With world-class palaces and opulent museums, there are a bunch of grand issues to do in Vienna. Get impressed with hovering music, a grasping artwork assortment, and conventional cafes in one of the crucial stately cities in Europe.
Dwelling to the Habsburg Royal household who dominated the Austro-Hungarian Empire and sat on the throne of the Holy Roman Empire for 300 years, Vienna wears its historic wealth and grandeur on its sleeve.
Few locations in Europe can compete with Vienna’s imposing array of state flats, royal collections, grandmasters, gothic structure, and baroque halls.
However there’s extra to do in Vienna than beautiful galleries and ostentatious palaces. Artists akin to Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss all frolicked right here and music nonetheless radiates from its soul.
There are old skool neighbourhoods filled with grand boulevards and conventional espresso homes the place philosophical ramblings formed the fashionable psyche. Stylish areas with vibrant avenue artwork, and a canal-side city area with pop-up bars and a vibe that pulls cool younger issues.
When you may see most of the finest issues to do in two days, we recommend 3 days in Vienna. That approach you’ll be able to go to greater than a few museums and get beneath the pores and skin of Europe’s capital of regal cool.
// Reserving your journey by way of the hyperlinks on this web page (or on our guide web page) will earn us a small fee, at no further value to you. Thanks on your assist – Paul & Mark.
01. HOFBURG PALACE
The Habsburgs, also referred to as the Home of Austria, had been one of many nice Royal households of Europe and for 300 years they sat on the throne of the Holy Roman Empire. Their house was the sprawling Hofburg Palace in Vienna which contains a number of main sights within the metropolis.
Initially constructed for defensive functions in 1279, it was step by step reworked into an ostentatious imperial palace. Right now, surrounded by gardens, grand façades conceal the house of the Austrian president and a wealth of artefacts acquired over centuries.
Stroll the courtyards and parks, peer up at immense statues and peek into the imperial stables to (hopefully) see the white Lipizzaner stallions of the Spanish Driving College. If you’re concerned with stately rooms, head to the Sisi Museum (together with the Kaiserappartements and state silver assortment) and for jewelled treasures and state crowns discover the Schatzkammer Museum (Imperial Treasury Museum).
However when you determine to go to just one, make it the Austrian Nationwide Library.
02. AUSTRIAN NATIONAL LIBRARY (ÖSTERREICHISCHE NATIONALBIBLIOTHEK)
Rooms don’t get any extra spectacular than the Prunksaal, the state corridor within the centre of the Austrian Nationwide Library. Century-old picket bookcases maintain over 200,000 medieval leather-bound books which attain up in the direction of the 20-metre-high ceiling.
The domed roof, supported by towering pillars with intricately carved marble reliefs, is wealthy in dramatic frescoes – a daring show of imperial aptitude.
Other than the majestic show of Habsburg wealth and energy, it’s additionally the most important library in Austria. Sadly, the books are out of bounds, but it surely’s nonetheless a beautiful factor to do in Vienna.
03. STEPHANDSOM (ST STEPHEN’S CATHEDRAL)
The Innere Stadt is the previous centre of Vienna. Surrounded by the Ringstraße which marks the route of the previous metropolis partitions, it’s right here you’ll discover the center and soul of the town in addition to most of the finest sights.
Prime of the record and bang within the centre is Stephandsom – St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Hovering above the remainder of the internal metropolis its steeple stands above a colourfully tiled roof. Inside its darkish and gloomy and distinctly Gothic with slim columns extenuating its peak.
In 2021 the ‘Ladder to Heaven’ fashionable artwork set up was added to the cathedral. Lit up each evening and representing the ascent and descent between heaven and earth, it provides a cool fashionable distinction to an previous medieval constructing. Exploring the principle church is free, however entry to the South Tower for views over the town prices €5. The catacombs can solely be visited on a tour. An effective way to go to the cathedral is by attending a classical live performance held within the gothic area.
04. INNERE STADT
It’s price spending a number of hours exploring the streets of the Innere Stadt that encompass the church. There are majestic façades, slim passageways, cute and quirky outlets, and quite a few hidden church buildings to hunt out.
Pop into Palais Kinsky, an impressive baroque palace with a surprising entrance corridor and grand staircase.
The Ferstel Passage, a quaint previous purchasing arcade can be properly price exploring. A few of the highlights are Xocolat, a superb chocolate store; Caffe Couture, a superb espresso roaster; and Beaulieu, a high quality French restaurant.
All of the areas are marked on our map beneath.
05. COFFEE CULTURE
The Viennese take their espresso homes severely. Some are tucked into slim alleyways whereas others stand proud on the corners of sweeping boulevards. If you’re spending 2 or 3 days in Vienna, you’ll have loads of time to strive a number of.
