Vienna

Land of Order, Luxury, and Culture

As the capital of Austria and one of the most visited cities in Europe, Vienna has been blessed with numerous things that make it beautiful. Thanks to the fabulous architecture in the city center, it also became a UNESCO World Heritage site. This location owes a lot of its charm to the banks of the Danube River, which is also the gateway between Eastern and Western Europe. Vienna was home to many different nations including Romans and Celts. Eventually it was chosen as a capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Vienna is not only beloved by tourists for its wealthy history and rich museums, but for its beauty and role as both a cultural and commercial hub. No matter how long you plan to stay, you will never run out of things to do, simply because around every corner another piece of history is waiting to be discovered!

World-Known Landmarks

Vienna is full of attractions, some better known than others. However, before venturing into the lesser-known parts of Vienna, you may want to check out the most famous landmarks that are popular for tourists all around the world. Here are some that you may want to consider visiting:

Vienna Ring Road (Ringstrasse)

The Vienna Ring Road is considered the most popular road in the city. It encircles the oldest district of Vienna, the Innere Stadt. Ring Road was built on top of the place where the city walls used to surround the Old Town of Vienna. Many of the sites you’ll want to see are around the road.
The “Lord of the Ring Road”, as Ringstrasse is sometimes known, belongs to UNESCO as a heritage site alongside many other Vienna landmarks.
Take a walk around the Vienna Ring Road, and you will come across many other attractions on your way. Some of them include the Vienna State Opera, City Hall, the Hofburg, University of Vienna, the Museum of Applied Art, the Academy of Fine Arts, the Palace of Justice and many other places of interest. It is certainly worth visiting several times.
Take a guided tour along the road, and you will learn plenty of interesting facts about Austrian history. You may also take tram №1, ride a bicycle or take a walk along the Ringstrasse.

Hofburg

The Hofburg is probably one of the most popular historic buildings in Vienna and maybe even the entire world. Built in 1275, it played an important role during the time of the Habsburg dynasty and seated a long line of Habsburgs and Austrian rulers. Along with the Schönbrunn Palace, which was the Habsburg family summer residence, the Hofburg was part of the Imperial Palace. Currently, it serves as both the official residence and working place of the Austrian Federal President.

This building is a spiraling beauty of Rocco, Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance styles, and sits upon a fairly large area, stretching for a total distance of 59 acres with 19 courtyards and ten groups of buildings with 2600 rooms. It gives you a bigger picture of Austria, as it contains many of the city’s well-known attractions and museums side-by-side. The Hofburg Treasury has a vast collection including Imperial Regalia, along with other relics dating back to the Holy Roman Empire. You may visit the silver collection of the Sisi Museum, the Albertina Museum and a number of others. The Church is also worth checking out. Do not forget to visit the Festival, Marble, Ceremonial, and Knight’s Halls. Join a guided tour in order to enrich your stock of knowledge about Austrian governors. There are many gorgeous, natural places in Hofburg’s parks to explore as well.
You should be prepared in advance in order to visit all of the places you want to see at the Hofburg Palace.

Schönbrunn Palace

Found just a few kilometers away from the center of Vienna, Schönbrunn Palace is as old as it is spectacular. The Schönbrunn Palace is the summer residence of the Austrian emperors with incomparable gardens. It has been one of the most visited tourist attractions in Vienna since the middle of the XX century, after being saturated with more than 300 years of historical events. You will have the opportunity to see a beautiful, well-kept building that looks like it is still in its prime. However, a closer look at the building’s history will reveal that it was built in the 18th century, with roots going as far back as 1568 to Emperor Maximilian II’s time. The building was constructed with the idea that it should rival Paris’ Versailles. The result, though much more modest, did not fail in terms of beauty. The name of the palace, “Schönbrunn,” means “beautiful spring” – the season during which the gardens look the most noble. The grounds were used for recreation and hunting.
Even though the Schönbrunn Palace is no longer the residence of Austrian rulers, it is still used occasionally for special official meetings.

The palace was built in Baroque style, which allows visitors to consider both small details and artistic sculptures on its facade. The interior of the Schönbrunn Palace is in Rococo architectural style, and the Millions Room is considered to be the best example of this style in the world. You can book a night in one of the castle’s 40 available rooms (the total being 1,441) to get an authentic experience of being a royal. You have great salons, exquisite bedrooms, and drawing rooms to explore, and the most glorious views of Vienna. Besides the Schönbrunn Palace and its beautiful gardens, you may also visit the Palm Pavilion, the Roman Ruins, the Sundial House, the Gloriette, the Neptune Fountain, the Zoological Garden and so on. The Mirror Hall is the first concert place of 6-year-old Mozart and the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was signed in the Blue Chinese Salon of the Schönbrunn Palace. Once you get tired of wandering around every hall, you can even go grab a bite in any of the on-site cafés.

The Spanish Riding School

The Spanish Riding School is another place that dates back to the time of Emperor Maximilian II. It was first introduced into society when the ruler added the famous Lipizzaner horses to his courtesans in 1569. Now, it’s one of the top attractions in Vienna and gathers people from all over the world. A Baroque winter riding school that displays marvelous equestrian skills, the Spanish Riding School has been a part of the enormous Hofburg Palace ever since 1735. Visitors can come and watch the morning exercises and the gala performances held in the riding hall. The performers will be wearing classic equestrian dressage, which take you another step back into the past. Be careful though, tickets sell fast, so you may want to book them as soon as possible.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

Not only is St. Stephen Cathedral the most popular attraction in Vienna, but it is also the official seat of the Archbishop. It looks splendid from all sides and has become one of the most recognisable symbols of Vienna, as well as the number one religious place in Austria. This beautiful Roman Catholic construction welcomes around one million guests every year, impressing them all with its richly decorated roof and 137-meter high spire. It’s one of the most spectacular Gothic architectural pieces in the world, representing around eight centuries of Gothic history. While the only original structures that remain from the 13th century are the Heaven Towers and the massive gate, it still retains the same ‘old’ beauty in its newer buildings. It was built on the remains of two churches.
The entrance to the Cathedral is free, but it is accessible depending on the service schedule. There is a meditative atmosphere of calm inside the temple and it is breathtaking inside as well as outside. The St. Stephen’s Cathedral perfectly represents the mixing of medieval and contemporary architecture.

To make the most out of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, you can do various things:
Participate: You can go to the regular services of the cathedral. Every visitor is allowed in as long as they’re respectful of the place.
Listen to the Music: St. Stephen has a regular program of orchestral and choral music. The cathedral also hosts various choirs from all around the world and allows them to perform for tourists. You may want to check the annual schedule for bigger events.
Go Shopping: Who says that going to church can’t be fun? You can find an online store operated by the cathedral that sells CDs, DVDs, and books related to religion, history, and music.
Stephansplatz is name of the square where the St. Stephen’s Cathedral situated. It is a hub for groups of creative people such as painters, musicians, and artists. Grab a cup of coffee and some roasted chestnuts – it is worth spending some extra time in the Stephansplatz area.
The Cathedral is located in the center of Vienna, so you can visit the attraction while enjoying a stroll around the historical center. The only shortcoming of the place is that it is a hotspot for tourists and therefore always has plenty of visitors.

St. Charles's Church (Karlskirche)

Karlskirche (or the Church of St. Charles) is one of the most impressive buildings in Vienna, and one of the first attractions that tourists visit when they come to the city. Emperor Charles VI commissioned the building as a “thank you” for the Lord answering one of his prayers.
Most buildings in Vienna were decorated in Baroque style, but unlike them, the creative and ambitious design of this architectural sculpture combines elements from Ancient Greece (such as the columned portico) with those of the Viennese Baroque (such as the dome and towers) and of Ancient Rome (the twin Trajanesque columns). The impressive copper dome rises up 236 feet, making it one of the greatest landmarks in Austria.
The actual design of the church was regarded as a curiosity for both art and culture lovers. The church looks like something that just came out of a fairy tale, especially when it is illuminated at night; a truly magical sight. While the interior is a little more conventional than what is seen on the outside, it still holds true to the baroque decoration. The stunning frescoes that adorn the vault feature St. Charles Borromeo, a 16th-century Italian archbishop who prayed to the Holy Trinity to stop the plague that was killing the citizens of Vienna, and the man to whom Karlskirche is dedicated. Another reason the church is famous is that the known Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi was buried there. It is also possible to climb to the observation deck for a bird’s eye view of the city.

City Hall (Neues Rathaus)

The Rathaus, or Vienna City Hall, is a Neo-Gothic construction that impresses visitors mostly through its sheer size. It looks similar to a massive medieval cathedral. Spreading across almost 14,000m2, it now occupies the former Parade Grounds. The structure of City Hall consists of five towers that are each 98 meters tall. Completed in 1883, it’s mostly recognized for the Rathausmann standing on top of one of the towers. The Rathausmann is an iron figure carrying a symbolic banner, which was actually a gift from the master locksmith and, since its installation in 1882, has been a well-known symbol of Vienna. In the center, it has an arcaded courtyard, which is recognized as one of the seven largest courtyards that hold summer concerts.
When it comes to tour highlights, you have a lot to see. There’s the Schmidt Halle (the large, impressive entrance) and the twin Grand Staircases, which lead to the Assembly Hall. Other things you definitely want to look out for are the City Senate Chamber, the Heraldic Rooms and the reception room of the Mayor. Not only do they host the meetings of the higher-ups, but are also beautifully decorated. The City Senate Chamber, for instance, has a marvelous majolica fireplace that dates back to 1885, as well as richly adorned walls and ceilings. The Heraldic and Reception Room mirror the City Senate Chamber when it comes to majesty.
Rathausplatz, where the City Hall is situated, is a popular place for public events, such as film and music festivals. If you come to Vienna in May, you will have a chance to visit the Life Ball – a gala event that takes place in the Festival Hall. If you are visiting the city during Christmas preparations, go to the Advent Market in front of the building. Later on in the winter you may attend one of the most marvellous skating rinks in the world located on the Rathausplatz and in the Rathauspark. It is also a good opportunity to visit the restaurant ‘Wiener Rathauskeller’, which was built in traditional Baroque style.

Vienna State Opera House

The State Opera House is not only an amazing architectural construction where you can watch a top-notch performance, but it also features a stage that has housed many of the world’s most prominent dancers, soloists, conductors, and composers. Imagine how incredible an Opera House must be in a city that has a significant part of its history dedicated to music! At least 300 times each year, tourists and locals alike can attend a rich repertoire of opera and ballet performances, fuelling an obsession with music that reaches as far back as the year 1625. “Don Giovanni”, “Le Nozze di Figaro” and “Don Carlo” are amongst the most popular performances of the State Opera.
The massive building, which has graced Vienna as both incredible decoration and glorious cultural center since 1869, sports an impressive early French Renaissance style with a grand staircase that leads towards the first floor, and an exquisite Tea Room containing valuable tapestries. The staircase even has a majestic name, the Schwind Foyer, after the famous paintings by Moritz von Schwind that are hanging on the walls. The building can accommodate up to 2,211 guests along with 110 masters of the performing arts and music. It belonged to the first mayor of Vienna and was the “Vienna Court Opera” until the fall of the Habsburgs Empire. Once you decide to enter the home of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Vienna, you can be certain that you’ll get a real taste of the Austrian culture. If you aren’t into Opera but still want to visit the grandeur of the building, guided tours are available.

