Looking for things to do in Vienna? Check out our list of top attractions, hidden gems, and fun tours to consider.
So you’re planning a trip to Vienna, Austria and you need a little travel inspiration to get you started? Well, this list has you covered!
From palaces to obscure museums, and elegant cafes to nearby vineyards, here are 50 things to do in Vienna!
All you have to do is pick and choose based on your interests to create your perfect trip to the city.
50 things to do in Vienna
1) Walk along the Ringstrasse
Known as the Ring Road to tourists, Ringstrasse is a circular boulevard that encases Vienna’s Old Town. The road is located where the city’s medieval fortifications once stood, and it’s a beautiful part of the city to explore on foot seeing as it’s lined with parks, museums, palaces and numerous historic buildings.
We walked this road multiple times during our visit; sometimes early in the morning to enjoy the light and other times at night to admire all the historic buildings dazzling under the evening lights.
This Vienna city walking tour hits up Ringstrasse and numerous landmarks in the historic centre. It’s a great introduction to the city and worth doing early in your trip.
2) See Vienna from St. Stephen’s Cathedral
St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Also known as Stephansdom, is a stunning example of Gothic architecture, with a Romanesque foundation. It’s famous for its colourful tile roof, adorned with the coat of arms of the City of Vienna and the Republic of Austria.
The cathedral’s tallest tower, known as the Steffl, stands at 136 meters and dominates the Vienna skyline. Ride the elevator to the top for stunning views of Vienna.
If you don’t enjoy heights, you may not love going up to the roof (I was trying to hug the wall as I walked!), but even if you don’t go up the cathedral is worth visiting.
3) Have a slice of Sacher Torte
The Sacher Torte is a dense chocolate cake, filled with a thin layer of apricot jam and covered in dark chocolate icing. This is the one cake you have to try in Vienna! Namely, at Café Sacher.
Aside from the classic Sachertorte, we also odered a Liliput Original Sacher Gewürzgugelhupf, which is a Viennese ring cake with sweet spices, ginger and candied oranges. Plus a Viennese Melange and a Viennese iced chocolate.
The setting was beautiful, elegant and one of the highlights of our cafe-hopping adventures in Vienna.
4) Visit the house where Mozart lived
The famed composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart may have been born in Salzburg, but he also resided in Vienna for a few years. Today you can visit Mozarthaus Vienna which is located at Domgasse 5. This was his place of residence from 1784 to 1787.
5) Catch a concert at St. Peter’s Church
Peterskirche is a Baroque church that holds free daily organ recitals (donations are welcome), as well as scheduled concerts by the Classic Ensemble Vienna that require tickets.
For the paid concerts, the program features music from renowned classical composers such as Mozart, Vivaldi, Bach, Schubert, and Beethoven.
We happened to walk past St. Peter’s Church just as they were setting up for a concert, so we decided to attend and it was magical! Not only is it a beautiful experience sitting under the church vaults, but the acoustics are quite impressive as well.
You can book tickets to a Classical Concert at St. Peter’s Church here. The concert is 1 hour and 10 minutes.
6) Visit Hofburg Palace
This was the imperial palace of the Habsburg dynasty and it’s one of the most striking sights in all of Vienna. Hofburg Palace was built in the 13th century and expanded many times over.
Of course, we couldn’t miss this iconic attraction, so we bought tickets that gave us access to the Sisi Museum, the Imperial Apartments and the Silver Collection. You can’t miss this place when you come to Vienna!
7) Check out the Roman ruins at Michaelerplatz
Yes, that’s right, Vienna has Roman ruins just a few layers beneath the modern city! We were quite surprised when we stumbled across them. They are located in the plaza right in front of Hofburg Palace and they are believed to be the ruins of a brothel for soldiers.
8) Catch the Lipizzans at Spanish Riding School
These stallions, known as Lipizzans, are a horse breed that was developed in the 16th century by the Habsburgs. The Spanish Riding School in Vienna is the only institution in the world that has practiced this classical equitation for more than 450 years and continues to do so to this day!
You can book a guided tour of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna to learn about the history, tour this historic venue, and meet the horses.
Alternatively, you can watch them perform their “Ballet of the White Stallions” at the Winter Riding School inside Hofburg Palace.
9) Go on a carriage ride through Vienna
One of the most popular things to do in Vienna is to go on a horse-drawn carriage ride, or a Fiaker, through the city. The first fiaker license was issued in 1693, so carriages have a long and storied history in this city.
You can find the carriages parked around Stephansplatz and Hofburg Palace. Prices are around €120 for a 1-hour ride.
10) Stroll the People’s Garden Park of Vienna
The Volksgarten is a public park in Vienna and a beautiful place for a stroll in between all the sightseeing. There’s a beautiful rose garden – you can actually sponsor a rose bush as a way to tell that special someone you love them! – and on the north end of the park, you can also see a statue of Empress Sisi.
