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13 must-see attractions in Vienna

Vienna, the beautiful capital of Austria, is an extremely interesting destination for every season. The city of the Strauss family, Schubert and Princess Sisi offers a plethora of attractions and activities that will leave no-one indifferent. The most famous attractions in Vienna are the imposing State Opera, the Hofburg Palace, the Schönbrunn Palace and the Rathaus. From the horse show at the well-known Spanish Riding School to a walk along the cobbled, commercial Graben, Kohlmarkt & Kärntner Streets, Vienna knows how to fill your time in a pleasant fashion. Go shopping at Naschmarkt, play at the Prater Park, dance in the Time Travel and do not make the mistake of leaving without having tried the mouth-watering Viennese schnitzel.

Discover the most important attractions in Vienna.

Vienna State Opera

The Vienna State Opera is responsible for a large percentage of the tourists that visit the city. The most famous opera in the world has amazing architecture, while its interior grandeur and decoration complete the fairytale scenery. The crowning opera yearly hosts more than 50 world-class shows, in a hall with insurmountable acoustics. Another way to get to know it is through the daily tours (in three languages). This way you will get a taste of the backstage, you will discover secrets that remain hidden during the play, you will learn about the history and architecture of the building and see places like the foyer, the grand staircase and some private rooms. Follow our useful Tips.

Suggested visit time: 45 minutes (tour), 2-3 hours (show)
Open: Tour: Every day 09:00-14:00 (every one hour). Shows: 19:00-23:00.
Cost: Tour: Standard ticket 7.5€, Retirees 6€, Students 3.5€. Shows: 35€-250€.

 The know-it-all says: It holds the world record for the longest applause, which lasted for 80 minutes!

Schonbrunn Palace

a) Schönbrunn Palace:

The summer house of Empress Sisi and her monarch husband Franz Joseph is a baroque gem for the entire Europe. The palace’s grandeur is observable both outdoors and indoors. There we find 40 exuberant rooms, in which the most important pages of the Austrian history were written. Among them is the huge events hall, which is 40(!) meters long, the royal bedrooms, the living rooms and other important areas. For a complete walk around the Viennese past, pick the tour of the 40 rooms (Grand Tour) and not the one of 22 (Imperial Tour). The families should also make sure they visit the Children’s museum that is located on the ground floor of the palace. There, Poldi the little ghost will guide our young friends via a totally fun and interactive way.

b) Schönbrunn Gardens:

Apart from the palace, it is also worth visiting the Gloriette (the small room), the labyrinth, the gardens, the house of Phoenixes/Cacti and the Orangery. The Gloriette is 20 meters higher than the palace and was used as an observatory. Nowadays, it is a great place to have your coffee or breakfast, with the view of the palace, the gardens and the beautiful Vienna. The gardens and the labyrinth were created by the most famous architects of outdoor spaces, while in the groundbreaking (considering the time it was constructed) house of the Phoenixes/Cacti you will find rare plants from all around the world. The best seasons to visit them are spring and summer when everything is in bloom.

Note: Some of them are closed during the winter months.

Suggested visit time: 2-3 hours
Open: Every day 08:30-17:00 or 18:30 (depending on the season). Get informed at the official website. Last entrance 30 minutes before closing.
Cost: Imperial Tour (22 rooms): Adults 14.20€, Children 10.5€, Students 13.20€, Grand Tour (40 rooms): Adults 17.50€, Children 11.5€, Students 16.20€, Free with Vienna PassMaze: Adults 5.5€, Children 3.2€, Students 4.2€, Children’s Museum: Adults 8.8€, Children – Students 6.7€. For more Combo tickets See HERE.

 The know-it-all says: Around 3,000,000 people visit it every year!

Schnitzel, Strudel & Kaiserschmarrn

Does it smell like fried oil, apple with cinnamon and fresh dough? It is understandable, as you are in the city of Schnitzel, Strudel and the traditional Kaiserschmarrn dessert. The most popular food in Vienna is, obviously, the delicious Schnitzel. No-one can resist the fried delight, which is crispy and…completely unhealthy! And after the meal, it is time for some dessert. What is better than an apple-cinnamon Strudel? The Viennese have developed the original recipe into the absolute must-eat for every hour. Finally, in Vienna you will find the local Kaiserschmarrn dessert. It is a serving of fried, fluffy bites made of dough and raisins, coated with plum sauce. All these tasty delicacies are served in most of the city’s restaurants. In some of them, the flavors will impress you, while in others they will leave you indifferent. Pick the right ones, so that you leave your palate with the best of impressions.

 The know-it-all says: The reason why schnitzels are so crispy and delicious is that they are fried in butter!

