No matter if this is your first time in Vienna or you have already spent some time settling down in the Viennese atmosphere, it is always a good idea to explore some of the best tourist attractions in the Austrian capital city. And since it has such a rich history and culture, it could be overwhelming to choose a starting place for your sightseeing. So, let’s begin at the first and most central district in Vienna known as Innere Stadt which has been added under the UNESCO World Heritage List.
St. Stephan’s Cathedral (Stephansdom)
St. Stephan’s Cathedral, located in the very central part in the first district, is among the most prominent symbols and tourist attractions in Vienna which makes it undoubtedly one of the first places to visit. The splendid Gothic architecture and motley murals can make every tourist fall in love with the historic building. St. Stephan’s Cathedral dates back from the 12th century and its 136-meter south tower makes it the biggest church not only in the first district but also in whole Vienna.
What makes the cathedral even more iconic for the city, is the north tower which is only 68-meter height and which completion took over 100 years due to budget constraints after it was burned for the second time in the 13th century. Besides, few know that the biggest pipe organ in Austria is located in St. Stephan’s Cathedral, so if you want to hear its majestic sounds you definitely have to visit it during a liturgy.
The cathedral is easily accessible with public transportation such as Metro line 1, 3 and buses 1A, 2A and 3A. The entry in the cathedral is free of charge for all visitors, so if you live in the city you can occasionally go there and admire its majesty. Besides, in St. Stephan’s Cathedral you will not only enjoy the Gothic beauty of the church but you can also climb up the south tower, visit the catacombs underneath the cathedral and buy some souvenirs from the shop there. Sounds good, right?
After you have visited the magnificent St. Stephan’s Cathedral, the perfect place to head out to is the near Hofburg. The Hofburg palace is famous for being a residence of the Habsburgs for more than half a century. Currently, it is a home of the annual winter balls and the Austrian Presidential Chancellery. Apart from that, the State Hall of the Austrian National Library is also located in the palace, where you can soak into the history of Austria and revel in the great collections of unique antique books.
Hofburg is one of the best tourist attractions in Vienna, offering numerous opportunities for the visitors. Indeed, the enthusiasts can also visit the Sisi museum, the Imperial apartments full of splendid royal furniture pieces as well as the Silver Collection of imperial dining services. Of course, the entrance to these attractions is not free, but there are options for group tickets and special offers. Hofburg palace can easily astonish every tourist with its lavish architecture and should certainly be on your list of the first places to visit when in Vienna.
Natural History and Art History Museum
When crossing Heldenplatz in Hofburg, you will most probably notice two mirrored magnificent buildings in front of you. These two tourist attractions are the famous Natural History and Art History Museums dating from the 19th century. They contain numerous collections of unique art, paintings, and artifacts which are definitely worth seeing. Both museums are gigantic, so if you do not have a whole day to visit them, you should at least enjoy them from the outside. Their Architecture, design and sculptures are fully identical and perfectly reflect the history of the city. Besides, the well-known Maria-Theresien-Platz is located between the two museums. There you can also see the monument of empress Maria Theresia who was a ruler from the House of Habsburg. After you have visited the two twin museums, you should certainly continue your sightseeing along the famous Ringstrasse.
Wiener Rathaus (Vienna City Hall)
There is no doubt that all buildings on Ringstrasse are breathtaking, but probably the most majestic among them is Rathaus. The building is not only a seat of the Viennese government but also a host for some the famous winter balls and various other events. The Neo-Gothic architecture of the Vienna City Hall and its almost 100-meter high main tower can easily astonish every visitor. In front, there is a huge park where you can have a rest and enjoy the beautiful views around you. Besides, Rathaus is home of the cinema festivals in the summer and Christmas markets and ice rink in the winter.
Vienna is a great city with a rich culture which always offers some new places to explore. Now just grab your best walking shoes and your camera and revel in these astonishing Viennese tourist attractions!