The Austrian Parliament Building

The Austrian Parliament Building has been the home of the Austrian National and Federal Parliament for nearly a century. Finished in 1883, it has been, and still is, used for Provincial and Imperial delegations, looking like a Greek wonder made for gods. With its Corinthian columns and lavish decorations, especially the exterior carving made by Franz Joseph showing the constitution, this building brings culture and beauty to the eyes of both tourists and locals.
Another highlight you can find at the Austrian Parliament is the Pallas Athene Fountain, which is a splendid 4-meter statue that sports a gilded helmet and lance. Each figure featured on the fountain symbolizes the rivers Moldau, Elbe, Inn, and the Danube. You can find English tours there as well, which can be booked at the Visitor Center. To learn even more during your visit, you can check out their multimedia presentations of the Parliament’s history.

St. Peter’s Church (Peterskirche)

Vienna’s architecture is full of Baroque-style constructions, and the St. Peter’s Church is no exception.
The initial St. Peter’s Church was built on the same place in the IV century. It used to be the oldest parish church in Vienna. The medieval church was created in Gothic style, and has become a part of the Scottish Abbey. Unfortunately, the original St. Peter’s Church was burned down in 1661. The new church replaced it in the XVIII century by the order of Emperor Leopold I, who was a member of the Fraternity of the Holy Trinity. St. Peter’s Church is located in amongst the other buildings, so the only site to take a clear photo of the church is in front of the main entrance. Do not hesitate to go inside – the interior is as stunning as the exterior. If you have time, listen to organ in the church. It seems as though everything is shaking with the fantastic sound of it being played.
By the way, it is very close to the Plague Column and St. Stephen’s Cathedral – your day is going to be full of positive impressions.

For Art and History Lovers

You’ve seen the overall art, but you want even more. You want to fully dive into Vienna’s Heart of Art, satiating that craving you have for beauty – regardless if it’s visual, audible or palpable. If you have done your duty as a tourist and have visited the most popular places in all of Vienna but you still have a craving to fulfill, there are even more places in Vienna where you can enjoy art to its fullest.

The Belvedere Palaces

The Belvedere Palaces – or simply, The Belvedere – are actually two baroque-style palaces merged into one, originally built for Prince Eugene. It is, without any doubt, one of the most beautiful historical sites in Vienna. Now, both palaces act as museums that hold various art collections.
Unteres: The lower side of Belvedere – Since the Belvedere was Prince Eugene’s summer home, the lower area displays his staterooms and apartments. The original aristocratic splendor is present in the rooms, which include the Marble Gallery, Hall of Grotesques and the Golden Room. After you visit Lower Belvedere, you can visit the Palace Stables on your way to Upper Belvedere. Prince Eugene’s horses aren’t there anymore, but you have around 150 sacred, medieval art displays such as sculptures, paintings, and triptychs.
Oberes: The upper side of Belvedere – Here, you can find the largest Klimt collection with paintings such as “Judith” and “The Kiss.” While Lower Belvedere is still seen as a place of residence, the Upper side is where all the art can be found.
Belvedere is full of culture and art, and is a true heaven for those interested in medieval art, the baroque period of Austria, and contemporary Austrian art. Belvedere recently underwent extensive renovations to make it more tourist-friendly.
You may want to take a whole day to visit the Belvedere since it has so many attractions that can’t possibly be missed. Go see the Orangery and the Palace Stables, as well as the impressive gardens and fountains, also built in Baroque style. You’re more than likely to leave the place in good spirits, as it always leaves guests with a favorable impression.

Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum)

The Naturhistorisches Museum Wien (or Natural History Museum), located on the Ringstrasse, is adorned with many unique objects for which it is famous all around the world. Stepping inside the museum, you have expositions such as the Venus of Willendorf, a sculpture that has survived for more than 29,500 years. You will be able to see Steller’s sea cow, which became extinct more than 200 years ago, as well as numerous dinosaur skeletons – because who doesn’t love seeing the majesty of these creatures? Continuing with the highlights, the Natural History Museum is home to the oldest collection of meteorites that has been made public. There, you will be able to see one named “Tissint,” a world-famous meteorite from Mars. The entire collection is literally out of this world, displaying wonders that exist outside of our daily lives.
This museum also shows off the history of the human being, as recorded throughout prehistoric times. A digital planetarium was also opened recently, boasting full dome projection technology, which gives every visitor, new and old, the chance to embark on a journey amongst the stars. On the museum’s 125th anniversary, guests will be able to see every last detail of the Milky Way, Saturn’s rings or any other element from our galaxy. As a world of science, history, and art, the Naturhistorisches Museum is definitely a worthy place to visit.

The Museum Quarter

The Museum Quarter is one of Vienna’s most ambitious projects in recent years. It is now considered one of the top ten largest cultural quarters in the world and opened in 2001 as a result of a merger of two major collections – Leopold and Elizabeth. Centered on what was formerly the Imperial Stables from the Maria-Theresien Platz, it now holds a number of Vienna’s most outstanding museums. Here are a couple of highlights:
The Leopold Museum: This museum houses a wide collection of Austrian art that dates back from 1880 up until World War II. The collection includes around 600 oil paintings, and over 3,000 water paintings, along with various prints and drawings. Other rare highlights are the Japanese woodcarvings, medieval sculptures, an impressive porcelain collection and a good number of African objects. There are over 5,000 items in total and artists include the famous Austrian painters Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele, Richard Gerstl and Gustav Klimt.
Museum of Modern Arts (MUMOK): The acronym MUMOK comes from the museum’s full name in German “MUseum MOderner Kunst”. Both buildings – the Leopold Museum and the MUMOK – are represented as huge cubes, one white and the other black. They contain works of the same art style and were founded the same year. Visiting the museum you will become familiar with not only the work of world-known painters, but also a number of contemporary exhibitions. MUMOK includes over 7,000 pieces of work by famous painters such as Pablo Picasso, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Roy Lichtenstein, Nam June Paik, Wolf Vostell and Gerhard Richter. General expositions include paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings, graphics, photographs, videos, films, architectural models and furniture. Choose what you like!
Kunsthalle Wien: Kunsthalle Wien is home to a great number of temporary, contemporary art exhibitions both national and international. Originating as a controversial and makeshift structure shaped like a yellow container, it was eventually moved in 2001 to its new headquarters designed by Ortner and Ortner. Although it boasts a hearty collection of contemporary art, it was also developed and became known for its innovative communication format. Their goal is to attach importance to culture in the presentation of art, encouraging discussion about current issues and future developments in both art and everyday life. This will give you a chance to round out your museum experience by becoming immersed in a discussion!
The best part about the Museum Quarter is that as you exit one museum, you can just to go straight into another one! By wandering through these galleries, that artistic bone of yours is bound to be satiated.

The Albertina

The Albertina was made for painting lovers and is home to more than 45,000 watercolors and drawings, 35,000 books, printed sheets and graphic material coverings that go back to 500 years ago. It is undoubtedly one of the world’s most extensive graphic material collections. Despite being founded in 1786 by the son-in-law of Maria Theresa, Duke Albert of Saxony-Tescha, it only became “the Albertina” in 1921, when it became the property of the Republic of Austria, instead of the Habsburgs. It contains works from various internationally recognized European schools, concentrating mostly on the 15th-century German school. Gustav Klimt and Albert Dürer are the highlights of the museum, but you can also find works by Pablo Picasso, Francisco Goya, Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Oskar Kokoschka, Cézanne and Edvard Munch. The special collections at the Albertina also include an assortment of playing cards and historical documents, as well as papers, caricatures, portfolios, illustrated books, original printing plates and posters from Dürer’s time. The building replaced the Augustinian Bastion, which used to be the old fortification of Vienna.
The museum has very convenient audio guides available in a number of languages and if you are a true art lover, be prepared to spend a lot of time enjoying the exhibits.

The Museum of Art History (Kunsthistorisches Museum)

Built around roughly the same time as the Natural History Museum and located across from it, the Museum of Art History (Kunsthistorisches Museum) is an impressive dome crowned by a figure of Pallas Athene made entirely out of bronze. Both museums were commissioned by the Austrian Emperor in order to allow the Habsburgs’ collection of art to be accessible to the public. Despite their similar appearances, however, the treasures contained by each couldn’t be more different.
The Museum of Art History is also known as the Museum of Fine Arts and is undoubtedly the largest art museum in Austria. It houses some of the most important art collections worldwide, gathering hundreds of tourists every day just so that they can take a peek. It contains exhibits of Roman and Greek antiquities, Egyptian-Oriental collections, coin collections, decorative art and sculpture collections, stone sarcophagi and ancient coffins (mummies included), and most importantly, paintings; lots and lots of paintings. Some of the most famous works are the “Madonna del Prato” by Raphael, the Infantino Portraits by Velazquez and, amongst these, various works by Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Dürer. Bruegel lovers should definitely visit the museum, as it contains the largest collection of his work in the world.

Kunsthaus Wien

The KunstHaus, also known as the Vienna Art House, is considered to have the most unusual facade in Vienna. It was designed by well-known architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, and is explained by his attempt to create an ecologically friendly building by giving an old structure new life. The KunstHaus has a museum inside and is currently the only museum in the world that continuously shows Hundertwasser’s work.
The building’s designer is often compared to infamous Spanish architect, Antonio Gaudi, for his extraordinary style of art. However, the facade of the KunstHaus is different from Friedensreich’s typical style due to its carefully arranged design.
The museum in the KunstHaus building has existed since 1991, when it replaced the Thonet furniture factory. It is located in the Landstraße district and has a total exhibition area of 4,000m2. KunstHaus stands in the center of Vienna’s cultural and artistic displays while not depending on aid from the Government. It operates as a private business and receives around 174,000 visitors every year due to the diversity it provides in both art and architecture.
Absorb the abstract façade of the museum and then enter the KunstHaus. Two floors of the building are occupied as the permanent exposition of Hundertwasser’s artwork. The other two floors are dedicated to contemporary exhibitions of modern art.
The “Garage” on the first floor of the building, according to Hundertwasser’s wishes, is a place where artists can meet to discuss important statements concerning ecological topics and urbanization.
Photography fans should visit the incredible photo gallery on the first floor.
Leaving the house, you may buy artwork or discuss the place with the other people in the cafe.

Haas House

A building constructed in the late 20th century, the Haas Hous is what most people would call “postmodernist art.” It was one of the most disputed buildings of the century due to the fact that it was so different from the rest that were in the area at the time. When architect Hans Hollein introduced the idea of the concrete and glass structure, to be located directly across from St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Viennese people were not very happy with this eclectic combination: The ancient Roman citadel is majestic through its Gothic layout that speaks centuries, whereas the Haas House looks like it was just pulled out of a futuristic movie.
However, when the Haas House was built, it followed the same principle as the other buildings to blend in: every house must be built on the ruins of a previous house. As time went by, the Haas House actually became the pride of the city and makes the cathedral stand out even more due to the fact that it is reflected in its neighbor’s glass façade. When checking out the interior, you will also be impressed by the attention to detail that the architects gave to the Haas House. The great glass ceiling and the futuristic-looking staircase will make you feel as if you just stepped into a spaceship. Despite its postmodernist design, however, you will still see columns with old motifs. By climbing to the top of the Haas House, you can sit down at the beautiful restaurant and coffee shop that gives you a full view of St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

The National Theatre

The National Theater in Vienna, Burgtheater, has always been famous for its performances and plays in the German language. If you are a fan of the performing arts, then this place is just the thing for you. From the moment it was founded in 1776 by Emperor Joseph II, its four stages have hosted many well-known names. In 1945, the theater suffered great losses due to a devastating fire. However, after being rebuilt, it once more became a national symbol of the country in terms of both performance and beauty.
Not only does the Burgtheater impress visitors with regards to the quality of the performances, it is also beautiful to look at. Its sheer size can evoke a state of wonder in every tourist passing by and everything is made even more spectacular by the numerous scenes, decorative figures and busts that adorn the exterior. The interior is also a work of art, as it features French Baroque style decorations that imply richness, as well as a grand staircase with frescoes made by Ernst and Gustav Klimt. You can also find English guided tours behind the scenes if your German is not that impressive.

