Vienna, the nation’s capital and largest city, is situated in the eastern part of Austria. It has a population of about 2 million people, although you would never guess it. However, despite its size, the city preserves the atmosphere of a little town. A large part of this may be attributed to the many parks, forests, and other open and green places available.
Vienna has an intact historic cityscape like hardly any other major city, characterized by magnificent buildings from the Baroque and Wilhelminian periods. On a trip along the Vienna Ringstrasse, you will pass the State Opera, the Museum of Art and Natural History, the Parliament, the Burgtheater and the City Hall.
Because of the history of the Habsburg monarchy, which reigned over wide portions of Europe for many centuries, Vienna has grown in size (as well as in aesthetic appeal). For almost all of that time period, Vienna served as the administrative center of Habsburg administration.
Monumental structures and works of art abound as a result of the ongoing competition among Emperors, Empresses, and aristocratic families to outdo one another in terms of construction and interior décor.
Tip 1: Schönbrunn Palace
Schönbrunn Palace, built in the 17th century and still standing as one of Europe’s most spectacular Baroque palaces, served as the imperial summer house for a long period of time. The chateau became the cultural and political center of the Habsburg Empire. The tour of magnificent representative rooms in the central part of the palace and chambers of former emperors also includes the 19th-century living quarters of Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth, located in the west wing.
If you’re travelling to Vienna, the Schönbrunn Palace, as well as the Hofburg, are two must-see attractions. With a variety of ticket choices available from the Palace, including tours to the interior, exterior, and museums of Schönbrunn Palace, you may customize your visit to the Palace to meet your specific needs. If you only have a limited amount of time, consider combining your visit to the Palace with a tour of the city center.
Tip 2: St Stephen’s Cathedral
Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, one of Vienna’s most well-known sights, was erected in 1147 on the foundations of an older ancient Roman basilica, which was afterwards attributed to St. Stephen himself. Only the Giant’s Gate and the Heathen Towers survive from this original group of structures.
On the roof of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the imperial and royal double-headed eagle and the Austrian coat of arms were laid with colorful tiles. The interior of St. Stephen’s Cathedral was repeatedly changed over the centuries until the Baroque period. In addition to numerous valuable altars and side chapels, the impressive cathedral treasure can also be visited: ornate relics decorated with gold and precious stones, monstrances, liturgical texts and books, and vestments.
A visit to Vienna’s Stephen’s Cathedral, one of the city’s most prominent landmarks, is a must for every visitor to the Austrian capital. Because of its central position in the city, it is the ideal site to base your touring activities, since it is surrounded by a plethora of other attractions as well as superb restaurants and cafés to enjoy.
Tip 3: The Hofburg
The Hofburg (“Court Castle”) served as the Imperial Palace for the Habsburgs for many centuries, while the modern structure that bears the name Hofburg was mostly constructed in the 19th century and added to piece by piece over time. Since the end of 1946, it has been the official residence of the Austrian Federal President.
The Hofburg is notable for two characteristics: its utterly bizarre layout, which lacks a natural center and gives the impression that it has been re-modeled numerous times; and the architectural colossalness of the building, which serves as the culmination of both the Ringstraße buildings and the madness of Austrian Imperialism.
When you are immersed in the Hofburg in all of its magnificence, you may be shocked to learn that the plans for the most recent enlargement really meant to make the whole structure around twice as large as it is now and turn it into a so-called “Kaiser forum” (Imperial Forum).
Tip 4: Belvedere Palace
The Belvedere Palace served as the summer house of Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663–1736), who lived there. A vast park surrounds the Upper and Lower Belvederes, which are designed by the renowned Baroque architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt and include the Orangery and Palace Stables, as well as the Upper and Lower Belvederes with the Orangery and Palace Stables. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it is considered to be one of Europe’s most spectacular Baroque structures.
As of today, the Belvedere has the world’s most important collection of Austrian art, which dates from the Middle Ages to the present day and is supplemented by works by foreign artists. Visitors to the Upper Belvedere may not only see artworks spanning more than 500 years of art history, but they can also have a look inside the exquisite staterooms of the building.
Tip 5: Hundertwasser House
Located in the heart of Vienna, Hundertwasser house is a residential complex with an innovative architectural design that stands out from the city’s traditional style.
The work of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, which was built between 1983 and 1986, resembles a colorful jigsaw or a child’s painting – the floors are crooked, if not wavy, and trees grow within the rooms, with roots and branches reaching from the windows.
The vivid colors and irregular forms of its façade have proved to be popular with visitors, and the Hundertwasser house has quickly risen to the top of the list of most visited buildings in the Austrian capital.
If you want to see another view of the Hundertwasser House, you should change to the opposite side of the street in Löwengasse. From there you have a good view of the second house front.