Vienna Sights – Top 10 – Travel Tips Austria

Vienna is the largest city in Austria and offers the largest selection of top 10 Vienna sights and travel tips. Not only the city center of Vienna offers beautiful Vienna sights, but also many of the top 10 travel tips for tourists and visitors to Vienna can be found outside....

Vienna Sights – Top 10 – Travel Tips Austria

Vienna Sights – Top 10 – Travel Tips Austria

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)

Vienna is the largest city in Austria and offers the largest selection of top 10 Vienna sights and travel tips. Not only the city center of Vienna offers beautiful Vienna sights, but also many of the top 10 travel tips for tourists and visitors to Vienna can be found outside. So which sights exactly make it onto my top 10 list of Vienna sights?

Facts and travel tips

A quarter of Austria’s total population live in the greater Vienna area, namely 2.6 million people. This may be due to the high quality of life that Vienna is said to offer. Vienna’s landmarks are St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Giant Ferris Wheel in the Prater. This automatically puts these two points on my Vienna sightseeing top 10 travel tips.

Vienna is called Vienna because the river Wien (which can be seen, for example, in the Stadtpark or along the B1) flows into the Danube here. The Roman settlement in today’s city area was called Vindobona. Internationally, Vienna is known as Vienna.

Wien Sehenswürdigkeiten - Top 10 Reisetipps für Wien, Österreich - Stephansdom, Naschmarkt, Oper, Rathaus

Vienna top 10 sights

Stephansdom Kirche – St. Stephen’s Cathedral Church

St. Stephen’s Cathedral is THE landmark of Vienna. St. Stephen’s Cathedral, also known as Steffl, has stood on Stephansplatz since 1160. At that time, no building was allowed to be built higher than the south tower of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The two front pagan towers are around 65 meters high. The north tower has not yet been completed and is only 68 meters high.

The south tower is a proud 137 meters high and can be climbed to a height of 72 meters up to the Türmerstube with 343 steps and an entrance fee of EUR 4.00. St. Stephen’s Cathedral was “gothicized” at sunrise on 26.12.1137. In addition to the towers, the roof of St. Stephen’s Cathedral is very striking. Countless roof tiles in ten different colors create a zigzag pattern.

Perhaps you will notice the two metal bars on the main gate? These were used to measure the length of the Tuchelle and Leinenelle at the time. If you are in Vienna, you should definitely visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral and marvel at the baroque interior or light a candle. Not far from St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the hidden but equally pompous St. Peter’s Church.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral exudes a beautiful atmosphere, especially in winter, which is why Vienna’s oldest attraction is one of my top 10 Vienna sights.

Weihnachtsmarkt Schloss Schönbrunn Wien, Österreich - Abendstimmung - Sehenswürdigkeiten

Schönbrunn Palace – Romantic Vienna

Schönbrunn Palace is located outside the 13th district and is Austria’s top 1 tourist attraction in Vienna. The name Schönbrunn is said to have been given to Emperor Matthias in 1619 due to a “beautiful” artesian “fountain”. Schönbrunn Palace was once the summer residence of the Austrian imperial family.

The rococo palace was completed in 1699. At the time, the aim was to surpass the Palace of Versailles, but this was not financially feasible. Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart could later be heard in the palace theater.

Today there are 1441 rooms in Schönbrunn Palace, most of which are museums. However, part of the palace is also rented out as apartments to private individuals. You can enter the palace for an entrance fee of EUR 11.50.

The Crown Prince Garden (EUR 3.00), maze (EUR 4.50) or guided tours can be booked as required. Also worth seeing is the most famous Gloriette in the garden. In winter, one of Vienna’s most beautiful Christmas markets is held here on Schlossplatz. The top 1 sights in Vienna, not only in terms of visitor numbers.

Schönbrunn Zoo

The 160-hectare park of Schönbrunn Palace has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site alongside the palace since 1996 and contains the oldest zoo in the world, Schönbrunn Zoo. For an entrance fee of EUR 16.50 you can visit the 16-hectare zoo grounds. The zoo was opened by the Habsburgs in 1752.

The first elephant moved in in 1770, the first polar bears in 1800 and the first giraffe in 1828. This had a strong influence on the Viennese fashion world. The entire Schönbrunn complex attracts around 8 million visitors a year, making it one of Vienna’s top sights.

