Archive for the ‘Vienna Tourist Info’ Category

Central Vienna Attractions

The major Vienna Attractions are located in and around the Heart of Vienna”, in what is known as Vienna’s Central or, First District. This is also the city’s major tourist draw. One can spend several days walking and exploring this area.

A Map of the Hofburg Palace footprint posted in Vienna's Central District

Hofburg Palace Footprint-Vienna's Central District

The Ringstrasse

The District is delineated by what today is known as the Ringstrasse, which actually are a several streets forming a semi-circle around this old part of Vienna. The west bank of the Danube River completes the circle. Ringstrasse replaced the wall, remnants of which can still be seen today, that encircled the original city and protected it from invaders such as the Ottomans. Within this district you’ll find the architecture and spirit that attracted the greats of the past and today – visitors from around the world.

Within The Ringstrasse…

you’ll find the well known Vienna Attractions such as the Hofburg Palace, with its 700 year history, the Vienna State Opera House, St. Stephens Cathedral, magnificent court yards, city park, memorials, etc. Here you’ll even find a touch of Americana -  just a touch though.

Take a Carriage Ride

The best way to see the attractions is either by foot or horse drawn carriages (Fieker), which are plentiful in this part of the Vienna. Taking a tour by carriage may be a good way to get an overview of the historic Central District before you explore specific places – by foot. Ah, yes don’t worry about the horse droppings, the Viennese have a clever way of taking care of that.

On the other side of Ringstrasse, is the imposing Rathaus with its Gothic style and cathedral like tower. It was built between 1872 and 1883, and today is Vienna’s City Hall and serves as the seat for the Mayor, the city council and approximately 2,000 workers.

The Wonderful Museums

Nearby and also across the street from the Hofburg Palace are the Museums of Natural History (Naturhistorisches Museum) and the Museum of Fine Arts (Kunsthistorishes Museum). Built between 1872 and 1891, the Museum of Fine Arts was originally built to house the vast collection of the Imperial Family. Today it holds the former art collections of the Habsburgs’ Medieval Art, along with important ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities. It is unequivocally, one of the preeminent museums in the world. The picture gallery holds works from Michelangelo, Velazquez, Durer, Raphael, Titian and probably the most comprehensive collection of Peter Brueghel to be found anywhere.

The outside of Austria's National Library as viewed from the courtyard within the Hofburg Palace

National Library Hofburg Vienna's Central District

 

With its earliest collections of artifacts begun over 250 year ago the Museum of Natural History is said to be one of the most important museums in the world. The collection includes the 25,000 year-old figure of “Venus von Willendorf”, one of Austria’s most significant archeological finds, discovered in 1908 during the excavation of palaeolithic remains of a settlement at Willendorf in the Wachau region. On display is also the skeleton of a Diplodocus, the longest terrestrial vertebrate that has ever lived, a giant topaz weighing 117 kg (4,127.1 oz.) and the valuable bouquet of jewels which Maria Theresia had made as a present for her husband. Over 20 million objects are said to be scientifically maintained and cataloged at the museum.

A Starbucks in Vienna's Central District, next door to a McDonalds

Starbucks - Vienna's Central District

Even a Starbucks!

When you get tired of touring the palaces and museums, or perhaps may be getting a bit home sick, here you’ll even find Starbucks and McDonald’s. No, they don’t ruin the setting, and in fact blend in quite nicely. A better choice may be to explore the local fare and cafes for which Vienna is well known.

Now, This Is Ice Cream!

If ice cream is on your mind, a shop at Sweden Platz, has some of the smoothest and best ice cream you’ve ever tasted.

Best Way to Tour? Walk or Carriage

Walking around old Vienna, which by the way is very safe, and enjoying some of the architectural marvels and other Vienna Attractions, can certainly give you a feeling that you’re stepping back a few centuries in time. It may also have you realize where so many of the greats of the past go their inspiration from. I think that you’ll find that walking around centuries old buildings and taking in the history is half the fun of being there.

Learn more about Vienna at Things to do in Vienna.


Things to do in Vienna

You will be hard put to not find “Things to do in Vienna”. Chances are you will not exhaust what there is to see, explore and partake in. The Vienna attractions for locals as well as tourists are manifold and definitely the major reason that Vienna is frequently rated as one of the most visited and livable cities in the world.

Statue of Johan Strauss in Vienna's central park
Vienna and Musicians are Synonymous

History Is Everywhere

Art, music and culture have a long history in Vienna, and many of the world’s best artists, philosophers, musicians and composers have hung out here over the past few hundred years. These are the same reasons visitors and tourists are attracted to Vienna.

