Top 10 Must-See and Do in Beautiful Vienna, Austria

Tags: #Vienna ,   #Prater ,   #SchoenbrunnPalace ,   #BelvederePalace

Alex O'Brien

Alex O'Brien

Last updated:  2020-12-17 11:09:45

This time we are taking you to Vienna, the capital of Austria. This is a beautiful city on the Danube banks with a rich history from the Habsburg Monarchy days. The location is full of such establishments, so you can say it's a museum in the open, not unlike Madrid or Paris. As a result, just strolling the streets could be all the fun you'll need. There's a lot to experience and enjoy at this location! However, if you have a couple of days to explore this gorgeous city, there are a few things that you should experience. We're hoping that our top 10 must-sees in Vienna list will help you be efficient in your sightseeing tour. Hope you'll enjoy it! Vienna, here we come!

10. Firstly, a Bit of Culture - Museums

The beautiful building of Kunsthistorisches museum

Vienna has a lot to offer to museum lovers, but we'll mention only a few of them. Let's start with Museums Quartier, which spreads over 90.000 square meters and is located next to the Royal Palace. Commonly known as MQ, this is a place where high culture meets subcultures, where the historic architecture clashes with contemporary design. Most popular at MQ are Leopold Museum and MUMOK, both featuring an extensive collection of modern art.

Located in Hofburg - Sisi Museum is dedicated to the Empresses Sisi. The museum shows the dresses and all sorts of everyday stuff that once belonged to her. The second part of the exhibition are the Imperial Apartments, fully furnished as they were when Sisi lived there. Finally, you can look at the Silver Collection and get an insight into the courtly dining culture back then.   

9. The Donauturm 

View of the Donauturm, of Danube tower, Vienna

 As the waltz by Johann Strauss II says, "An der schönen, blauen Donau" – "On the Beautiful Blue Danube," this river is Vienna's most impressive natural beauty. Well, actually, Danube is a bit further from the city center, but one of its canals goes close to it.

Nevertheless, between the Danube River and Alte Danube (another river canal), you can find the Danube tower or Donauturm, Austria's tallest structure. On top of 827 feet tall Douauturm are a viewing platform and two revolving restaurants. It's a bit further from the city center, but the view is totally worth the trip.

8. Something to Eat!

Sachertorte delicious chocolate cake

Vienna is known for its Wiener Wurst, which are delicious sausages you can buy from street vendors. If you wish to have a meal at the restaurant, try a Wiener schnitzel, a thin, breaded, pan-fried meat. This is a well-known specialty of the city and Austria's national dish. However, it has a lot of variation, so while it's traditionally made using veal, you can find pork, chicken, and turkey versions.

If you crave something sweet, make sure to try a Sachertorte, a delicious chocolate cake that will inspire you to get back to Vienna. Best place to try it is right at the source, at Hotel Sacher, where the cake was created back in 1832.

7. It's Always Time for Shopping!

Pedestrian streets in Vienna city center

If you like shopping, Vienna won't disappoint you. The city center is full of stores! The main shopping streets are Mariahilferstrasse and Kertner Strasse, although all the pedestrian streets are full of shops. You'll find all sorts of stuff here, but mainly high fashion items.

Nonetheless, if you wish to buy designer clothes at low prices, you should take a trip to the Designer Outlet Parndorf. It's about a 30 minutes ride from Vienna, but it's totally worth a trip. Here you'll find all you need in more than 140 shops. Tip: perhaps it's better to plan at least a half a day to visit this location.

6. Magical Time at Christmas Market!

Christmas Market in front of the Town Hall

If you come to Vienna near Christmas, make sure you visit Christmas Market, as it's especially charming in Vienna. Everything begins in the second half of November and ends the day after Christmas. During this time, the square in front of the City Hall becomes magical. 

