Things to do in
Vienna

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

Our most recommended things to do in Vienna

Vienna: Upper Belvedere & Permanent Collection Entry Ticket

1. Vienna: Upper Belvedere & Permanent Collection Entry Ticket

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 of 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 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. Exhibition Highlights: Ongoing: Picture this! The Belvedere Collection from Cranach to EXPORT 9 November 2023 - 11 February 2024: Gustav Klimt Adele Bloch-Bauer II 24 November 2023 - 19 June 2024: Nedko Solakov A Cornered Solo Show #3 (with Charles Esche as my artistic conscience) 19 October 2023 - 14 April 2024: CARLONE CONTEMPORARY: Michail Michailov Dust to Dust 12 April 2024 - 29 September 2024: IN-SIGHT: Franz Anton Maulbertsch 21 February 2025 - 7 September 2025: Gustav Klimt Pigment & Pixel UPPER BELVEDERE RENOVATION For the upcoming facade renovation on the north and west sides of the Upper Belvedere, scaffolding will be erected. Over this, a scaffold net will be stretched, replicating the north and west sides of the exterior facade. The planned works are expected to commence on April 8, 2024. During this time, the entrance area will not be affected in any way. This measure aims for completion by Q4 2024.

Vienna: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Concert in Karlskirche

2. Vienna: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Concert 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 season of the year. Four sonnets are the inspiration for 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 One or two additional parts which are changing from week to week and could be from these composers: Works by W. A. Mozart, J. S. Bach, H. I. F Biber, and other major composers.

Vienna: Skip-the-cashier-desk-line Giant Ferris Wheel Ride

3. Vienna: Skip-the-cashier-desk-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.

Vienna: Schönbrunn Palace & Gardens Skip-the-Line Tour

4. Vienna: Schönbrunn Palace & Gardens Skip-the-Line Tour

Visit the Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens and gain quick access inside this Viennese gem on a guided tour that includes skip-the-line tickets. Follow a licensed guide through lavish interiors, learn about the Habsburgs Royal Family, and explore the ornate palace gardens. Meet your guide in front of the palace and start with an informative introduction to the history of the royal compound. Receive a modern audio device so that you can always hear the tour’s live narration along the way. Benefit from priority entrance tickets and gain quick access inside the palace. Marvel at the grand entrance and begin your guided walk through 22 staterooms of the famous Austrian palace. Admire the 40-meter long Great Gallery and the Hall of Ceremonies and see how the Habsburg Dynasty lived as you stroll through lavish halls and peek into private chambers. Listen to entertaining stories about the former royals, which are infused typical Viennese humor by your local and friendly guide. Learn not only about the fascinating history of the royal family of Habsburgs and the famous Empress Sissi but also about how the palace has evolved in modern times and where the royal descendants now live. Following the tour, enjoy the opportunity to walk around the gardens at your own pace and catch a glimpse of the Gloriette, an arch on top of a hill overlooking Vienna’s forests.

Vienna: Spanish Riding School Training

5. 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.

Vienna: Hallstatt & Alpine Peaks Day Trip with Skywalk Lift

6. Vienna: Hallstatt & Alpine Peaks Day Trip with Skywalk Lift

Explore the stunning region of Salzkammergut, a Unesco World Heritage Site on a guided tour. See the snow-white castle, the beautiful alpine regions, Hallstatt town, and more. Enjoy a convenient pickup directly from your centrally-located Vienna hotel or opt to head to a central meeting point if you're staying at a hotel outside of the pickup area or in other accommodations like an apartment. Board your bus and depart to the stunning region of Salzkammergut. Your first stop is the Schloss Ort, a snow-white castle where countless couples dream of celebrating their weddings. Take the opportunity to snap some photos on its famous wooden bridge. Continue to the heart of the Salzkammergut region, the fabulous town of Hallstatt, set on the shores of an azure-blue lake. Ascend to the Skywalk to enjoy breathtaking views over the town, lake, and mountains. You will have some free time for lunch, or to wander the narrow streets of the town. Admire the unforgettable natural landscape of the area, before continuing to Vienna where your tour will end at the Vienna State Opera.