The Vienna National Library

There’s art in being a bookworm as well. The Austrian National Library is not only a philologist’s “home sweet home,” but it’s also a work of art from the inside out. The 1726 Baroque building is highlighted on the exterior by statues depicting the Goddess Minerva riding her four-steed chariot. The inside, on the other hand, is all about the frescoes. Upon entering the Augustine Reading Room, you’ll be able to see the spectacular murals made by Johann Bergl in the 1770s. The State Hall is also an impressive Baroque room adorned with ceiling frescoes by Daniel Grand, along with several life-sized statues.
The most impressive part of this library is that it has a collection of 15,000 gold-stamped books. Formerly part of Prince Eugene of Savoy’s private collection, this library holds various royal manuscripts, portraits, photographic archives and books that date back to the 14th century.

Museum of Applied Arts

Commonly known as MAK, the Museum of Applied Arts is one of the most prominent museums in Vienna and is the only one of its kind in the world. When it was originally created, the museum was only meant to be a collection of samples from the Imperial Austrian industry and art. Now, the museum holds antique and unusual collections that mix architecture, design, and contemporary art.
The MAK not only has an impressive collection from the Viennese heritage, but it also has a study group (similar to a library) that can provide insight to tourists about the expositions. The Permanent Collection holds the highlights of the museum in a spacious hall that was originally made by Heinrich von Ferstel and then redesigned by contemporary artists. It is a collection of both the old and the new, displaying not only unique artistic heritages but also modern interventions, which offer an intriguing contrast. Aside from the permanent exhibition, MAK also displays temporary exhibits on particular themes, offering even more perspective on our socially artistic future.

Outdoor Attractions

Sometimes, the main idea isn’t to necessarily be stuck between four walls while you’re visiting a city. Indeed, you need to see the museums, the theaters, and every popular indoor attraction, but there’s more to touring than that. Sometimes, you may just want to feel the sun kissing your skin as you are visiting world-known attractions. While some may be monuments and places where you can relax, others may actually give you the time of your life. Here is a short list of places where you can go to during your outdoor experiences.

Danube Tower, Island and Bike Ride

The Danube is an attraction that gives Vienna most of its beauty. An outdoor tour in this area should always start with the Danube Tower – also known as the tallest building in Austria. It was created in 1964 for the Viennese International Horticultural Show and is located in the middle of the Danube Park on the riverbank. You can see it from the ground and see how it shoots up in the sky, or you can go up the tower to get a view over the city. Even in bad weather, you can stand under the glazed terrace and still enjoy the view. Enjoy a meal in the revolving restaurant or, if you’re a bit of a daredevil, go bungee jumping from 152m off the side of the Tower from April to November.
Danube Park, found at the foot of the tower, is also a great place to get some fresh air – especially if you are into cycling. You can take your bike and ride on a section of the 300km pathway (which begins in Passau, Germany), or enjoy a number of other activities there such as mini-golf, tennis or chess.
The Danube Island is where you want to go once the summer heat hits. It’s jut a few minutes away from the city center if you take the subway, and once you get there, you can be sure that it will provide you with an unforgettable Viennese experience. You can swim, ride a boat and play some beach volleyball or treat yourself to a picnic as you rest from your sightseeing tour. This place is perfect for families on vacation with their small children. The beach is 250 meters long, making the bathing area as safe and child-friendly as possible. The beach is also protected by a couple of small islands a bit offshore, making the maximum water depth just one meter. Also, if you are not in the mood for swimming, you can easily opt for some sunbathing or a meal at a nearby restaurant.

Prater Park and the Giant Ferris Wheel

If you’ve already grown tired of classic walks through the streets or museums, then Prater Park may be just the thing for you. Prater is full of adventure, boasting more than 250 attractions and stands created to send the monotony away. According to “Focus” magazine, it is one of the top ten most beautiful city parks in the world. Translated from German, “prater” means meadow, which is unsurprising considering most of Prater Park occupies what is known as the Green Prater. Besides the exhibition center, racecourse, motorway and main park, there is also the Wurstelprater Amusement Park. From merry-go-rounds and ghost trains to other highlights such as the “Ejection Seat,” you won’t even have the chance to get bored there. Plus, if you feel hungry (and your stomach is still cooperating), there are more than sixty restaurants and cafes in this amusement park.
The main attraction is, however, the giant Ferris wheel, known as the Wiener Riesenrad. Built in 1897, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world for half a century and remains an undisputed symbol of both the park and the city as a whole. Riders can gaze out at the city from 64.7 meters high as the wheel revolves on a leisurely, historical trip at 2.7 km/h. Plus, if you ever dreamed of introducing your kids to Michael Jackson, Angelina Jolie or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, it’s easier than you thought. There’s an entire collection of wax sculptures of famous people at Madame Tussauds that look extremely lifelike, almost to the point where it seems uncanny.

Volksgarten

Loosely translated as the “People’s Garden,” Volksgarten is as simple as it is elegant. Created in the 1820s, the place on which it was built was previously a bastion of the Hofburg Palace. It is actually one of the first recreational sites ever to be built in Vienna, and it is laid out in the formal French style, decorated with a beautiful rose garden, interesting monuments, ornamental fountains and geometric flowerbeds.
The main attraction in the Volksgarten is, however, the Theseus Temple. It is actually a replica of the Temple of Hephaestus (Theseion) from the ancient Angora of Athens. It was originally built to host Antonio Canova’s statue “Theseus and the Minotaur,” but in 1890 (roughly 70 years after the temple was built), the statue was moved to the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Today, the statue has gone missing; however, the temple still retains the ancient beauty of the Greek gods, making it a relaxing and stunning place to visit.

Burggarten

Burggarten was originally built as a private garden for the emperor. It spreads across an approximate area of 38,000m2 and is located on the Ringstrasse beside the Albertina and Hofburg. The people responsible for designing this garden were the same as the ones who designed Volksgarten: the court gardener Franz Antoine Senior and Ludwig Gabriel von Remy. The reason why this design is so special is that Franz Joseph I was also an educated gardener who had the knowledge to select many kinds of plants from all around the world. Over time, the layout became more English-style than French, and a pond was also added. However, you can still see traces of the previous styles, making it unique compared to other parks.
Eventually, the garden opened to the public in 1919 and was adorned with several monuments such as a bronze statue of the emperor and a marble statue depicting Mozart, fronted by a treble clef of flowers. Another main attraction is the Palmenhaus that spreads over 2,000m2. This “Palm House” is a place where tourists can go eat, drink or rest a bit after a long tour. It’s a nice break away from the chaotic city full of tourists, vehicles, and pushy vendors. Nearby is also the Butterfly Pavillion where hundreds of beautiful butterflies are free to roam. You can finally relax in this secluded oasis and soak in the sights and sounds of nature in its full, beautiful glory.

Schönbrunn Gardens, Maze, Labyrinth & Labyrinthikon

If you have already visited the Schönbrunn Palace and feel like going somewhere different to grab some fresh air, keep in mind that the Schönbrunn Park is also a pretty amazing alternative to stone walls. Extending for about 1.2km, tourists have all the space they need to enjoy some quiet time away from the chaos of the city.
In terms of style, the grounds and the palace reflect each other according to the Baroque notion of royalty. Most of the garden’s layout has managed to survive throughout time, and they still possess the original characteristics of the Schönbrunn Gardens.
From the gardens, you can go directly to the maze. When it was originally built, the Schönbrunn Maze was meant to be a leisure place for the royal family. Now, everyone looking for some relaxation time can visit, as it’s open to anyone who wishes to have some fun! The maze will definitely be one of the kids’ favorites, so be sure to bring them along! If you look closely enough around the corners, you’ll see that you’re surrounded by the twelve zodiac signs. Also, once you find your way through the maze, you can climb on a platform, rest and watch others get lost!
On the other side of the maze, you can also find the Labyrinth, which is a great place if you are looking for a little adventure time: you can climb poles that make sounds, and you have a jumping station, puzzles, touching shapes and gargoyles to fend off the boredom. The Labyrinthikon is also a playground that has 14 play areas with specially developed, high-level equipment used to romp around, experiment and explore.

The City Garden (Stadtpark)

Open in 1862, Stadtpark was the first public park in Vienna, which explains its name. It was founded shortly after the Ring Road replaced the demolished city walls.
The City Park is noted for having the largest number of monuments located inside the park. The Johann Strauss II monument is known as one of the most popular monuments to take photos with. But the monuments dedicated to Franz Schubert, Hans Canon, Anton Bruckner and Emil Jakob Schindler are also worth your attention.
The City Park was created in English style and is divided into two parts by the Vienna River. There is the Children’s Park along the south bank of the river, and the northern part of the park is no less beautiful – glades, flowerbeds, exotic trees and a large pond make it look amazing.
You should visit the Kursalon in the park. It is a construction known to possess healing mineral water inside. Also remember to stop by the Meierei, a milk-drinking hall in the past and a beautiful cafe in the present.
The City Park is especially adored in spring when the garden is in blossom. By the way, there are some government-protected zones in the park as well to keep the flora and the fauna safe!

Kahlenberg and Leopoldsberg

Kahlenberg (484 meters) and Leopoldsberg (425 meters) are hills situated in the northern outskirts of Vienna that offer some of the best views of the city.
The hills have become one of the most popular destinations for a weekend trip not only for locals, but for tourists as well.
Visit the St. Josef Church or sit in a restaurant with a lookout point in Kahlenberg to enjoy the city view. Remembering how long it took you to walk around Vienna, you will be amazed at how small it now looks from such a high vantage point.
Looking at the MODUL University of Vienna from above, you might even be attempted to apply there in order to study Social and Economic Development in such a picturesque place.
Visit Leopoldsberg in order to enjoy the picturesque view of the Danube from the beautiful Leopoldsberg Church (Leopoldskirche in German). Even though the altitudes of the hills are only moderate, they are still technically considered part of the Eastern Alps, so by visiting either, you could easily say that you’ve been to the Alps!

Lainz Game Reserve

The Lainz Game Reserve used to be the hunting grounds of the royal family. Now, it is a place where every family can enjoy an unbelievable travel experience. Admission is free, and tourists can enjoy the 2,450 hectares of natural landscape, full of plants and a wide diversity of animals. While hiking through the land, you may notice boars, deer, and stags crossing your path. However, with some patience and a bit of luck, you may also see salamanders, woodpeckers, and bats.
With six forest playgrounds at your disposal, you can finally let loose a bit. The flora and fauna of Lainz Game Reserve will teach you about the life of the Vienna woods, and you can explore by either foot or carriage. These tours will know exactly where to take you if you have certain species you wish to find, regardless if it’s herbs or wildlife.

Hohe Wand Toboggan Run

If you’re running out of time, the summer toboggan that runs from Hohe Wand lets you cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. These rides are fully automated and can carry up to 25 people up the hill. From then on, all you have to do is hold your breath as you dash down a 100-meter altitude drop at 40km/h.
Plus, they bump up the fun even more with a jump just before the end! You’ll experience a rush of adrenaline that will keep your blood pumping and make your stomach and heart leap even faster. If you are looking for a more leisurely ride (or if you’re maybe accompanied by kids), you can adjust the speed of the cart with a slight push of the break.
If you get hungry, there are various food stands for snacks or full meals around the run that can satiate your hunger. If you believe that your stomach is strong enough to hold food, the terraces there are the perfect place for you to relax.

