The Stunning Hofburg (And 11 More Places You Need to See in Vienna)
Vienna is one of the most beautiful European capitals. With such a rich cultural offering, you may not know where to go first. Everything looks like a fairy tale in this Austrian city, especially if you visit during winter.
Anywhere you turn in Vienna, there’s a chance you’ll stumble upon a significant historical landmark. The long tradition of the Hapsburgs left several spectacular palaces for today’s tourists to enjoy. Still, there’s even more to see in Austria’s capital city beyond the palaces.
If you’re getting restless feet and you’d like to travel to Europe, have a look at the following places to see in Vienna. Whichever season you choose for this journey, it’s bound to be a magical experience.
As soon as you get there, you might want to head straight to Heldenplatz, one of Vienna’s main squares. There you’ll find the magnificent Hofburg.
It’s a significant landmark and one example of Vienna’s impressive architecture. Rightfully so, as it was the Hapsburgs’ primary residency for more than six hundred years. The complex includes various sites such as the Imperial Chapel and the Sisi Museum.
2. Schönbrunn Palace
Built in the 18th century, the Schönbrunn Palace is one of Vienna’s vital cultural landmarks. It’s another palace where the Hapsburgs held residence. A few Austrian emperors were even born in the building.
When taking the tour around the palace, you’ll also have a chance to see the outstanding gardens. They are right next to the palace and extend for more than a kilometer.
3. Belvedere Palace
This Baroque palace is another exceptional sample of Vienna’s rich architectural heritage. It’s also home to many masterpieces created by great painters, such as Oskar Kokoschka or Gustav Klimt.
The complex has two parts of separate purposes: the Upper and the Lower. The Upper part of the residency has always been a place for art collections. On the other hand, the Lower Belvedere was Prince Eugene’s residence.
The Rathaus is only one part of the landmark standing at the Ringstrasse. It’s also one of the popular places to visit in Vienna for free, together with the square Rathausplatz and the Rathauspark.
This city hall is famous for its neo-Gothic style and the five towers and statues decorating the building. Its purpose was to serve as the office of the city mayor. While there’s a fee to go inside and tour the hall, you’ll love it as much as the exterior of the building.
5. Natural History Museum
With its elegant and luxurious interior, the Vienna Natural History Museum is a place you can’t miss while visiting this city. It’s a typical example of Vienna architecture in its full splendor. But it’s not all about the looks.
Besides being a palace, the Museum also has an impressive collection of animal skeletons, minerals, fossils, and more. That makes it one of the most important museums of natural history in Europe, not just Austria.
Prater’s Ferris Wheel is one of the prime tourist attractions in Vienna. When you’ve had your fill of historic sites, this is the place to have fun.
This natural park occupies a gap between the Danube Canal and the Danube River. It includes the traditional theme park rides, a section dedicated to dinosaurs, and a dining area.
And you can’t say goodbye to Vienna without taking a ride on the giant wheel and enjoying a panoramic view of the city.
7. St. Stephen’s Cathedral
The very heart of Vienna is where St Stephen’s Cathedral is situated. It represents a beautiful example of 18th-century Gothic architecture. And over the years, there have been various improvements to the original church erected in the 12th century.
Today, one of the cathedral’s most famous features is the 448ft tall South Tower. It has 343 steps leading to the Watch Room with an incredible city view.
8. Vienna State Opera
One couldn’t imagine Vienna without opera. If you agree that it’s a must to try the famous Vienna sweets, then you must visit the State Opera as well.
The 19th-century building is the definition of luxury, but the tickets aren’t as expensive as you might think. Also, don’t miss the official tour of this neo-Renaissance building. Wouldn’t you love to stand where great musicians like Richard Strauss once created magic?
9. Austrian National Library
While in Hofburg, make sure to also visit the Austrian National Library – there’s no Baroque library in Europe larger than this. And, according to many tourists, you can’t find a more beautiful one.
Not only are the ceilings 65 feet tall, but you’ll even see extraordinary frescoes decorating the whole space if you look up. Some of the most precious items in the library are Martin Luther’s writings from the Reformation period.
10. Sigmund Freud Museum
How did the father of psychoanalysis live? When in Vienna, you’ll have a chance to find out.
Sigmund Freud’s home became a museum in 1971, and it’s been attracting thousands of visitors since. The museum includes a research library where you can see Freud’s original writings. There are also exhibitions showing his personal artifacts and antique collection.
11. Vienna Zoo
Believe it or not, the world’s oldest zoo is right here in Vienna. It’s been well-preserved that many parts of the 18th century Schönbrunn Zoo are still in their original state.
The wildlife at this zoo is pretty varied. In fact, there are pandas and koalas among the more than 700 animal species. And if you fancy a break while going around, you might also like to stop for a cup of coffee in Vienna’s most beautiful cafés within the Imperial Breakfast Pavilion.
12. Christmas Market
If you book a trip to Vienna from mid-November till Christmas, you’ll experience a true winter wonderland. It’s when all the squares in Austria’s capital suddenly become a huge Christmas market.
You can buy anything you can imagine – from shiny Christmas decorations and delicious sweets and drinks. Not to mention the fun carousel rides you can go on. This market will no doubt wake up your Christmas spirit.
The City of Landmarks
If you’re looking for an ideal way to learn more about Europe, this is where you should start. Among all the glorious places to see in Vienna, the most prominent are historical landmarks and architectural sites.
The unique spirit of the Austrian capital impregnates every corner of the city, which makes it even more special.
There’s no single best time to take a trip to Vienna. Because with this place, you simply can’t go wrong.