Vienna | Austria

Opulent, historic, and able to charm even the most critical of travelers, Vienna is simply a must visit on any Austrian vacation. Even if you plan to spend the bulk of your time elsewhere in Austria, plan at least a few days in Vienna. Vienna travel offers a range of delights, from eye-catching buildings to alluring all night bars. 

With so many great Vienna attractions to savor, you can easily expect to fill both your days and nights here. Getting around to all the Vienna attractions is aided by the fact that the city boasts a wonderful transportation system
The same ticket will get you on a bus, the metro, or a tram, and your feet should be able to take care of the rest. Speaking of your feet, walking tours are among the best Vienna tours available, so you'll want to make sure you pack some comfortable walking shoes for this sensational capital city. Vienna's famed city center is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it an ideal place to begin Vienna tours.

 Vienna is easily the largest city in Austria with a population of around 1.7 million people, and it serves as the political, cultural, and economic center of the country. It is found in northeastern Austria on the mighty Danube River and is not only the capital city of the country, but also of the eponymous Austrian state that bears its name. 

Vienna has seen its fair share of history beginning with it's roots as a Celtic settlement in the sixth century BC. It would eventually become an outpost for the Roman Empire, the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, and the residential base of the all-powerful Habsburg dynasties. It was during the Middle Ages that Vienna began its march towards becoming the cultural haven that it still is, as it quickly grew in importance as a center for music, the arts, science, and even cuisine. By all accounts, it was the showpiece of the Habsburg dynasties, and suffice it to say that Austria itself grew around Vienna.

 With the fall of the Holy Roman Empire, Vienna would assume the capital city role once again, this time for the Austrian Empire, which would then become the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1867. In the twentieth century, both World War I and World War II would prove to be hard on Vienna, but a new Austrian republic was born out of the relative chaos. Thankfully, many of Vienna's most cherished historical structures survived both World Wars, and successful renovation efforts have helped to maintain their splendor. In addition to a hearty collection of attractive architectural wonders, Vienna still manages to offer quite a lot in the way of the arts. Much like Salzburg, Vienna holds on strong to its musical identity, and rightfully so. You can catch many cultural performances in Vienna, with the famed Burgtheater and the Musikverein serving as prime venues for such events.

Schönbrunn Palace - Vienna, Austria 

 Trying to fit in all that Vienna travel has to offer is pretty tough, as there are simply a ton of inviting Vienna attractions to consider. Guided Vienna tours are a great way to learn about the city, not to mention getting familiar with its overall layout. These guided tours focus mostly on the city and its main sights, such as Schönbrunn Palace, or pair parts of the city with trips to outlying points of interest. 

You might even end up at the Baden spa outside of town that was once used to serve the needs of the aristocracy. As mentioned, walking tours are among the best Vienna tours, partly because there's so much to see here. 

Staatsoper (State Opera House)  - Vienna, Austria 

 The centrally located Staatsoper (State Opera House) makes for a great starting point for walking Vienna tours, as it is close to a bunch of great Vienna attractions, including the Hofburg Palace Complex. A past winter palace for the Habsburg dynasties, Hofburg is quite dazzling, showing the king of glory that this royal lineage enjoyed for almost 600 years.

Stephansdom - Vienna, Austria

 Stephansdom - Vienna, Austria

 Stephansdom - Vienna, Austria

 Stephansdom - Vienna, Austria

 Stephansdom - Vienna, Austria

  Stephansdom - Vienna, Austria

 Stephansdom - Vienna, Austria

 Stephansdom - Vienna, Austria

 Stephansdom - Vienna, Austria

 Stephansdom - Vienna, Austria

Also in the heart of Vienna is another one of the top Vienna attractions, St Stephens Cathedral. This Romanesque and Gothic style church is spectacular, and it's easily the most important religious building in the city. No lover of architecture should miss it when enjoying Vienna travel.

Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Art) - Vienna, Austria 
While you are checking out the historically-rich edifices in central Vienna, you can also take some time out to drop in on the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Art), where some of the art that the Habsburgs collected during their ruling days is on display.

