Vienna Sightseeing & Travel Guide

Vienna, Vienna, capital of Austria, pearl of Central Europe, suburb of Salzburg!

Vienna, the city that never woke up. Pearl of the Balkans. The biggest trash can of Eastern Europe. Mock it, as you wish - it is and remains a significant city and proves highly popular among tourists. Vienna is - as I am confident you have found out already - the capital of Austria, but also the biggest city of the nation (with a population of 1.7 millions) and due to its past as a capital of a vast empire, it is packed with sightseeing attractions, things to do and places to go to. All that makes Vienna a "European grade A capital" that I would rank among the top 6 with Rome, London, Prague, Paris and Budapest in terms of general appeal.

For an overview of the central attractions, see my "Vienna Sightseeing Map". Photos from the city's sights can be found at my "Vienna Photo Gallery".  For those readers that are in a rush, have a quick look at the 10 most highly recommended attractions of Vienna here:

Vienna: General Orientation

Palas Athena in front of the houses of parliamentThe Jesuit church in the Medieval city centreVienna is packed with impressive architecture

So what is there to see and do? Vienna is divided into 23 districts. The central first district "Innere Stadt" is the historic city centre, which is surrounded by Ringstraße, a 19th century boulevard with most representative buildings. The Ringstraße runs where the city walls were until their destruction - an inner circle that is echoed by an outer one, the Gürtel. From the first district, several major roads extend to the outskirts - for example, the Mariahilferstraße or the Wienzeile. The latter one connects the first district with the Palace of Schönbrunn.

Vienna is framed by the hills of the Vienna Woods in the West and - at least the historic parts - by the Danube in the East. Other important landmarks are the Donaukanal and the Alte Donau, old Danube River beds. For a list of attractive look-outs, see my article on "Vienna from Above".

Grade A Capital: Video of What to See in Vienna

A concise, but pretty cool intro to Vienna sightseeing, unfortunately with the usual sightseeing sterotypes.

Vienna's Museums & Exhibition Venues

See also my "Complete List of Museums" in Vienna.

The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna contains the fourth-largest collection of paintins in the WorldThe biggest collection of Egon Schiele Work can be found in the Leopold MuseumMuseum of Applied Arts, Vienna

Art Museums: Kunsthistorische Museum (Museum of Art History) - Albertina (Museum of Graphic Art) - "MuseumsQuartier" (Museum District) - MUMOK (Museum of Contemporary Art) - Leopold Museum (Museum of Modern Art) - Gallery of Austrian Art in Schloss Belvedere (National Gallery) - Liechtenstein Museum (parts of the private collection of the Princes of Liechtenstein, mostly Baroque Painting) - Secession - Museum for Applied Art MAK - Lehrsammlung of the Academy of Fine Arts - BA-CA Kunstforum (temporary exhibitions, usually modern) - Museum of Young Art MOYA (21st century art) - Ernst Fuchs Privatmuseum - Künstlerhaus - KunstHaus Wien (contemporary)

History Museums: Heeresgeschichtliches Museum ("Military History Museum") - Wien Museum (City Museum) - Jewish Museum, Stadttempel & Museum am Judenplatz - Musikerwohnungen (Composers' Flats) - "House of Music" - Mozart House Vienna - Schatzkammer (treasury) - Ephesos Museum - Habsburg's Arms Collection and a Museum of Old Musical Instruments - Josephinum (History of Medicine) - Freud Museum - Museum Aspern-Essling (Napoleonic Wars)

Other Museums: Technisches Museum (Industry & Technology) -  Austrian Film Museum - "Haus des Meeres" (Aquarium) - Hofmobiliendepot (Imperial Furniture) - Naturhistorisches Museum (natural history) - Zoom Kindermuseum (Museum for Children) - Tobacco Museum - Vienna Theatre Museum - Ethnology Museum - Wiener Planetarium - Nationalparkhaus Lobau

Cathedrals, Churches & Chapels: Religious Sightseeing

See also my list of Vienna's Churches.

The Kirche am Hof - Gothic Core with neo-Classical facadeFrescoe by Rottmayr in the cupola of KarlskircheThe Kirche am Steinhof by Otto Wagner is the most important Art Nouveau church of Vienna

Note that many churches of Vienna (and there are many, many churches in Vienna) are a mix of styles due to alterations. This applies especially to very old ones. For the category, I chose the original or - if the church was strongly altered at some point in it history - the most significant current style.