Vienna Ice World

If you’re visiting Vienna during the winter, then you may want to pay a visit to the Wiener Eistraum (Vienna Ice World). It is a paradise for skating fans, as it is skating rink so large you’ll never have to worry about going too fast and hitting the side. It’s sweepingly elegant and fantastically wild with music accompanying you every “skate” of the way. From modern hits to beautiful waltzes, each experience on this illuminated frozen wonderland will make you feel like kings and queens of the ice. Generally open from January to March, you can put your skills to the test for a couple of hours on the idyllically illuminated City Hall Park, skating on countless routes and finishing with a warm drink at an outdoor terrace.

Other Interesting Places

You’ve seen the main attractions, you’ve had your fill of art, and you feel as if you got your “daily recommended dose of fresh air,” but you still have some extra time to spare until your flight back home. Luckily, you can never run out of things to do in Vienna – there’s something around every corner. Regardless if it’s an interesting looking building, a café with lots of history or a monument dedicated to one of the city’s heroes, here are some other places you will definitely want to visit during your stay.

Maria Theresien Platz

Set between the Natural History Museum and the Art History Museum, Maria Theresien Platz is one of the places where tourists gather to enjoy the majestic view. Granted, it is also conveniently set in the center of everything on the Ringstrasse, with most of the leading museums gathered around. If you’re not keen on entering the museums that particular day, you can sit back at the Tritons and Naiads Fountain amongst the statues, and enjoy the architecture and people watching. It is also wonderful to visit in the moonlight after the museums are closed and the hordes of tourists are tucked into their hotels.
In the center of the square, you can find the monument dedicated to Maria Theresa. She is a real symbol of the Habsburg Empire. This work of art took nearly 13 years to construct, and it was finally finished in 1888. It’s 19 meters high (making it hard to miss), and is composed of a number of statues: a 6-meter statue on top depicting Empress Maria Teresa, and four other statues surrounding the main one – her generals. It’s one of the most famous monuments in Vienna, and it is considered a word cultural heritage site. Simply looking at that statue will make you feel as if you are witnessing a piece of history yourself.

The Schönbrunn Zoo

Not only is Schönbrunn Zoo one of the oldest attractions in Vienna, but it is also probably the oldest zoo in the world. This particular zoo has been turned into a beautiful and modern construction loved by humans and animals alike. It boasts natural landscapes that make the ‘inhabitants’ feel at home, and new technology that provides safety and comfort to those visiting and working there. Although the 250-year-old zoo has been fully modernized, it still has its original design. With Baroque buildings alongside natural landscapes created from the time of Emperor Francis I, the Schönbrunn Zoo houses more than 700 species of animals (some of them highly endangered). Everything from Siberian tigers to hippos and one-horned rhinoceroses can be seen at this zoo. Some of the main highlights of the zoo are the giant pandas, which can be a treat to see, especially if they have their cubs around. You can also pay a visit to the creatures in the Aquarium or the Rainforest House – there are a lot of exotic animals to see there.
If you want to end your visit with some refreshments, you may also go to the 18th century Imperial Breakfast Pavilion, which is now home to an excellent café adorned with vintage decorations.

Aqua Terra Zoo (Haus des Meeres)

Haus des Meeres is literally translated as House of the Sea. It is home to more than 10,000 water creatures and is the perfect place for the whole family.
There are a lot of amphibians, arthropods, insects and the other kinds of surprising sea creatures.
If you haven’t been to Asia, you will be enthralled with the tropical seawater zone, where unusual birds and animals are ready to interact with everyone. The turtles are also cute. Even though piranhas are a dangerous fish, they look pretty peaceful on the other side of glass.
It is exciting to see sharks, isn’t it? At Aqua Terra, there are plenty of them in a huge, 2-storey tall reservoir for you to see. While the sharks are fearful, the crocodiles are even more frightening. Head to the crocodile park to see these guys up close.
The Aqua Terra Zoo is also a place where bats feel comfortable and fly above guests during their visit. The Aqua Terra Zoo is located in an 11-storey building, which used to be a flak tower during World War II. The building has a picturesque observation deck with a restaurant. To visit the Aqua Terra Zoo means to be immersed into life under the sea!

Demel Café and Bakery

Considering that it was built in 1786, Demel is not only the oldest bakery and café in Vienna, but is also probably one of the most memorable food experiences you’ll have in the city. This café started as a place that sold frozen goods, candy and jam-filled doughnuts, but it now serves exquisite dishes and cakes that are carefully made by hand according to traditional, century-old recipes gathered by Christoph Demel and his team. Emperor Franz Joseph himself apparently had a sweet tooth for Demel’s pralines and confectionaries, often buying them to treat the ladies of his fancy. His empress was also said to have been addicted to their violet sorbet, making his business known throughout the entire kingdom as a result.
Besides the food, which is the obvious highlight, another one would be the Demelinerinnen. They are waitresses dressed modestly in black dresses and white lace collars that still preserve the old way of addressing customers as they enter through the café doors. You will feel like one of the royals as you eat mouthwatering displays that are often genuine works of art.

Imperial Crypt and Capuchin Church

The Capuchin Church is another one of Vienna’s old but splendid constructions, and is dedicated to “Our Lady of the Angels.” However, even though the exterior is definitely worth checking out, the most spectacular thing about this church is the fact that it houses the Imperial Vault belonging to the Habsburg family. The vault contains the remains of 145 royal family members, most of them Austrian Emperors. There are nine vaults, which have been arranged in chronological order to make it easier for tourists to see how the burial styles evolved over time.
One of the main attractions is the Founder’s Vault where Emperor Matthias found his final resting place in 1618, and where Ana, his empress who died a year earlier, accompanies him. Another focal point is the vault of Maria Theresa, a domed chamber that surrounds a Rococo-style double sarcophagus that entombs the empress. The sarcophagus looks like a bed of sorts and the head shows the Imperial couple with a crown of stars and an angel, while many other reliefs on the side depict moments from Maria Theresa’s life. The place is as eerie as it is majestic. The details on the tombs themselves make the entire crypt look so beautiful that you forget it is actually a place for the dead. If anything, it looks like a place where life begins as the rich afterlife.

Museum of Technology

Not everything is bones and paintings. For people interested in ‘technicalities,’ the Technical Museum has a very impressive collection of innovations. While they may not be considered “modern” today, people can look at the things that were used as a stepping-stone for what we have today, and the museum highlights some of the most unbelievable human achievements of technological advancement across history. This museum is about two eternal questions “Why?” and “How?” And if you have a curious mind, the Museum of Technology is created for you.
The collection is concentrated on the Austrian fields, and is divided into many sections such as commerce, technology, and industry. The highlights of the museum include displays related to astronomy, nature, communications, energy, mining, transportation and musical instruments. Have you ever dreamt of boarding a steam locomotive or listen to music made by a singing Tesla coil? You might even hear the melody of your favourite song.
It is recommended to visit the Museum of Technology and the Schönbrunn Palace on the same day. They are situated near each other. The Crime Museum is also something you may want to take a look at since it displays many fascinating documents and artifacts including various tools of torture.

The Vienna Clock Museum

The Clock Museum is an intriguing place where time stands still, and yet slowly ticks forward. A visit to the Uhrenmuseum in the central pedestrian Viennese precinct will literally be time well spent. You will have the opportunity to see how clocks evolved until this day, starting from the 15th century, a surprisingly interesting exposition. Regardless if they’re pocket watches or grand tower clocks, each and every display is unique in its own way.
The highlights of this museum are the clocks displaying illustrated faces, a couple of superb Austrian lantern timepieces from the Biedermeier period, trench watches from the First World War and exquisite jeweled wristwatches. One particular object you may want to check out is the David a Sancto Cajetano piece, an astronomical art clock built in the 18th century. It not only shows the time with extreme precision, but also the length of the day and the planetary orbital period. During your visit, you will also have the opportunity to hear a lovely orchestra of synchronized chimes every hour. Plus, if you want to know more and German is not your strong point, you can find English tour guides who will explain things to you.

Children’s Museums: Kindermuseum and ZOOM Children’s Museum

Kindermuseum:
As opposed to adults, not all children get excited about seeing old bones or watches. They want to see something for their age, which is why the Children’s Museum at Schönbrunn Palace is a wonderland for them. It has interactive displays that depict the lives of children from the royal family. The highlights are not only various displays of toys, artifacts and games, but also wigs and children’s clothing. This museum will be your kids’ chance to dress up like a prince or princess. Children visiting the museum also have the opportunity to try quadrille dancing, which was once an essential class for the royal child’s education. If you want a truly memorable experience, you can arrange a birthday party for your child there – banquet style. It will be as if they actually are members of the royal family.
The ZOOM Children’s Museum:
The ZOOM Museum is located in the Museum Quarter and has different programs for children of various ages:
Underwater World is for the youngest visitors – 8 months to 6 years – and is all about interacting with the environment and developing basic skills.
3-12 year olds are invited to the Studio room, where they learn how to create things with a variety of materials and the help of various instruments.
Delving into the museum, 6-12 year olds can explore the interactive ZOOM Exhibition dedicated to scientific, cultural and architectural topics.
Finally, there is an opportunity for children and teenagers of 8-14 to make their own movie in an animation studio.
Parents will find it amazing that the museum is not only a place of entertainment, but also of learning, discovering the world and asking questions. It’s also free for those under 19 as an added bonus.

House of Music (Haus der Musik)

The House of Music became the first museum of its kind in Vienna. It brilliantly represents the world of sound and it is about music in general.
It is the absolute right place for both musicians and music lovers. You might be also interested in the long history of music formation from ancient times till nowadays. It is amazing to discover the instruments that people used long ago.
The interactive aspect of the museum is a highlight for most visitors. Everyone has a chance to create his or her own melody or to try out the role of conductor. The “Virtostage” is multimedia performance area where you can shape and change the music simply through the movements of your body.
The House of Music received the Austrian Museum Prize in 2002 as a result of the hard work and brilliant ideas of musicians, artists, music theorists, several Austrian and multimedia universities with their students and, of course, architects.
The House of Music is located in the heart of Vienna. Moreover, it is situated in a historically important building, the Palace of Archduke Charles. It was also home of Otto Nicolai – the founder of the Vienna Philharmonic.

Mariahilfer Strasse

Mariahilfer Strasse is a wide, vibrant pedestrian street that is open throughout the year – it truly never sleeps! Located in the central part of Vienna next to the Museum Quarter, it is a great walk to take if you don’t want to miss anything. It was recently renovated and renewed in order to attract more tourists. Now, you can relax in a street side café or restaurant, or even go to the cinema where plenty of English films are shown. Visit Mariahilfer Straase near the end of your journey in Vienna – it is considered the most appropriate place to do some reasonable shopping and you may even lose track of time hanging out there. You will save a lot by shopping in the street, as there is a high level of competition between the vendors. It’s possible to get nearly everything you need, from high-quality clothing to simple souvenirs. Even if you aren’t interested in the entertainment aspect of the street, it is still worth visiting Mariahilfer Strasse due to the outstanding architecture of its buildings.

As you can see, Vienna is a very active place that never runs out of things to for you to discover. Comprised of valuable historical sites along with modern traits, each brick and nook tells an impressive story that is full of elegance, art, and determination. You may want to take a longer vacation if you wish to see all of the city’s attractions. Whether you’re a daytime tourist or a nighttime one, Vienna has everything for you: indoor and outdoor, artistic and otherwise.