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

The imposing cathedral of St. Stephen has been standing in the heart of Vienna for about one millennium! Apart from a religious monument, it is also an important attraction for Vienna, as both its beautiful exterior and plain interior adornment attract about 3,000,000 visitors per year! Inside the Cathedral significant events took place, one of them being the funeral of the composer Amadeus Mozart. Entrance might be free of charge, but if you want to see the most important parts (towers, catacombs, treasures, tour in the central space) you will have to pay, unless you have obtained the Vienna Pass.

Suggested visit time: 1.5 – hours
Open: Cathedral: Monday-Saturday 06:00-22:00 & Sunday-Holidays 07:00-22:00, Catacombs: 10:00-11:30 & 13:30-16:30 every 30 minutes. North tower: Every day 09:00-17:30, South tower: Every day 08:15-16:30.
Cost: Main space: Free, Central section with 30’ tour: Adults 5.5€, Children >18 2€, North tower: Adults 4.5€, Children >18 2€, Catacombs-South Tower-Treasures: Adults 5.5€, Children >8 2€ (FOR EACH ONE). Free entrance everywhere with the Vienna Pass.

 The know-it-all says: The tiles of the roof are the same with the ones placed in St. Mattias Church in Budapest!

Spanish Riding School

The Spanish Riding School’s tradition dates back to 1565. The synchronicity and harmonic movement of the horses classify it as the top show with horses in the world! In the enormous baroque hall you have the chance to admire the elegant Lipizzan horses dance to the rhythm of classical Viennese music. The choices you have are three. 1) Attend the morning warm-up, which happens so that the horses can train on their skills. 2) Watch one of the shows, which are the main attraction of the School. Notice: You must book your tickets 1-2 months in advance, as seats are limited. 3) Tour around the stables and the School’s areas on a 60-minute tour* (ideal choice).

*You must reserve your spot on the tour via e-mail.

Suggested visit time: 40 minutes-1 hour
Open: Tuesday-Saturday 10:00-16:00 & Friday until 19:00 when there is a show. Closed: Sunday & Monday. For tours visit the official website.
Cost: Adults 15€, Children 7.5€. Free with the Vienna Pass.

 The know-it-all says: The only Spanish components are the beautiful Lipizzan horses, whose origin is from Spain (25000 BC)!

Stadtpark

Stadtpark is located close to the center of Vienna and despite its small size, it offers many moments of relaxation. In winter it is kind of dull with low visitor rates, while during spring and summer it turns into one of the most popular parks in Vienna. The countless flowers, benches, the green landscape and the ponds bring it high in the preferences of both residents and tourists. Scattered around the park, you will find statues of artists, writers and composers, with the one of Johann Strauss II stealing the show. The gold-plated statue of the great Austrian composer is the most photographed monument of Vienna! Finally, do not miss the chance to admire the clock of flowers and have a picnic.

Suggested visit time: 40 minutes-1.5 hours
Open: Always
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: It is the first public park of Vienna!

Hofburg Palace

In the Hofburg Palace, at the center of Vienna, Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth (Sisi) lived for a large part of their life. Nowadays, part of it is open to the public and hosts three exhibitions. The ground floor hosts the “silver exhibition” with china, glassware, silverware and the 30-meter long table. On the first floor, you have the chance to tour the imperial apartments. The bedrooms, living rooms, bathrooms, the auditorium and many more rooms will offer you a taste of the daily life of the Viennese royalty. Also, in the palace you will find Sisi’s museum, which presents her mysterious and tumultuous life.

Suggested visit time: 1-2 hours
Open: Every day 09:00-17:30
Cost: Adults 13€, Students 12€, Children >18 years old 8€ (+3€ for the audio guide). Free with the Vienna Pass.

 The know-it-all says: It is called “the city within the city” as it consists of 18 building complexes, 19 courtyards and 2,600 rooms!

Graben, Kohlmarkt & Karntner

The delight of women and torture of men are homonymous to the three most popular pedestrian streets of Vienna, Graben, Kohlmarkt & Kärntner. They are located in the city center and connect some of the most important monuments, such as the Hofburg Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Plague Column and the State Opera. Walk among the most famous brands of clothing and footwear, drink some hot chocolate in one of the dozens of cafés and have a meal at one of the restaurants*. During the Christmas holidays, the festive atmosphere combined with the architecture of the buildings will transfer you to the Medieval Vienna in the most magical way. Finally, it is worth mentioning that during that period there are lots of stands (Christmas Markets) with food-wine and music events.

*The best ones are located on the vertical roads.

Suggested visit time: 1-2 hours
Open: Always
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: Graben Street was the first in Vienna to get paved (1974)!

