Vienna is known for many things, from art and culture to music and design. The city has a rich history and beautiful architecture, allowing visitors to explore its highlights in picturesque surroundings.
If you plan on traveling to Vienna while you’re visiting Austria, you’ll have a great variety of activities and sights to choose from. To help you narrow down your choices, here is a list of the top 10 things to do in Vienna.
Tour Schonbrunn Palace
Schonbrunn Palace is Vienna’s most dramatic building. Its striking yellow facade and sumptuous Rococo interiors draw visitors from all over the world, and the rooms and gardens of this former imperial residence are some of the most elegant and awe-inspiring in Europe. Visitors can tour the palace’s state apartments and learn about its history and former inhabitants.
Visit Vienna’s Freud Museum
Vienna’s Sigmund Freud Museum pays homage to the founder of psychoanalysis, who lived in Vienna from 1898 to 1938. The museum is a great place to learn about Freud and see photos, letters, first editions, and the psychoanalyst’s collections. There are tours in multiple languages, as well as films of Freud and his family.
Walk through the Stadtpark
Vienna’s most famous park, the Stadtpark, is a great place to get away from the urban bustle and commune with nature. The park’s many lawns and gardens are refreshing places to stroll, and no trip to the Stadtpark would be complete without admiring the gilded statue of Johann Strauss and the busts of his fellow composers, Schubert and Bruckner.
Visit Vienna’s Art Museums
Vienna has no shortage of world-class art, and the Museumsquartier is home to several museums worth visiting while you’re in the city. The Leopold Museum is housed in a white limestone building and features the works of great Austrian artists. The Kunsthalle Wien has rotating contemporary art exhibitions, and the “MUseum MOderner Kunst”, or MUMOK, showcases—you guessed it—modern art.
Eat Sachertorte in its Birthplace
Sachertorte is a traditional Viennese chocolate cake invented by Franz Sacher in 1832 for Prince Wenzel von Metternich. Sacher’s son Edward opened a hotel called Hotel Sacher in Vienna in 1876, where the cake is still served today. Visitors can enjoy the famous Sachertorte at the source, which is both cultural and delicious.
Go to the Opera
The Vienna State Opera is one of the city’s most beloved buildings, and no trip is complete without experiencing a performance within its walls. It is considered by many to be one of the busiest and most important opera houses in the world, and it has an impressively large repertoire. That’s to say nothing of the building itself, which is one of the most stunning historic buildings in Vienna.
Vienna has no shortage of style, and visiting fashionistas can have a great time exploring the city’s stores and boutiques. Don’t miss Muhlbauer, a famous millinery where many international celebrities have picked up hats. Also worth a visit is Lobmeyr, which is famous for its glass works. These include drinking glasses designed by Modern architect Adolf Loos.
Go to St. Stephen’s Cathedral
Every major European city has a famous church, and Vienna’s is St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The Gothic church is stunning both outside and inside, with its intense peaked roof and tall spire drawing visitors in to witness the wealth of art and architectural treasures within its walls.
Explore the Mozart Museum
While Salzburg is better known for all things Mozart, Vienna still has some claim to the Austrian composer’s fame. The house where Mozart wrote The Marriage of Figaro is here, and is now a museum dedicated to its former occupant. Mozart lived here from 1784 to 1787, and the museum displays memorabilia, drawings, original sheet music, and musical instruments.
If you’re visiting Austria at Christmastime, don’t miss Vienna’s Christmas Markets. The city is home to 20 of them, so you’re never far from one. The markets range from traditional to contemporary, with some offering handicrafts and mulled wine from pretty wooden chalets, and others offering a party atmosphere in modern surroundings.