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        Land of Order, Luxury, and Culture

        As the capital of Austria and one of the most visited cities in Europe, Vienna has been blessed with numerous things that make it beautiful. Thanks to the fabulous architecture in the city center, it also became a UNESCO World Heritage site. This location owes a lot of its charm to the banks of the Danube River, which is also the gateway between Eastern and Western Europe. Vienna was home to many different nations including Romans and Celts. Eventually it was chosen as a capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Vienna is not only beloved by tourists for its wealthy history and rich museums, but for its beauty and role as both a cultural and commercial hub. No matter how long you plan to stay, you will never run out of things to do, simply because around every corner another piece of history is waiting to be discovered!

        World-Known Landmarks

        Vienna is full of attractions, some better known than others. However, before venturing into the lesser-known parts of Vienna, you may want to check out the most famous landmarks that are popular for tourists all around the world. Here are some that you may want to consider visiting:

        Vienna Ring Road (Ringstrasse)

        The Vienna Ring Road is considered the most popular road in the city. It encircles the oldest district of Vienna, the Innere Stadt. Ring Road was built on top of the place where the city walls used to surround the Old Town of Vienna. Many of the sites you’ll want to see are around the road.
        The “Lord of the Ring Road”, as Ringstrasse is sometimes known, belongs to UNESCO as a heritage site alongside many other Vienna landmarks.
        Take a walk around the Vienna Ring Road, and you will come across many other attractions on your way. Some of them include the Vienna State Opera, City Hall, the Hofburg, University of Vienna, the Museum of Applied Art, the Academy of Fine Arts, the Palace of Justice and many other places of interest. It is certainly worth visiting several times.
        Take a guided tour along the road, and you will learn plenty of interesting facts about Austrian history. You may also take tram №1, ride a bicycle or take a walk along the Ringstrasse.

        Hofburg

        The Hofburg is probably one of the most popular historic buildings in Vienna and maybe even the entire world. Built in 1275, it played an important role during the time of the Habsburg dynasty and seated a long line of Habsburgs and Austrian rulers. Along with the Schönbrunn Palace, which was the Habsburg family summer residence, the Hofburg was part of the Imperial Palace. Currently, it serves as both the official residence and working place of the Austrian Federal President.

        This building is a spiraling beauty of Rocco, Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance styles, and sits upon a fairly large area, stretching for a total distance of 59 acres with 19 courtyards and ten groups of buildings with 2600 rooms. It gives you a bigger picture of Austria, as it contains many of the city’s well-known attractions and museums side-by-side. The Hofburg Treasury has a vast collection including Imperial Regalia, along with other relics dating back to the Holy Roman Empire. You may visit the silver collection of the Sisi Museum, the Albertina Museum and a number of others. The Church is also worth checking out. Do not forget to visit the Festival, Marble, Ceremonial, and Knight’s Halls. Join a guided tour in order to enrich your stock of knowledge about Austrian governors. There are many gorgeous, natural places in Hofburg’s parks to explore as well.
        You should be prepared in advance in order to visit all of the places you want to see at the Hofburg Palace.

        Schönbrunn Palace

        Found just a few kilometers away from the center of Vienna, Schönbrunn Palace is as old as it is spectacular. The Schönbrunn Palace is the summer residence of the Austrian emperors with incomparable gardens. It has been one of the most visited tourist attractions in Vienna since the middle of the XX century, after being saturated with more than 300 years of historical events. You will have the opportunity to see a beautiful, well-kept building that looks like it is still in its prime. However, a closer look at the building’s history will reveal that it was built in the 18th century, with roots going as far back as 1568 to Emperor Maximilian II’s time. The building was constructed with the idea that it should rival Paris’ Versailles. The result, though much more modest, did not fail in terms of beauty. The name of the palace, “Schönbrunn,” means “beautiful spring” – the season during which the gardens look the most noble. The grounds were used for recreation and hunting.
        Even though the Schönbrunn Palace is no longer the residence of Austrian rulers, it is still used occasionally for special official meetings.

        The palace was built in Baroque style, which allows visitors to consider both small details and artistic sculptures on its facade. The interior of the Schönbrunn Palace is in Rococo architectural style, and the Millions Room is considered to be the best example of this style in the world. You can book a night in one of the castle’s 40 available rooms (the total being 1,441) to get an authentic experience of being a royal. You have great salons, exquisite bedrooms, and drawing rooms to explore, and the most glorious views of Vienna. Besides the Schönbrunn Palace and its beautiful gardens, you may also visit the Palm Pavilion, the Roman Ruins, the Sundial House, the Gloriette, the Neptune Fountain, the Zoological Garden and so on. The Mirror Hall is the first concert place of 6-year-old Mozart and the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was signed in the Blue Chinese Salon of the Schönbrunn Palace. Once you get tired of wandering around every hall, you can even go grab a bite in any of the on-site cafés.

        The Spanish Riding School

        The Spanish Riding School is another place that dates back to the time of Emperor Maximilian II. It was first introduced into society when the ruler added the famous Lipizzaner horses to his courtesans in 1569. Now, it’s one of the top attractions in Vienna and gathers people from all over the world. A Baroque winter riding school that displays marvelous equestrian skills, the Spanish Riding School has been a part of the enormous Hofburg Palace ever since 1735. Visitors can come and watch the morning exercises and the gala performances held in the riding hall. The performers will be wearing classic equestrian dressage, which take you another step back into the past. Be careful though, tickets sell fast, so you may want to book them as soon as possible.

        St. Stephen’s Cathedral

        Not only is St. Stephen Cathedral the most popular attraction in Vienna, but it is also the official seat of the Archbishop. It looks splendid from all sides and has become one of the most recognisable symbols of Vienna, as well as the number one religious place in Austria. This beautiful Roman Catholic construction welcomes around one million guests every year, impressing them all with its richly decorated roof and 137-meter high spire. It’s one of the most spectacular Gothic architectural pieces in the world, representing around eight centuries of Gothic history. While the only original structures that remain from the 13th century are the Heaven Towers and the massive gate, it still retains the same ‘old’ beauty in its newer buildings. It was built on the remains of two churches.
        The entrance to the Cathedral is free, but it is accessible depending on the service schedule. There is a meditative atmosphere of calm inside the temple and it is breathtaking inside as well as outside. The St. Stephen’s Cathedral perfectly represents the mixing of medieval and contemporary architecture.

        To make the most out of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, you can do various things:
        Participate: You can go to the regular services of the cathedral. Every visitor is allowed in as long as they’re respectful of the place.
        Listen to the Music: St. Stephen has a regular program of orchestral and choral music. The cathedral also hosts various choirs from all around the world and allows them to perform for tourists. You may want to check the annual schedule for bigger events.
        Go Shopping: Who says that going to church can’t be fun? You can find an online store operated by the cathedral that sells CDs, DVDs, and books related to religion, history, and music.
        Stephansplatz is name of the square where the St. Stephen’s Cathedral situated. It is a hub for groups of creative people such as painters, musicians, and artists. Grab a cup of coffee and some roasted chestnuts – it is worth spending some extra time in the Stephansplatz area.
        The Cathedral is located in the center of Vienna, so you can visit the attraction while enjoying a stroll around the historical center. The only shortcoming of the place is that it is a hotspot for tourists and therefore always has plenty of visitors.

        St. Charles's Church (Karlskirche)

        Karlskirche (or the Church of St. Charles) is one of the most impressive buildings in Vienna, and one of the first attractions that tourists visit when they come to the city. Emperor Charles VI commissioned the building as a “thank you” for the Lord answering one of his prayers.
        Most buildings in Vienna were decorated in Baroque style, but unlike them, the creative and ambitious design of this architectural sculpture combines elements from Ancient Greece (such as the columned portico) with those of the Viennese Baroque (such as the dome and towers) and of Ancient Rome (the twin Trajanesque columns). The impressive copper dome rises up 236 feet, making it one of the greatest landmarks in Austria.
        The actual design of the church was regarded as a curiosity for both art and culture lovers. The church looks like something that just came out of a fairy tale, especially when it is illuminated at night; a truly magical sight. While the interior is a little more conventional than what is seen on the outside, it still holds true to the baroque decoration. The stunning frescoes that adorn the vault feature St. Charles Borromeo, a 16th-century Italian archbishop who prayed to the Holy Trinity to stop the plague that was killing the citizens of Vienna, and the man to whom Karlskirche is dedicated. Another reason the church is famous is that the known Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi was buried there. It is also possible to climb to the observation deck for a bird’s eye view of the city.

        City Hall (Neues Rathaus)

        The Rathaus, or Vienna City Hall, is a Neo-Gothic construction that impresses visitors mostly through its sheer size. It looks similar to a massive medieval cathedral. Spreading across almost 14,000m2, it now occupies the former Parade Grounds. The structure of City Hall consists of five towers that are each 98 meters tall. Completed in 1883, it’s mostly recognized for the Rathausmann standing on top of one of the towers. The Rathausmann is an iron figure carrying a symbolic banner, which was actually a gift from the master locksmith and, since its installation in 1882, has been a well-known symbol of Vienna. In the center, it has an arcaded courtyard, which is recognized as one of the seven largest courtyards that hold summer concerts.
        When it comes to tour highlights, you have a lot to see. There’s the Schmidt Halle (the large, impressive entrance) and the twin Grand Staircases, which lead to the Assembly Hall. Other things you definitely want to look out for are the City Senate Chamber, the Heraldic Rooms and the reception room of the Mayor. Not only do they host the meetings of the higher-ups, but are also beautifully decorated. The City Senate Chamber, for instance, has a marvelous majolica fireplace that dates back to 1885, as well as richly adorned walls and ceilings. The Heraldic and Reception Room mirror the City Senate Chamber when it comes to majesty.
        Rathausplatz, where the City Hall is situated, is a popular place for public events, such as film and music festivals. If you come to Vienna in May, you will have a chance to visit the Life Ball – a gala event that takes place in the Festival Hall. If you are visiting the city during Christmas preparations, go to the Advent Market in front of the building. Later on in the winter you may attend one of the most marvellous skating rinks in the world located on the Rathausplatz and in the Rathauspark. It is also a good opportunity to visit the restaurant ‘Wiener Rathauskeller’, which was built in traditional Baroque style.

        Vienna State Opera House

        The State Opera House is not only an amazing architectural construction where you can watch a top-notch performance, but it also features a stage that has housed many of the world’s most prominent dancers, soloists, conductors, and composers. Imagine how incredible an Opera House must be in a city that has a significant part of its history dedicated to music! At least 300 times each year, tourists and locals alike can attend a rich repertoire of opera and ballet performances, fuelling an obsession with music that reaches as far back as the year 1625. “Don Giovanni”, “Le Nozze di Figaro” and “Don Carlo” are amongst the most popular performances of the State Opera.
        The massive building, which has graced Vienna as both incredible decoration and glorious cultural center since 1869, sports an impressive early French Renaissance style with a grand staircase that leads towards the first floor, and an exquisite Tea Room containing valuable tapestries. The staircase even has a majestic name, the Schwind Foyer, after the famous paintings by Moritz von Schwind that are hanging on the walls. The building can accommodate up to 2,211 guests along with 110 masters of the performing arts and music. It belonged to the first mayor of Vienna and was the “Vienna Court Opera” until the fall of the Habsburgs Empire. Once you decide to enter the home of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Vienna, you can be certain that you’ll get a real taste of the Austrian culture. If you aren’t into Opera but still want to visit the grandeur of the building, guided tours are available.