Wien Sehenswürdigkeiten - Top 10 Reisetipps für Wien, Österreich - Stephansdom, Naschmarkt, Oper, Rathaus

Schloss Belvedere – Belvedere Palace

After Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna has another beautiful palace in the city area – Belvedere Palace. Belvedere means “beautiful view” and this is what you get from the Upper Belvedere. Upper Belvedere? Exactly, it is actually two baroque palaces that were built for Prince Eugene of Savoy.

The Upper Belvedere is situated on a slight hill (23 meters difference) and was completed in 1723, the Lower Belvedere in 1716. Early art collections were kept here and the rooms are still used for exhibitions today (entrance fee for the Upper Belvedere EUR 12.50 / Lower Belvedere EUR 11.00 / all four buildings EUR 30.00).

There are 12 fountains and many sculptures in the palace garden that accompany the ascent from the underworld to Olympus. The garden has been open to the public since 1870. When I have time during my stay in Vienna, I enjoy exploring the large gardens.

In winter, the wind in the garden can sometimes be icy, but there is a lovely Christmas market behind the upper Belvedere. For me, the Belvedere Palace is one of the top Vienna sights because of the beauty of the buildings and the garden.

Hofburg Palace – Traditional Vienna

The baroque Hofburg was opened in 1279 and was the residence of the Habsburgs in Vienna. Since 1945, the Hofburg has been the official residence of the Austrian Federal President. It is also home to the Austrian National Library and various museums, including the Albertina (an art museum with graphic art collections from around the world).

The Hofburg consists of many different buildings that are connected to each other and were partly built in different eras. The following are the wings of the Hofburg:

  • A Swiss wing, in which the treasury is located
  • A Hofburg Chapel
  • The Stallburg, where the Spanish Riding School is located
  • The Amalienburg, where the Chancellery Ministers and State Secretaries reside today
  • The Leopoldine Wing houses the offices of the Federal President
  • The Imperial Chancellery Wing
  • The Court Library
  • The Augustinertrakt, with the Albertina Museum
  • The Redoutensaal Wing
  • The Michaelertrakt with its beautiful passageway, bronze dome and two fountains
  • The Ceremonial Hall Wing
  • The beautiful New Castle with monumental equestrian statues (Prince Eugene of Savoy and Archduke Charles) on Heldenplatz
  • The ceremonial hall wing (used as a congress center and in 1967 for the Eurovision Song Contest)
  • The Burggarten with palm house and butterfly house

The Vienna Sissi Museum, the Imperial Apartments and the Imperial Silver Collection located in the Hofburg can be visited for EUR 11.50.

Wien Sehenswürdigkeiten - Top 10 Reisetipps für Wien, Österreich - Stephansdom, Naschmarkt, Oper, Rathaus

Karlskirche – St. Charles Church

The next of Vienna’s sights can be found on Karlsplatz. The Karlskirche is immediately noticeable due to its two columns. The columns are modeled on Trajan’s Column in Rome. The baroque Roman Catholic church was opened in 1737. Emperor Charles VI commissioned the church for plague healer Charles Borromeo in order to avert the plague from the city of Vienna.

The vestibule is reminiscent of a Roman temple. Inside, the generously dimensioned spiral staircases are striking, similar to the Belvedere in the Vatican. The entrance fee to the Karlskirche is EUR 8.00 – but this amount already includes the panorama lift. This brings visitors very close to the frescoes in the dome.

Due to the overall appearance of the church, the lift was only available from 2003-2005. For church lovers, this attraction is one of the top Vienna sights.

Vienna State Opera – Classical Vienna

One of the most famous opera houses in the world was opened in 1869 after eight years of construction with the premiere of “Don Giovanni” by Mozart. Today there is an opera performance almost every day.

The Vienna State Opera has 1,709 seats and a total of 567 standing places. The inexpensive standing tickets in particular (EUR 13.00), which can be purchased shortly before the performance, have a regular clientele. This is where you hear the most booing and the loudest applause.

The Vienna Opera Ball takes place here once a year during the carnival season and attracts many celebrities in beautiful ball gowns to the Vienna State Opera. The entrance fee starts at EUR 250.00 – if you are lucky you can attend the dress rehearsal for less.

