Things to do in
Vienna

Immerse yourself in historic opulence, exquisite architecture, and some of Europe’s coziest cafes.

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Our most recommended things to do in Vienna

Vienna: Classical Concert in St. Anne's Church

1. Vienna: Classical Concert in St. Anne's Church

Enjoy a concert by a string quartet of musicians who perform in renowned Viennese orchestras. The programs include works by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, and other composers associated with the Viennese Classic. St. Anne's Church, the concert venue, is located in the heart of Vienna and is considered an architectural masterpiece with splendid acoustics and Baroque ambiance. • Schubert, Haydn, and Beethoven October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 November 6, 13, 20 December 23, 26, 28, 30 January 4, 5, 6, 8, 15, 22, 29 February 5, 12, 19, 26 March 5, 12, 19, 26 • Haydn and Schubert October 12, 19, 26 November 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 December 7, 14, 21 January 11, 18, 25 February 1, 8, 15, 22 March 1, 8, 15, 22 • Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Beethoven October 7, 14, 21, 28 November 4, 11, 18, 25 December 2, 9, 16, 22, 25, 27, 29 January 1, 2, 3, 13, 20, 27 February 3, 10, 17, 24 March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 • Haydn, Schubert, and Beethoven October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 November 7, 14, 21 January 9, 16, 23, 30 February 6, 13, 20, 27 March 6, 13, 20, 27

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Vienna: Spanish Riding School Training

2. Vienna: Spanish Riding School Training

Visit the Spanish Riding School of Vienna and observe the horses during their training. In the magnificent setting of the baroque Winter Riding Academy, the training offers an insight into the years of training of the Lipizzaners and their riders. The morning exercise of the horses is accompanied by classical Viennese music. The Training includes relaxation exercises, refining and perfecting movement and strengthening certain muscles. The famous school jumps levade, courbette and capriole, which are shown as part of the performances by the Spanish Riding School, are not practiced on a daily basis and can only sometimes be seen during the morning exercise. The white Lipizzaner stallions are put through their paces by their riders almost every day. The primary objective of the morning exercise is to maintain the horses’ athleticism and health, as well as to build up various muscle groups that are necessary for performing the exercises of the haute école.

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Vienna: Entrance Tickets for Belvedere

3. Vienna: Entrance Tickets for Belvedere

The Belvedere in Vienna is one of the leading museums worldwide. Its famous art collection includes works ranging from the Middle Ages to the present day. The unique complex, with its two palaces, the Upper and Lower Belvedere and extensive gardens, is one of the most stunning Baroque architectural marvels in the world. Highlights include the world's largest collection of Gustav Klimt paintings as well as prominent works from the periods of Viennese Biedermeier, Austrian Baroque, Vienna around 1900, and French Impressionism. Now, for the first time in decades, the museum will once again host large-scale special exhibitions that you can admire on your visit. In the 18th century, the Austrian general Prince Eugene of Savoy commissioned the renowned Baroque architect Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt to build the complex. After the death of Prince Eugene, Empress Maria Theresa acquired the entire complex and transformed the Upper Belvedere into an exhibition venue for the imperial collections – making it one of the first public museums in the world. The Lower Belvedere, formerly the residence of Prince Eugene, is home to illustrious exhibitions. The modern pavilion of the Belvedere 21, by architect Karl Schwanzer, is a stage for contemporary art. The Baroque gardens of the Belvedere rank among the most beautiful in the world. The main garden is situated between the Lower and the Upper Belvedere and extends over three large terraces. The Belvedere park is also home to the Botanical Garden and the oldest Alpine garden in Europe.

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Vienna: Classical Concert at Mozarthaus

4. Vienna: Classical Concert at Mozarthaus

The Mozart Ensemble Vienna invites you to a moving and unforgettable concert at Mozart's first house in Vienna. Enjoy music from the Viennese Classical Period by the likes of Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Beethoven, and more. The Sala Terrena at Mozarthaus Vienna is located in Vienna’s historic city center, near both St. Stephan’s Cathedral and Hofburg. It was built as part of the monastery of the German Knightly Order in the second half of the 12th century. In 1781, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived in the monastery of the German Order of Knights. He played several concerts in Vienna’s oldest concert hall commissioned by Archbishop Colloredo, an important patron of the Mozart family.

