The grandeur that you experience in Vienna is incomparable to any other city in the world. The capital city of Austria is well-endowed with Baroque architecture and majestic, regal palaces. Vienna is often described as the ‘capital of classical music’; culture and music go hand-in-hand in this historic city. Home to music legends like Mozart, Beethoven, Johann Strauss I, and Franz Schubert, the Vienna State Opera House speaks volumes about the music scene of the city. With its traditional coffee houses, cosy wine taverns, world-class restaurants, and vibrant nightlife, the Viennese charm is hard to resist. From museums to palaces – there is no dearth of attractions in this strikingly beautiful city; probably one trip will not be enough to see it all!
Must-see Vienna attractions
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this sprawling palace charms you right from the word go. This 18th century palace is a Baroque architectural marvel; it has 1,441 rooms and apartments. In possession of the Habsburgs since 1569, Empress Maria Theresa, Empress Elisabeth, Emperor Franz Joseph, and many other aristocrats have resided in this magnificent complex. The gardens are yet another highlight of the palace and a must-see while on a Vienna city tour.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
Vienna’s most important Catholic church and the symbol of the city – St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The interiors of this stunning cathedral are as impressive as its exterior. The interior is heavily decorated with gold and semi-precious stones; 14th-century catacombs and other relics are a must-see. The colourful tiled roof is easily visible and recognizable from any part of the city. The 450 feet tower has over 343 steps, and the view from the top of the tower is beyond comparison. If you’re wondering what to do in Vienna, a visit to this cathedral should be on your to-do list.
The official residence of the Habsburg dynasty, the Imperial Palace is now the official home of the Austrian President. Built on 59 acres of land, this massive landmark has 18 groups of buildings which include 2600 rooms and 19 courtyards. The Imperial Palace gives a riveting glimpse into the history and legacy of the Habsburg empire. A visit to this majestic palace is one of the top things to do in Vienna.
The Vienna State Opera House
One of the world’s most renowned and impressive theatres, the Vienna State Opera House is among the top Vienna attractions. Built in 1860, this theatre has hosted several famous dancers, soloists, composers, and music conductors. Ballet and operatic performances are held almost 300 days in a year. It’s an experience of a lifetime to watch a concert or a show on this celebrated stage.
One of the finest examples of Baroque architecture, the Belvedere aptly defines opulence. The complex has two palaces – upper and lower, the former being visited the most. This palace has Europe’s best Rococo interiors and is truly drool-worthy. Now serving as a museum, it hosts works of celebrated artists, right from the Middle Ages. You can find Gustav Klimt’s most famous artwork, The Kiss, right here in this extensively rich palace.
Sigmund Freud Museum
For Freud fans, a visit to this museum is the best thing to do in Vienna. Opened to the public in 1971, this former house of Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, has been converted into a museum. A guided tour of the museum is recommended; you can explore it on your own as well. The waiting room, his antique collection, letters, photos, all are on display. The best way to see the museum is either on bike or foot.
This massive park covering an area of 3,200 acres has been entertaining locals and tourists since ages. The park has an amusement park (The Wurstelprater), the Prater Museum, a 4.5 km long promenade, and the highlight – 200-foot Ferris wheel (Riesenrad). Try to take a ride on the wheel during sunset for a spectacular view of the city. If children are accompanying you, this park should be on the top of your must-see Vienna attractions list.
In Vienna, Mozart’s house is the first stop for music aficionados. The only remaining house of Mozart in Vienna reopened as a museum to the public on 27th January, 2006, to commemorate his 250th birthday. The Figarohaus – this is where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived between 1784 and 1787, and composed some of his famous works, including ‘The Marriage of Figaro’. This museum is located at a walking distance from St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
Vienna Zoo (Tiergarten Schönbrunn)
The oldest zoo in the world, Vienna Zoo was founded in 1752. It still has several Baroque buildings; the 18th-century Imperial Breakfast Pavilion is now a popular café. The zoo’s aquarium and it’s interactive Rainforest House are home to over 750 species, including some threatened species. Overall, it is a pleasant experience to visit this zoo.
Natural History Museum
The world’s 3rd largest natural history museum has over 30 million objects on display. With 39 exhibition halls in an area of 94,000 square feet, this Neo-Renaissance building is a real treasure trove of artifacts. The collection includes the famous Venus von Willendorf, a figurine believed to be 29,500 years old, the 36,000-year-old Statuette von Stratzing, and the oldest and biggest collection of meteorites. A trip to this museum is one of the top things to do in Vienna.