Vienna: Vivaldi's Four Seasons & Mozart in the Musikverein

7. Vienna: Vivaldi's Four Seasons & Mozart in the Musikverein

Discover a highlight of Vienna's cultural calendar and enjoy an evening of beautiful music at Musikverein in either the Golden Hall or Brahms Hall. Let the music swell around you and hear Mozart, Haydn, and Vivaldi in classical concert. The first part of the concert includes Viennese classical pieces from Mozart and Haydn. The second part consists of Vivaldi’s legendary violin concerto “The Four Seasons,” featuring a string ensemble and Austrian soloists of international renown. You're sure to be charmed by this unique experience. The Golden Hall is famous for the New Year`s Day Concert and its unique acoustics The Brahms Hall is famous for having the best acoustics of all chamber music halls Dates in the Golden Hall in 2024 March 2024: 26. April 2024: 2., 18., 23., 28., 30 May 2024: 14., 21., 23 June 2024: 18., 27., 30. October 3,10,15 November 1,2,13,22,23,27 December 3,5 Dates in the Brahms Hall in 2024 March 2024: 9., 20., 23., 28., 30 April 2024: 4., 9., 14., 21., 25. May 2024: 2., 5., 7., 9., 12., 19., 26., 30. June 2024: 2., 4., 7., 8., 11., 16., 20., 23., 25. October 1 ,8, 17, 22, 24, 27, 29, 31 November 8, 9, 16, 30 December 8, 10, 12, 17, 19

Vienna: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

8. Vienna: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

Hop on a bus and explore Vienna however you wish. This hop-on-hop-off ticket lets you hop on or off the bus as often as you want at any of the stops. Choose between 3 routes, each of which takes you to a different part of Vienna. See the State Opera, the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History), Heldenplatz (Heroes' Square), Parliament or the Burgtheater. Or, be driven to Schönbrunn Palace and Belvedere Palace before visiting the KunstHausWien museum or the UNO City – the choice is yours! Your tour offers 3 different bus routes, which can be combined as you wish (Green Route will operate from Jun on and will be included in the 48h ticket): Red Route Admire the sights along the Ring Road, such as the State Opera, Hofburg Palace, and the Burgtheater. Stops: State Opera - Museum of Art History/Heroes' Square - Mariahilfer Straße/Shopping Street - Burgtheater/CityHall - University - Liebenberg Denkmal/University - Liechtensteinstraße/Sigmund Freud Museum - Votiv Church - Vienna Airport Lines - DDSG City Cruises - MAK/Museum of Applied Arts - City Park - Strauss Monument - State Opera Buses arrive every 10 to 20 min. The duration is 60 min. Mon - Sun, 9:20 AM - 6:30 PM. Yellow Route Discover the famous Schönbrunn Palace, Schwarzenberg Platz, and Belvedere Palace. Stops: State Opera - Westbahnhof/Train Station - Schönbrunn Palace - Main Station - Museum of Contemporary Art - Belvedere Palace - Lower Belvedere - State Opera Buses arrive every 15 to 30 min. The duration is 75 min. Mon - Sun, 9:15 AM - 6:15 PM. The ride from the State Opera to Schönbrunn Palace takes approximately 36 min. Blue Route: Visit the famous "Prater area" where you can get acquainted with all the masterpieces of the Museum of Applied Arts, Museum of Fine Arts or even the Kunsthaus/Hundertwasser Museum. Stops: MAK/Museum of Applied Arts - City Park - Strauss Monument - State Opera - Museum of Art History/Heroes' Square - Mariahilfer Straße/Shopping Street - Burgtheater/CityHall - University - Liebenberg Denkmal/University - Liechtensteinstraße/Sigmund Freud Museum - Votiv Church - Vienna Airport Lines - DDSG City Cruises - Kunst Haus/Museum Hundertwasser - Riesenrad/Giant Ferris Wheel - DDSG (Pier6 Imperial Bridge - Donauturm/Danube Tower - Alte Donau/Old Danube - Uno City - Donauinsel/Danube Island - Praterstern/Train Station - Taborstraße/Museum of Crime - DDSG City Cruises - MAK/Museum of Applied Arts Buses arrive every 15 to 20 min. The duration is 120 min. Mon - Sun, 9:20 AM - 6:40 PM. Your ticket includes a self-guided walking tour with an app. Cross the city at your own pace. See the Vienna State Opera, Beethoven Statue, Vienna Concert House, House of Music and the Beethoven Museum. Pick up your headphones and a map from the local partner's service center and follow the instructions of the QuietVox Guiding App to travel from sight to sight. You will scan the QR codes at each stop to learn more about them.

