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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

From Vienna: Hallstatt and Alpine Peaks with Skywalk Lift

1. From Vienna: Hallstatt and Alpine Peaks with Skywalk Lift

After pickup from your centrally-located Vienna hotel, depart on a day trip to stunning region of Salzkammergut. Stop at 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 and to wander the narrow streets, or hire a boat to explore from the water. On the way back you to Vienna, make a stop at the charming resort town of Traunkirchen, located on the bank of the deepest lake in Austria. Admire the unforgettable natural landscape from this lovely place, before continuing to Vienna where your tour will end at the Vienna State Opera.

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 Works by W. A. Mozart, J. S. Bach, H. I. F Biber, and other major composers.

Performance Of The Lipizzans At Spanish Riding School

3. 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.

Vienna: Mozart Concert at the Golden Hall

4. Vienna: Mozart Concert at the Golden Hall

Enjoy a superb concert of Mozart and Strauss classics at one of the city’s most venerable concert halls. During this entertaining and stylish evening, you will see a performance by the renowned Vienna Mozart Orchestra. Founded in 1986, the Vienna Mozart Orchestra is composed of frequent participants at the concerts of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna Symphonic Orchestra, as well as other prestigious Austrian ensembles. Beside its worldwide touring history, the Vienna Mozart Orchestra is well known for holding Mozart concerts in Vienna in period costumes, enriching the musical life of the city. Listen as 30 exceptional musicians, 2 internationally renowned soloists, and 2 opera singers from the Vienna State Opera and Vienna’s Volksoper, present a well balanced concert program in the style of the musical academies from the late 18th-Century. Directed by star conductors, the incomparable acoustics and impressive architecture of these beautiful Viennese concert halls make for an unforgettable evening.

Classic Ensemble Vienna in St. Peter's Church

5. Classic Ensemble Vienna in St. Peter's Church

Experience St. Peter's Church, one of the most beautiful Baroque churches in Vienna. The church was built from 1701 to 1733 according to plans by Lukas von Hildebrand. Let the Classic Ensemble Vienna enchant you here with an evening of Classical music. Hear wonderful interpretations of works by famous composers like Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and many more. Hear "Eine kleine Nachtmusik," let the music lead you through "The Four Seasons" and follow musical stories by Mozart, Bach and Schubert. Enjoy these Classical works in the indescribably ambience of the underground vaults of St. Peter's Church in the heart of Vienna.

Vienna: Classical Concert at St. Stephen's Cathedral

6. Vienna: Classical Concert at St. Stephen's Cathedral

Visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral, one of the most beautiful buildings in the Austrian capital. Whether you're a music aficionado or simply curious, you're sure to enjoy the tremendous acoustics within the cathedral walls. Choose from famous classical or Christmas shows for an elegant concert in Vienna. Admire the jewels of classical music at St. Stephen's Cathedral, where W. A. Mozart and J. Haydn once played. Listen to the great works of European composers like Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach, even during Christmas time (if option selected). Celebrate Schubert's 225th birthday with a fitting performance in his beautiful hometown. Commemorate the 175th anniversary of Felix Mendelssohn’s death with a performance of his oratorio about the story of the biblical prophet Elijah, one of the composer's best-known works. Listen to a concert on the new Giant Organ (if organ concert option selected) with mighty sounds from more than 12,000 pipes, one of the biggest organ units of Europe. Hear world-class organists play a wide-ranging program with masterful virtuosity in the central nave of the church.

Vienna: 1-Hour Boat Tour on the Danube Canal

7. 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. Choose to enjoy a 2-course lunch of schnitzel meal during your trip. 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.

Vienna: Vienna Central Cemetery Guided Walking Tour

8. Vienna: Vienna Central Cemetery Guided Walking Tour

Experience a walking tour of a different kind and follow your guide on a tour through possibly the largest cemetery in Austria. The Vienna Central Cemetery, with its three million inhabitants, offers an abundance of history, architecture, and intrigue. Learn everything about the spaciously laid out cemetery in Vienna's south, which was opened in 1874, and discover the graves of honor for numerous personalities from the world of art, culture, and politics. See soldiers' graves, memorials, graves of different religious beliefs, and of course, the graves of many Viennese people. The individual areas you will encounter during the walking tour will represent the traditions of religions, their cultures, and many personal life stories.

From Vienna: Panoramic Austrian Alps Tour to Hallstatt

9. From Vienna: Panoramic Austrian Alps Tour to Hallstatt

Discover the beauty of the Austrian Alps on this guided tour from Vienna to the Admont Abbey, the village of Hallstatt, and the town of Gmunden. See stunning frescos on the ceiling of the grand library at the Abbey and take a guided walking tour of Hallstatt. Depart Vienna and travel along a panoramic road through the heart of the Austrian Alps. Visit one of the oldest monasteries in Austria at Admont Abbey on the banks of the Enns River, and marvel at the Baroque architecture of the building which is famous for its vast monastic library. Take a guided walk through the village of Hallstatt and learn about its remarkable history. Explore the culture of the region as you admire stunning views of mountains rising from narrow valleys. Continue to the town of Gmunden which is popular as a health resort. Get a stunning view of the 11th-century castle of Schloss Ort in the middle of Traunsee lake. Soak up the peaceful atmosphere of the town that has been known for its traditional crafts since the 17th century. Purchase souvenirs before the drive back to Vienna.

Vienna Spanish Riding School Guided Tour

10. Vienna Spanish Riding School Guided Tour

Vienna’s Spanish Riding School has been in continuous operation for more than 450 years. It continues to cultivate classical equitation in the Renaissance tradition of the Haute Ecole. On an exclusive 55-minute behind-the-scenes tour, visit the Winter Riding School, a gem of Baroque architecture, the Summer Riding School which houses the world’s largest oval horse walker and the stables in the Stallburg. The Stallburg is Vienna’s most significant Renaissance building, and features an arcade courtyard and the historical stables of the Lipizzaner stallions. Learn about the history of the equestrian tradition and about the Lipizzaner stallions, who are the stars of the establishment.

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 51,517 reviews

Well it was a very amazing experience I had in the entire journey. Properly planned and managed by the team, really appreciate. Hallstatt was mesmerising, if you have a single day with you in Austria-Vienna then I would strongly recommend to choose this one day tour. You need not have to research and find a way instead you just have to board the bus and the rest is taken care by the team.. I really didn’t get a chance to thank you Sofiya who was our instructor but I would request the team to convey my regard. She was amazing and kept up the energy till the end of the journey with so much of stories and information of Hallstatt, Vienna and Austria. Thank you Team for your wonderful efforts. I loved it :)

The Kunsthistorische Museum and the Imperial Treasury were both amazing. The museum building is beautiful and has art and artifacts like nothing we have seen before. The treasury items are stunning and most have English explanations with historical explanations.

This was a first time experience for me and I found it detailed and informative, which I really liked. There was plenty of things to see and a free bathroom, which is rare. Yes, I factored that in.

Incredible! Amazing! There are no words to describe the experience, a beautiful evening full of classical music, ballet, opera, laugh, in a cozy and elegant location.

A wonderful experience listening to talented musicians in a memorable setting