        The Austrian Parliament Building

        The Austrian Parliament Building has been the home of the Austrian National and Federal Parliament for nearly a century. Finished in 1883, it has been, and still is, used for Provincial and Imperial delegations, looking like a Greek wonder made for gods. With its Corinthian columns and lavish decorations, especially the exterior carving made by Franz Joseph showing the constitution, this building brings culture and beauty to the eyes of both tourists and locals.
        Another highlight you can find at the Austrian Parliament is the Pallas Athene Fountain, which is a splendid 4-meter statue that sports a gilded helmet and lance. Each figure featured on the fountain symbolizes the rivers Moldau, Elbe, Inn, and the Danube. You can find English tours there as well, which can be booked at the Visitor Center. To learn even more during your visit, you can check out their multimedia presentations of the Parliament’s history.

        St. Peter’s Church (Peterskirche)

        Vienna’s architecture is full of Baroque-style constructions, and the St. Peter’s Church is no exception.
        The initial St. Peter’s Church was built on the same place in the IV century. It used to be the oldest parish church in Vienna. The medieval church was created in Gothic style, and has become a part of the Scottish Abbey. Unfortunately, the original St. Peter’s Church was burned down in 1661. The new church replaced it in the XVIII century by the order of Emperor Leopold I, who was a member of the Fraternity of the Holy Trinity. St. Peter’s Church is located in amongst the other buildings, so the only site to take a clear photo of the church is in front of the main entrance. Do not hesitate to go inside – the interior is as stunning as the exterior. If you have time, listen to organ in the church. It seems as though everything is shaking with the fantastic sound of it being played.
        By the way, it is very close to the Plague Column and St. Stephen’s Cathedral – your day is going to be full of positive impressions.

        For Art and History Lovers

        You’ve seen the overall art, but you want even more. You want to fully dive into Vienna’s Heart of Art, satiating that craving you have for beauty – regardless if it’s visual, audible or palpable. If you have done your duty as a tourist and have visited the most popular places in all of Vienna but you still have a craving to fulfill, there are even more places in Vienna where you can enjoy art to its fullest.

        The Belvedere Palaces

        The Belvedere Palaces – or simply, The Belvedere – are actually two baroque-style palaces merged into one, originally built for Prince Eugene. It is, without any doubt, one of the most beautiful historical sites in Vienna. Now, both palaces act as museums that hold various art collections.
        Unteres: The lower side of Belvedere – Since the Belvedere was Prince Eugene’s summer home, the lower area displays his staterooms and apartments. The original aristocratic splendor is present in the rooms, which include the Marble Gallery, Hall of Grotesques and the Golden Room. After you visit Lower Belvedere, you can visit the Palace Stables on your way to Upper Belvedere. Prince Eugene’s horses aren’t there anymore, but you have around 150 sacred, medieval art displays such as sculptures, paintings, and triptychs.
        Oberes: The upper side of Belvedere – Here, you can find the largest Klimt collection with paintings such as “Judith” and “The Kiss.” While Lower Belvedere is still seen as a place of residence, the Upper side is where all the art can be found.
        Belvedere is full of culture and art, and is a true heaven for those interested in medieval art, the baroque period of Austria, and contemporary Austrian art. Belvedere recently underwent extensive renovations to make it more tourist-friendly.
        You may want to take a whole day to visit the Belvedere since it has so many attractions that can’t possibly be missed. Go see the Orangery and the Palace Stables, as well as the impressive gardens and fountains, also built in Baroque style. You’re more than likely to leave the place in good spirits, as it always leaves guests with a favorable impression.

        Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum)

        The Naturhistorisches Museum Wien (or Natural History Museum), located on the Ringstrasse, is adorned with many unique objects for which it is famous all around the world. Stepping inside the museum, you have expositions such as the Venus of Willendorf, a sculpture that has survived for more than 29,500 years. You will be able to see Steller’s sea cow, which became extinct more than 200 years ago, as well as numerous dinosaur skeletons – because who doesn’t love seeing the majesty of these creatures? Continuing with the highlights, the Natural History Museum is home to the oldest collection of meteorites that has been made public. There, you will be able to see one named “Tissint,” a world-famous meteorite from Mars. The entire collection is literally out of this world, displaying wonders that exist outside of our daily lives.
        This museum also shows off the history of the human being, as recorded throughout prehistoric times. A digital planetarium was also opened recently, boasting full dome projection technology, which gives every visitor, new and old, the chance to embark on a journey amongst the stars. On the museum’s 125th anniversary, guests will be able to see every last detail of the Milky Way, Saturn’s rings or any other element from our galaxy. As a world of science, history, and art, the Naturhistorisches Museum is definitely a worthy place to visit.

        The Museum Quarter

        The Museum Quarter is one of Vienna’s most ambitious projects in recent years. It is now considered one of the top ten largest cultural quarters in the world and opened in 2001 as a result of a merger of two major collections – Leopold and Elizabeth. Centered on what was formerly the Imperial Stables from the Maria-Theresien Platz, it now holds a number of Vienna’s most outstanding museums. Here are a couple of highlights:
        The Leopold Museum: This museum houses a wide collection of Austrian art that dates back from 1880 up until World War II. The collection includes around 600 oil paintings, and over 3,000 water paintings, along with various prints and drawings. Other rare highlights are the Japanese woodcarvings, medieval sculptures, an impressive porcelain collection and a good number of African objects. There are over 5,000 items in total and artists include the famous Austrian painters Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele, Richard Gerstl and Gustav Klimt.
        Museum of Modern Arts (MUMOK): The acronym MUMOK comes from the museum’s full name in German “MUseum MOderner Kunst”. Both buildings – the Leopold Museum and the MUMOK – are represented as huge cubes, one white and the other black. They contain works of the same art style and were founded the same year. Visiting the museum you will become familiar with not only the work of world-known painters, but also a number of contemporary exhibitions. MUMOK includes over 7,000 pieces of work by famous painters such as Pablo Picasso, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Roy Lichtenstein, Nam June Paik, Wolf Vostell and Gerhard Richter. General expositions include paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings, graphics, photographs, videos, films, architectural models and furniture. Choose what you like!
        Kunsthalle Wien: Kunsthalle Wien is home to a great number of temporary, contemporary art exhibitions both national and international. Originating as a controversial and makeshift structure shaped like a yellow container, it was eventually moved in 2001 to its new headquarters designed by Ortner and Ortner. Although it boasts a hearty collection of contemporary art, it was also developed and became known for its innovative communication format. Their goal is to attach importance to culture in the presentation of art, encouraging discussion about current issues and future developments in both art and everyday life. This will give you a chance to round out your museum experience by becoming immersed in a discussion!
        The best part about the Museum Quarter is that as you exit one museum, you can just to go straight into another one! By wandering through these galleries, that artistic bone of yours is bound to be satiated.

        The Albertina

        The Albertina was made for painting lovers and is home to more than 45,000 watercolors and drawings, 35,000 books, printed sheets and graphic material coverings that go back to 500 years ago. It is undoubtedly one of the world’s most extensive graphic material collections. Despite being founded in 1786 by the son-in-law of Maria Theresa, Duke Albert of Saxony-Tescha, it only became “the Albertina” in 1921, when it became the property of the Republic of Austria, instead of the Habsburgs. It contains works from various internationally recognized European schools, concentrating mostly on the 15th-century German school. Gustav Klimt and Albert Dürer are the highlights of the museum, but you can also find works by Pablo Picasso, Francisco Goya, Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Oskar Kokoschka, Cézanne and Edvard Munch. The special collections at the Albertina also include an assortment of playing cards and historical documents, as well as papers, caricatures, portfolios, illustrated books, original printing plates and posters from Dürer’s time. The building replaced the Augustinian Bastion, which used to be the old fortification of Vienna.
        The museum has very convenient audio guides available in a number of languages and if you are a true art lover, be prepared to spend a lot of time enjoying the exhibits.

        The Museum of Art History (Kunsthistorisches Museum)

        Built around roughly the same time as the Natural History Museum and located across from it, the Museum of Art History (Kunsthistorisches Museum) is an impressive dome crowned by a figure of Pallas Athene made entirely out of bronze. Both museums were commissioned by the Austrian Emperor in order to allow the Habsburgs’ collection of art to be accessible to the public. Despite their similar appearances, however, the treasures contained by each couldn’t be more different.
        The Museum of Art History is also known as the Museum of Fine Arts and is undoubtedly the largest art museum in Austria. It houses some of the most important art collections worldwide, gathering hundreds of tourists every day just so that they can take a peek. It contains exhibits of Roman and Greek antiquities, Egyptian-Oriental collections, coin collections, decorative art and sculpture collections, stone sarcophagi and ancient coffins (mummies included), and most importantly, paintings; lots and lots of paintings. Some of the most famous works are the “Madonna del Prato” by Raphael, the Infantino Portraits by Velazquez and, amongst these, various works by Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Dürer. Bruegel lovers should definitely visit the museum, as it contains the largest collection of his work in the world.

        Kunsthaus Wien

        The KunstHaus, also known as the Vienna Art House, is considered to have the most unusual facade in Vienna. It was designed by well-known architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, and is explained by his attempt to create an ecologically friendly building by giving an old structure new life. The KunstHaus has a museum inside and is currently the only museum in the world that continuously shows Hundertwasser’s work.
        The building’s designer is often compared to infamous Spanish architect, Antonio Gaudi, for his extraordinary style of art. However, the facade of the KunstHaus is different from Friedensreich’s typical style due to its carefully arranged design.
        The museum in the KunstHaus building has existed since 1991, when it replaced the Thonet furniture factory. It is located in the Landstraße district and has a total exhibition area of 4,000m2. KunstHaus stands in the center of Vienna’s cultural and artistic displays while not depending on aid from the Government. It operates as a private business and receives around 174,000 visitors every year due to the diversity it provides in both art and architecture.
        Absorb the abstract façade of the museum and then enter the KunstHaus. Two floors of the building are occupied as the permanent exposition of Hundertwasser’s artwork. The other two floors are dedicated to contemporary exhibitions of modern art.
        The “Garage” on the first floor of the building, according to Hundertwasser’s wishes, is a place where artists can meet to discuss important statements concerning ecological topics and urbanization.
        Photography fans should visit the incredible photo gallery on the first floor.
        Leaving the house, you may buy artwork or discuss the place with the other people in the cafe.

        Haas House

        A building constructed in the late 20th century, the Haas Hous is what most people would call “postmodernist art.” It was one of the most disputed buildings of the century due to the fact that it was so different from the rest that were in the area at the time. When architect Hans Hollein introduced the idea of the concrete and glass structure, to be located directly across from St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Viennese people were not very happy with this eclectic combination: The ancient Roman citadel is majestic through its Gothic layout that speaks centuries, whereas the Haas House looks like it was just pulled out of a futuristic movie.
        However, when the Haas House was built, it followed the same principle as the other buildings to blend in: every house must be built on the ruins of a previous house. As time went by, the Haas House actually became the pride of the city and makes the cathedral stand out even more due to the fact that it is reflected in its neighbor’s glass façade. When checking out the interior, you will also be impressed by the attention to detail that the architects gave to the Haas House. The great glass ceiling and the futuristic-looking staircase will make you feel as if you just stepped into a spaceship. Despite its postmodernist design, however, you will still see columns with old motifs. By climbing to the top of the Haas House, you can sit down at the beautiful restaurant and coffee shop that gives you a full view of St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

        The National Theatre

        The National Theater in Vienna, Burgtheater, has always been famous for its performances and plays in the German language. If you are a fan of the performing arts, then this place is just the thing for you. From the moment it was founded in 1776 by Emperor Joseph II, its four stages have hosted many well-known names. In 1945, the theater suffered great losses due to a devastating fire. However, after being rebuilt, it once more became a national symbol of the country in terms of both performance and beauty.
        Not only does the Burgtheater impress visitors with regards to the quality of the performances, it is also beautiful to look at. Its sheer size can evoke a state of wonder in every tourist passing by and everything is made even more spectacular by the numerous scenes, decorative figures and busts that adorn the exterior. The interior is also a work of art, as it features French Baroque style decorations that imply richness, as well as a grand staircase with frescoes made by Ernst and Gustav Klimt. You can also find English guided tours behind the scenes if your German is not that impressive.