Romanesque Churches: St. Ruprecht - St. Laurenz Kirche - St. Jakob Heiligenstadt

Gothic Churches & Renaissance: Stephansdom (National Cathedral) - Maria am Gestade - Minoritenkirche - Augustinerkirche Church - Michaelerkirche - Franciscan Church - Deutschordenskirche - Malteserkirche - Burgkapelle - Salvatorkapelle - Kirche am Hof

Baroque & Rococo: Karlskirche - Peterskirche - Schottenstift Monastery - Jesuitenkirche - Bernardiskappelle at the Heiligenkreuzerhof - Dominican Church - Piaristenkirche - Carmelite Church - Rochuskirche - Mariahilferkirche - Stiftskirche - Salesianerinnenkirche - St. Ulrich - Gardekirche - Kahlenbergkirche - Kirche am Leopoldsberg - Bergkirche Rodaun - Paulanerkirche - St. Joseph (Sonnenhofkirche) - Dreifaltigkeitskirche - Servitenkirche - Lichtentaler Pfarrkirche - Kalvarienbergkirche - Annakirche - Schwarzspanierkirche - Kirche der Barmherzigen Brüder - Kirche St. Leopold - Kirche St. Thekla - Elisabethinenkirche - Kirche St. Aegyd (Haydnkirche) - Kirche Maria Geburt (Waisenhauskirche) - Januariuskapelle - Capuchin Church (Kapuzinerkirche) - Ursulinenkirche - Schottenstift Abbey - Annakirche Breitenlee - St. Nikolaus Stammersdorf - St. Jakob Penzing - Nussdorfer Pfarrkirche - St. Aegidius Pötzleinsdorf - St. Gertrud Währing - Wallfahrtskirche Mariabrunn - Rochuskapelle Penzing - Pfarrkirche Ober St. Veit - Pfarrkirche Oberlaa - St. Nepomuk Döbling

Classicist & Historicist: Votivkirche - Dorotheerkirche - Maria vom Siege - Mechitaristenkirche - Griechenkirche - Assisi Kirche am Mexikoplatz - Russenkirche St. Nikolaus - Kirche St. Georg - Kirche St. Barbara

Art Nouveau & Modern: Kirche am Steinhof - Karl Borromäo Church - Wotrubakirche - St. Erhard Mauer - Pfarrkirche Neulerchenfeld - Heilig-Geist-Kirche Ottakring

Palaces, Palais & Castles of Vienna

See also my list of Vienna's Palais and my introduction to the "Vienna Palais"

The Neue Burg at the Hofburg Palace is the strangest wing of the strangest palace in EuropeThe Palace of Schloss Belvedere in Vienna was built for Prince Eugene of SavoyThe Imperial Palace of Schönbrunn is a World Cultural Heritage Site

Hofburg: Albertina - Kaiserappartements - Schatzkammer Treasury - Neue Burg Gardens & Heldenplatz - Museums of Ethnology & Ephesos  - National Library - Augustinerkirche - Spanish Riding School - Burgkapelle & Vienna Boys' Choir - Arms Collection & Old Instruments

Gothic & Renaissance: Schloss Neugebäude - Schweizertor (Hofburg)

Baroque & Rococo: Schönbrunn Palace - Belvedere - Ballhaus (Chancellery) - Palais Kinsky - Palais Auersperg - Palais Trautson - Palais Schwarzenberg -Palais Favorita (Theresianum & Diplomatic Academy) - Palais LiechtensteinPalais Schönborn - Schloss Hetzendorf - Schloss Neuwaldegg - Palais Augarten - Schloss Alterlaa - Erzbischöfliches Palais - Palais Dietrichstein - Palais Harrach - Stadtpalais Liechtenstein - Stadtpalais Prinz Eugen - Palais Damian - Palais Batthyany-Schönborn - Palais Porcia - Palais Starhemberg - Palais Esterhazy (Wallnerstraße) - Palais Sternberg

Classicist & Historicist: Palais Rasumofsky - Palais Ferstel - Münze Österreich - Hermesvilla in the Lainzer Tiergarten - Schloss Wilhelminenberg - Palais Coburg - Palais Epstein - Palais Cumberland - Geymüller Schlössl - Palais Niederösterreich - Produktenbörse - Justizpalast - Wiener Börse Stock Exchange - Palais Strozzi - Palais Grassalkovics - Palais Clam-Gallas - Palais Pallivicini - Palais Zichy

Theatres, Opera & Concert Halls of Vienna

See also my List of Theatres in Vienna and the Vienna Theatre Museum

The Burgtheater is the oldest and most exclusive theatre of ViennaWolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, but spent his most productive time in Vienna (and Prague)The Staatsoper or National Opera was the first building on the Ringstraße in the 19th century

Opera: Wiener Staatsoper (National Opera) - Wiener Kammeroper - Volksoper - Theater an der Wien

Theatre: Burgtheater Theatre - Akademietheater - Theater in der Josefstadt - Volkstheater

Concert & Music: Raimund Theatre - Wiener Konzerthaus - Musikverein Concert Hall - Etablissement Ronacher - Kursalon Hübner

Other Architecture, Memorials & Landmarks

My guide to "other attractions" of Vienna is not finished. Please come back later.

