Sights in Vienna – the top 10 most popular attractions

The 10 sights that may be missing on any sightseeing tour!

Vienna has a lot to see, almost too many sights to visit in the course of a single vacation. For those who do not have time to pick their pets or stay in the city for only a few days, there are the top 10 sights in the city that every visitor must have seen.

Top 10 attractions and sights in Vienna

1st place: the historical center of Vienna

Since 2001, the historic center of Vienna has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. She has certainly earned this status. It not only houses innumerable winding lanes right next to the wide, magnificent parade streets, but also many museums, churches and the former homes of composers, writers and painters, who still make the city famous today. The center is framed by the Ringstraße, which also borders the Hofburg, the town hall and the Volksgarten. The heart of the city is the Stephansplatz with the famous St. Stephen’s Cathedral, which serves well as a guide for lost explorers.

Wiener Innenstadt mit Blick auf Peterskirche und Stephansdom.
View of St. Peter’s Church and St. Stephen’s Cathedral, © Österreich Werbung, Fotograf: Wiesenhofer

2nd place: Schönbrunn Palace

It is a castle as in a fairy tale: Schönbrunn Palace in the 13th district served the imperial family as a summer residence and was built in 1643. After a guided tour through the interiors of the castle, you should not miss the castle park Schönbrunn as it is one of the most beautiful parks in the city with the Gloriette and the Tiergarten.

3rd place: St. Stephen’s Cathedral – Sights in Vienna

The symbol of Vienna and the national shrine of Austria is right in the center of the city and measures 136 meters in the highest tower. Built in 1137, St. Stephen’s Cathedral is considered to be a late Gothic work and is still the highest church in Austria today. The 13 bells are not the only thing worth seeing at the cathedral. The magnificent interior as well as the catacombs are impressive. Especially in the latter, there is also something to shudder when examining the centuries-old plague graves under the Stephansplatz.

4th place: The Kunsthistorisches Museum

Right next to the Maria Theresien-Platz are the two twin museums: the Natural History Museum and the Kunsthistorisches Museum. There are more to admire in these museums than one can see in one day: besides Old Masters like Rubens, there are also coin and weapon exhibits. It is the most popular museum in Vienna for visitors and is one of the most important of its kind in the world.

5th place: Hofburg

The Hofburg was built in the 13th century and is located on the edge of the historic city center next to the Ringstraße and the Volksgarten. This imperial residence is still home to the Federal President and some ministries. The historical part is open to visitors. You can visit, among other things, the Imperial Apartments, the Sisi Museum and the Silver Collection.

6th place: The State Opera

This magnificent work is considered one of the most famous buildings in the city. In Mozart‘s time, the State Opera was not yet, yet it was opened in 1869 with his Don Giovanni. It is not only considered the venue of the Vienna Philharmonic, but also international opera stars such as Maria Callas. But you should not just admire her because of the music. Even for fans of other genres, a guided tour of the noble Baroque building is worth a visit! Those who are spontaneous can find standing room for little money a few hours before the performances.

Place 7: The Vienna Prater

Although the “Prater” is often just the famous amusement park, the actual Prater covers an area of 6km2. This vast park “Green Prater” has forests, ponds and small streams and numerous routes to discover. Even in the jogging urban population, the Prater is extremely popular and sometimes in the summer also outdoor yoga classes are offered. The amusement park has not only the oldest ferris wheel in the world, but also roller coasters and gastronomic establishments.

8th place: Belvedere Palace

Auch das Schloss Belvedere ist einen Ausflug wert. Deutlich näher am Zentrum als Schönbrunn, gilt Belvedere heute als beliebtes Ziel für kunstbegeisterte Besucher, da sich ein Museum im Schloss befindet. Jedoch nicht nur das Innere des Schlosses ist beeindruckend: Auch die Orangerie und der Winterpalais verfügen über Ausstellungen und der weitläufige Park ist wunderbar für  malerische Spaziergänge geeignet. Auch Belvedere zählt zum Weltkulturerbe.

The Belvedere Palace is also worth a visit. Closer to the center than Schönbrunn, Belvedere is today a popular destination for art-loving visitors, as there is a museum in the castle. However, not only the interior of the castle is impressive: the Orangerie and the Winterpalais have exhibitions and the extensive park is wonderful for scenic walks. Belvedere is also a World Heritage Site.

Square 9: The Town Hall

The Vienna City Hall in the city center was built from 1872 to 1883 and houses the administration and government of the city of Vienna. Like Hofburg and Volksgarten, it lies on the Ringstraße and is a thoroughly magnificent building. Film and cultural festivals regularly take place in the large Town Hall Square, and in winter this is one of the city’s best-attended Christmas markets.

10th place: MuseumsQuartier Wien

The MuseumsQuartier, just behind the Kunst- und Naturhistorisches Museum, is regarded as a young counterpart to the magnificent predecessors. There is a colorful collection of architecture, dance, theater, film and several museums dedicated to the modern age. For example, the Leopold Museum shows a large number of Schiele’s works and the MUMOK art of the 21st century. In winter, there is also a Christmas market here and in summer there are regularly spontaneous concerts in the courtyards.