Top 10 Vienna Attractions
While traveling to Europe visitors frequently make a stop in Vienna, Austria as this city is not only a huge hub and crossroads in Central Europe to many other destinations but also one of the most beautiful cities in the world. You can find lots of things to do here. We composed this list of top 10 attractions in Vienna to help you find the best for all kind of activities you may want to do in this wonderful European city.
1. Originally the summer home for The House of Habsburg, the Schonbrunn Palace is one of the most popular attractions for visitors. The palace complex includes a zoo, as well as exquisite formal gardens and large park and the imperial palace.
2. One of the top Vienna attractions, the Belvedere Palace offers fascinating architecture, historic artwork, and exquisite gardens and grounds. This palace was the summer home of Prince Eugene of Savoy. The construction started in 1714 and took nine years to complete, and the palace is home to the largest Klimt collection in the world. There is Upper and Lower Belvedere park in this palace and park complex.
3. The most important church in Vienna is St. Stephen’s Cathedral (a.k.a. Stefansdom), and this church also represents the seat of the Archbishop and Austrian Catholicism and has been an active church since it was first a small parish in the twelfth century. The original church was constructed in 1160. The cathedral was first completed in the fourteenth century, though it has undergone many renovations and updates in time, including the distinctive diamond pattern on its roof that was added in 1952. The cathedral is open to visitors and pilgrims alike to view its interior and historical pieces and icons than span its entire, six hundred year lifespan.
4. To pay a visit to Vienna State Opera House is one of the top things to do in the city. It is one of the most prolific opera houses in the world, with a full season that performs nearly every night for ten months—and as many as fifty to sixty different operas a year. This stately building was criticized upon its opening in 1869, yet has become a symbol of national pride. The members of Austrian Philharmonic orchestra are often recruited from the Vienna State Opera House’s orchestra. During the entire year the opera house is open for tours, allowing visitors to soak in the beautiful, Neo-Renaissance era architecture and artistry. Tours through the building or an actual performances are enriching and unforgettable Vienna attractions.
5. Many Vienna attractions showcase the richness of culture and history of the city, such as the Spanish Riding School. The Spanish Riding School is the oldest riding academy in the world and one of the oldest Vienna attractions. It was constructed in 1572 and originally named for the breed of horse it trained from the Iberian Peninsula. The descendants of those horses are still used, though now the Lipizzaner stallion is a mix of Spanish, Arabian and Berber horses. Performances and demonstrations that are held twice a week allow visitors to watch the majestic grace and trust between horse and rider that dedication brings. The art of dressage is still taught using the same forms and pure methods that were used centuries ago. Daily exercises and drills can be viewed, and the school also offers guided tours through the academy.
6. Located in the Museum Quarter with its extensive collections from the Medieval era, Imperial Austria, and leading up to today, the Museum of Art History is one of the most important Vienna attractions for art lovers. Known locally as the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Museum of Art History first opened its doors in 1891 to display the Imperial collections. Pieces by some of the most influential European artists reside here, including Raphael, Rubens, Rembrandt, Durer, Vermeer, Velazquez and Titian. The museum holds the most important works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Breathtaking treasures from the Imperial era are also within its collections, such as jewelry worn by Habsburg empresses and princesses; and the golden coaches of Empress Elisabeth of Austria.
7. Housed in the former palace of Austrian dukes, the Albertina Museum is an impressive collection of graphic and traditional medium art from the late 1800’s to the modern day. Among their permanent collections are paintings from French Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, German Expressionism, Fauvism and the Russian avant-garde; along with key pieces by such as Monet, Picasso, and Degas. Among other museums and Vienna attractions it has one of the oldest collections of graphic art. Founded originally in the late 1700’s with the intention of cataloguing educational works the collection has continued acquiring new prints and drawings, and today it focuses on modern Austrian works.
8. The Butterfly House is one of the top Vienna attractions, and after a visit it is no mystery why this is so popular with visitors. In the center of Vienna, close to such Vienna attractions as the Opera House, is the Butterfly House located directly in the Hofburg Quarters. Vienna historical figure Kaiser Franz Josef originally owned the Schmetterlinghaus as a part of his private residence, but now it is open to the public. The interior is a reproduction of a tropical rainforest, kept at the perfect temperature and humidity for its colorful residents to thrive and fly freely. Hundreds of different species make their homes here; the majority is varieties with vibrant wing patterns. After walking through the greenhouse, grab a drink or meal at the Palmenhaus Café Bar connected to the Schmetterlinghaus.
9. One of the most popular Vienna attractions especially for kids, the Prater is an amusement park with a carnival atmosphere and two hundred fifty attractions, shops, and food vendors. Entrance to the Prater is free, and you pay for which attractions you choose. Play miniature golf, wind your way through multiple indoor and outdoor mazes, tumble through funhouses, and thrill on modern roller coasters. No trip to Prater is complete without taking a ride on their signature Ferris Wheel: a massive wheel with fifteen, large-sized gondolas. Two of these gondolas are “luxury gondolas” which can be rented out for an evening, or even a dinner for two.
10. While not one of the Vienna attractions open to the public, a walk through the otherwise structured and ancient city of Vienna is not complete without taking in the whimsical Hundertwasserhaus. This building stands out of the cityscape with its bright colors, seemingly uneven floor flan, and masses of crawling vines along its exterior. Hundertwasserhaus’s private living spaces are not simply the target of an artist’s fancy, but the living construction of his manifesto. Surrounded by the encroaching cold and grayness of modern architecture, Friedensreich Hundertwasser worked with Josef Krawina in order to bring his vision of organic, flora-covered city spaces to life. Located in the third district of the city, this structure combines nature with modern living.