The Donnerbrunnen on the Neuer Markt Square in ViennaThe Börse Wien or Vienna Stock ExchangeThe Postsparkasse by Otto Wagner, groundbreaking Jugendstil or Art Nouveau

Gothic: Spinnerin am Kreuz - Heumühle Wieden

Baroque: Trinity Column - Zeughaus Imperial Armoury - Bohemian Chancellery - Vermählungsbrunnen (fountain) - "Kapuzinergruft" (Emperors' Tomb) - National Library - Tiergarten Schönbrunn Zoo - Spanish Hospital - Donnerbrunnen

Neo-Classical to 1918: Houses of Parliament - Urania - Kuffner Sternwarte - BOKU University - Vienna University - Roßauer Kaserne - Technical University - Kriegsministerium - Dreimäderlhaus - Akademisches Gymnasium - Hochstrahlbrunnen (fountain) - WUK - Strudelhofstiege - Postsparkasse - Otto Wagner Villa I & II - Wasserturm Favoriten - Zacherlhaus - Nussdorfer Wehr - Kornhäuselturm - Zacherlfabrik - Dorotheum (Auction House) - Hosenträgerhaus - Ferris wheel (the Riesenrad) - Palmenhaus & Schmetterlingshaus - Universitätssternwarte - Rathaus City Hall - Trabrennbahn Krieau - Lusthaus - Galopprennbahn Freudenau

Architecture & Attractions after 1918: Ernst-Happel-Football-Stadium - Apollo Kino - Donauturm - Destructor of Spittelau - Flak Towers - ORF Zentrum - GänsehäufelGeneral Hospital AKH - Funkhaus - Haas Haus - Gasometer City - Wienerberg City - Public Library - United Nations Office Vienna (UNO City) - Stadthalle Wien - Karl-Marx-Hof - Rabenhof - Millennium Tower - Heldendenkmal Soviet Memorial - Messe Wien - Westbahnhof Station - Maria Theresien Kaserne - Werkbundsiedlung - Theodor-Körner-Hof - Ringturm - Hochhaus Herrengasse - Österreichisches Verkehrsbüro - Feuerhalle Simmering - Vienna Airport

Themes, Neighbourhoods & Vienna Areas

Another article in preparation: "Vienna Squares, Neighbourhoods & Themes"

Baroque facades everywhere: Must be ViennaThe Kirche am Steinhof on the outskirts of ViennaApfelstrudel, sold in every cafe of Vienna.

Vienna from above - Naschmarkt market - Ringstraße - Vienna Jugendstil (Art Nouveau)Vienna's coolest neighbourhoods - Heurigen (Wine Taverns) - Why I dislike Vienna - Cafes of Vienna & Coffee - Donaukanal, a canal of the Danube - Mariahilferstraße - Vienna Cemetery Photo Gallery - Altes AKH hospital campus - Day-Trips to Vienna's Surroundings - Prater - Vienna by City Bike - Cycling in the Surroundings - Am Hof Square -  Graben, Kohlmarkt, Neuer Markt Shopping Areas - Parks of Vienna - Hoher Markt - Vienna with Children - Augarten Porcelain - Donauinsel IslandNational Park Donauauen - Brunnenmarkt - Wiener Stadtbahn - Hohe Warte - Grinzing - Spittelberg - Bermudadreieck - Freyung Square - Türkenschanzpark - Karlsplatz - Prostitution - Diplomatic Academy Vienna - Beer & Microbreweries - Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurants - Stuwerviertel - Praterstern - Venediger Au - Prater Hauptallee - Heustadelwasser - Jesuitenwiese - Konstantinhügel - Wurstelprater - Handelskai

Vienna Travel Practicialities

Free wireless lan in Vienna - Vienna Webcam - Embassies in Vienna - Weather in Vienna - Music Videos on Vienna - Markets of Vienna - Festivals & Events of Vienna

Vienna throughout the Year

January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December

back to "sightseeing"

Further Reading

Top-attractions of Vienna (ranking)

Official website of the Vienna Tourism Council

Official Website of the Austrian Tourism Council

Quick Links:
Map of Vienna
Currency Exchange
Hotel Bookings