        The Vienna National Library

        There’s art in being a bookworm as well. The Austrian National Library is not only a philologist’s “home sweet home,” but it’s also a work of art from the inside out. The 1726 Baroque building is highlighted on the exterior by statues depicting the Goddess Minerva riding her four-steed chariot. The inside, on the other hand, is all about the frescoes. Upon entering the Augustine Reading Room, you’ll be able to see the spectacular murals made by Johann Bergl in the 1770s. The State Hall is also an impressive Baroque room adorned with ceiling frescoes by Daniel Grand, along with several life-sized statues.
        The most impressive part of this library is that it has a collection of 15,000 gold-stamped books. Formerly part of Prince Eugene of Savoy’s private collection, this library holds various royal manuscripts, portraits, photographic archives and books that date back to the 14th century.

        Museum of Applied Arts

        Commonly known as MAK, the Museum of Applied Arts is one of the most prominent museums in Vienna and is the only one of its kind in the world. When it was originally created, the museum was only meant to be a collection of samples from the Imperial Austrian industry and art. Now, the museum holds antique and unusual collections that mix architecture, design, and contemporary art.
        The MAK not only has an impressive collection from the Viennese heritage, but it also has a study group (similar to a library) that can provide insight to tourists about the expositions. The Permanent Collection holds the highlights of the museum in a spacious hall that was originally made by Heinrich von Ferstel and then redesigned by contemporary artists. It is a collection of both the old and the new, displaying not only unique artistic heritages but also modern interventions, which offer an intriguing contrast. Aside from the permanent exhibition, MAK also displays temporary exhibits on particular themes, offering even more perspective on our socially artistic future.

        Outdoor Attractions

        Sometimes, the main idea isn’t to necessarily be stuck between four walls while you’re visiting a city. Indeed, you need to see the museums, the theaters, and every popular indoor attraction, but there’s more to touring than that. Sometimes, you may just want to feel the sun kissing your skin as you are visiting world-known attractions. While some may be monuments and places where you can relax, others may actually give you the time of your life. Here is a short list of places where you can go to during your outdoor experiences.

        Danube Tower, Island and Bike Ride

        The Danube is an attraction that gives Vienna most of its beauty. An outdoor tour in this area should always start with the Danube Tower – also known as the tallest building in Austria. It was created in 1964 for the Viennese International Horticultural Show and is located in the middle of the Danube Park on the riverbank. You can see it from the ground and see how it shoots up in the sky, or you can go up the tower to get a view over the city. Even in bad weather, you can stand under the glazed terrace and still enjoy the view. Enjoy a meal in the revolving restaurant or, if you’re a bit of a daredevil, go bungee jumping from 152m off the side of the Tower from April to November.
        Danube Park, found at the foot of the tower, is also a great place to get some fresh air – especially if you are into cycling. You can take your bike and ride on a section of the 300km pathway (which begins in Passau, Germany), or enjoy a number of other activities there such as mini-golf, tennis or chess.
        The Danube Island is where you want to go once the summer heat hits. It’s jut a few minutes away from the city center if you take the subway, and once you get there, you can be sure that it will provide you with an unforgettable Viennese experience. You can swim, ride a boat and play some beach volleyball or treat yourself to a picnic as you rest from your sightseeing tour. This place is perfect for families on vacation with their small children. The beach is 250 meters long, making the bathing area as safe and child-friendly as possible. The beach is also protected by a couple of small islands a bit offshore, making the maximum water depth just one meter. Also, if you are not in the mood for swimming, you can easily opt for some sunbathing or a meal at a nearby restaurant.

        Prater Park and the Giant Ferris Wheel

        If you’ve already grown tired of classic walks through the streets or museums, then Prater Park may be just the thing for you. Prater is full of adventure, boasting more than 250 attractions and stands created to send the monotony away. According to “Focus” magazine, it is one of the top ten most beautiful city parks in the world. Translated from German, “prater” means meadow, which is unsurprising considering most of Prater Park occupies what is known as the Green Prater. Besides the exhibition center, racecourse, motorway and main park, there is also the Wurstelprater Amusement Park. From merry-go-rounds and ghost trains to other highlights such as the “Ejection Seat,” you won’t even have the chance to get bored there. Plus, if you feel hungry (and your stomach is still cooperating), there are more than sixty restaurants and cafes in this amusement park.
        The main attraction is, however, the giant Ferris wheel, known as the Wiener Riesenrad. Built in 1897, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world for half a century and remains an undisputed symbol of both the park and the city as a whole. Riders can gaze out at the city from 64.7 meters high as the wheel revolves on a leisurely, historical trip at 2.7 km/h. Plus, if you ever dreamed of introducing your kids to Michael Jackson, Angelina Jolie or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, it’s easier than you thought. There’s an entire collection of wax sculptures of famous people at Madame Tussauds that look extremely lifelike, almost to the point where it seems uncanny.

        Volksgarten

        Loosely translated as the “People’s Garden,” Volksgarten is as simple as it is elegant. Created in the 1820s, the place on which it was built was previously a bastion of the Hofburg Palace. It is actually one of the first recreational sites ever to be built in Vienna, and it is laid out in the formal French style, decorated with a beautiful rose garden, interesting monuments, ornamental fountains and geometric flowerbeds.
        The main attraction in the Volksgarten is, however, the Theseus Temple. It is actually a replica of the Temple of Hephaestus (Theseion) from the ancient Angora of Athens. It was originally built to host Antonio Canova’s statue “Theseus and the Minotaur,” but in 1890 (roughly 70 years after the temple was built), the statue was moved to the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Today, the statue has gone missing; however, the temple still retains the ancient beauty of the Greek gods, making it a relaxing and stunning place to visit.

        Burggarten

        Burggarten was originally built as a private garden for the emperor. It spreads across an approximate area of 38,000m2 and is located on the Ringstrasse beside the Albertina and Hofburg. The people responsible for designing this garden were the same as the ones who designed Volksgarten: the court gardener Franz Antoine Senior and Ludwig Gabriel von Remy. The reason why this design is so special is that Franz Joseph I was also an educated gardener who had the knowledge to select many kinds of plants from all around the world. Over time, the layout became more English-style than French, and a pond was also added. However, you can still see traces of the previous styles, making it unique compared to other parks.
        Eventually, the garden opened to the public in 1919 and was adorned with several monuments such as a bronze statue of the emperor and a marble statue depicting Mozart, fronted by a treble clef of flowers. Another main attraction is the Palmenhaus that spreads over 2,000m2. This “Palm House” is a place where tourists can go eat, drink or rest a bit after a long tour. It’s a nice break away from the chaotic city full of tourists, vehicles, and pushy vendors. Nearby is also the Butterfly Pavillion where hundreds of beautiful butterflies are free to roam. You can finally relax in this secluded oasis and soak in the sights and sounds of nature in its full, beautiful glory.

        Schönbrunn Gardens, Maze, Labyrinth & Labyrinthikon

        If you have already visited the Schönbrunn Palace and feel like going somewhere different to grab some fresh air, keep in mind that the Schönbrunn Park is also a pretty amazing alternative to stone walls. Extending for about 1.2km, tourists have all the space they need to enjoy some quiet time away from the chaos of the city.
        In terms of style, the grounds and the palace reflect each other according to the Baroque notion of royalty. Most of the garden’s layout has managed to survive throughout time, and they still possess the original characteristics of the Schönbrunn Gardens.
        From the gardens, you can go directly to the maze. When it was originally built, the Schönbrunn Maze was meant to be a leisure place for the royal family. Now, everyone looking for some relaxation time can visit, as it’s open to anyone who wishes to have some fun! The maze will definitely be one of the kids’ favorites, so be sure to bring them along! If you look closely enough around the corners, you’ll see that you’re surrounded by the twelve zodiac signs. Also, once you find your way through the maze, you can climb on a platform, rest and watch others get lost!
        On the other side of the maze, you can also find the Labyrinth, which is a great place if you are looking for a little adventure time: you can climb poles that make sounds, and you have a jumping station, puzzles, touching shapes and gargoyles to fend off the boredom. The Labyrinthikon is also a playground that has 14 play areas with specially developed, high-level equipment used to romp around, experiment and explore.

        The City Garden (Stadtpark)

        Open in 1862, Stadtpark was the first public park in Vienna, which explains its name. It was founded shortly after the Ring Road replaced the demolished city walls.
        The City Park is noted for having the largest number of monuments located inside the park. The Johann Strauss II monument is known as one of the most popular monuments to take photos with. But the monuments dedicated to Franz Schubert, Hans Canon, Anton Bruckner and Emil Jakob Schindler are also worth your attention.
        The City Park was created in English style and is divided into two parts by the Vienna River. There is the Children’s Park along the south bank of the river, and the northern part of the park is no less beautiful – glades, flowerbeds, exotic trees and a large pond make it look amazing.
        You should visit the Kursalon in the park. It is a construction known to possess healing mineral water inside. Also remember to stop by the Meierei, a milk-drinking hall in the past and a beautiful cafe in the present.
        The City Park is especially adored in spring when the garden is in blossom. By the way, there are some government-protected zones in the park as well to keep the flora and the fauna safe!

        Kahlenberg and Leopoldsberg

        Kahlenberg (484 meters) and Leopoldsberg (425 meters) are hills situated in the northern outskirts of Vienna that offer some of the best views of the city.
        The hills have become one of the most popular destinations for a weekend trip not only for locals, but for tourists as well.
        Visit the St. Josef Church or sit in a restaurant with a lookout point in Kahlenberg to enjoy the city view. Remembering how long it took you to walk around Vienna, you will be amazed at how small it now looks from such a high vantage point.
        Looking at the MODUL University of Vienna from above, you might even be attempted to apply there in order to study Social and Economic Development in such a picturesque place.
        Visit Leopoldsberg in order to enjoy the picturesque view of the Danube from the beautiful Leopoldsberg Church (Leopoldskirche in German). Even though the altitudes of the hills are only moderate, they are still technically considered part of the Eastern Alps, so by visiting either, you could easily say that you’ve been to the Alps!

        Lainz Game Reserve

        The Lainz Game Reserve used to be the hunting grounds of the royal family. Now, it is a place where every family can enjoy an unbelievable travel experience. Admission is free, and tourists can enjoy the 2,450 hectares of natural landscape, full of plants and a wide diversity of animals. While hiking through the land, you may notice boars, deer, and stags crossing your path. However, with some patience and a bit of luck, you may also see salamanders, woodpeckers, and bats.
        With six forest playgrounds at your disposal, you can finally let loose a bit. The flora and fauna of Lainz Game Reserve will teach you about the life of the Vienna woods, and you can explore by either foot or carriage. These tours will know exactly where to take you if you have certain species you wish to find, regardless if it’s herbs or wildlife.

        Hohe Wand Toboggan Run

        If you’re running out of time, the summer toboggan that runs from Hohe Wand lets you cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. These rides are fully automated and can carry up to 25 people up the hill. From then on, all you have to do is hold your breath as you dash down a 100-meter altitude drop at 40km/h.
        Plus, they bump up the fun even more with a jump just before the end! You’ll experience a rush of adrenaline that will keep your blood pumping and make your stomach and heart leap even faster. If you are looking for a more leisurely ride (or if you’re maybe accompanied by kids), you can adjust the speed of the cart with a slight push of the break.
        If you get hungry, there are various food stands for snacks or full meals around the run that can satiate your hunger. If you believe that your stomach is strong enough to hold food, the terraces there are the perfect place for you to relax.