Time Travel Vienna

Who can resist a journey through Vienna’s history, especially since it’s done in such a fun and interactive way? Time Travel Vienna offers a playful experience so you can learn about the city’s history. From the 5D room to the Air-Raid Shelter, the “time travel” offers a series of events and representations that will leave you with the best of impressions. And as for the kids? The only certainty is that they are going to love it, as the change of settings and the space’s vibrancy will not leave them bored even for a moment. Finally, in order to spare yourselves its expensive ticket, make sure you get the Vienna Pass.

Important: They offer tours in 10 languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian, Hungarian, Polish, Czech, Russian, Japanese and Chinese)

Suggested visit time: 50 minutes
Open: Every day 10:00-20:00 (Entrance every 20 minutes. Last entrance 19:00).
Cost: Adults 19.5€, Students-Retirees 17.5€, Children 5-14 years old 15.5€, Children >5 years old Free. Free with the Vienna Pass.

 The know-it-all says: Every year, more than 400 dance events take place (about 2,000 hours of dancing)!

Naschmarkt

The Naschmarkt is the largest street market and one of our favorite places in Vienna. It is about 1.5 kilometers long and attracts large numbers of locals for their daily shopping. But the things that make it special, to all ages, are the Art Nouveau atmosphere, the countless stands and the cafés and restaurants that form an amalgam of a street market and a resting area. The market is divided in three rows of shops. In the first one you will find restaurants, fast-food shops and bars, while the other two host 150 shops with fruit, vegetables, cured meat products, olives, cheeses, dry nuts, spices and dozens of local products. Here you will also find the cheapest souvenir shops of the city. Read our Tips!

Suggested visit time: 40 minutes-1.5 hours
Open: Monday-Friday 06:00-19:30 & Saturday 06:00-18:00 (Cafés and restaurants open until late). Closed: Sunday.
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: The residents say that whatever you can’t find in Naschmarkt, you don’t need!

Rathaus

The Rathaus is one of the most beautiful neo-gothic buildings in Europe and maybe the most beautiful in Vienna. Its size, sophisticated architecture and the free tour render it very attractive as a site with high visitor rates. Through the tour you get the chance to admire the wonderful view of the square, as well as see the rooms of the council, senate, functions, weapons etc. In front of Vienna’s City Hall you see the vast square, where every season dozens of events, concerts, festivals and happenings take place. Of course, the best season is that of the Christmas holidays, when it is lit and decorated, while the dozens of markets offer the visitors vividness and tasteful delights.

Note: If you would like to learn more about the free tours, visit the Tips.

Suggested visit time: 50 minutes-1.5 hours
Open: Tours every Monday-Wednesday & Friday 13:00, Apart from Meetings, Public and other Holidays.
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: It has 1,575 rooms!

Prater Park

The once imperial hunting area has been turned into a place of recreation and entertainment for the young and the old. The Prater Park is divided into an entertainment area and a recreational area. The entertainment Prater has about 250 games/activities, including bumper cars, flight simulators, the modern train and many more. The old-fashioned style makes it seem as an amusement park from a previous era, while the absolute must is the spinning wheel (something like the London Eye). The “green Prater” on the other hand is a piece of heaven for those who love nature and rest, with dozens of trails for walkers, bikers and horse-riders. In order to get a full picture of the lush green oasis, prefer the ride on the Liliputbahn train. Finally, it is worth mentioning that in the park there are more than 60 restaurants, cafés, ice-cream shops, stands etc.

Suggested visit time: 2-3 hours
Open: Every day March 15th – October 31st 09:30-23:00. (The rest of the year it is under-utilized and many attractions are closed. Get informed about the schedule.
Cost: Park Free, Green Prater Free, Wheel 10€ for Adults & 4.5€ for Children, Madame Tussauds 17€ for Adults & 14€ for Children, Other attractions/activities 2-5€ each. Some of them Free with the Vienna Pass.

 The know-it-all says: It is four times larger than London’s Hyde Park and two times the size of New York’s Central Park!

Albertina Museum

The next suggestion comes from the world of art. The newly-renovated Albertina Museum is in the city center and hosts more than 50,000 paintings and around 1,000,000 prints! The four-story, once imperial palace, has 50 halls, in which you have the chance to admire artworks of Picasso, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin and other great artists. It is labeled as a multi-dimensional museum, as it has the ability to cover the tastes of most visitors, through the exhibits of contemporary, classical art and photography. When leaving, do not forget to try a delicious sausage from the stand that you will find next to the entrance. So much art opens the appetite.

Suggested visit time: 1.5-2 hours
Open: Every day 10:00-18:00 & Wednesday and Friday 10:00-21:00.
Cost: Adults 13€, Retirees 10€, Students 8.5€, Children >19 years old Free. Free with the Vienna Pass.

 The know-it-all says: Originally, there were 200,000 prints and 14,000 paintings in the museum’s collection!


Travelen.eu is regularly updated on ticket costs and operating hours, but you should always visit your choice of destination’s official site for confirmation.