Welcome to Vienna, a city of impressive architecture, amazing museums and awe-inspiring music. Those interested in the imperial-style architecture will be delighted by Vienna, where everything bears the signs of typical imperial grandeur. This legacy of the Habsburg monarchy, with notable examples such as the Hofburg palace complex, Schloss Belvedere and Schloss Schönbrunn, makes Vienna able to rival the most popular cities in the world. But architecture is not the end of Vienna’s wonders – just wait untill you explore the museums. The Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, with its imperial art collection, is enough to make your head spin, with the display including the world’s richest coin collections, as well as the priceless works of many greats. Still, perhaps the most valuable legacy in possession of Vienna is the music. The musical heritage of famous composers such as Josef Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss, Ludwig van Beethoven, and many others, makes Vienna worthy of the title of the City of Music.
Top 10 Things to See and Do in Vienna
Schönbrunn Palace Evening
With this all-inclusive tour of the famous Vienna palace, you will be allowed to discover its hallways and chambers at your own pace with an audio commentary. Moreover, after you are done walking around, you will be eligible for a tasty traditional Austrian dinner, as well as a concert afterwards.
Vienna Mozart Concert at the Musikverein
Being a great experience for all music enthusiasts, this tour will allow you to hear for yourself some of the most recognisable pieces by Mozart, recreated by renowned and skilled musicians. You can choose from four seating options, as well as an upgrade to a VIP package which grants you dinner afterward.
Kursalon Vienna: Johann Strauss and Mozart Concert
This tour will provide you with the opportunity to listen to some of the greatest musical performances written by Johann Strauss and Mozart Concert inside of the Kursalon Vienna, as you soak up the cultural heritage of the country in the hell where Strauss himself had his musical career started.
Melk Abbey and Danube Valley Day Trip
Starting from the centre of Vienna, this day trip will take you on a ride in an air-conditioned coach along the Danube River with a boat cruise included. A guide will show you to Melk Abbey, where you will be able to learn some history of the Benedictine monastery, and at the end, you will be shown the landscapes of the Wachau Valley.
Wine Tasting Bike Tour
A nine-and-a-half-hour long bike tour combined with wine tasting departing from Vienna, which will take you through the famous region of Austria’s best wine regions – the Wachau Valley. A professional guide will show you the gorgeous sights of the Wachau Valley and recommend to you some of the finest Austrian wines.
Budapest Full-Day Trip from Vienna
While on a visit to Vienna, why not spend a day outside of the city to discover the gorgeous city of Budapest? This tour will take you aboard an air-conditioned minivan as you cross the border into Hungary. An informed guide will show you the gorgeous landscape of Hungary and the highlights of Budapest.
Alpine Panoramic Hallstatt Day Trip
A full-day tour departing from Vienna meant to show you the highlights of Hallstatt and Admont Abbey. You will be able to spot some of the gorgeous views of the Austrian Alps, as well as the UNESCO-listed Salzkammergut. Afterwards, you will be taken to some lakeside villages for shopping and sightseeing.
Wachau Valley Small Group Tour and Wine Tasting
This tour will allow you to save some money on renting a car or getting a train to the countryside, as you travel with a well-accustomed guide who will give you insight on the history of the Wachau Valley. The tour combines visits to Durnstein, the Melk Abbey, and the Danube River, with additional wine tasting.
Salzburg Day Trip
Take a day off from the hassle of the city of Vienna and allow a professional guide to take you to Salzburg, the home of Mozart. The tour will take you through the Old Town of Salzburg’s, which is a listed UNESCO world heritage site, allowing you to see places such as the famous gardens of Mirabell Palace.
Time Travel: Magic Vienna History Tour
Take part in this unique tour which will show you the past of Vienna through the use of special effects, animatronics, and gorgeous visuals. You will be able to experience the life of the Roman Vienna and the plague-stricken streets of the medieval city, as well as the musical heritage of Vienna and its WWII times.
Other Things to See and Do
Gardens at Schönbrunn Palace
While to get inside of the Schönbrunn Palace you need to buy a ticket, you can still visit the surrounding gardens for free. The gardens make for a great place for a walk or a run, as you can admire the gorgeous greenery, Roman ruins, numerous fountains, and monuments placed along the pathways.
St Stephen’s Cathedral
Being one of the most famous places in all of Vienna, St Stephen’s Cathedral is also free to visit. The church is built in Gothic style and presents a tall, sophisticated façade with statues and decorative windows. At one point it was the tallest building in Europe and it is definitely among the prettiest ones.