If you grew up watching the animated cartoon series, Princess Sissi, like I did, you’ll probably enjoy the park!
11) Have a slice of Wiener Apfelstrudel
We’ve already mentioned the Sacher Torte, but another dessert you can’t miss is the Viennese Apple Strudel! This delicious pastry is stuffed with apples, raisins, sugar and cinnamon, and it’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up after a few hours of sightseeing around Vienna.
Whenever we got tired of walking around Vienna, we would choose a cafe and go have a slice of Apfelstrudel and a cup of coffee to keep us going.
If you have a sweet tooth, you may be interested in this Vienna Pastry and Dessert food tour. You visit family-run bakeries and sample pastries, chocolates and more!
12) Drink a Wiener Melange
The Wiener Melange is the specialty coffee of choice in Vienna; one espresso shot served in a large coffee cup topped with steamed milk and milk foam. If you continue to the City of Music, you can then try the Salzburg Melange and other typical Salzburg dishes.
13) Enjoy a typical Viennese breakfast
You can’t skip the most important meal of the day! Sit down at a cafe and order up a coffee (bonus points if you go for the Wiener Melange), croissants, bread rolls, butter, jam, and an assortment of cheeses and deli meats. Now you’re ready for a fun day of sightseeing around Vienna.
14) Visit the Hapsburg Imperial Crypt
Another interesting thing to do in Vienna is to visit Capuchin’s Crypt, also known as Imperial Crypt, which sits below the Capuchin Church and Monastery. This is the final resting place for 12 emperors, 18 empresses, and 113 members of the Habsburg family.
15) Eat Käsekrainer at a Würstelstand
If you enjoy sampling street food, then you need to try Vienna’s Käsekrainer, a sausage filled with small pieces of cheese that ooze out! This is a super popular late nite snack after a few drinks have been had.
We went out with friends one night and a stop at the Würstelstand was how we ended our night after restaurant and bar hopping.
Here’s a list of some of the top Würstelstände in the city.
16) Attend a Viennese Ball
The tradition of carnival balls is alive and well in Vienna! The city hosts over 450 balls every year with peak season happening around January and February.
If you think you’d like to attend but you aren’t quite sure where to start, check out this list of some of the biggest and best events.
And it may be worth taking a dance lesson or two while you’re at it!
17) Eat your way through Naschmarkt
If you’re a foodie you’ll want to make a beeline for Vienna’s Naschmarkt. This market has both produce stands as well as restaurants.
You can pick up some items to cook for yourself, or grab a seat at one of the many international eateries! This is a place that we visited multiple times and it’s where one of my favourite restaurants in Vienna is located.
This 6-hour Vienna food tour takes you to coffee houses, pastry shops, markets, and more for non-stop eating. It’s the top rated food tour in the whole city!
18) Catch a show at the Wiener Staatsoper
Opera, ballet, orchestra or choir? Whichever you prefer, you can enjoy it at the Vienna Opera House. You can have a look at their calendar to see what’s on during your visit.
If you want to splurge on a special experience during your visit, you can book the Mozart Concert with Dinner and Carriage Ride which includes a 4-course gourmet dinner, a horse-drawn carriage ride, and the best seats to the Mozart concert.
19) Tour Schönbrunn Palace
While Hofburg Palace was the winter residence of the Habsburg, Schönbrunn Palace was the summer residence.
It was originally built as a hunting lodge in the late 17th century for Emperor Leopold I. It was later expanded and transformed into a grand palace by Empress Maria Theresa in the mid-18th century.
Schönbrunn Palace is an impressive Baroque Palace that is often referred to as the “Austrian Versailles”. Painted a cheery yellow, this palace has a whopping 1,441 rooms that were at the Habsburgs’ disposal!
If you’re pressed for time, you can skip the line with this Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens guided tour. You can follow in the footsteps of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth as you tour the palace.
20) Stroll the Schönbrunn Palace Gardens
Located directly behind the palace, the formal Schönbrunn Palace Gardens are not to be missed! If you’re visiting Vienna on a budget, you’ll be pleased to hear that the Palace Park is free to visit.
However, if you want to access some of the special attractions like the Privy Garden, the Orangery Garden or the Maze, you will need to buy individual tickets.
We enjoyed strolling the gardens in bloom and walking all the way up the hill for even better views. There are so many areas to explore that you could easily spent hours here.
21) See the Vienna Boys’ Choir
Renowned around the world, the Vienna Boys’ Choir is made up of approximately 100 sopranos and altos aged 10-14. They sing at various venues and events across the city. You can view their schedule here to see if it lines up with your trip to Vienna.
