The capital of Austria has always played an important role in the different phases of the European history due to it’s location in the center of Europe.
Vienna is a city that relishes its past, and it has the attractions to prove it. Whether you’re interested in the long-reigning Habsburg family, classical music composed by Vienna’s own Mozart, or antiques; this city has enough to keep you entertained for days.
Vienna is an ideal-typical European city similar to Barcelona, London, Milan, Paris or Rome, but unlike the others it is very compact and easy to negotiate. The Austrian capital therefore embraces all the traditions of a European city, from Roman foundations through to Gothic, Baroque and Historicism. Tourists are eager to visit Vienna because of the city’s exciting combination of the royal-imperial flair of the past with the latest trends, the responsible cultivation of a precious heritage and charming traditions.
Most sites are located within the Innere Stadt, such as the Haus der Musik (House of Music) and the MuseumsQuartier. However, even those which are not centrally located, such as Schönbrunn Palace, are easy to reach.
Top 10 Most Popular Attractions in Vienna
1. Schönbrunn Palace
Originally constructed in 1696 as a hunting lodge, Schoenbrunn Palace later became the official Hapsburg summer residence.
Together with the zoological garden the Schönbrunn Palace with the bordering park area belongs very likely to the most popular touristic targets in Vienna. In any case it is one of the most visited sights in Austria.
Schönbrunn Palace, the former summer residence of the imperial family, is one of Europe’s most impressive Baroque palace complexes. The palace and garden complex built here from 1696, after the Turkish occupation, was redesigned from the ground up by Maria Theresia after 1743.
The origin of the history of Schönbrunn lies in a hunting lodge from the 17th century. The plans to build a counterpart to Versailles were never carried out. But they constructed the biggest palace from Austria, which served as an imperial summer residence in Vienna.
The present appearance is mainly influenced through the building activities organized by Empress Maria Theresa in the 18th century. Along with this, several of the well known attractions of the spacious palace gardens came into being. That includes, among others, the Gloriette, the Neptune Fountain, the Roman Ruin and the Obelisk Fountain.
2. St. Stephen’s Cathedral
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the symbol of Vienna. Towering above the streets of the Innere Stadt, this massive cathedral is the true centerpiece of Vienna. St. Stephen’s has stood in this very spot since the early 12th century, but little remains of the original aside from the Riesentor (Giant’s Gate) and the Heidentuerme (Towers of the Heathens).
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is 107.2 meters long and 34.2 meters wide. It has four towers. The tallest of these is the south tower at 136.44 meters. The tower room, from which there is a gigantic view across Vienna, is reached via 343 steps. A total of 13 bells hang here. However, the best-known bell of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Pummerin, is located in the 68.3 meter-tall north tower. It is the second-biggest free-swinging chimed church bell in Europe. On the roof of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, colorful roof tiles were laid to create the Royal and Imperial double-headed eagle and the coat of arms of the city of Vienna. The interior of St. Stephen’s Cathedral was changed again and again over the centuries, right through to the Baroque period.
3. Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum)
The Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum) was built in 1891 near the Imperial Palace to house the extensive collections of the imperial family. The works at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, or Museum of Fine Arts, range from ancient Egyptian and Greek objects to masterpieces by numerous European masters, including Titian, Velasquez, Van Dyke and Rubens. In fact, the collection here is so extensive that it is considered one of the most eminent museums in the world.
Numerous major art works of European art history, among them Raphael’s “Madonna in the Meadow,” Vermeer’s “The Allegory of Painting,” the Infanta paintings by Velazquez, masterworks by Rubens, Rembrandt, Dürer, Titian and Tintoretto are housed in the paintings gallery. The Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection contains fascinating treasures from mysterious cultures long past.
The Museum of Fine Arts — which is sandwiched on the Ringstrasse between the Hofburg Palace and the MuseumsQuartier — is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with extended hours on Thursday evenings.
4. Vienna Opera House
The Vienna Opera House is not only the most impressive building at the Ringstrasse but also a worldwide known opera house. At 1709 seats and 567 standing-rooms the audience can watch daily opera performances, ballet shows, sometimes concerts and one time a year an operetta – that is the -Fledermaus- as traditional New Year’s Eve performance.
Worldwide known are also the Wiener Philharmoniker. Each musician of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is exclusively selected and has to be member of the opera orchestra.
Not less popular is the Vienna Opera Ball, which is visited by VIPs from all over the world, especially artists and popular people from economy and politics. In the Carnival the house transforms into a magnificent ballroom for more than 5000 visitors. Rich flower decorations, the dress code (tailcoat only for man and evening dress for woman is obliged) and the glamorous opening performed by the young ladies and gentlemen make this ball in Vienna to a very important event of the High Society.
Get Around and Things to Do In Vienna
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