Located on the Josefsplatz, right next to the Hofburg, the Augustinian Church is both a parish and the winter palace of the Habsburg dynasty. It was originally built in the 14th century with the Gothic interior added in the 18th century. The church may look ordinary from the outside, but it is worth visiting on the inside.
Take a stroll around Vienna’s best-known market with more than a hundred colourful stalls and restaurants offering local produce, as well as foreign cuisine ranging from Indian to Vietnamese. Make sure to come in on Saturday, as the flea market is opened, to experience the variety of colours.
While it is one of the lesser known marketplaces of Vienna, it is still worth visiting to take a walk along the stalls of local artisans and craftsmen who display their work. The Brunnenmarkt is located in the Ottakring district, and often presents events and exhibits by South European artists.
Make sure to come to the city hall, or Rathaus, on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday at 1 p.m., as free guided tours start. The guides speak in German, but you can receive a free audio guide in English, French, Italian, or Spanish, so make sure to stop by this gorgeous building.
MUSA – Museum Start Gallery Artothek
If you’re a contemporary art enthusiast, make sure to visit the MUSA, as it has one of the largest collections of contemporary and modern art in all of Austria. You don’t have to worry about buying tickets, as the admission to the gallery is free for everyone during the whole year.
Being a rather unusual museum, the Geldmuseum presents the history of money and how it was made. The exhibits of the museum highlight the process of development of money from its origins to the present day, including free guided tours, showcases of collections, and exhibitions of rare coins.
Take a walk along this wide avenue, which circles around the old city of Vienna. The road was constructed in the late 19th century, where medieval fortifications once stood. Around the Ringstrasse, you can notice such beautiful monuments and buildings like the State Opera, the Palace of Justice, or the Parliament.
Established in 1862, this bucolic city park is a perfect spot for an afternoon stroll or a picnic with friends and family. The park, in its centre, features a gilded statue of musician Johan Strauss, as well as other busts and statues of composers, including a statue of Beethoven.
Street Art Passage
With a changing and rotating display of a variety of art, the Street Art Passage displays many different forms of art, from street to typography. The Street Art Passage is located on the bridge from the Spittelberg to the Museumsquartier and was opened in September 2008.
Not only is the Vienna Opera free to see for yourself up close, but you can also go on the inside and discover the hallways and chambers of the old opera building. Moreover, during the months of April, May, June, and September, some performances are shown on a screen outside of the opera for free.
Not only is this town square a place of beautiful architecture and one of the best-connected transportation hubs in Vienna, but the Karlskirche is also located here. Moreover, thanks to the Austrian Film Museum, you can watch free movies every summer, but come early to find a seat.
Music Film Festival
If you visit Vienna during the summer, make sure to come to the Music Film Festival, as you can watch pre-recorded concerts on a huge display in the middle of the City Hall Square. A lot of famous musicals can be watched here, as well as jazz performances and concerts of musicians such as Iggy Pop.
Danube Island Festival
The Danube Island Festival, or Donauinselfest, is a free open-air music festival with millions of visitors each year. The performances take place on the Danube Island, including both local bands and performers as well as world-famous artists, so make sure to come – it’s free after all.
If you are in a Christmas spirit and are visiting Vienna during November and December, make sure to take a look at the Christmas Markets, where you can see a wide variety of ornaments and Christmas tree decorations, handmade by the locals and foreigners alike.
Located at the St Marx Cemetery, Mozart's Grave is a beautiful place to visit, adorned with a white marble statue and a half-broken column. Often decorated with lush flowers, Mozart's Grave is only one of the many musician's graves, and for Beethoven, Brahms, and Strauss visit the Central Cemetery.
The University of Music and Performing Arts
While not all events presented at the University of Music and Performing Arts are free, many of them are so make sure to stop by and take a look at the calendar, or just search for it online. If you are lucky, you may be able to come and attend some of the concerts and performances at the university.
Vienna Concert Cafes
There are plenty of small-time cafés in Vienna which provide free concerts for their customers, mostly piano and jazz. While visiting such a café and listening to music is free, make sure to order a coffee or a pastry, as otherwise you will be seen as rude and may be asked to leave.
St Michael’s Church
Take a walk to one of the oldest churches in all of Vienna, and one of the few remaining Romanesque buildings in the city. The church is dedicated to the Archangel Michael and is located at Michaelerplatz, near the Hofburg Palace. Make sure to take a look at its gorgeous nave with two aisles, made in ancient Gothic style.