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Things to See in Vienna: Top Attractions & Sights

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Vienna has dozens of sights and attractions for visitors to discover, including museums, former imperial palaces, churches, and more! We’ve collected them here and created an overview of the best sights in Vienna.
Maurizio MassaroBy Maurizio Massaro

The 6 Best Things to See in Vienna

There are several icons of the city that appear on most postcards, and if you want to check them out then we’ve gathered a list of the most popular attractions with tourists. Whether you go inside or just admire the architecture from the street, you’re sure to enjoy checking these attractions off your list.
Stephansdom | Flickr: Sandor Somkuti CC BY-SA 2.0
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Stephansdom

St. Stephen’s Cathedral is Vienna’s central landmark and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna. It’s one of the most important examples of Gothic architecture in Austria and, as the focal point of the city, is a must-see for tourists. You can even climb the towers, the tallest of which is 447 feet (136.4m) high.
Wiener Riesenrad
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Wiener Riesenrad

The Ferris wheel that stands in the Prater park is the oldest still in operation today, and it’s become a symbol of the city of Vienna. From one of the bright red cabins, you’ll get an amazing view of the whole city. Private dining experiences are also available if you’d like to arrange something extra special for your trip.
Karlskirche at Night
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Karlskirche

The baroque Karlskirche is especially worth seeing for its massive relief columns that flank the entrance and its dome, which is decorated with a fresco by Johann Michael Rottmayr. It also hosts classical concerts that combine beautiful music with stunning surroundings.
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Special event at the Vienna Rathaus
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Vienna Rathaus

The impressive building on Vienna’s Ringstrasse was built between the years 872 and 1883. The city hall was inspired by its equivalent building in Brussels, and its 321 foot (98 m) high tower can be seen for miles around.
Gate at the Heldenplatz
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Heldenplatz

Heldenplatz, or Heroes’ Square, is a public space in front of the Hofburg and is a great place to take pictures of the National Library or to visit the Weltmuseum. It’s also a great place to start exploring the famous Ringstrasse.
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Vienna State Opera
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Vienna State Opera

The majestic opera house in Vienna is worth visiting inside and out. Guided tours take place daily and tickets to operas and ballets are highly sought after. An insider tip is to buy standing tickets on the day: they aren’t the most comfortable seats in the house but they’re extremely cheap.

5 Special Attractions for Tourists

Visitors who’d like a unique experience while in Vienna should consider one of these attractions, which have all been designed with tourists in mind.
Donauturm
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Donauturm

The observation deck of the Donauturm (or Danube Tower) is 541 feet (165 m) above the ground, giving you an excellent view of Vienna from the tallest building in Austria. The Donauturm also offers visitors a unique culinary experience in its rotating restaurant.
Haus des Meeres | Flickr: Ungry Young Man CC BY 2.0
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Haus des Meeres

In the aquariums of the Haus des Meeres, you can visit piranhas, sharks, and sea turtles, plus tropical fish, monkeys, birds, and reptiles. This ‘Aqua Terra Zoo’ is one of Vienna’s most visited attractions and is also great for families.
Time Travel Vienna
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Time Travel Vienna

Time Travel Vienna treats guests to a fun and interactive tour of the history of the city, incorporating a 5D cinema and a Virtual Reality show. Their guided tours really help history come to life!
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Conchita Wurst at Madame Tussauds | Flickr: Luke Rauscher CC BY 2.0
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Madame Tussauds Vienna

Vienna’s foremost wax museum showcases Austrian stars and personalities like Mozart, Falco, or Richard Lugner alongside global stars such as Taylor Swift, Angelina Jolie, and Will Smith. You can even take a selfie with your favorite famous figure at this interactive exhibition.
Schönbrunn Zoo
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Schönbrunn Zoo

Schonbrunn’s zoo contains a huge range of animals to admire, including sea lions, giraffes, tigers, monkeys, elephants, polar bears, and pandas. The oldest zoo in the world is located in the glorious gardens of the famous imperial palace.

Sisi & Franz, an Imperial Romance: 3 Imperial Attractions

Many visitors to Vienna already know the story of Emperor Franz Josef and his beautiful wife Elisabeth, better known as Sisi. If you have yet to discover this tale of royal romance, then we recommend a visit to one of these former imperial palaces where you can learn all about it.
Schönbrunn Palace
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Schönbrunn Palace

The imperial summer palace and its impressive garden is one of the most important and most popular sights to see in Vienna. Guests can take a tour of some of the staterooms, including those belonging to Franz Josef and Sisi, or they can simply enjoy a walk in the park. The grounds also contain the Imperial Carriage Museum that exhibits carriages and other vehicles that belonged to the Habsburg aristocracy.
Schloss Belvedere
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Schloss Belvedere

The complex that includes the Upper and Lower Belvedere is located to the south of the inner city, and both museums exhibit important works of art. The best-known painting is probably The Kiss by Gustav Klimt, but the collection also includes contemporary art. The palaces are also set in a refined garden that is wonderful to explore.
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Hofburg | Flickr: wohnblogAt CC BY-SA 2.0
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Hofburg

The former palace known as the Hofburg is now home to several different museums as well as some of the offices of the Austrian government. The Treasury contains the imperial insignia of the Holy Roman Empire and the Empire of Austria, while the Imperial Apartments and Sisi Museum display some of the personal belongings of Empress Elisabeth. The Hofburg also houses the Spanish Riding School, where the famous Lipizzaners train and perform to music. The horse shows are one of the most popular events with visitors to Vienna.
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More Royal Sights in Vienna
Imperial Treasury4 tickets & guided tours
Spanish Riding School3 tickets & guided tours
Vienna Philharmonic | Flickr: Peter Matthews CC BY 2.0

