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Vienna

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When will you realize, Vienna waits for you... (Billy Joel)
The capital of Austria is full of grand buildings, cozy traditional coffee houses, and a large selection of museums, concert venues, and other cultural attractions. The former capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire still has plenty of imperial grandeur to admire, but it was also the home of scientists and artists including Gustav Klimt, Hedy Lamarr, and Erwin Schrödinger.
Maurizio MassaroBy Maurizio Massaro

The 10 Best Things to Do in Vienna

There are dozens of museums, historical sites, and attractions to explore in Vienna, but we’ve gathered ten things that will combine to create an awesome itinerary for any trip to Austria’s glorious capital city.
Schönbrunn Palace
1

Stroll through the Grounds of Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace is fit for the finest of royals, whether you want to visit the palace’s interior to see the finest of its 1,441 rooms, or whether you want to explore the stunning 395 acres of parks and gardens that surround it. The baroque summer residence of the Hapsburgs (including Empress Elisabeth, also known as Sisi) is visited by around 4,000 guests every day making it one of Vienna’s most popular tourist attractions. The grounds also include a maze, a café, and a zoo.
Wiener Riesenrad
2

Ride the Famous Vienna Ferris Wheel

The Vienna Prater is the largest public park in the city, and at the entrance, there’s a famous amusement park known to locals as the Wurstelprater. Inside you’ll find the oldest Ferris wheel still in operation today! A ride in one of the bright red cabins will give you a great view of the center of Vienna.
The Entrance of the Kunsthistorisches Museum
3

Discover Art and Dinosaurs

The twin museums at Maria-Theresien-Platz are sure to delight both scientists and art-lovers! The Kunsthistorisches Museum contains paintings by Old Masters such as Bruegel as well as sculptures from Ancient Rome and Egypt, which the Naturhistorisches Museum will teach you all about zoology, biology, anthropology, and the wonders of the natural world.
Vienna's Naschmarkt | Flickr: Sandor Somkuti CC BY-SA 2.0
4

Take a Culinary Journey at the Naschmarkt

Vienna’s Naschmarkt brings together delicacies from all over the world, with plenty of discoveries awaiting foodies. The market is open on weekdays and Saturdays and it’s also extremely popular with locals looking for special ingredients or workers from nearby offices who take advantage of its lunchtime deals.
Naschmarkt
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5

Enjoy a Tour of the Vienna Opera House

One insider tip for tourists: the guided tours of the Vienna State Opera are surprisingly cheap. They take place daily and you don’t often need to book in advance, with tours covering both the front of house areas and several backstage areas. In addition to learning about the operation of a busy opera house, you’ll also learn all about the famous Opera Ball which takes place annually on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday.
Original Sachertorte | Flickr: Fooding Around CC BY 2.0
6

Eat the Original Sachertorte at the Hotel Sacher

You might have heard of a Sachertorte, but did you know that they were invented at the Hotel Sacher? This 5-star hotel can be found right next to the Opera House and lines for a seat in the café can be extremely long during the peak tourist season. The desert was originally created for Klemens von Metternich, and most cafés sell their own version but fans of chocolate might still want to wait in line for the original and best.
Donauturm
7

Get an Awesome View from the Donauturm

The Donauturm is the tallest building in Austria and is located across the river from the inner city, in the 22nd district. From the observation deck at the top you can see the whole city plus the Vienna Woods, the Danube, and the Donauinsel, while visitors can also enjoy a meal or a snack in the rotating restaurant. Thrifty visitors should consider investing in a ticket that combines entry to the tower with a ticket to another attraction in Vienna.
Danube canal | Flickr: Willem van Valkenburg CC BY 2.0
8

Cruise down the Blue Danube

The famous waltz was named after this river: the Danube is open to explorers who can join cruises from the dock at Schwedenplatz. You can look out for tickets for the pleasure ship MS Vindobona, which was designed by the artist Hundertwasser and which departs at 11.30 am and 3 pm during summer. You can also take an ultra-modern catamaran out to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava for a day trip.
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See Vienna the easy way
9

Travel in Style on a Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

A Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour is a great way to orient yourself in the city when you’re not sure how the public transport system works yet. Whether you want to stay on for the whole loop to see everything or you want to jump off and visit attractions during the day, it’s a great way to get to know Vienna.
Hop-On Hop-Off
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St. Stephen's Cathedral
10

Climb the Towers of the Stefansdom

St. Stephen’s Cathedral marks the center of Vienna’s 1st district and its tower can be seen for miles around. You can climb it yourself to get a bird’s eye view of the city but watch out: there’s no elevator to take you to the top and the staircase contains 343 steps. Visitors who are afraid of heights might prefer to keep their feet on the ground or explore the fascinating crypt.

