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The Top 10 Things To Do and See in Vienna

The Top 10 Things To Do and See in Vienna

Picture of Ricarda Reininger
Updated: 9 February 2017
Vienna, the capital city of Austria, is one of the world’s foremost cultural capitals. The city has a lot to offer, for lovers of history and culture, foodies or those after a vibrant nightlife. Here we will show you the top things to do and see to make sure that you have an unique time in Vienna.

Ringstrasse Tour

Vienna’s most important buildings along an historical street

In the 13th century, Vienna was walled to defend this area that now comprises the first district of Vienna. After the First Siege by the Ottoman Turks in 1529, it was extended and a glacis (a defensive slope) was built around the walls. But over time it lost its significance and became old-fashioned. In the 18th century, the glacis served as recreation area, as Emperor Franz Joseph II commissioned the regeneration of this area by cultivating plants, installing street lamps and building walkways and roads. Today this former glacis, is called the Ringstrasse, and its surrounds the city center of Vienna, leading along several historical and the most important buildings of the Vienna.

Ring, Vienna, Austria

Spanische Hofreitschule

A 450 year old riding school

Originally this riding institution served to train of the riders of the royal family. Today, the Spanische Hofreitschule is the only institution in the world which practices classical equitation in the Renaissance tradition. It has been in existence for approximately 450 years, and the style of the uniform of the riders is nearly unchanged since the beginning. Only Lipizzaner horses, which are bred at the federal stud Piber in the Austrian province of Styria, are trained here.

Michaelerplatz 1, Vienna, Austria

Vienna’s Museums

A huge variety of museums

Vienna is a popular place which serves as recreation area, a place to enjoy culinary delights, and the city also offers a lot of cultural activities. A huge bonus of Vienna is the diversity of the city’s museums. Visitors will find there historical museums like the Natural History Museum, art galleries like the Belvedere, the Albertina, as well as the House of Music and the Museum of Technology, covering everything you can imagine and more. Definitely, you have to visit at least one or two of Vienna’s exciting museums.

The Imperial Crypt

Resting place of the imperial family

The Imperial Crypt is located in the inner city of Vienna, and, along with its church, was finished in 1632. It is the resting place of the family of Habsburg and Habsburg-Lothringen, and its building was commissioned by Ferdinand II in 1622. During a visit in this crypt you will find buried only members of the royal family with one exception, Countess Fuchs-Mollard, the nanny of Empress Maria-Theresia, as she was appreciated by the Empress and her husband.

Tegetthoffstraße 2, Vienna, Austria

Classical Music

Regular classical concerts

Vienna is famous for its musical history (the city was the birthplace of Strauss), and a must in this beautiful city is to go to a classical concert. These regularly take place in the Konzerthaus, where guests will find national and international musicians and the Musikverein. This is the house of the Viennese Music Society and the place where the New Year’s Concert, with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and one of the best composers of the world, who changes annually, takes place. And for opera lovers, there is the Vienna State Opera, with excellent singers and performances.

Visit a Viennese Coffeehouse

A core part of Viennese history and culture

No visit in Vienna is complete without drinking a coffee in one of the traditional coffeehouses. The legend says, that Viennese people found some sacks filled with coffee at the time of the freeing of the Second Siege of the Ottomans (1529), and that the first coffeehouse was opened in 1685. It proved popular among the city’s inhabitants, and the Viennese coffee house culture grew quickly. The typical attraction of these coffeehouses is the architecture and history, and many famous writers and artists were known to frequent them. After ordering a coffee, these writers, artists and philosophers stayed for many hours, debating, reading the newspaper or writing, and this resulted in the city’s coffeehouse literature.

Vienna Prater

Amusement park and nature area

If you are talking about the Vienna Prater, everybody thinks about the amusement park, which is just a small part of what is a big area in the second district of Vienna. The entertainment park offers a lot of activities, like rollercoasters, ghost trains, carrousels and many more, which attract young and old people. This area is perfect for a day trip with action, eating in a restaurant and relaxing in the nearby nature.

Prater, Vienna, Austria

Schönbrunn Zoo

Oldest existing zoo in the world

Franz Stephan von Lothringen, later Emperor Franz I of the Holy Roman Empire, a member of the house of Habsburg, commissioned to build a menagerie in 1745. About one and a half year later it was staffed with animals for the first time, and by and by this park grew until its opening in the year 1752. Today, we know it as the world’s oldest existing zoo that is still open. The ensemble of Schönbrunn Palace, Park and Zoo was declared as UNESCO-World Heritage Site in 1996, and in 2011 it was elected as the best zoo of Europe.

Opening hours: from 9am daily; times vary, so check the website.

Maxingstraße 13b, Vienna, Austria

Vienna Central Cemetery

Europe’s biggest cemetery complex

The Vienna Central Cemetery opened in 1874 and is one of the biggest cemeteries in Europe. It is a popularly visited place by locals and tourists, who take advantage of the guided tours around this area. The special thing about this cemetery is that it is a place for all religions, and people from all walks of life and ages. Visitors will find there graves of prominent people and also the famous pet cemetery. But, the Vienna Central Cemetery is not just a cemetery, it is also an important area for different plants and animals, like birds.

Opening hours: 7am-7pm daily

Simmeringer Hauptstraße 234, Vienna, Austria

Vienna International Center

Building complex with a beautiful nearby park

The Vienna International Center is a building complex that opened in 1979, and is where several international organizations are housed. The most important and famous of these organizations is the United Nations Organisation (UNO). The VIC offers guided tours through the buildings, and is the perfect place for those interested in politics. But also the surroundings are very interesting. Nearby, visitors will find the beautiful Danube Park and the Danube Tower. There, visitors can relax – for children there are a lot of playgrounds, and up the tower there is a fascinating view over Vienna and its surroundings.

Wagramer Strasse 5, Vienna, Austria