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Vienna State Opera: Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket & Guided Tour

5. Vienna State Opera: Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket & Guided Tour

Explore the Vienna State Opera on this guided tour with skip-the-line entry privileges. Immerse yourself in the Renaissance Revival architecture and intricate designs of the opera house and discover many things that remain hidden from the typical evening audience. Arrive at the opera house and enjoy a streamlined entry process by simply showing your confirmation voucher. Meet your guide and start your journey through the building.  From the foyer, take the grand staircase to the state rooms (the tea salon, Marble Hall, Schwind Foyer, Gustav Mahler Hall) before reaching the auditorium.  Stop and take a look at the stage where many famous musicians, dancers, and artists have stood. As you explore, hear facts about the building’s history and its architecture, and learn how an opera house is run.

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Performance Of The Lipizzans At Spanish Riding School

6. Performance Of The Lipizzans At Spanish Riding School

Enjoy the Ballet of the White Stallions at the unique, baroque Winter Riding School at Hofburg Palace, built under Charles VI. These performances are the result of years of training for the rider and their Lipizzans. The Spanish riding school is the only institution in the world which has practiced classical equitation in the Renaissance tradition of the Haute Ecole for more than 450 years. From the young, boisterous stallions to the fully trained School Stallions, they enchant the audience with their performance of breathtaking excercises such as caprioles, Levade and many more. The physique and grace of Lipizzans are ideally suited to the High School of Classical Horsemanship. They are Europe's oldest horse breed. The exercise and preservation of the High School of Classical Horsemanship are some of the core tasks carried out by the Spanish Riding School which is inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. A particularly atmospheric lighting concept was developed by renowned multimedia artist André Heller for the performances in the most beautiful riding arena in the world. This atmosphere and the accompanying classical Viennese music make the wonderful presentation by the rider and their Lipizzans even more enjoyable. The 1.5-hour Gala Performance includes live moderation, the Standard Performance is 70 minutes long, and the Tribute to Vienna performance lasts for 2 hours.

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Vienna Concert: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in Karlskirche

7. Vienna Concert: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in Karlskirche

Experience Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, a masterpiece of classical music. Visit Vienna’s Karlskirche and listen to the concertos of a string quartet and basso continuo. The performance by Orchestra 1756, a classical period instrument ensemble, makes this concert extraordinary. Enjoy a journey through time with this evening concert and experience unforgettable moments with historical sounds. The Four Seasons includes four of twelve revolutionary violin concertos that interpret each seasons of the year. Four sonnets are the inspiration of this masterpiece that takes you into a world of sound, with thunder and lightning, cracking ice and birdsong, a sleeping shepherd boy, hunting parties, and many other places. Program: Le quattro stagioni – The Four Seasons Spring, Op. 8 Nr. 1 Summer, Op. 8 Nr. 2 Autumn, Op. 8 Nr. 3 Winter, Op. 8 Nr. 4 Works by W. A. Mozart, J. S. Bach, H. I. F Biber, and other major composers.

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Vienna: 1-Hour Boat Tour on the Danube Canal

8. Vienna: 1-Hour Boat Tour on the Danube Canal

Embark on a boat trip along the Danube Canal through the historical and modern city of Vienna. Once known as the “Vienna Water,” the “Vienna Arm," and the “Little Danube," this route of today’s Danube Canal was the main arm of the Danube in the Middle Ages. On this tour, see important buildings including the Uniqa Tower, the Urania Observatory, hotels and commercial buildings by Jean Nouvel, and the Media Tower by Hans Hollein. Take a look at the Schützenhaus by Otto Wagner, the Ringturm, the Rossauer Barracks, and the waste incineration plant of Spttelau designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Below the lock, the boat turns around and heads back to the starting point. Let the new Vienna and its countless graffiti art pieces and trendy areas enchant you as they pass by.

