Best things to do in Vienna
Find out more about those top places in Vienna
Vienna is a city defined by imperial grandeur. Between 1683 and 1918, Vienna was the capital of the vast Habsburg Empire, which bestowed upon the city an eclectic feast of architectural wonders ranging from monumental palaces, baroque cathedrals and art nouveau U-Bahn stations. While most of Vienna’s attractions, including the vast Hofburg and Schonbrunn palaces, date from the imperial era, the forces that tore the empire apart have become major tourist draws as well with the tortured paintings of Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele displayed proudly in the Museumsquartier. What is more, Vienna is world-famous for its opulent cuisine with century-old coffee houses serving decadent desserts, the food stalls of the hip Naschmarkt preparing cutting-edge gastronomy and the timeless taverns of Grinzing, one of the city’s real hidden gems, showcasing the city’s excellent wine.
Absolutely one of the top places to visit in the city of Vienna, Schonbrunn Palace was the main residence of the Habsburg monarchy. The Palace is a 1,441 rooms building and it played a vital role in the life of Austrians. Besides the building there are lovely gardens to see that are specially designed around the Neptune fountain. The palace also has some fascinating sculptures such as the Gloriette. Visited by over 3.8 million people yearly, the Schonbrunn Palace is a must visit.
The Hofburg was also one of the homes of the Vienna’s royals and the seat of the Austrian government till 1918. The Hofburg was built in the 13th century primarily but still underwent some constructions until the 20th century. It is a great work of architecture, designed by various architects notably Loovico Burnacini, Fisher von Eriach and Filiberto Luchese. Currently, the location for several museums, the congress center and the Spanish riding school.
The breath-taking St. Stephen’s Cathedral is one of those building in Vienna that defines the city. Construction of the cathedral started in the 12th century because the churches the city currently had could not cater for the amount of Christians that needed a place to worship. The gothic style cathedral is 107.2 meters long and 34.2 meters wide, it also has four towers with the tallest bell 136.44 meters. The most famous features about St. Stephen’s Cathedral are the bells, the cathedral has a total of 23 and the largest is called the Pummerin.
Vienna and Opera go together, people travel from all over the globe to witness a performance at the Vienna State Opera. The Opera was initially named Vienna Court Opera before it was renamed in 1920 after the Habsburg Monarchy was replaced by the First Austrian Republic. The building was designed by August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Null. Opened to the public on 25 May 1869, the Vienna State Opera has performances on most nights of the year.
With over a 100 museums in Vienna, it gets a little difficult to pick one. However, one of the best and tourist’s personal favorite is the Kunsthistorisches Museum. The Art History Museum as it is fondly called was built in 1891 following the designs of Karl von Hasenauer and Gottfried Semper. The Museum being a very diverse one features collection of work from different era such as the Renaissance and Baroque era. Kunsthistorisches Museum is very revered in Europe for a number of reasons but mostly because of the notable works of painting and sculptures by famous artists.
Located inside the Hofburg in central Vienna, the Spanish Riding School was established in 1735 and is dedicated to training of Lipizzaner horses and preservation of classic equestrian skills. Regarded as one of the best riding schools in the world, its best horses and riders are well revered, and they perform to worldwide audiences. There are often live performances at the impressive riding hall designed by architect Joseph Emanuel Fisher, these performances are often attended by locals and tourist alike.
The strudel show is a great opportunity for tourist to learn how to prepare the famous Viennese desert. The show involves a professional pastry chef who bakes and teaches the audience how to make a Viennese apple strudel. It is a good learning process to watch and after the lesson the recipe is handed out to whomsoever wants to try to replicate what they have just seen at home.
This museum is something different and unique when compared to most museums you will witness on your travels. The Madame Tussauds is a wax museum and it features over 80 wax figures, each of different famous individuals including local and international persons such as Johnny Depp, Mahatma Gandhi, David Alaba and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The Wax figures are not the only attraction of the Museum; you can also take an intelligent test against Albert Einstein or Talk to the interactive application “Sisi”.