The entrance fee for a guided tour of the Vienna State Opera is EUR 7.50. A beautiful opera house on the Opernring, which for me is one of the top 10 sights in Vienna.

Wien Sehenswürdigkeiten - Top 10 Reisetipps für Wien, Österreich - Stephansdom, Naschmarkt, Oper, Rathaus

Museumsquartier and Kunsthistorisches Museum

Not far from the Neue Burg of the Hofburg, on the other side of the Burgring, you will find Maria-Theresien-Platz with the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Museumsquartier. The Kunsthistorisches Museum was supposed to be connected to the Hofburg with large arches, but this building project was never completed.

Since its opening in 1891, the Kunsthistorisches Museum (KHM) has housed a picture gallery and collection of antiquities, an Egyptian-Oriental collection, the Kunstkammer, a coin cabinet and the library. For an entrance fee of EUR 14.00, you can view this collection as well as the collection in the Neue Burg (Ephesus Museum, Collection of Ancient Musical Instruments, Court Hunting and Armory Chamber).

Opposite the Kunsthistorisches Museum is the Naturhistorisches Museum (NHM). For an entrance fee of EUR 10.00, you can enter the most important natural history museum in the world, which opened in 1889. Here visitors can see collections from the departments of anthropology with an X-ray collection, botany, geology, palaeontology, speleology, mineralogy with a meteorite collection, ecology, prehistory, vertebrates, insects and invertebrates.

If you continue to the Museumsquartier (MQ), you will find other Vienna sights, including the Leopold Museum, the Kunsthalle Wien and the MUMOK (Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation). The Leopold Museum, which opened in 2001, contains art by Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt (admission price EUR 12.00). Since opening in 1992, the Kunsthalle Wien has provided space for various changing exhibitions (admission price approx. EUR 8.00).

The eye-catching, gray building is the MUMOK, which opened in 1962. For an entrance fee of EUR 10.00 you get access to 9000 exhibits of modern contemporary art. Art by Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Joseph Beuys, Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein awaits the visitor. If you are interested in art and history, you will feel at home in the various museums in Vienna. Here I would recommend the Vienna Card, which already includes some discounts on the top Vienna sights.

Prater with Giant Ferris Wheel

The Prater is known to many as an important attraction in Vienna. The Prater is actually a large area and floodplain landscape of the Danube. However, many people tend to think of the small part of the Prater, the Wurstelprater or Volksprater, an amusement park with a Ferris wheel at the Praterstern.

The amusement park was built in 1825 with a coffee house and music salon, as well as a bar and bird shooting. In 1900 “Venice in Vienna” was created as a themed world, in 1897 the Ferris wheel was built, in 1928 the Liliputbahn was built and in 1933 the first ghost train. Cinemas were also located here. Other rides have developed in the Prater to this day.

The most famous is still the Ferris wheel made up of 15 wagons (for stability reasons after the war – there used to be 30 wagons). The Giant Ferris Wheel is 65 meters high and the fare is EUR 9.00. The Giant Ferris Wheel is still considered a landmark of Vienna and one of the most important sights in Vienna for this very reason.

For those who want an even higher view over Vienna, the Danube Tower, which opened in 1964, is perhaps the right choice. The total height is 252 meters, with the viewing platform at a height of around 150 meters. Admission to the viewing platform costs EUR 7.40.

Wien Sehenswürdigkeiten - Top 10 Reisetipps für Wien, Österreich - Stephansdom, Naschmarkt, Oper, Rathaus

Ringstraße – Ring Road

The Ringstrasse consists of 9 sections and surrounds the city center of Vienna and thus most of the 1st district. There are numerous important buildings along the Ringstrasse that are well worth seeing. It is a lot of fun to drive along the Ringstrasse, e.g. in search of the right hotel. The city wall used to stand here.

Today, the U2 subway line runs under the Ring. From the Stadtpark to Karlplatz, the Vienna State Opera, the Hofburg, the university, the museums, the parliament, the town hall, the Volksgarten and the Ringturm with its weather lighthouse, to name just a few of the beautiful and important buildings.

Weihnachtsstimmung Schloss Belvedere Wien Österreich - Abendstimmung und Schlosspark

Conclusion – Vienna sights top 10

Vienna is one of the oldest cities in Europe and has many different sights to offer. It is difficult to list only the most important top 10 Vienna sights in Austria here, but I hope my travel tips and background information will help you a little to explore, experience and understand the city during your visit or weekend trip.