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Vienna City Card: Discounts and Public Transport

9. Vienna City Card: Discounts and Public Transport

With the Vienna City Card, you can go anywhere in Austria's beautiful capital city. Just validate your pass at the nearest ticket machine and head out on your way! Upon validation, you'll have 24, 48 or 72 hours to explore the entire city with free and unlimited access to public transportation, including the metro, trams, regional trains, buses, and night buses (zone 100). The Vienna City Card also lets you visit some of the city's most important sights. Get discounts at plenty of Vienna's museums, exhibitions, theatres, concerts, shops, cafés, restaurants, and wine taverns. Vienna is waiting for you! You can learn about all the details and discounts from the digital city guide for Vienna. The app is available for download on the Google Play and Apple App Store. If you're traveling with your family, you're in luck as one child under the age of 15 travels free with each city card holder. Get discounts for countless museums, attractions, theaters, shops, and restaurants with the Vienna City Card. Please see the app "ivie - Your Personal City Guide" for full information about all the discounts you can get with your card. 

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Vienna: Skip-the-Line Giant Ferris Wheel Ride

10. Vienna: Skip-the-Line Giant Ferris Wheel Ride

Experience a ride on the famous Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel, a landmark of the Austrian capital and a symbol for the world-famous Wiener Prater. With its iconic silhouette, the Giant Ferris Wheel is a must-see attraction for all visitors to Vienna. A ride on the Wheel is just as important to a visit to Vienna as the Schönbrunn Palace, St. Stephen's Cathedral, or the Spanish Riding School. A ride on this significant and fascinating structure provides spectacular views over the whole city. The Giant Ferris Wheel is a true cultural and architectural highlight for any guest in the city: you haven't really visited Vienna until you've taken a ride on the Giant Ferris Wheel and marveled at the breathtaking views over the roofs of Vienna! The Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel rotates at a speed of 2.7 kilometers per hour. A complete rotation takes just over 4 minutes, but only when the Ferris wheel has not stopped to let passengers on or off. More commonly, a ride takes between 12 and 15 minutes, during which time you can enjoy picturesque views over Vienna and the surrounding area, such as the hills of the Vienna Woods, the Danube, the Marchfeld, and the Pannonian Basin. The Giant Ferris Wheel has even more to offer, from rides in traditional Ferris wheel carts to small parties, press conferences, or even romantic dinners for two in the luxury carts. In addition, the newly built “Panorama” offers a retrospective of the history and stories of Vienna’s past 2,000 years. Guests can also experience the historic city of Vienna up close in the replicated Ferris wheel carts.

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Frequently asked questions about Vienna

What top attractions are a must-see in Vienna?

Planning Your Visit

  • How many days?

    You could see the sights of Vienna in three or four days but, if you can, it's worth booking longer in order to fully experience its exhibitions, concerts, and highbrow cultural life!

  • How to get around?

    Vienna's public transport network is excellent. With buses, trams, trains, and relatively new metro lines, hiring a car will be more hassle than it's worth! Taxis are affordable and the city's bicycle friendly too, so consider renting two wheels for your stay if you've got the legs for it!

Good to know

  • Language
    German
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +43
  • Best time to visit
    Any time of the year!

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Vienna

TravelAndDestinations is a content resource providing useful tips and inspiration for travellers. You’ll find content for destinations all over the world, including the best places to visit, top photography spots, activities and experiences to enjoy whilst there and much more. The website was created by photographer and traveller Mike from London and he spends much of his time working on the site to make it as helpful as possible for other travellers. To read more about visiting Vienna look here.

What should I do on my first trip to Vienna?

When you first visit Vienna we’d highly recommend you walk around and explore the Innere Stadt which is the central 1st district of Vienna. This will give you a great taste of what the city is like, as you’ll be walking amongst its impressive and historic architecture, as well as classic coffee shops and restaurants. It can also be particularly nice and pretty at night.

You should also be sure to visit some of the palaces such as the Belvedere and Schonbrunn, see Hundertwasserhaus and Rathaus (the city hall). If you’re visiting in the summer then also swim in the outdoor pools, and if you’re visiting in the winter then enjoy skating at Rathaus.