        Vienna Ice World

        If you’re visiting Vienna during the winter, then you may want to pay a visit to the Wiener Eistraum (Vienna Ice World). It is a paradise for skating fans, as it is skating rink so large you’ll never have to worry about going too fast and hitting the side. It’s sweepingly elegant and fantastically wild with music accompanying you every “skate” of the way. From modern hits to beautiful waltzes, each experience on this illuminated frozen wonderland will make you feel like kings and queens of the ice. Generally open from January to March, you can put your skills to the test for a couple of hours on the idyllically illuminated City Hall Park, skating on countless routes and finishing with a warm drink at an outdoor terrace.

        Other Interesting Places

        You’ve seen the main attractions, you’ve had your fill of art, and you feel as if you got your “daily recommended dose of fresh air,” but you still have some extra time to spare until your flight back home. Luckily, you can never run out of things to do in Vienna – there’s something around every corner. Regardless if it’s an interesting looking building, a café with lots of history or a monument dedicated to one of the city’s heroes, here are some other places you will definitely want to visit during your stay.

        Maria Theresien Platz

        Set between the Natural History Museum and the Art History Museum, Maria Theresien Platz is one of the places where tourists gather to enjoy the majestic view. Granted, it is also conveniently set in the center of everything on the Ringstrasse, with most of the leading museums gathered around. If you’re not keen on entering the museums that particular day, you can sit back at the Tritons and Naiads Fountain amongst the statues, and enjoy the architecture and people watching. It is also wonderful to visit in the moonlight after the museums are closed and the hordes of tourists are tucked into their hotels.
        In the center of the square, you can find the monument dedicated to Maria Theresa. She is a real symbol of the Habsburg Empire. This work of art took nearly 13 years to construct, and it was finally finished in 1888. It’s 19 meters high (making it hard to miss), and is composed of a number of statues: a 6-meter statue on top depicting Empress Maria Teresa, and four other statues surrounding the main one – her generals. It’s one of the most famous monuments in Vienna, and it is considered a word cultural heritage site. Simply looking at that statue will make you feel as if you are witnessing a piece of history yourself.

        The Schönbrunn Zoo

        Not only is Schönbrunn Zoo one of the oldest attractions in Vienna, but it is also probably the oldest zoo in the world. This particular zoo has been turned into a beautiful and modern construction loved by humans and animals alike. It boasts natural landscapes that make the ‘inhabitants’ feel at home, and new technology that provides safety and comfort to those visiting and working there. Although the 250-year-old zoo has been fully modernized, it still has its original design. With Baroque buildings alongside natural landscapes created from the time of Emperor Francis I, the Schönbrunn Zoo houses more than 700 species of animals (some of them highly endangered). Everything from Siberian tigers to hippos and one-horned rhinoceroses can be seen at this zoo. Some of the main highlights of the zoo are the giant pandas, which can be a treat to see, especially if they have their cubs around. You can also pay a visit to the creatures in the Aquarium or the Rainforest House – there are a lot of exotic animals to see there.
        If you want to end your visit with some refreshments, you may also go to the 18th century Imperial Breakfast Pavilion, which is now home to an excellent café adorned with vintage decorations.

        Aqua Terra Zoo (Haus des Meeres)

        Haus des Meeres is literally translated as House of the Sea. It is home to more than 10,000 water creatures and is the perfect place for the whole family.
        There are a lot of amphibians, arthropods, insects and the other kinds of surprising sea creatures.
        If you haven’t been to Asia, you will be enthralled with the tropical seawater zone, where unusual birds and animals are ready to interact with everyone. The turtles are also cute. Even though piranhas are a dangerous fish, they look pretty peaceful on the other side of glass.
        It is exciting to see sharks, isn’t it? At Aqua Terra, there are plenty of them in a huge, 2-storey tall reservoir for you to see. While the sharks are fearful, the crocodiles are even more frightening. Head to the crocodile park to see these guys up close.
        The Aqua Terra Zoo is also a place where bats feel comfortable and fly above guests during their visit. The Aqua Terra Zoo is located in an 11-storey building, which used to be a flak tower during World War II. The building has a picturesque observation deck with a restaurant. To visit the Aqua Terra Zoo means to be immersed into life under the sea!

        Demel Café and Bakery

        Considering that it was built in 1786, Demel is not only the oldest bakery and café in Vienna, but is also probably one of the most memorable food experiences you’ll have in the city. This café started as a place that sold frozen goods, candy and jam-filled doughnuts, but it now serves exquisite dishes and cakes that are carefully made by hand according to traditional, century-old recipes gathered by Christoph Demel and his team. Emperor Franz Joseph himself apparently had a sweet tooth for Demel’s pralines and confectionaries, often buying them to treat the ladies of his fancy. His empress was also said to have been addicted to their violet sorbet, making his business known throughout the entire kingdom as a result.
        Besides the food, which is the obvious highlight, another one would be the Demelinerinnen. They are waitresses dressed modestly in black dresses and white lace collars that still preserve the old way of addressing customers as they enter through the café doors. You will feel like one of the royals as you eat mouthwatering displays that are often genuine works of art.

        Imperial Crypt and Capuchin Church

        The Capuchin Church is another one of Vienna’s old but splendid constructions, and is dedicated to “Our Lady of the Angels.” However, even though the exterior is definitely worth checking out, the most spectacular thing about this church is the fact that it houses the Imperial Vault belonging to the Habsburg family. The vault contains the remains of 145 royal family members, most of them Austrian Emperors. There are nine vaults, which have been arranged in chronological order to make it easier for tourists to see how the burial styles evolved over time.
        One of the main attractions is the Founder’s Vault where Emperor Matthias found his final resting place in 1618, and where Ana, his empress who died a year earlier, accompanies him. Another focal point is the vault of Maria Theresa, a domed chamber that surrounds a Rococo-style double sarcophagus that entombs the empress. The sarcophagus looks like a bed of sorts and the head shows the Imperial couple with a crown of stars and an angel, while many other reliefs on the side depict moments from Maria Theresa’s life. The place is as eerie as it is majestic. The details on the tombs themselves make the entire crypt look so beautiful that you forget it is actually a place for the dead. If anything, it looks like a place where life begins as the rich afterlife.

        Museum of Technology

        Not everything is bones and paintings. For people interested in ‘technicalities,’ the Technical Museum has a very impressive collection of innovations. While they may not be considered “modern” today, people can look at the things that were used as a stepping-stone for what we have today, and the museum highlights some of the most unbelievable human achievements of technological advancement across history. This museum is about two eternal questions “Why?” and “How?” And if you have a curious mind, the Museum of Technology is created for you.
        The collection is concentrated on the Austrian fields, and is divided into many sections such as commerce, technology, and industry. The highlights of the museum include displays related to astronomy, nature, communications, energy, mining, transportation and musical instruments. Have you ever dreamt of boarding a steam locomotive or listen to music made by a singing Tesla coil? You might even hear the melody of your favourite song.
        It is recommended to visit the Museum of Technology and the Schönbrunn Palace on the same day. They are situated near each other. The Crime Museum is also something you may want to take a look at since it displays many fascinating documents and artifacts including various tools of torture.

        The Vienna Clock Museum

        The Clock Museum is an intriguing place where time stands still, and yet slowly ticks forward. A visit to the Uhrenmuseum in the central pedestrian Viennese precinct will literally be time well spent. You will have the opportunity to see how clocks evolved until this day, starting from the 15th century, a surprisingly interesting exposition. Regardless if they’re pocket watches or grand tower clocks, each and every display is unique in its own way.
        The highlights of this museum are the clocks displaying illustrated faces, a couple of superb Austrian lantern timepieces from the Biedermeier period, trench watches from the First World War and exquisite jeweled wristwatches. One particular object you may want to check out is the David a Sancto Cajetano piece, an astronomical art clock built in the 18th century. It not only shows the time with extreme precision, but also the length of the day and the planetary orbital period. During your visit, you will also have the opportunity to hear a lovely orchestra of synchronized chimes every hour. Plus, if you want to know more and German is not your strong point, you can find English tour guides who will explain things to you.

        Children’s Museums: Kindermuseum and ZOOM Children’s Museum

        Kindermuseum:
        As opposed to adults, not all children get excited about seeing old bones or watches. They want to see something for their age, which is why the Children’s Museum at Schönbrunn Palace is a wonderland for them. It has interactive displays that depict the lives of children from the royal family. The highlights are not only various displays of toys, artifacts and games, but also wigs and children’s clothing. This museum will be your kids’ chance to dress up like a prince or princess. Children visiting the museum also have the opportunity to try quadrille dancing, which was once an essential class for the royal child’s education. If you want a truly memorable experience, you can arrange a birthday party for your child there – banquet style. It will be as if they actually are members of the royal family.
        The ZOOM Children’s Museum:
        The ZOOM Museum is located in the Museum Quarter and has different programs for children of various ages:
        Underwater World is for the youngest visitors – 8 months to 6 years – and is all about interacting with the environment and developing basic skills.
        3-12 year olds are invited to the Studio room, where they learn how to create things with a variety of materials and the help of various instruments.
        Delving into the museum, 6-12 year olds can explore the interactive ZOOM Exhibition dedicated to scientific, cultural and architectural topics.
        Finally, there is an opportunity for children and teenagers of 8-14 to make their own movie in an animation studio.
        Parents will find it amazing that the museum is not only a place of entertainment, but also of learning, discovering the world and asking questions. It’s also free for those under 19 as an added bonus.

        House of Music (Haus der Musik)

        The House of Music became the first museum of its kind in Vienna. It brilliantly represents the world of sound and it is about music in general.
        It is the absolute right place for both musicians and music lovers. You might be also interested in the long history of music formation from ancient times till nowadays. It is amazing to discover the instruments that people used long ago.
        The interactive aspect of the museum is a highlight for most visitors. Everyone has a chance to create his or her own melody or to try out the role of conductor. The “Virtostage” is multimedia performance area where you can shape and change the music simply through the movements of your body.
        The House of Music received the Austrian Museum Prize in 2002 as a result of the hard work and brilliant ideas of musicians, artists, music theorists, several Austrian and multimedia universities with their students and, of course, architects.
        The House of Music is located in the heart of Vienna. Moreover, it is situated in a historically important building, the Palace of Archduke Charles. It was also home of Otto Nicolai – the founder of the Vienna Philharmonic.

        Mariahilfer Strasse

        Mariahilfer Strasse is a wide, vibrant pedestrian street that is open throughout the year – it truly never sleeps! Located in the central part of Vienna next to the Museum Quarter, it is a great walk to take if you don’t want to miss anything. It was recently renovated and renewed in order to attract more tourists. Now, you can relax in a street side café or restaurant, or even go to the cinema where plenty of English films are shown. Visit Mariahilfer Straase near the end of your journey in Vienna – it is considered the most appropriate place to do some reasonable shopping and you may even lose track of time hanging out there. You will save a lot by shopping in the street, as there is a high level of competition between the vendors. It’s possible to get nearly everything you need, from high-quality clothing to simple souvenirs. Even if you aren’t interested in the entertainment aspect of the street, it is still worth visiting Mariahilfer Strasse due to the outstanding architecture of its buildings.

        As you can see, Vienna is a very active place that never runs out of things to for you to discover. Comprised of valuable historical sites along with modern traits, each brick and nook tells an impressive story that is full of elegance, art, and determination. You may want to take a longer vacation if you wish to see all of the city’s attractions. Whether you’re a daytime tourist or a nighttime one, Vienna has everything for you: indoor and outdoor, artistic and otherwise.