Vienna: Public Transport City Card and Attraction Discounts

9. Vienna: Public Transport City Card and Attraction Discounts

Explore Vienna with free, unlimited use of the city's metro, tram, train, and bus lines. Get around the city quickly and easily. With the Vienna City Card, you can go anywhere in Austria's beautiful capital. Upon activation, you will have 24, 48, or 72 hours to explore the entire city with free and unlimited access to public transportation, including metro, trams, regional trains, buses, and night buses (zone 100). Enjoy countless benefits in museums and sights, exhibitions, theaters, concerts, shops, 20% off consumption at each of the participating restaurants, and much more for the duration of your stay (max. 7 days). Save up to 50% with the discounts. If you are traveling with your family, you're in luck as one child under the age of 15 travels free with each city card holder. Please see the app "ivie - Your Personal City Guide" for full information about all the discounts you can get with your card. Download ivie, enter your 8-digit code to activate and hold your digital Vienna City Card.

Vienna: Skip-the-line Tickets for Schönbrunn Zoo

10. Vienna: Skip-the-line Tickets for Schönbrunn Zoo

Visit Schönbrunn Zoo, the oldest zoo in the world and Europe’s best zoo five times in a row. Part of a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site with the imperial summer residence of Schönbrunn Palace at its center, experience the zoo’s unique blend of culture and nature, promotion of conservation and biodiversity, and imperial charm. 700 Species: From Anteaters to Zebras See 700 species from all over the world, some of which are critically endangered. Explore a 17-hectare site and find giraffes, orangutans swinging from ropes, Siberian tigers dozing on their platforms, koalas munching through piles of eucalyptus leaves, African elephants wallowing in their mud baths, and meerkats rolling around and digging in the sand. Star Attraction: Giant Pandas Get to know the zoo’s most popular residents, the giant pandas. Learn about how Schönbrunn is only one of a handful of zoos worldwide entrusted with a pair of pandas by the People’s Republic of China. Understand the ways that the zoo is unique in helping this endangered species to breed naturally. World Tour of the Animal Houses Take refuge from any poor weather in the numerous animal houses. Lose yourself in the two-story rainforest house, which is home to a rich variety of tropical flora and fauna. Lock eyes with shimmering fish and fascinating reptiles in the aquarium terrarium. See death’s head monkeys and red-ruffed lemurs. Get an underwater view of the seals and penguins in the Polarium. Watch polar bears diving below the at the neighboring Polardom. Find out interesting facts about rare breeds of farm animals at the Tirolerhof.

Top activities

Top sights in Vienna

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Frequently asked questions about Vienna

What are the best day trips and excursions from Vienna?

The best day trips and excursions from Vienna are:

Hallstatt

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.

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What people are saying about Vienna

Overall rating

4.4
(60,903 reviews)

The experience is amazing, we booked class 2 tickets so the view was good. however we did notice several people who booked class 3 tickets were basically standing for the entire concert and were asked not to sit on the walls- so be careful on booking those tickets. apart from that, the church is stunning and nice concert and great organization.

Very nice visit in a small group of 7 people, we had a good driver who knew the places visited well. More information on the places visited would have been appreciated. Very long road. Unfortunately on the way back the minibus broke down. The agency found ways for us to get back to our destination but we arrived very late.

certainly one of the best walking tours we've done. learnt so much about vienna and Austria. really felt immersed into the culture. highly recommended. huge thanks to Michael- the guide. he is so passionate about describing vienna's history and that made all the difference.

wonderful service and amazing food. fantastic experience from start to finish would highly recommend.

It was great, we enjoyed it a lot. The guide Dasha was very good and friendly.