What are some hidden gems to see in Vienna?

There are several pretty churches that are lesser-known in the city but are particularly nice to see and come with stunning interiors. From the outside, you’d never know what they were hiding on the inside. Two that we’d recommend you see include Santa María Rotonda and Jesuitenkirche (seen below).

We’d also say visiting a heurige which is a hidden gem. This is a quintessential Viennese experience where you can dine on good food and delicious local or homemade wine.

Finally, be sure to have a walk through the Ferstel Arcade, a beautiful passageway located in the first district and fairly close to Rathaus (the city hall).

How much time should I spend in Vienna?

Two to three days would be a good amount of time to visit Vienna and allow you to see many of the highlights around the city. With that time you’d be able to visit some of the famous palaces such as Schonbrunn and Belvedere, enjoy some of the nightlife activities on offer and get a good feel for what the city is like.

If you did want to spend longer in Vienna, such as up to a week, then this would be great opportunity to enjoy some of the lesser-known activities that are available. You’d also have time to go on some day trips such as Wachau Valley, or even visit some nearby cities such as Bratislava or Prague

What food is Vienna known for?

Vienna is a great city to enjoy classic schnitzel which is flattened pork or veal covered in breadcrumbs and normally comes with a potato salad. A few other top dishes to try include spatzle which is a bit like macaroni cheese, as well as Sachertorte, a delicious rich chocolate cake, and of course Apple strudel.

Coffee shops are also a popular and traditional experience in the city. Here you can enjoy a classic Wiener Melange (espresso with milk foam and steamed milk) along with a tasty cake. You’ll find these all over the city, and a few worth checking out include Café Central, Demel, and Café Ritter.

What is the best way to get around Vienna?

Vienna’s public transport is great, it covers all the major areas of the city and includes a subway that is fast and efficient, as well as trams and buses. If you’re staying close to a subway station outside of the 1st district you’ll still likely be able to get into Stephandsom (centre of the city) in less than half an hour.

A travel pass for the subway in Vienna is also very cheap at only €8 per day (at the time of writing), or you can get 48-hours, 72-hours, week and month passes as well. Of course, it’s also possible to pay as you go if you like as well.

We’d recommend getting on a tram a few times as well during your visit, these travel various routes around the city, including around the entire first district in a circle (also check out the Ring Tram Tours for a fun experience).

What are the best months to visit Vienna?

Vienna has various attractions which are better to visit at different times throughout the year.

We’d recommend visiting during the late spring and summer months (May-September) for outdoors experiences, such as exploring the Schonbrunn Gardens, lounging at the beaches (artificial), hiking in Kahlenberg, maybe even heading to some of the outdoor pools.

Autumn is also a nice time to visit (late Sept to early Nov), where you could visit some of the parks and enjoy the autumnal colours all around. The Schonbrunn and Kahlenberg (hill north of the city) is particularly nice during this time.

Finally around Christmas is one of our favourites times to be Vienna, as the city comes alive with wonderful lights, decorations, markets and the perfect festive atmosphere.

What are the best neighborhoods to visit in Vienna?

Vienna is split into different districts with the 1st district (postcode 1010) being the most central. This is where you’ll find Stephansdom (a historic church in the centre of the city), as well as many of the stunning streets that are quintessential of Vienna.

You could also consider staying around Prater (where their theme park is as well as a large park). One of our favourite neighbourhoods in Vienna is the 7th district (1070) which is where you’ll find some great restaurants as well as the main shopping street Mariahilfer Strasse.


What are the best neighborhoods for food?

When living in Vienna I was particularly fond of the 7th district as there are tons of great places to eat and also shop (see below). Of course, the 1st district (Innere Stadt) has endless opportunities as well.

One thing we will say is that you really need to book restaurants in advance in Vienna as it’s not that easy to just walk into the best restaurants. You may have luck but you will be pushing it a bit.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

There are several major shopping streets in Vienna where you’ll find a great variety of shops available from major well-known brands to more boutique outlets. Some of the streets we’d recommend include Mariahilfer Strasse, Graben and Kärntner Strasse.