5 Fun Activities for Families in Vienna

If you’re traveling with children, then Vienna offers a range of exciting and interactive museums, plus the Schonbrunn Zoo and the Haus des Meeres.
Schönbrunn Zoo
1

See Tigers, Pandas, and Polar Bears in Schönbrunn Zoo

Schönbrunn Zoo has been voted the best zoo in Europe 5 times in a row, and it deserves its great reputation! It’s also the oldest zoo in the world. Children and adults alike will enjoy spotting the young Kibali in the elephant enclosure and the baby polar bear who was born in 2019.
Haus des Meeres | Flickr: Ungry Young Man CC BY 2.0
2

Visit Sea Creatures in the Haus des Meeres

This unique aquarium is inside a flak tower from World War II, giving the complex of tanks and enclosures some unique challenges. You can see sharks, rays, and turtles swimming around, while children are sure to enjoy exploring the indoor jungle habitat which houses monkeys, birds, and flying foxes
Zoom-Kindermuseum | Wiki: Max Wittmann CC BY-SA 3.0
3

Explore the Zoom-Kindermuseum

The interactive exhibitions inside the Zoom children’s museum are specially designed to help children learn through play. Exhibits and activities vary throughout the year but include themes like the human body, society, and child-friendly introductions to art and culture.
Photo: Soroush Karimi, Chain Carousel - Unsplash
4

Have Fun in the Prater

The Vienna Prater isn’t just home to the Giant Ferris Wheel, but also to several rides and attractions for children of all ages. They’ll especially love the Lilliputbahn, a miniature railway that takes passengers on a tour of the park. The Prater is also where you’ll find Madame Tussauds Vienna, the Chocolate Museum, and several other attractions.
Vienna Technical Museum | Flickr: thom CC BY-SA 2.0
5

Learn and Play at the Vienna Technical Museum

The Viennese Waltz takes its name from the city, and Vienna has also been home to several important figures in classical music over the centuries. There are several attractions that music-lovers shouldn’t miss, and you should also watch out for the chance to attend an opera or concert. Important concert halls include the Vienna Musikverein, the Konzerthaus, or the Vienna State Opera - some of which can also be visited on a guided tour - while the Haus der Musik is an interactive museum which is also family-friendly.
Technisches Museum Wien
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Vienna State Opera | Flickr: Jiuguang Wang CC BY-SA 2.0

Get Classical in the City of Music

The Viennese Waltz takes its name from the city, and Vienna has also been home to several important figures in classical music over the centuries.There are several attractions that music-lovers shouldn’t miss, and you should also watch out for the chance to attend an opera or concert. Important concert halls include the Vienna Musikverein, the Konzerthaus, or the Vienna State Opera - some of which can also be visited on a guided tour - while the Haus der Musik is an interactive museum which is also family-friendly.
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Musikverein
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Vienna Pass

Combine Activities with the Vienna Pass

The Vienna Pass includes admission to over 60 attractions and several other perks, and it’s available to buy for a period of 1, 2, 3, or 6 days.If you want to see a lot of sights on a short trip then it’s ideal: it includes entry to museums and attractions like Schonbrunn Palace and Madame Tussauds while also granting you access to the local Hop-On Hop-Off buses and the Vienna Ring Tram.
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Vienna Ring Tram
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Discover Austria on Day Trips from Vienna

Vienna is wonderful, but there’s also a lot to see in the rest of Austria.For those interested in history, a trip to the Mauthausen concentration camp may be educational. If you’d like to experience beautiful landscapes, good wine, and visit the abbeys at Melk or Gottweig, then it’s worth visiting the Wachau in Lower Austria. For lovers of the Sound of Music, a day trip to Salzburg might be just the ticket. Meanwhile, the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava, is also within reach and its small but picturesque old town is enchanting.
Wachau is famous for its vineyards
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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.Translated by Anneliese O'Malley
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