Sightseeing in Vienna
Touristy must-see places
There are a couple of famous buildings and places in Vienna that you should not miss as a first time visitor. Yes, they will be crowded, touristy and probably overpriced - but in the end, those are the main sights the city is known for around the world! You will find the locations of all the sights down below on the map, as well as links to the websites for more information, online ticket reservation, etc.
1. Stephansdom (St. Stephen's Cathedral)
Free entry to the cathedral, small entry fee to access the bell tower.
Check the website for opening hours, masses and concerts.
Insider tip: the guided tour through the catacombs is a bit morbid but really interesting.
2. Old city (first disctrict / 1. Bezirk)
Stephansdom is located in the middle of the old town of Vienna, make sure to wander around and get lost in the maze of small streets. Main shopping streets: Kärtnerstraße (connecting Stephansdom with the opera), Graben & Kohlmarkt (connecting Stephansdom with the Hofburg).
Most famous coffee places in the first disctrict:
Insider tip: Don't miss the calm and hidden Judenplatz with its striking memorial site.
3. Schloss Schönbrunn (Schoenbrunn Castle)
Reserve tickets online if you plan to visit the inside of the castle. The vast and beautiful gardens are accessible free of charge.
Check the website for opening hours and online tickets.
Insider tip: Visit the gorgeous Palm House!
4. Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera)
Reserve tickets online if you plan to visit one of the productions. There are also informative tours of the building and its history.
Check the website for opening hours, guided tours and online tickets.
Insider tip: Some of the operas are live broadcasted on a big screen next to the opera house (free of charge).
5. Schloss Belvedere (Belvedere Castle)
Belvedere hosts two museums in its two buildings, in-between lays a beautiful and vast garden. Pre-book tickets to avoid queuing!
Check the website for opening hours, museums and online tickets.
Insider tip: Upper Belvedere is home to the biggest collection of Klimt and Schiele art.
6. Hofburg with Spanish Riding School
Located right in the city center, this large imperial palace complex used to be home for the former Habsburg dynasty rulers. Today, you can visit the famous Spanish Riding School.
Insider tip: Visit the Austrian National Library, one of the most beautiful restored libraries in Europe!
7. Strolling along Ringstraße
The Ringstraße surrounds the old city and is home to many of Vienna's adored architectural gems: We recommend to start at Schottentor (U2 station) and follow the boulevard all the way to Karlsplatz.
Along the way, you will encounter Votivkirche (second largest church), Rathaus (gothic-style town hall), Burgtheater (main theatre), the Austrian Parliament (under renovation), the Hofburg, the Museumsquartier (different great museums in one area) and end up at Karlsplatz with the stunning baroque Karlskirche (St. Charles Church).
Our local favorites
Besides the obvious must-sees, we wanted to offer a small selection of places that we love and where we like to spend our free time. This list is by no means exhaustive and highly subjective!
Zentralfriedhof (Vienna Central Cemetery)
As one of the largest cemetery areas in Europe, the central cemetery not only offers graves of honor for famous Austrian musicicians such as Beethoven, Schubert and Mozart but is also home to beautiful Jugendstil architecture. Sometimes you can even spot deer while taking a walk!
More information on the website.
Palais Liechtenstein and Liechtenstein Park