Vienna, Austria

Map of routes and landmarks in Vienna

Vienna's must-sees

1. Saint Stephen's Cathedral
2. Schönbrunn Palace
3. Opera House
4. Museumsquartier
5. Hofburg Palace
6. Ringstrasse Avenue

Austrian flag and Vienna coat of arms

Useful Information

Population

Vienna city limits: ~1.9 million

Metropolitan area: ~2.6 million

Nearby Towns

Wiener Neustadt (61 km / 38 mi)

Sankt Pölten (65 km / 40 mi)

Bratislava, Slovakia (70 km / 43 mi)

Sopron, Hungary (75 km / 47 mi)

Brno, Czech Republic (132 km / 82 mi)

Graz (200 km / 124 mi)

Budapest, Hungary (243 km / 151 mi)

Prague, Czech Republic (304 km / 189 mi)

Transport

Though the Vienna International Airport is 16 km (10 mi) away, it's well connected to the city by bus, city airport train (CAT) and Railjet (railway and S7 regional trains).

The company Wiener Linien manages Vienna's public transportation, which has a total of 127 bus routes, 5 metro lines and 29 tram routes.

The Ringstrasse tram line follows the entire Ringstrasse, perfect for trips along the downtown's periphery.

Route 1. Express Route: The Ring Road and the Beethoven and Freud Museums

This route is designed to let you see all of Vienna’s most notable must-see landmarks in the shortest time possible. It starts out at the Danube River and follows Vienna’s famous Ringstrasse ("Ring Road") along the old city’s peripheral avenues. You’ll pass the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), followed by Stadtpark and the elegant State Opera.

Cross the Museums Quartier, a spacious area with numerous parks, museums and monuments, as well as the Hofburg Palace, the headquarters of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy residence until 1918. Continue along the Ringstrasse to see the Parliament, the Volksgarten (a two century-old park with 400 different types of roses), the City Hall and the Burgtheater, in which Mozart and Beethoven conducted various operas and symphonies.

Towards the end of the route, you’ll reach Beethoven’s Pasqualatihaus residence, where he composed Symphonies No. 4, No. 5, No. 7 and No. 8. Also completing the route is the University of Vienna, one of Europe’s oldest and most respected universities that, in the early 1900s, hosted the group of philosophers and scientists known as the Vienna Circle.

Route 2. The Schönbrunn Palace

This route will take you around the exterior of the Schönbrunn Palace – the gardens, vineyard, kid-friendly garden maze, Tiergarten Zoo, Desert House, Palm House botanic gardens, Imperial Carriage Museum, Neptune and Obelisk Fountains, Gloriette arches and the Orangery. For a detailed tour of the palace’s interior, consult the Schönbrunn Palace Guide in English, which thoroughly covers the history of the palace’s rooms and surrounding premises. Take the metro to the stop called "Schönbrunn" to reach the palace entrance.

Route 3. Belvedere and Schwarzenberg Palace

Take this route to see Belvedere, a palace complex similar to Schönbrunn that was the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy, a decorated general of the Imperial Army of the Holy Roman Empire. Belvedere has two facing palaces, beautiful flower gardens, the Orangery (now converted into an exhibition room), and a research center, among other things.

The museum[GF1] contains works of major Impressionist artists including Paul Cézanne, Renoir, Edgar Degas, Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet and Edouard Manet. The exhibit also boasts a large collection of works by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt, Czech artist Kupka and Spanish artist Picasso. Adjacent to the Belvedere palaces is a convent (to the east) and the Schwarzenberg Palace (to the west), which are also worth visiting.

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Vienna

On the shores of the Danube and less than an hour from Slovakia, Hungary and Czech Republic, Vienna has been the capital of empires, the cradle of philosophy, academics and music, and home to unmatched wealth. The monuments scattered throughout this elegant city offer unique glimpses into Vienna’s past. These pieces of history include the State Opera, Gothic-style St. Stephan’s Cathedral, the lavish Belvedere and Shönbrunn summer palaces, only exceeded in historical significance by the Hofburg palace, which was the headquarters of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Some may not be aware of how many powerful figures originated in Vienna. The city is synonymous with the origin of Freud’s psychoanalysis, the symphonies of Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert, and Johann Strauss’ waltz. Now museums, their residences provide the chance to see how such extraordinary things occurred in ordinary places. Even the celebrated pianist Chopin made his well-received debut in Vienna following his studies in Warsaw. Italian composer Vivaldi spend the end of his life and Vienna and was buried there. The work of these musicians has been treasured throughout the centuries and is commemorated by their statues and monuments throughout Vienna’s parks and avenues.

The link between architecture and history is especially noticeable in the Austrian capital. Perhaps the best place to observe this is Ringstrasse, a group of avenues bordering the old town that were built where the city’s defense walls previously stood in the 19th century. Ringstrasse was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is considered by many to be the most beautiful boulevard in the world. Many of Vienna’s most significant historical buildings are found here, which exhibit what was once the headquarters of the empire's bourgeoisie, empire, art and finances. Located on the Ringstrasse are the Kunsthistorisches Museum (art history), the Natural History Museum, the Hofburg palace, Heldenplatz square, the State Opera, and the parliament and city hall buildings.

In 2017, Vienna was named the city with the highest quality of life in the world for the eighth consecutive year by consulting firm Mercer. This index is based on criteria including the amount of green areas, air quality, safety, education quality, infrastructure, etc. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if you went to visit and ended up living there, like Mozart did.

Useful Links

Official Vienna Tourism Website

State Opera House

Art History Museum (Kunsthistorisches Museum)

Sigmund Freud Museum

Albertina Museum (contemporary art, architecture, photography and graphic art)

Wien Museum - website of Vienna's museums (Karlsplatz, Römermuseum, Uhrenmuseum, Neidhart, Fresken, Pratermuseum, Virgilkapelle; residences of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Johann Strauss and Joseph Haydn)

Musikverein Concert Hall

Schönbrunn Zoo

Schönbrunn Palace

Belvedere Palace and Museum

Hofburg Palace

Public city transportation (Wiener Linien)

Secession (modern art exhibitions)

Time Travel Vienna (History Museum in "5D")

Habsburger (history of the Habsburger family)

Haus der Musik (House of Music)

Mozarthaus (Mozart House)

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