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St. Stephen's Cathedral

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With over 6 million visitors per year, St. Stephen’s Cathedral (or Stephansdom) is one of the most-visited sites in Vienna. It’s the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna, as well as being the designated central point of the city. Visitors can explore the Romanesque and Gothic cathedral interior, take a guided tour of the catacombs, or climb to the top of either the North or South Tower for a fantastic view of the city center.
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4 tips for visiting the St. Stephen's Cathedral

St. Stephens’s Cathedral | Photo: Filippo Diotalevi CC-BY 2.0
Be there earlySt. Stephen’s Cathedral is one of Vienna’s busiest sites, with the number of visitors building over the course of the day. Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds and enjoy a more peaceful visit!
St. Stephens’s Cathedral | Photo: filedump CC-BY-SA 2.0
Save money with the all-inclusive ticketIf you plan to explore the cathedral thoroughly, purchasing a combo ticket is more cost-effective than paying for each area separately.
Concerts: get legit ticketsLook out for men dressed like Mozart - they’ll try to get you to buy concert tickets for second-rate performances at venues around the city. If you would like to see one of the concerts that are held at St. Stephen’s Cathedral then ask at the box office or send an email to
Follow the rulesThe cathedral is a place of worship, so remember to dress and behave appropriately. Please don’t wear hats inside the church, shoulders and knees should be covered, and you should avoid using your phone except to take photographs.

St. Stephen's Cathedral: Vienna's Iconic Landmark

St. Stephen’s Cathedral is at the geographical heart of Vienna, with the districts of the city radiating out from its location in the first district. Its spires are symbols of the city as iconic as the Prater’s Riesenrad, and far older!
St. Stephen's Cathedral | Ulmon: CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0

Historical facts about St. Stephen's Cathedral

The original church was built between 1137 and 1147 outside Vienna’s original city wall, but was constantly being expanded and restored - even today parts of the building are always under construction or restoration. The building was originally intended to be just a parish church. Despite its impressive architecture and lobbying from the city’s great and good, it was only made a bishop’s seat in 1469, then raised further to be the seat of an archbishop in 1722.

The cathedral nearly survived World War II intact, after a German captain ignored orders to leave it in ashes before retreating, but was damaged in 1945 by fires set nearby by looters. Many of the cathedral’s artworks survived, but the famously beautiful roof collapsed and the ancient choir stalls were also lost. The rebuilding of the cathedral began almost immediately after the war ended and it was fully reopened to the public in 1952. Since the founding of the Second Republic after the war, the cathedral is used for the funerals of Austrian politicians and notable figures, including Kurt Waldheim, Niki Lauda or the Viennese Auxiliary Bishop Helmut Krätzl.
Interior of St. Stephen's Cathedral | Flickr: John Menard CC-BY-SA 2.0

Everything You Need to Know About Visiting St. Stephen’s Cathedral

Since the building has many different parts, a guided tour by competent guides is highly recommended.

Inside the Cathedral

Inside St. Stephen’s Cathedral there are 18 altars of varying sizes and importance, with the High Altar and the Wiener Neustädter Altar in the north nave being the most significant. Visitors will also be able to see the Gothic pulpit, the burial place of Prince Eugene of Savoy, and relics of St. Valentine. There’s also an impressive organ, currently being restored.

Catacombs and Crypt

Visitors can also buy tickets to other areas of the church, including the catacombs and crypts, where visitors will see the ducal sarcophagi of the Habsburg family as well as bones from ordinary Viennese people which were moved to the catacombs in the 18th century.

The Largest Bell in Austria: The Pummerin

The new Pummerin has been hanging in the North Tower/Eagle Tower (Adlerturm) since 1957. It is the third largest free-swinging bell in a church tower and is only sounded on special occasions and at the turn of the year. Part of the casting material comes from melted down Ottoman cannons from the sieges of Vienna.
View of Vienna | Ulmon: CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0

View of Vienna From the Towers

The north and south towers of St. Stephen's Cathedral can both be used for a great view of Austria's capital, but only the lower north tower has an elevator.

The unfinished North Tower (also known as the Eagle Tower) can be accessed by elevator or, alternatively, by climbing the stairs. This tower was never completed and was finished with a rounded roof rather than carry through the original plans. The north tower is 223 ft (68 m) tall. There is no elevator in the South Tower, so visitors will have to climb 343 steps to the top, 446 ft (136 m) above the ground. There you’ll be rewarded with an amazing view. The South Tower is not accessible to visitors with mobility issues and might also present difficulties for parents with small children.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I plan to spend inside St. Stephen’s?

If you’re only intending to see the free areas of the cathedral then you can see everything inside in less than an hour. A visit to the South Tower takes about 20 to 25 minutes and the catacomb tour takes about 30 minutes, so it’s estimated that it will take up to 3 hours to see all of the open areas of the cathedral. Read more.

Can we attend services at the cathedral?

Yes! The cathedral is also an ordinary parish church, with several masses everyday. Masses are said from 6.30 am on weekdays and 7.30 am on Sundays and holidays, with a Latin mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation at 11 am, and an English-language mass every Saturday evening at 7 pm. Confession is also available from 7 am to 9.45 pm, though times may vary during summer, on Sundays, and on holidays. Read more.

Vienna's highest observation decks

Total height
Height of observation deck
Open since
St. Stephen's CathedralVienna | Austria
136m#3 in Vienna#3 in Austria#79 worldwide
72m#3 in Vienna#3 in Austria#80 worldwide
DC TowerVienna | Austria
250m#2 in Vienna#2 in Austria#67 worldwide
220m#1 in Austria#61 worldwide
DonauturmVienna | Austria
252m#1 in Vienna#1 in Austria#66 worldwide
165m#2 in Austria#68 worldwide
Burj KhalifaDubai | UAE
828m#1 in UAE#1 worldwide
585m#1 in UAE#1 worldwide
Empire State BuildingNew York | USA
443m#3 in USA#17 worldwide
373m#3 in USA#14 worldwide
Eiffel TowerParis | France
324m#1 in France#42 worldwide
276m#1 in France#36 worldwide
St. Stephen's Cathedral is number 3 in Vienna and number 80 on the worldwide list of the tallest buildings with an observation deck.

General information

opening hours

The cathedral is open for worship from 6 am to 10 pm and from 7 am to 10 pm on Sundays and public holidays. The areas of the cathedral visitable with an audio guide and the catacombs are open from 9 am to 11.30 am and from 1 pm to 4.30 pm on weekdays, and from 1 pm to 4.30 pm on Sundays and holidays. The South and North Towers are open from 9 am to 5.30 pm daily.


St. Stephen’s Cathedral
Stephansplatz 3
1010 Vienna


Entry to the cathedral is free, although there are some areas which require visitors to buy a ticket. An all-inclusive ticket, which includes an audio tour of the cathedral, a guided tour of the catacombs, and entry to the north and south towers, costs €16.00 for adults and €5 for children. If you’re not intending to see all the parts, then an audio guide alone costs €6 (€2.50 for children aged between 6 and 14), the catacombs tour costs €6 (€2.50 for children aged between 6 and 14), €6 to climb the North Tower (€2.50 for children aged 6 to 14), and €5.50 to climb the South Tower (€2 for children under 14).

how to get there

St. Stephen’s Cathedral is directly opposite Stephansplatz U-Bahn station, which is served by the U1 and U3 lines. The area is also served by bus numbers 1A and 3A. Parking in the city center is limited; therefore, visitors are encouraged to use Park and Ride services. However, there is a private car park next to the cathedral (Parkhaus City Stephansplatz) where visitors can park for a fee.
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