For centuries Vienna has also been a seat of power in central Europe, whether in the Roman times, the Habsburg Dynasty era, in the near past as the go between East and West, or today as one of the four major hubs for the UN and the seat for OPEC.

Participate In Vienna’s History and Culture

Vienna is a city rich in history, traditions, museums and palaces, dating back centuries, in the mist of which you may spot some very interesting contrasts such as with the ultra modern building located opposite the St. Stephens Cathedral, which dates back centuries. And then there’s the Hundertwasserhaus located in the Landstrasse District, which does not have a straight line or repetition anywhere in its structure, exterior or decor. Even the sidewalk around it is uneven. If you are an organized type, this apartment complex would present a real challenge. To get an even deeper understanding of the city and get a broader perspective, attend an opera, theater or musical performance.  Join in and participate in some of the open to the public events and performances, whether as a tourist in Vienna or a guest – you are welcome.

Inside Vienna's famous opera house
Inside Vienna’s Opera House

Vienna and The Arts

Certainly one of the major attractions you’ll will notice , is the connection between Vienna and music. This is made very clear as you walk among the historical settings the musicians we so revere, got much of their inspiration from. Choose among the world’s best classical orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, attend one of the many amazing theaters, or why not a typical Viennese Operetta?

Vienna and Music Are Synonymous

If you don’t mind spur of the moment, frequently you’ll find people near the venue, selling concert tickets at a bargain. If you’re there in the May/June time frame, don’t miss out on the Vienna Festival Weeks . This is certainly a celebration of Vienna’s musical heritage and standing in the world of classical music – a city known for its art, culture and music and home base for the likes of Johann Strauss, Mozart, Schubert and Ludwig van Beethoven. More on that at Austria’s Summer Music Festivals.

The Majestic Schönbrunn Palace
The Majestic Schönbrunn Palace

Perhaps music is not on your list of things to do in Vienna. OK, then, how about visiting and exploring the Shönbrunn Schloss (Palace), St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Hofburg Imperial Palace (home of the Habsburg dynasty and the birthplace of Marie Antoinette), the Rathaus (the seat of the major and the city council) and the Vienna State Opera House.

A Must Visit to The Grandeur Of the Past

The Shönbrunn Palace grounds are huge and attest to its glorious past as the royalty’s summer home and hunting grounds. Its expansive gardens with the fountains and the Gloriette, which sits facing the Palace at the other end of the gardens, are magnificent. In fact the Gloriette at the Schönbrunn is said to be the finest example of its kind to be found anywhere.

The size and scope of the Hofburg Palace, in Vienna’s Central District, will amaze you. And as you’re gawking, watch out for the horse and buggy and tourist traffic, which is pretty heavy, except for early Sunday morning, when all is quiet. Also not to be missed are Vienna’s Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Fine Arts, which are among the finest in Europe.

Wine, Food, Pastries and More…

In addition to Vienna’s ties to classical music, you have the magic and history of the Danube River, which runs through the city, the nearby vineyards, the parks, and… of course, the food, pastries and kafes, which certainly are major attractions for tourists and locals alike. Can’t forget the ice cream places such as the one at Schwedenplatz – what a treat. Still looking for things to do in Vienna?

Contrast of old and new in Vienna's central district - St. Stephens cathedral and next to modern building c
Vienna Old and New Architecture Meet

If you enjoy a little walking, great scenery, good food and wine? Then check out the areas around the  Vienna Wine Trail, one of the major Vienna Tourist Attractions, stop in a local Heurigen – Vienna Wine Tavern,  have some of the proprietor’s wine along with some of their specialties and enjoy.

One Of the Most Livable Cities In The World

In addition to the many historic buildings, monuments and fairytale palaces, Vienna is a thriving metropolis perfectly suited for today’s tourist and visitor, as it was in its the past, when the likes of Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss and Mozart gained much of their inspiration in this city. With all of that going on, it’s no wonder that Vienna is rated as one of the most livable cities in the world.

 

When travelling to Austria and Vienna in specific, you’ll find the information and transportation resources at the Airport to be very convenient. Even though the public transportation system in Vienna is excellent, you’ll want the freedom of having a rental to be of great convenience, especially if you want to visit some of the very popular and atmosphere laden Vienna Heurigens, or take a trip to nearby Wachau Valley, with its terraced vineyards, old castles and monasteries.For your convenience, Car rental at Vienna airport provides easy pick-up and drop off.

Find additional things to do in Vienna at Central Vienna Attractions.

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