All the Christmas lights are up, and there's lots of music and crowd, as everyone's cheery and happy, creating a truly magical experience.  You can buy unique handcrafted Christmas decorations, try some delicious street food and taste some excellent hot drinks such as wine, schnapps, tea, and others to warm you up.  

5. Belvedere Palace

Beautiful Upper Belvedere Palace

This story begins in the 18th century when Prince Eugene of Savoy, general at the Habsburg Monarchy, started building this beautiful baroque castleBelvedere consists of two palaces, Upper and Lower Belvedere, and beautiful gardens in between. After Prince Eugen's death, Maria Theresa moved the Imperial Picture Gallery to Upper Belvedere and opened it to the public. Hence it became the first museum in the world. Throughout history, the castle changed its use partially but stayed a museum till the present time.

Belvedere museum has an impressive collection of artwork. Among them is the largest collection of Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller and Gustav Klimt, including the famous painting The Kiss by Klimt.

4. St. Stephan's Cathedral

St Stephan's Cathedral during the winter

Most commonly known as Stephansdom and located in the city center, it dominates St Stephan's square or Stephansplatz. This beautiful Romanesque and Gothic cathedral was built back in the 12th century. The cathedral is exciting by itself, but the main tourist spots are the catacombs and the towers. 

Catacombs can be visited only with guided tours. You can see the bishop and royal tombs and an eerie cemetery with the bones under the cathedral. South tower is fascinating because it has a beautiful view of the city from 446 feet. How impressive is Stephansdom? Let's just say that six million people visit it every year! 

3. Have Some Fun at Prater!

Wiener Riesenrad, old Ferris Wheel in Prater amusement park

The amusement park is the home of the Wiener Riesenrad or the Giant Ferris Wheel - the most famous symbol of Vienna. However, if you love the thrill of roller coasters, we have to disappoint you as the Riesenrad is not about speed. This a 19th-century legacy and most definitely something you cannot miss while in Vienna. 

The old wheel is 213 feet tall, it has eight wooden cabins, and while riding, you can watch Vienna's history. Prater brings out the nostalgia in older visitors while still being fun to youngsters. Regardless of your age, you will enjoy visiting the Prater, and you'll have a lot of fun. Just remember to avoid feeding pigeons!

2. Winter Royal Palace

Hofburg Imperial Palace, the main entrance

The famous Hofburg was built back in the 13th century by the Habsburg dynasty, and it dominates the city's center. The imperial palace was a winter residence during the Habsburg reign, and they have expanded it several times. As a result, it's one of the world's largest palace complexes with nineteen courtyards and eighteen wings.

Today this imperial palace is an official residence of the Austrian President and a home to Sissy Museum, Imperial Apartments, and Silver Collection, as you can learn in our museum section. The whole establishment is quite impressive, and if you wish to feel like a royal, grab a carriage ride in front of the palace entrance. 

1. Schoenbrunn Palace

Schoenbrunn Palace, view of the Palace and its beautiful gardens

This beautiful palace was the official summer residence for the Habsburg emperors. The castle and its gardens are truly unique for their beauty. This is the most visited place in Austria and one of the world's most beautiful locations. The Schoenbrunn Palace was built in the 18th century, and it has 1441 rooms, 45 of which are open to visitors. Exhibition rooms are fully furnished as they were while their famous residents lived there. 

Even though the palace is impressive, the baroque gardens are a story to itself, featuring a Maze and Labyrinth, Zoo, Gloriette, or Palm House, among other things. Indeed, that's something you'll remember forever.

We've only scratched the surface of the most exciting stuff in this fabulous city, as the rest is for you to explore. Just one more note - if you are preparing for a trip during the winter, keep in mind that it can be pretty cold in Vienna, so wear something warm and comfortable! Hope you have enjoyed our top 10 must-sees in the charming Vienna list and got some cool ideas for your next trip. 

Have you ever been to Vienna? What is your area of choice in the city? We'd like to hear your impressions, so please write them in the comment section.

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