The grand dame of all of them is Café Central. Housed in an imposing constructing, its inside is paying homage to a Turkish palace with a grand arched ceiling. A pianist performs from 3.30pm to eight.30pm day by day (besides Tuesdays). Café Central is a extremely popular factor to do in Vienna, so queues may be lengthy. Take into account reserving forward.
Our favorite was Café Leopold Hawelka, an old-fashioned coffeehouse simply south of Stephandsom. With a selection of bistro tables or previous striped cushioned cubicles, it has all of the ambiance you need from a Viennese cafe.
Kleines Café is a tiny coffeehouse on a beautiful little hidden sq.. When the solar comes out, seize a desk on the cobbled stones by the fountain out the entrance and take in Viennese life-style.
06. SACHERTORTE, STRUDEL AND KAISERSCHMARRN
Main the candy choices in Vienna is Sachertorte. A dense chocolate cake with layers interrupted by candy apricot jam; completed in a chocolate glaze. It’s the dessert staple in most Vienne institutions, however the unique is claimed by Café Sacher.
One other nice dessert to strive is Kaiserschmarrn. This candy fluffy pancake with rum-soaked raisins is ripped aside, caramelized, and served with powdered sugar and a fruit protect. It’s scrumptious and the very best we had was at Demel.
We wouldn’t precisely say we had been captivated by Apple Strudel as most guests to Vienna are, nevertheless, the punters at Café Central appeared fairly pleased with their determination.
07. SCHLOSS BELVEDERE
The Schloss Belvedere is among the world’s most interesting baroque palaces and a must-see on a 2- or 3-day Vienna itinerary.
There are three museums to select from contained in the ornate constructing, however we extremely advocate at the least visiting the Higher Belvedere. Housed in the principle palace in a mixture of marble, frescoed and stuccoed rooms, it’s an vital assortment of Habsburg artwork. The spotlight is the primary flooring which focuses on Viennese artwork from 1880-1914, together with the most important assortment of Gustav Klimt items on this planet. There are additionally the expressive busts of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt.
Solely barely much less overwhelming is the Impressionists, Romantics and Realists that maintain sway on the ground above. With opulent rooms, pretty gardens, sweeping metropolis views and informative captions, discover the historical past of artwork development in an inspiring setting.
The 2 different museums are the Decrease Belvedere & Belvedere 21. Each have non permanent exhibitions, so it’s price seeing what’s on before you purchase tickets.
VISITING THE BELVEDERE MUSEUMS
Higher Belvedere has masterpieces by Klimt, Rodin and van Gogh; the Decrease Belvedere has an enormous assortment of artwork from the Center Ages and Belvedere 21 has up to date artwork and movie.
For single galleries, guide right here for the very best costs. If you wish to see multiple gallery, guide on their official web site for multi-ticket reductions.
08. KARLSKIRCHE (ST CHARLES CHURCH)
Constructed within the 18th century after the nice plague had swept via Europe, Karlskirche is the best Baroque church in Vienna. Its copper domed roof is flanked on both aspect by towering columns resembling Trajan’s in Rome and supported by what seems to be like a Greek temple.
Unencumbered by surrounding buildings and standing on the sting of flower-filled Resselpark, it’s one of many nice picture alternatives in Vienna.
The within of the church (€8) is spectacular additionally with frescoed ceilings, a spiral staircase, a small treasury, and views over the town.
Karlskirche is recognised as one of the crucial excellent live performance venues in Vienna. The most effective methods to get a peek inside is by attending the Mozart & Vivaldi live shows carried out on interval devices by the well-known Orchestra 1756.
Consisting of about 120 stalls, the Vienna Naschmarkt is a vibrant culinary journey via the flavours of Europe and the Center East. It ranges from conventional Austrian sausages and cheeses to Italian pasta and Turkish dried fruit and baklava.
There are espresso outlets and wine outlets, locations to purchase garments and rugs, and loads of fascinating little cafes for lunch. Sit in sheepskin lined chairs at Neni and revel in Israeli influenced creations or dine amongst milliner artefacts at Nomade Moderne.
Saturday is the busiest time to go to with extra of the stalls open and an enormous flea market underway. Progress is slower, however the ambiance is buzzing.
10. LEOPOLD MUSEUM
There are few cities with extra museums than Vienna, and there are solely so many you’ll be able to go to in 2 or 3 days, however we advocate together with the Leopold Museum. Devoted to Secession Artwork (for which Viennese artists had been essentially the most influential) it tracks the historic break between the conservative artwork of the 19th century and the avant-garde artists of the 20th.