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna is found on the famous Ringstrasse, which is the circular avenue that envelopes the Inner Stadt, or Inner City. Its physical address is Burgring 5, and it should be easy to find. The Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna is housed in a palace-like structure, making it easy to spot, and inside it is quite ornate. Also, facing the Kunsthistorisches Museum is the Naturhistorisches Museum, which shares the former's neo-Renaissance design. In fact, the two museums have the same exact exteriors, and both were opened in the same year.

The Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna first opened in 1891. It was commissioned by then emperor of Austria-Hungary, Franz Joseph I. Though it was finished in 1891, work actually began on it in 1872. The purpose of this new Museum in Austria was to house the immense art collection of the almighty Habsburgs.

The museum's name translates to Museum of Art History, and all Vienna visitors are encouraged to stop by and take a look at the wonderful exhibits. Also, since the interior of this fine Vienna museum is beautiful, it's worth it just to step inside for a bit. Marble and gold-leaf accents help to create a lavish appeal, and there are a myriad of glorious paintings that adorn the walls. It really is a remarkable place, and for good reason, it's also a top Vienna attraction.

Among the more notable works of art on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien is the Blue Madonna by Albrecht Durer, who also has some of his landscapes on view. Rembrandt is a name that you are perhaps familiar with, and there are a few works of his that you can see at the museum, among them the endearing painting of his mother. In addition to Durer's landscapes, you can also take in some from Pieter Bruegel the Elder, who was another reputable Renaissance artist. The list goes on when it comes to the names of the artists and their respective paintings at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien.

A little side note about the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna pertains to Austria's biggest art theft. In 2003, a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist, Benvenuto Cellini, was stolen. Interestingly enough, it was later found in 2006. Where was it, you might wonder? On the outskirts of Zwettl, Austria, resting in a box that was buried in the forest.

 There is an admission fee to enter the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Austria, though it is a fair one. There are discounts for students, which is a customary Vienna museum procedure. The museum if open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Thursday. For those who are interested in this fine museum in Austria, you might also pass by Schonbrunn Palace, where among the many interests is the Carriage Museum, or Wagenburg. It houses imperial carriages, some of which date back to the seventeenth century. Also, since the Kunsthistorisches Museum is just across from Hofburg Palace, you'll want to drop by there as well.

Central Cemetery (Zentralfriedhof)

Quite a few famous composers have lived and worked in Vienna and they are buried at Central Cemetery. Music lovers will find the graves of Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Strauss junior and senior. Yes, in principle, it is interesting to visit the second largest cemetery in Europe, where more than 2,5 million people lie together with those famous composers . Wandering along the paths, considering the monuments and gravestones is quite interesting and informative. Especially if you are one of the fans of the historical symbols.

Prater Park amusement park - Vienna, Austria

Huge natural park located between the Danube and Donaukanalom is worth a visit if only to see the symbol of Vienna – a huge Ferris wheel, built in 1897. Former imperial hunting ground, has long become a favorite walking place for Viennese, now consist of two parts. Most of the, wild, covered with trees and lawns, where it is very pleasant to walk and to have a cool picnic, and a smaller part consists of a theme park, where there are all sorts of attractions. And finally, throughout the Prater runs the popular Lilliputian railroad with this miniature diesel locomotive. The park entrance is free, but for entertainment, of course, you have to pay.

There are many parks in Vienna where you can take a break from all the sightseeing, and even do a little more sightseeing if you please. Prater Park is one of the top recreational areas in Vienna, and besides offering woods and open meadowland, it also boasts a fairground and amusement park-like section. This section is where you will find the famous Riesenrad Ferris Wheel, which operates year round, even during the cold winter months. Ride the Riesenrad, and you'll enjoy spectacular views of Vienna below, which is certainly recommended for those planning Vienna vacations. Both fans of nature and fans of Johann Strauss will also want to take some time out to explore the Vienna Woods when enjoying Vienna travel. All you have to do to escape the city for the Vienna Woods is hop on tram D and your off to either Heiligenstadt or Nussdorf, where you can find some footpaths.