22) Spot an art fake
The Museum of Art Fakes is a small gallery that’s full of forgeries. That’s right, not one single piece of original artwork, but the untrained eye would probably not be able to spot the difference.
23) Set foot in Hundertwasser’s world
For a touch of whimsy and colour, you can’t miss Hundertwasserhaus. This is an apartment building in Vienna that was designed by Friedrich Stowasser. The building is characterised by its bright colours, wonky lines, and uneven surface. It’s unlike any other building you’ll see in the city. After visiting Hundertwasserhaus, go into Hundertwasser Village just across the street.
24) Visit the Republic of Kugelmugel
Located in Prater Park and enclosed in barbed wire, this micronation is home to a spherical house. This republic came into existence in 1984 when the government had a dispute with Austrian artist Edwin Lipburger over the construction of his spherical house in central Vienna. This lead to Lipburger declaring his property an independent nation – a rather strange attraction in Vienna!
25) Ride the Wiener Riesenrad
Wiener Riesenrad dates back to 1897 and it was built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Emperor Franz Joseph I’s accession to the throne.
This historic Ferris wheel is 65 meters tall and offers breathtaking views of Vienna. From 1920 until 1985, it was the world’s tallest existing Ferris wheel!
The gondolas creak and sway, and it can be a bit unnerving if you’re not fond of heights, but you get some truly amazing views of Vienna.
26) Go on the rides at Prater Park
Prater Park originally served as a hunting ground for the Habsburg monarchy dating back to the 12th century. In the 18th century, it was opened to the public and gradually transformed into an amusement and leisure park.
Today it boasts a lively amusement park with a wide range of rides and attractions, including roller coasters, carousels, bumper cars, and games. The amusement park is particularly popular with families.
The nice thing about Prater is that admission to the park is free of charge and you pay per ride. If you get hungry, you can’t go wrong with a meal at Schweizerhaus – the name translates to “Swiss House” but they have tasty Austrian dishes!
27) Shop at the flea markets
Vienna is home to several flea markets and antique markets where you can browse for vintage treasures, unique collectibles, and secondhand items.
Naschmarkt is by far the most popular and though it’s mainly known for food, it also has a flea market section.
Flohmarkt Am Hof is situated in the historic heart of Vienna and offers a range of antiques, old books, ceramics, vintage clothing, and collectibles. It’s a smaller market but has a charming ambiance.
Flohmarkt Weinerberg is another market to check out where you can find anything ranging from nostalgic garb to retro tech gadgets from the 90s. It’s fun to peruse and see what treasures you uncover.
28) Drink wine at Vienna’s vineyards
Did you know that Vienna has numerous vineyards within the city limits? If you’re craving a city break without going very far, the vineyards are a great option. You can spend the day at the Heurige or wine taverns, sipping to your heart’s content.
29) Order up a Wiener Schnitzel
Another dish you need to try when you visit Vienna is the Wiener Schnitzel! This dish is a thin, breaded, pan-fried veal cutlet and it’s a staple at almost every restaurant. Squeeze a little lemon on top and voila!
30) Enjoy an ice cream break
Austrians love their ice cream so it’s always a good time to stop for a scoop or two. Here’s a list of some of the top ice cream parlours in the city to tempt you!
31) Rent a “floating island” on the Alte Donau
It’s easier to look at a picture than to explain it, so here it is. A fun summer option with a group of friends, right? The island boats can be tied to a floating dock for parties and concerts.
32) Go for a swim at Amalienbad
Budapest may be known for its thermal baths and spas, but Vienna has a few surprises of its own. If you’re looking to be wowed, look no further than the indoor pool at Amalienbad.
33) Watch animals roam at Lainzer Tiergarten
Lainzer Tiergarten was once a hunting ground for Ferdinand I of Austria, but in 1781, Emperor Joseph II opened the area to the public, making it one of the world’s first wildlife preserves accessible to ordinary citizens.
This park is now a wildlife reserve where deer, boar, and mouflon roam free! Visitors have the opportunity to observe these animals in their natural habitat, and there are designated viewing areas and hiking trails for this purpose.
34) Shop until you drop
A few nice pedestrian shopping streets in the Old Town are Kärntner Strasse, Graben and Kohlmarkt. The first two have lots of familiar brand names with fairly affordable prices (though prices do go up the closer you get to Hofburg Palace), and by the time you reach Kohlmarkt, it’s all very high-end, perfect for window shopping.
35) Enjoy art at the Belvedere Museum
The Belvedere is a Baroque palace that houses the Belvedere Museum, a renowned art museum known for its impressive collection of Austrian and international art, particularly its holdings of Austrian paintings from the Middle Ages to the present day.
It also holds the largest collection of Gustav Klimt’s paintings in the world. This is where you can see The Kiss!