Gustav Klimt led the group, however the museum delves deeper into his follower’s works akin to Egon Schiele and Richard Gerstl. Unfold over two flooring it’s unsettling, provocative, solely enthralling and totally Viennese.
11. ALBERTINA MUSEUM
Whereas the Leopold Museum offers a singular perception into Viennese Artwork the Albertina Museum is a whirlwind tour of European artwork from Monet to Picasso. As soon as a exceptional personal assortment however gifted to the state, it’s a journey via impressionism, pointillism, and cubism to early fashionable. Be engrossed by the brushstrokes of Monet, Picasso, Kandinsky, Klee, Miro, and Chagall.
Momentary exhibitions are housed on the highest and backside flooring. On our go to, we had been fortunate to be handled to a Dialogue with Edvard Munch, which displayed his work and people of artists closely influenced by him, together with Francis Bacon & Tracey Emin.
12. KUNSTHISTORISCHES MUSEUM
Our last museum advice is the Kunsthistorisches (KHM) Museum, the granddaddy of museums in Vienna. It homes most of the treasures of the Habsburgs and is so immense you can spend a complete day right here. There are 4 good causes to go to.
Firstly, if you’re concerned with historical historical past there’s a plethora of Greek, Roman and Assyrian sculptures, mosaics, and vases, all superbly lit in mushy atmospheric gentle.
Secondly, the extensive assortment of unusual curiosities picked up by the Habsburg Emperors over the centuries may maintain you intrigued for hours. Thirdly, the quantity of works by grandmasters from the sixteenth to 18th centuries together with Rubens, Bruegel, van Dyck, Titian, and Tintoretto is immense.
However among the finest causes to go to is the magnificent constructing they’re housed in. Sweeping staircases, frescoed ceilings, gray marble pillars and big doorways join the rooms adorned with vital artwork.
13. LUNCH AT PALMENHAUS
Palmenhaus – an enormous greenhouse restaurant – is close to most of the museums and a terrific place to relaxation the weary legs after hours of strolling round. Dine inside with towering palms throughout you or benefit from the outside terrace overlooking the park.
It’s a terrific place to seize a espresso or a glass of wine. In addition they had some fairly respectable vegetarian choices, one thing that wasn’t too simple to seek out in lots of locations in Vienna.
14. LEOPOLDSTADT & CANAL
If the Innere Stadt is house to previous Vienna then Leopoldstadt, simply throughout the canal, is the youthful cooler neighbour. There are three good areas to discover.
The Karmeliterviertel is a classy city neighbourhood with a laidback and unpretentious vibe. Its fundamental market (Karmerlitermarkt) has quite a lot of meals stalls throughout the week however turns into a vibrant farmers’ market on Saturday.
Down by the canal, fashionable avenue artwork brightens up the partitions, whereas on sunny days locals flock to the bars and barges lining the waterfront. You may rent a motorcycle, go for a swim in a pool barge or just seize a drink and watch the world go by.
Lastly, it is usually house to Prater Park, the town’s inexperienced playground containing Wurstelprater – an enormous funfair. There are rides and thrills aplenty, however for connoisseurs of previous movies, it’s best identified for the big Ferris wheel (Wiener Riesenrad) that’s featured within the movie The Third Man starring Orson Wells.
15. DINNER IN A BEISL
To soak up old skool Vienna among the finest issues to do is have a meal in a beisl. These conventional bistros are pared again, right down to earth institutions which have been serving the identical fare for hundreds of years.
Normal favourites are Wiener Schnitzel; slow-cooked beef goulash with dumplings; and Tafelspitz – Viennese type boiled beef. Wash all of it down with wine or regionally brewed beer and finish with a selfmade strudel.
Two of the very best are Griechenbeisl which has been serving meals in atmospheric wood-panelled rooms since 1447 and Glacis Beisl which has a beautiful outside courtyard lit by low hanging lights. The odd vegetarian dish has crept onto the menu – however don’t anticipate a lot selection.
16. RATHAUS (VIENNA CITY HALL)
Towering over the Ringstraße is Vienna’s monumental Gothic city corridor. Its richly adorned façade consists of a number of layers of arches rising to 5 spindly turrets. The design is intricate and superbly symmetrical.
There’s a free tour to look inside the inside however merely staring up on the exterior is among the finest issues to do in Vienna.
17. STAATSOPER & VIENNA BOYS CHOIR
Within the 18th and 19th centuries, the wealth and energy of the Habsburgs attracted many composers trying to make their residing. Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss, and Brahms are just some who frolicked creating masterpieces in Vienna. Befitting this heritage Vienna has some nice music venues.