Concerts & Music

Vienna is known as the city of music, so it’s no surprise that there are several places to watch concerts or see an opera.The Vienna Musikverein is famously the location of the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Day concert but it also hosts concerts throughout the year with performances by different orchestras and ensembles, or special programs for children. The Vienna Symphony Orchestra plays in the Vienna Konzerthaus, but you’ll also find that it hosts performances by international grounds of musicians. Meanwhile, the history of the Vienna Philharmonic and several important Austrian composers is presented at the Haus der Musik, where visitors can also enjoy interactive exhibits about the science behind how we experience music. Children will particularly enjoy the Virtual Conductor and the musical staircase.
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Musikverein
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9 Museums in Vienna for Rainy Days

There’s a museum in Vienna for every interest going, so if it’s raining you’re sure to find somewhere indoors where you can be as nerdy as you like. In addition to the large art museums such as the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Albertina, and MUMOK, there are several museums, big and small, where you can spend an afternoon.
Keith Haring. The Alphabet | Photo: Flickr, Heinz Bunse - CC BY-SA 2.0
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Albertina

The Albertina is one of the most popular museums in Vienna, and it exhibits paintings, prints, and graphical art from Durer through the Renaissance and Baroque to the classical modern period. Today it offers innovative exhibitions, but the foundations of this unique collection was laid in the time of Empress Maria Theresa.
Kunsthistorisches Museum | Photo: Flickr, Marcus Winter - CC BY-SA 2.0
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Kunsthistorisches Museum

The art gallery of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna is one of the city’s most important collections. The corridors and rooms of this palace-like building contain masterpieces by Bruegel, Caravaggio, Rubens, Titian, Vermeer, and more.
Moctezuma's feather headdress | Photo: Flickr, Richard Mortel - CC BY 2.0
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Weltmuseum

The Weltmuseum used to be known as the Museum of Ethnology, and it brings together artifacts from cultures around the world. One highlight is a crown of feathers, or penacho, which supposedly belonged to the Aztec ruler Moctezuma. It also hosts temporary exhibitions that highlight anthropological research or artwork from different cultures.
Mumok at MuseumsQuartier | Photo: Flickr, Sandor Somkuti - CC BY-SA 2.0
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mumok

If you’re interested in modern and contemporary art, then the Museum of Modern Art, Ludwig Foundation, Vienna, or Mumok for short, should definitely be on your list of things to see. In addition to works by Picasso and Andy Warhol, the gallery hosts several temporary exhibitions each year that focus on contemporary artists and their work.
Technical Museum Vienna | Photo: Flickr, thom - CC BY-ND 2.0
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Technical Museum Vienna

The Technical Museum is huge, and in its 22,000 square meters of space, it highlights a range of technological innovations from throughout the centuries. Many of its exhibits are interactive, and special guided tours and demonstrations are available throughout the day to give visitors an insight into areas of physics, engineering, and chemistry that influence new technology.
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Vienna Jewish Museum | Photo: Flickr, Sam Litvin - CC BY 2.0
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Vienna Jewish Museum

Vienna’s Jewish Museum can be found in two separate locations in the heart of Vienna. They present the history of the Viennese Jewish community from the Middle Ages through the dark years of Nazi rule and the Holocaust and into the present day. A single ticket gains you entry to both sites of the museum and the memorial for Austrian Jewish victims of the Shoah which can be found at Judenplatz.
Mozarthaus Vienna
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Mozarthaus

The Mozarthaus open today is actually only one of the many apartments where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived in Vienna. He and his family resided at the residence near Stephansplatz between 1784 and 1787. The museum explains the life and work of Austria’s favorite musical genius in a series of vivid exhibits over 6 floors.
Hundertwasserhaus | Photo: Flickr, Pedro - CC BY 2.0
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Kunst Haus Wien - Museum Hundertwasser

Friedensreich Hundertwasser was a painter, architect, and environmentalist. The only permanent exhibition of his works can be found in the Kunst Haus Wien, a building that has also been redesigned according to the artist’s principles, with a lack of straight lines, uneven floors, and a roof planted with trees.
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Naturhistorisches Museum | Photo: Flickr, Sandor Somkuti - CC BY-SA 2.0
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Naturhistorisches Museum

The Natural History Museum in Vienna is home to the famous paleolithic Venus of Willendorf, the largest collection of meteorites in the world, and a fascinating collection of dinosaur fossils. Its botanical and anthropological departments are also well worth a visit for any budding biologist.
More Museums in Vienna
Leopold Museum4 tickets & guided tours
Museumsquartier7 tickets & guided tours
Third Man Museum1 tickets & guided tours
Dom Museum Wien2 tickets & guided tours
More Sights in Vienna
Naschmarkt9 tickets & guided tours
Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial1 tickets & guided tours
Kursalon Hübner3 tickets & guided tours
Vienna Ring Tram2 tickets & guided tours
Mauthausen5 tickets & guided tours
Maurizio Massaro
Written byMaurizio MassaroMaurizio is a cosmopolitan, a musician and comes around. In his role as a content manager at TicketLens, he is always striving to find new offers as well as writing about sights all over the world.
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