36) Watch time go by on the Anker Clock
Located in the in the Hoher Markt – the oldest square in Vienna – the Ankeruhr is an Art Nouveau clock that was designed by Franz von Matsch.
The clock is a tribute to various historical personalities, and every hour, you can see a new copper figure emerge.
As a tip, if you visit at noon, you’ll be able to see all twelve figures come out!
37) Bring your appetite and try some Stelze
Another thing to do in Vienna is eat pork knuckle – a very popular dish around these parts! The portion will be massive, the meat will be tender, and you will leave feeling stuffed. You may even want to join a Vienna food tour – a fun way to discover the local cuisine!
38) Explore MuseumsQuartier
The MuseumsQuartier is located in the former imperial stables of the Habsburg monarchy, which were constructed in the 18th century. It underwent extensive renovations and transformations in the late 20th century to become the dynamic museum and cultural complex that it is today.
The Museum Quarter features numerous museums and art galleries. These include:
- MUMOK (Museum of Modern Art) – focused on modern and contemporary art, featuring works from the 20th and 21st centuries by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Yoko Ono.
- Kunsthalle Wien – an exhibition space for contemporary art that hosts a rotating schedule of temporary exhibitions.
- Leopold Museum – home to one of the largest collections of Austrian modernist art, including works by Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt.
- Az W (Museum of Architecture) – dedicated to the history and development of architecture in Austria, with a focus on contemporary architecture and urban planning.
- Q21 – a cultural platform within the MuseumsQuartier that hosts numerous art studios, workshops, galleries, and cultural organizations.
39) Visit the Sigmund Freud Museum
The Sigmund Freud Museum welcomes tourists into Freud’s former office and apartment and also covers the history of psychoanalysis. .
Visitors can explore Freud’s study, consultation room, and living quarters, which have been meticulously preserved to reflect the atmosphere of the early 20th century. The museum also features a collection of Freud’s personal belongings, including his famous couch, as well as his extensive library and first editions of his works.
40) See the city from the Donauturm
If the views from St Stephen’s Cathedral are not enough, you can always go up the Danube Tower for a bird’s eye view.
This is the tallest structure in Austria standing 252 metres high on the northern banks of the Danube River and offering stunning panoramic views of the city and its surroundings.
At a height of 170 meters, the Danube Tower holds a revolving restaurant called “Donauturm Restaurant.” This restaurant slowly rotates 360 degrees, providing diners with ever-changing views of the city as they enjoy a meal. It’s known for its Austrian and international cuisine.
41) Go to the beach at Strandbar Herrmann
Sand, sun and cocktails right on the banks of the Danube River. If you’re looking for things to do in Vienna in summer, this is a pretty ideal spot. Vienna may not have a natural beach per se, but this comes pretty close!
42) Find the tree covered in nails
Stock im Eisen means “staff in iron” and it’s a tradition of covering trees in nails which dates back to the Middle Ages. These trees have been found throughout southeastern Europe and this particular one, which now sits behind a glass shield at the Palais Equitable, is believed to date from the 1400s.
43) Find Mozart in the park
Say hello to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at Burggarten and snap a pic!
44) Descend into Vienna’s Underworld
The city’s sewage system may seem like an odd item to add to this list of things to do in Vienna, but it was made famous in the movie The Third Man. This network of tunnels dates back to the mid-1800s and today tours are available via a guided visit.
45) Visit the Albertina Museum
The Albertina is housed in the historic Palais Archduke Albrecht, a palace that was originally constructed in the 18th century.
It was later acquired by Archduke Albrecht, Duke of Teschen, who amassed a significant collection of art.
In 1919, upon the Archduke’s death, the palace and its art collection were turned into a public museum.
46) Grab drinks at the 25hours Hotel
This hotel has a rooftop bar called Dachboden-Bar and it’s a really lively spot. We went with a group of friends and had a really fun time.
You have great city views of Vienna at night, different seating areas, and even an old photobooth to capture some memories.
47) Be wowed by the Austrian National Library
There are few libraries around the world that will make your jaw drop; this one is one of them! It was the former court library to the Hapsburgs and contains 2.5 million books!
48) Learn about the Esperanto language
Esperanto was created by L. L. Zamenhof in the year 1887. The goal was for it to serve as a universal second language and foster peace and international understanding.
You can learn all about it – and perhaps decipher some texts! – at the Esperanto Museum which is located inside the Austrian National Library.
49) Fuel your wanderlust by looking at globes
The Globe Museum houses over 250 artefacts including terrestrial globes, celestial globes, lunar globes, planetary globes, and astronomical instruments. It is also located inside the Austrian National Library.
50) Walk in the footsteps of Jesse and Celine
If you haven’t watched the movie Before Sunrise, you need to do so now before you leave for Vienna!
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Have you travelled to Vienna?
Are there any other things to do in Vienna that you’d add to this list?