The Musikverein and its golden corridor is house to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, one of many most interesting on this planet. The Vienna Boys Choir has had a troublesome pandemic (being an NGO with out state assist), but it surely’s again on its toes and the world-renowned choir is enjoying once more on Sundays on the Imperial Courtroom Chapel.
Lastly, there are few grander or older opera homes than the Staatsoper. Seeing a efficiency is nice, however even when you don’t wish to stump up for the tickets it’s price taking a tour. Not solely is the principle live performance corridor an impressive sweep of purple velvet and curved bins however even the intermission rooms and staircases are gorgeous.
18. SUNSET DRINKS AT DACHBODEN LOFT, 25HOURS HOTEL
The rooftop bar of the 25 Hours Lodge, Dachboden Loft, is among the finest locations in Vienna for a relaxed cocktail to look at the solar set over the town. The cool bar with pleasant employees has a relaxing ambiance, stay music and well-priced cocktails. The indoor area has an urban-inspired design, and the outside terrace has wonderful views over Hofburg Palace and Rathaus.
Some basic bar snacks can be found to order, or you’ll be able to seize a pizza from the restaurant on the bottom flooring and convey it as much as the bar. A dance flooring that appears like somebody’s front room slowly swings into motion because the night progresses.
OTHER THINGS TO DO IN VIENNA
Our record of the 18 finest issues to do in Vienna is curated from our favorite experiences throughout our journeys to the town. However listed here are a number of extra that you just may fancy.
Schönbrunn Palace – One other grand Habsburg palace, Schonbrunn Palace is a 30-minute practice journey from the centre of city. Full with lavish baroque rooms and grand gardens on a mighty scale, Mozart performed right here in 1786.
Secession Constructing – If you’re a fan of Klimt, pop in to see his Beethoven Frieze.
Heuriger – A heuriger is a tavern the place native winemakers serve their very own tipple. Most are positioned on the outskirts of the town, in order that they take a little bit of attending to, however when you’ve got the time, it’s a enjoyable conventional evening out. This information has some nice concepts.
MUMOK – In case you really feel you can see some extra fashionable artwork, head to MUMOK. Specializing in the 20th and 21st centuries, it’s a mixture of nouveau realism, pop artwork, cubism, and photorealism in an imposing gray granite block of a constructing.
HOW MANY DAYS TO SPEND IN VIENNA
We advocate staying 2 to three days in Vienna. In two days, you’ll be able to discover the parks and grounds across the Hofburg Palace, amble the lanes of the Innere Stadt, surprise at Schloss Belvedere and take a look at all types of conventional Austrian fare.
A 3rd day permits time to go to extra of Vienna’s museums, from artwork to armoury, flats to antiquities. If you’re a museum fanatic, chances are you’ll even wish to add a fourth day.
3 DAYS IN VIENNA ITINERARY
Right here’s easy methods to seize all the very best issues to do in Vienna in 3 days. Now we have damaged them right down to minimise the strolling and break up the museums.
Amble the parks and grand buildings from the Rathaus to the Hofburg Palace, popping into certainly one of its many museums together with the Austrian Nationwide Library. Subsequent, discover the Innere Stadt taking in Stephandsom Cathedral, the Kinsky Palace and Festrel Passage.
Alongside the way in which, take in Austrian tradition in certainly one of its many high quality espresso homes earlier than ending the day with dinner at a beisl.
Begin the day by admiring the grand façade of Schloss Belvedere earlier than heading into the Oberes Belvedere to see the most important Klimt assortment on this planet. Subsequent, stroll the college space ensuring to not miss Karlskirche. Seize lunch at both the microbrewery of Salm Bach or at a stall within the Naschmarkt.
Within the afternoon discover Leopoldstadt and the canal, stopping to see the road artwork, grabbing a drink on the riverbank, and pottering round cool outlets. Because the solar units get a view of Vienna from above on both the Reisenrad or whereas sipping cocktails at Das Loft, earlier than winding right down to take pleasure in an evening of music.
Spend the morning at both the Leopold, Albertina, or Kunsthistorisches Museums earlier than decamping to the Palmenhaus for lunch. Within the afternoon, take a tour of the Staatsoper after which recharge with candy Kaiserschmarrn at Demel. As night advances seize a seat on the terrace at Dachboden Loft, within the 25Hours Lodge.
MAP OF THINGS TO DO IN VIENNA
That will help you plan your 3 days in Vienna, we have now included all the principle sights on the beneath map, organised by day.