It is also particularly nice to stroll through the various shopping streets in the city center, such as Kärntner Straße, Graben and Kohlmarkt. The most important shopping street in Vienna is Mariahilfer Straße at Westbahnhof. The famous Naschmarkt (6th district) is located near Karlsplatz. Since 1902, various foods and goods have been offered here on an elongated market square with around 120 stalls.

On warm days you can relax in the various parks, such as the Stadtpark (Johann Strauss Monument), Burggarten (Goethe Monument, Mozart Memorial Statue), the Danube wetlands, the palace gardens or the Prater.

Those who find walking through the city too strenuous will soon notice the horse-drawn carriages. However, the horse-drawn carriages are not cheap. A short city tour (15 minutes) costs around EUR 55.00 – a longer city tour (55 minutes) costs around EUR 110.00.

In Vienna, the many European tourists in front of the Vienna sights are particularly noticeable in summer during the Danube cruises. In winter, the city seems a little quieter and sleepier, as well as more romantic. Vienna is especially beautiful when snow and Christmas come together.

In addition to all the interesting sights in Vienna, you can get to know and observe the city and the Viennese with their Viennese charm very well in restaurants. You should actually try to eat a Wiener Schnitzel here. The Sacher-Torte in the Hotel Sacher or Cafe Sacher also has its Viennese tradition.

I recently treated myself to a similar Imperial Torte from the Hotel Imperial. Here you can still see and walk up an ancient grand staircase of the hotel (right behind the lobby) and imagine how the carriages used to stop in the lobby – beautiful!

For fans of Austrian Manner waffles, I can recommend the Manner store at St. Stephen’s Cathedral – so much choice! Fans of the American chain TGI Friday’s might be interested to know that there is a TGI restaurant on Schwarzenbergplatz – a rarity for Germans.

Wien Sehenswürdigkeiten - Top 10 Reisetipps für Wien, Österreich - Stephansdom, Naschmarkt, Oper, Rathaus

Coffee specialties in Vienna – other terms and names

For those who love coffee, Vienna is a great city, but you have to know that everything is called differently here – as an “apology” you almost always get a glass of water with it – ok, it’s not an apology, but to neutralize your mouth in advance – very nice. While in Italy you are shocked when you order a coffee and then get an espresso, in Austria you often don’t even know what exactly you are ordering. So be careful when choosing specialty coffees!

  • Schale Braun = a bowl of brown is half coffee, half milk
  • kleiner Brauner = a small brown is a simple mocha with milk or cream
  • großer Brauner = a large brown is a double mocha with coffee cream (whipped cream)
  • großer Schwarzer = a large black (large mocha) is a double mocha in a large bowl
  • kleiner Schwarzer = a small black (small mocha) is a single mocha in a small bowl
  • Melange = is half coffee, half milk
  • Wiener Melange = a Viennese Melange is a Melange with foamed milk in a glass
  • Konsul = is a mocha with a little cream (whipped cream)
  • Piccolo = is a small black coffee with whipped cream
  • Einspänner = is a small mocha in a glass with lots of whipped cream
  • Franziskaner = is a Melange with whipped cream
  • Häferlkaffee = is a coffee in a Häferl (not a normal cup) with a high milk content
  • Intermezzo = is a small mocha with hot chocolate and cocoa
  • Othello = is a hot chocolate with espresso
  • Kapuziner = is a black coffee with a shot of liquid cream (whipped cream)
  • Verlängerter = is a small black coffee topped up with hot water
  • Weißer = a white with skin is a melange (light latte) served with hot milk that forms a skin
  • Zarenkaffee = a tsar’s coffee is a strong espresso with sweetened, bubbled egg yolk
  • Fiaker = is a large mocha in a glass with lots of sugar and rum
  • Kaisermelange = is a mocha with egg yolk (honey and brandy)

I look forward to your additions and insider tips about Vienna and the top 10 Vienna sights. I wish you a perfect vacation, short break, weekend trip or exploratory visit to Vienna.

Believe in yourself, your personal dreams and start your own journey – just for you….

Believe in yourself, your personal dreams and start your own journey – just for you….

Share via

Send this to a friend