Walking along the Ringstrasse

Walking along the Ringstrasse provides an excellent opportunity to get into the spirit of the music. Horseshoe-shaped street that goes at their ends of the canal, appeared on the site of the fortress wall that once protected the city from its enemies, by decree of Emperor Francis Joseph the First. And its specially designed wide enough so that the revolutionaries were inconvenient to build barricadeson its . On each side of the boulevard there are many interesting buildings, interspersed with green parks and gardens. If the weather is rainy, the Ringstrasse can ride on the tram routes 1 and 2.

Museum of Applied and Contemporary Art

The main theme of the museum – the design in all possible manifestations. Here you can see the glass and china, silver and textiles, furniture and household items. And all this from the Middle Ages up to the present day. Despite the fact that in ordinary days, the entrance to the museum is worth 7.9 euros, on Saturdays entrance for all visitors it’s free of charge. In addition, free entry on any day is available to all guests under 19 years.

Park of Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace, who was once the summer residence of Empress Elizabeth, now a museum. Of the nearly one thousand five hundred rooms of the castle, only 45 are open to the public. But to pay almost 13 euros for the opportunity to explore the interiors of the Baroque, perhaps, is worth only if you’re really passionate about the era. But all will enjoy walks in the park adjacent to the palace, where you can wander through the long paths, looking at the many sculptures and stopping at the sun sparkling fountains. The park entrance is free.

Josephinum, Museum Institute of History of Medicine - Vienna, Austria

For such a strange name hides a terrible Museum Institute of History of Medicine. Its cool collection consists of the most authentically human figures made of wax, showing all internal human organs which makes the museum to be something crazy. For example, lying on a gorgeous silk lingerie blonde beauty on closer examination will show inside-out interior. On a separate floor you will find a rich collection of medical instruments, which had spread in the XVIII century, many of whom obviously have a common root with the torturous instruments of the Inquisition. Needless to say, to give just two euros for the right to contemplate such is not bad at all.

Christmas Markets - Vienna, Austria

By the end of November, almost the entire city center will become a huge entertainment complex. Everywhere music will sound and the air will smell of ginger and cinnamon as the start of the Christmas season. And in each area there are dancing couples, because the whole town turn into a huge dancing hall. Every year in Vienna there are arranged around 20 Christmas markets, so avoid them all in one day is unlikely.

Weather in Vienna
As you go about satisfying your cultural fixes while enjoying Vienna travel, you might also take in some of the great outdoors, provided that the weather is nice.

Vienna Card
And, of course, do not forget about the Vienna Card, a program which is considered to be one of the most profitable in Europe. For 18.5 euros you 72 hours you will be able to freely use public transportation and get substantial discounts at museums, theaters and cafes. 

Shopping in Vienna
There's just so much to cover when it comes to Vienna Austria, and Vienna vacations are definitely not bound to see you getting bored. Between visits to the various Vienna attractions, you can enjoy a range of dining experiences, and the shopping options here can satisfy hours on end. Cruising down the Danube is always a good way to spend some of your Vienna travel time too, and you can even consider taking in some horse racing or a soccer game.

 The most famous shopping streets in Vienna are the Mariahilferstrasse, the Kaerntnerstrasse, the Kohlmarkt and the street called Am Graben. These shopping areas offer store after store full of wonderfully luxurious goods. Next to great department stores you will find either unique luxury boutiques or fantastic jewellers to browse through.

Vienna: a Shopping Paradise

 Mariahilferstrasse shopping street Mariahilferstrasse shopping street

Shopping in Vienna surprises with many different facets.

Next to traditional department stores, malls and gourmet's temples like "Meinl am Graben", "Sacher"or “Demel”, Vienna offers the latest fashion on its shopping streets. On Saturdays the flea market at the "Naschmarkt" market turns into a paradise for oddity collectors and souvenir hunters...

Mariahilfer Strasse

Close to Hotel Stadthalle you can shop ‘til you drop along Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna’s longest shopping street, where you will find everything you might possibly look for in young fashion, urban and sports wear.

Mariahilfer Strasse

Vienna hotels
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