You could also visit Naschmarkt which is a great market and very central where you can buy sweets and other merchandise. Naschmarkt is also a short walk from Karlskirche which is another very impressive church in the city.


What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Vienna?

The good thing about Vienna is that it is small, affordable and well connected. It would definitely be worth trying to stay around the Inner Stadt (1st district) as you’ll be able to walk to many of the main attractions (or take the subway a few stops). A few hotels we’re particularly fond of include 25-Hours Hotel, or for the ultimate experience then consider staying in the Vienna Imperial Hotel where royals, presidents and famous people have previously stayed.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Vienna?

A ring tram tour is quite fun for the kids, and these aren’t too long either so the kids shouldn’t get bored. You could also take them to the Museum of Natural History (Naturhistorisches Museum Wien), Haus des Meeres (aquarium) or the very cool Museum of Illusions. Another very fun activity would be to visit Prater Park which comes with rollercoasters, bumper cars and lots of other rides for families to enjoy.

If you’re visiting during the summer the swimming pools and beaches are great for families and kids. This is a great way to spend a warm summers day.

What is the best thing to do in Vienna for solo travelers?

If you’re visiting Vienna on your own then we’d recommend going on some tours – such as a walking, bike, segway tour or something else. These will help you learn more about the city and you may even make a few friends along the way.

You could also join some fun social events where you may get to meet other travellers and have a fun time out. If you’re staying in a hostel then you should find loads of great options available.

What is the best thing to do in Vienna for couples?

Vienna is a very romantic city (we’d say equal to Paris), and a walk at night around the cobbled and pretty streets of the 1st district is a dreamy experience. You can also find some great restaurants to enjoy a more fancy dinner such as at Restaurant Motto am Fluss, or for a very special experience book yourself a ride on the Wiener Riesenrad (Ferris wheel seen below).

A few other nice activities to do with your other half includes going for a bike or scooter ride along the canal, enjoying a nice boat cruise along the Danube Canal, or relaxing together whilst visiting the Danube Valley.

What are the best annual events in Vienna?

Christmas is a particularly special time in Vienna with the Christmas markets and is a top time to be visiting the city. During this time you’ll find stunning decorations around the city, as well as market stalls.

There are also other fantastic events including Donauinselfest, Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert, Ball Season (winter), skating at Rathaus, the Rathausplatz Film Festival to name a few things worth seeing.

What are the best things to do around Vienna?

For sure when visiting Vienna we’d recommend heading up Stephandsom for views of the city, exploring the Schonbrunn Gardens and also visiting the interior if you fancy. Be sure to explore the 1st district and wander along the Graben, down Kohlmarkt and then across towards Rathaus (city hall).

We’d also recommend having lunch or dinner in a heurige which are traditional wineries. If you have time then go hiking in Kahlenberg and the vineyards.

What are the best beaches around Vienna?

There are several artificial beaches located around Vienna as well as outdoor pools. These are perfect for the summer and lounging around.

You’ll find various beaches with deck chairs all along the Danube Canals with one of our favourites being Strandbar Herrmann. These are more for relaxing with a cold drink and socialising rather than swimming and sunbathing.

For outdoor pools and beaches where you could swim one of the most convenient is spots is near Alte Donau. Here you can swim in the lake, relax on the sand, or just swim in the outdoor pools if you prefer. These typically come with a fee to get in though, but it’s generally not much.

There is also another pool at the Schonbrunn which is almost a hidden gem that locals would generally know about but it’s unlikely many visitors would. This pool is a little on the pricier side though.

Other Sightseeing Options in Vienna

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What people are saying about Vienna

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 35,107 reviews

Very kind and well informed guide. Maybe it is more interesting if you attend a training course of the horses and not just a guided tour inside the stables.

Lisa Marie was amazing!! Such a fascinating, inspiring and enjoyable tour. Highly recommend.

Small romantic place that Mozart used play music! Wonderful and talented musicians

Excellent trip down memory lane of Vienna’s history and enjoyed the same a lot

Excellent performance, four talented people offered an enjoyable evening.