BEST TIME TO VISIT VIENNA
The most effective time to go to Vienna is within the shoulder seasons of Could to June and September to October. The temperatures are heat however not too sizzling and the town is in full swing however not too crowded. Spring is especially pretty as tulips and roses convey life and color to the parks.
In June, two worldwide music festivals (Vienna Jazz Pageant and Donauinselfest) come to city and two world-class orchestras carry out without spending a dime. In September Vienna Vogue Week arrives and in October there’s the Lengthy Evening of the Museums and the Movie Pageant.
In July and August, the town will get busy with vacationers, lodge costs rise and temperatures common 27 to twenty-eight°C. Within the winter months, Vienna normally will get some snow with temperatures plunging to round zero, however December brings a beautiful Christmas spirit to the streets.
If you’re versatile on what days to go to, attempt to keep away from Tuesday as nearly all of the museums are closed.
VIENNA CARDS AND PASSES
Vienna has plenty of completely different passes and playing cards that can assist you see the very best issues to do within the metropolis. The 2 hottest are the Vienna Metropolis Card and the Vienna Go.
VIENNA CITY CARD
The Vienna Metropolis Card offers you free entry on the general public transport (together with the intensive tram and underground system) in addition to reductions (about 20%) on nearly all museums and sights. You should purchase it to cowl 24 hours (€17), 48 hours (€25) or 72 hours (€29).
In case you plan to go to 4 or 5 museums and use public transport to journey to and out of your lodge, it’s going to in all probability prevent cash. However when you comply with our itinerary above and primarily stroll from place to position then it received’t be any cheaper than paying for the websites individually.
The Vienna Go may be bought for two to six days and provides you free entry to over 70 museums and the Hop On Hop Off Vienna Sightseeing Bus. If you’re a museum addict staying for an extended time, that is the one for you. The 6 days cross prices the identical as about 8 to 9 museum entrances, so when you plan on seeing extra, it’s going to prevent cash and supply quick observe entrance to the busier museums.
WHERE TO STAY IN VIENNA
Vienna has a aptitude for boutique resorts with type. Many are in refurbished grand previous residences that incorporate stylish design with conventional type. So, when you’re in search of a particular weekend getaway, Vienna is a good selection. Listed here are some suggestions from us.
BOUTIQUEHOTEL DAS TYROL
This contemporary design 4-star boutique lodge is embellished with unique works by up to date Viennese artists. It’s quirky, shiny, good worth and solely a brief stroll or metro journey too all the principle sights.
In a grand constructing on the principle purchasing avenue of Vienna, this lodge has splendidly fashionable touches, a cool breakfast / cocktail bar and a sun-drenched rooftop terrace. With only a 12- minute stroll to the Museumsquartier, it’s very handy too.
The peak of luxurious and grandeur within the coronary heart of Vienna, this grand dame lodge transports you again to the times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Constructed for the Prince of Württemberg, it affords a slice of royal life on the imposing Ringstraße Boulevard.
GETTING TO VIENNA
Vienna is positioned within the coronary heart of Europe and trains journey from everywhere in the continent arriving at Wien Hauptbahnof Station. The station is only a thirty-minute stroll or 10-minute metro journey to the centre of the town.
Travelling by practice is just not solely a enjoyable method to arrive however good for the planet too. Test Austrian Rail for timetables and tickets.
Vienna Worldwide Airport welcomes flights from many airways, however essentially the most routes are offered by Austrian Airways, the nation’s flagship service. The airport is a 25-minute taxi journey (about €35-40) from the centre of city or a 15-minute practice journey (leaving each thirty minutes) from Wien Hauptbahnof Station (about €5).
GETTING AROUND VIENNA
Vienna has a superb public transport system. Six metro strains and an intensive tram community join the completely different elements of the town. Having mentioned that, most of the finest issues to do in Vienna are in a compact space across the Innerestadt. So, exploring on foot is commonly one of the best ways to go.
Vienna journey Playing cards can be found for twenty-four hours (€8); 48 hours (€14); or 72 hours (€17); or as a part of the Vienna Metropolis Go. It offers free journey on all public transport within the core centre of Vienna. A single journey prices €2.40 so in case your lodge is a bit of out of the centre it may simply prevent cash, particularly if you’re spending 3 days in Vienna.
This information was produced in partnership with the Vienna Vacationer Board.
As London based mostly journey bloggers, we’re usually exploring cities near house. Listed here are extra of our guides from a few of our favorite European cities.
The easiest issues to do in Bologna
Our information to Florence
A day within the medieval metropolis of Siena
Our 3-day Paris itinerary
The most effective issues to do in Antwerp, Belgium
Our favorite issues to do in Lisbon
The easiest issues to do in Seville