Top 10 Things to See and Do in Vienna, Austria

The Austrian capital of Vienna is a beautiful contradiction. Its blend of rich history, modern splendor, and enduring charm makes the things to see and do in Vienna a diverse adventure. While pricier than other European destinations like Budapest and Prague, your experiences there will more than make up for it.

Photo courtesy of Brian Dooley

Vienna served as the home of some of history’s most influential musical composers and was the former head of the Hapsburg and Austro-Hungarian Empires. Remnants of its past are littered among its modernity, making it the perfect city for curious travelers to explore. These are the top 10 things to see and do in Vienna, Austria.

See Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace is a former hunting lodge and Hapsburg summer residence that has stood since 1696. Today, the palace is an 1,441-room estate. Among its highlights are the Blue Staircase, the mirror room, and apartments where Habsburg rulers and emperors lived.

Photo courtesy of Brian Dooley

Its expansive grounds include a garden featuring flower beds, a hedge maze, and the Neptune Fountain. The oldest zoo in the world, Tiergarten Schönbrunn, is also located on the palace grounds. Visiting it is one of the best things to see and do in Vienna!

Visit the Vienna Natural History Museum

Natural history and architecture enthusiasts will have a field day at the Vienna Natural History Museum. This museum is housed inside a gorgeous palace complex that boasts some of Vienna’s most beautiful architecture and over 30 million objects!

Photo courtesy of Gary Todd

The collection includes fossils, taxidermy, dinosaur skeletons, meteorites, and much more. One of the best things to see and do in Vienna is watch the films in its digital planetarium!

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Try Austrian Sausages

In Vienna, sausages are king. There is no shortage of places to try one of these greasy, meaty treats. Having one is one of the best things to see and do in Vienna!

Photo courtesy of Christian Kadluba

For some of the city’s best sausages, I recommend The Bitzinger Sausage Stands, which are open virtually 24 hours a day and serve incredible currywurst and bratwurst. I also recommend The Grillwurst with tangy horseradish sauce at Würstelstand Am Hohen Markt.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

Dominating the Vienna skyline is Austria’s tallest church, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, or Stephansdom. The church, first built in the 12th century, was rebuilt in the 13oos and again after World War II.

Photo courtesy of Brian Dooley

This historic cathedral withstood the Turkish Seige of 1683, was the site of Mozart’s memorial in 1791, and saw Napoleon post his farewell edict on its doors in 1805. With so much history, St. Stephen’s Cathedral is easily one of the top things to see and do in Vienna!

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See Hofburg Palace

Tourists looking to learn more about the historic Habsburg dynasty should take a trip to Hofburg Palace. This palatial complex is one of the top things to see and do in Vienna. It was the main winter palace of the Austro-Hungarian Empire rulers and is now the base of the Austrian president.

Photo courtesy of Brian Dooley

This massive, 13th-century palace is like a small city. Inside are the Swiss courts, the Imperial Apartments, the Sisi Museum, and the Imperial Silver Collection. Start in the center of the complex and work your way back to its perimeter to see it properly.

Explore Naschmarkt

One of the best ways to get a feel Vienna is to visit Naschmarkt. This historic market’s roots go back to the 16th century, when it was mainly a place where milk bottles were sold.

Photo courtesy of Kotomi_

Today, Naschmarkt visitors can find fruits, vegetables, and herbs from all over the world, as well as cheeses, baked goods, meat, and more. It’s one of the best things to see and do in Vienna because of its size and variety. There’s so much to see, taste, and smell!

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Visit the Museum of Fine Arts

Located along Vienna’s historic Ringstrasse boulevard is the Museum of Fine Arts, also known as the Kunsthistorisches Museum. This museum is a dream for art and history buffs, as it home to a wide variety of art, including some from Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece.

Photo courtesy of Brian Dooley

The massive collection also includes works by European artists like Velasquez and Titian and Habsburg-era pieces. Don’t miss the sculptures on the museum’s ornate façade and enjoy some coffee in its magnificent café!

View Vienna from Above at the Donauturm

When I visit a new city, I always like to view it from above. The best spot to do that in Vienna is the Donauturm, or Danube Tower. This 252-meter tower features revolving restaurants, a bungee-jumping platform, and an observation deck.

Photo courtesy of Maria Eklind

Danube Tower stands tall above Vienna’s low-rise buildings and offers spectacular views of the city. If you love observation decks, it should definitely be on your list of the top things to see and do in Vienna!

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Visit The Seegrotte

One of the best things to see and do in Vienna is the Seegrotte, an old cave and gypsum mine 27 kilometers from the capital that contains a spectacular underground lake or grotto.

Photo courtesy of lj16

Mine and boat tours are available in English and German. Bring cash and a coat – it’s chilly in the cave! It costs 12 Euros per person, which is definitely worth it to see this remarkable natural wonder!

Take a Day Trip to Salzburg

A quick, two to three-hour train ride from Vienna will take you to Salzburg, best known from The Sound of Music. Get a taste of local history at the imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress and the home of Mozart.

Photo courtesy of ER Bauer

Shopping along Getreidegasse is a highlight, and grab a bite to eat at the historic Grünmarkt, which has been in business since 1857. A day trip to Salzburg is one of the best things to see and do in Vienna, for sure!

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Conclusion

With its incomparable charm, wealth of history and culture, amazing food, and even better people, it’s hard to not fall in love with Vienna. The city is a wonder made up of other wonders and is well worth a visit. Book a trip to Vienna today!

Photo courtesy of Gary Todd

NOTE: Whenever you travel, I suggest you purchase travel insurance to protect yourself in case any emergency situations come up. In my opinion, AXA Travel Insurance is the very best because it covers a wide array of issues. Buy your AXA Travel Insurance protection plan here!

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