt Day Trip from Vienna
If you visit during the open season, the day trip is not enough time to see everything and tour the salt mines.
Amazing tour + Exceptional Guide (You da' man, Jan)
Codrin_A, Sep 2021
Private Tour: Vienna City Highlights Tour
It included off the beaten track and famous Vienna attractions.
Amazing alternative tour in the spooky heart of Vienna
Dario257, Jul 2021
Private Spooky Vienna Ghost 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.
Don’t Miss
Ron_L, Jul 2021
Exploring the Gutensteiner Alps
Her English is great and she provides a wonderful perspective.
Linda_A, Mar 2020
Hallstatt and Alps Small-Group Day Trip from Vienna With Skywalk
Recommend as a day trip from Vienna to see this magical town.
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.
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.
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.

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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