What Tourists Must See in Vienna, Austria At Least Once

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Austria

What Every Tourist Must See – 10 Best Vienna, Austria Sightseeing Spots

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Former intellectual and artist residents, like Mozart, Beethoven, and Sigmund Freud create Vienna’s allure. When I came to Vienna, a friend of mine made a Viennese bucket list for me. He said the itinerary is what every tourist must see when they visit Vienna, Austria

There is a lot to see in Vienna! Imperial palaces, such as Schönbrunn, the Habsburgs’ summer residence, museums, the historic city center, the Danube river and it’s bridges and historical and contemporary architecture.

All these beautiful sites make it hard to pick the ten best of Vienna. I only had three days in Vienna, but I can say without hesitation, my Vienna holiday is one of the best three days I have ever had.

10 Best Vienna Austria Sightseeing Spots

I picked my favorite historical sights, museums, and places that reflect the culture of Austria. Therefore, music and performances are an essential part of my list of 10 best Vienna, Austria sightseeing spots.

My list isn’t prioritized, meaning it’s not in any particular order and I broke it into categories. You might have other types of things to do that should be on the list. Let me know your favorite sites in Vienna are and we can add them to the list.

Some people may want to spend three days in Vienna just listening to music. Fortunately, Vienna is the place where you could go out every day and do nothing but attend concerts. The Viennese people go to recitals in churches, concert halls, and outdoor public places. Even the street music is outstanding and abundant.

Here is my Vienna itinerary

Places of Worship

10 Best Vienna Austria Sightseeing Spots

A famous Medieval Roman Catholic is St Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna. Budapest, Hungry and Krakow, Poland also have St Stephen’s Cathedral. St. Stephen is the first martyr of Christianity, I think that is why there are so many St Stephen Cathedrals and churches. According to the Acts of the Apostles, he was a deacon in the early Jerusalem church. He was also known for infuriating the Jerusalem synagogue’s members because of his teachings, was a renegade of his time.

Uplifting Inside and Out

I went to Mass at St. Stephen’s and a prayer service. The architecture inside and out is spectacular and lifts the spirit with an ornate spire, catacombs and a ‘treasury’ museum that lift my spirit. Every bit of this church is fun to experience. My favorite part was the catacombs. The catacombs aren’t always open. The entrance times are posted at the front of the church, the left side, on a board.
10 Best Vienna Austria Sightseeing Spots

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

Stairways are always interesting to me. If walking and climbing stairs are your thing, like it is for me, go to the observation tower at the top of the cathedral. The viewing terrace of St. Stephen’s Cathedral is 343 steps to the top. Take the elevator if you dread stairs and lots of steps. The view is magnificent, don’t miss it.

The view of Vienna from the lookout terrace at St. Stephen’s Cathedral

St Peter’s is a Baroque Roman Catholic parish church in Vienna, Austria.
10 Best Vienna Austria Sightseeing Spots

St. Peter’s Church

Museums

Jewish Museum Vienna

There are two locations for the Jewish Museum Vienna, Dorotheergasse 11, 1010 Vienna
from Sunday to Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Closed on Saturdays.
Jewish Museum Judenplatz, Judenplatz 8, 1010 Vienna from Sunday to Thursday10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Friday10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  Closed on Saturdays.
These museums are a little outside of the typical tourist area, the historic center of Vienna interesting museum showcasing the notable Jewish figures from Vienna

Sisi Museum – Hofburg 

In the Hapsburg Palace is Stephan’s apartments named after a famous ArchDuke. Located in the historic center of Vienna, next to the Spanish riding school and Lipizzaner Stallion performance center is a fabulous two for one opportunity. Without any travel time, consolidate your travel time by visiting the Sisi Museum after you see the Dancing Horses.
 10 Best Vienna Austria Sightseeing Spots
The Historic Center of Vienna has beautiful architecture, Baroque castles, gardens, and late-19th-century Ringstrasse. The Ringstrasse surrounded by grand buildings, fountains, monuments, and parks make the Ringstrasse, one of the best parts of my vacation.

10 Best Vienna Austria Sightseeing Spots

Performances

World famous performances are part of Vienna’s culture and ambiance. I loved listening to the music which floods the streets. The acoustics of the Viennese architecture and superb musicians makes Vienna the best place to attend a concert, in my opinion. My favorite is the
Vienna State Opera aka Wiener Staatsoper  – Buy these tickets in advance as the shows sell out.
Warning: Do not buy tickets from Street vendors dress in 19th-century customs.
10 Best Vienna Austria Sightseeing Spots

The Vienna Opera offers free outdoor concerts. First, come, get the best seats. Dress warmly, it gets chilly even in the summer.

My Favorite Experience

After 450 years of continuous classical dressage, in the Renaissance tradition of the Haute Ecole, the Dancing Horses show is one of the highlights of Vienna. The Spanish Riding School is on UNESCO’s list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. The horses trained by the famous equestrian school and the master riders thrill the global audiences at every show. Daily performances, training, and exercise sessions always have an audience.
Buy these tickets in advance; shows sell out. I heard them practicing in a church.
10 Best Vienna Austria Sightseeing Spots

Home of the famous choir

Bridges
There are over 1,716 bridges are in Vienna, Austria which means Vienna has more bridges than Venice, Italy. I recommend wandering around because this is a place of endless sightseeing possibilities for tourists. Don’t forget to try the Free Walking tours and Alternative Walking Tours

Fountains
Vienna has art, everywhere. The fountains of Vienna are baroque, bold and big. All have a story, but, more importantly, they add elegance and glamour to the city.
10 Best Vienna Austria Sightseeing Spots

Public Art

A famous and favorite historical landmark, created in the late 17th-century is a sculpture of the Holy Trinity. I used it as a landmark to help me find my way around town. But, there is something about it that draws you back. From every angle, the statue reveals another side of respect, power, and gratitude. The reason why it was built is equally as compelling as the work of art.

Black Plague

In 1679, one of the last significant black plague epidemics hit Vienna. The statue is a column designed to commemorate gratitude for the plague’s end. As the tale goes, the Hapsburgs fled Vienna. Before Emperor Leopold I left, he promised to erect a commemorative sculpture to the survival of the royal family and Viennese citizen.  The statue commemorates the victims of the plague.

Commemorate the Plague

Yes, they made a statue to commemorate the plague and mercy given to those who survived and the many who died. About, 76,000 people died in Vienna during this epidemic. Vienna was a significant trading crossroad, and as such, Viennese people suffered more than most. Secondly, Vienna was a filthy city, densely populated, with no sewers, poor drainage and garbage littered the streets in giant piles. Vienna with unpaved roads, horse-drawn carriages, and waste and sewage in the street, was one of the dirtiest places in Europe. Today, it’s the cleanest place I have ever been too.
10 Best Vienna Austria Sightseeing Spots

The top of Column of Pest (Column of The Trinity)

In front of the Hofburg is the former imperial palace in the center of Vienna, Austria. In front of the castle are Roman Ruins. There are several locations of Roman ruins, check with Google maps to find them. I don’t know what we did, or how I found my way around, before Google Maps. It’s a great travel tool.
10 Best Vienna Austria Sightseeing Spots
I love Vienna, Austria. It’s a perfect vacation location for me!
Travel tip and advice: Book performance tickets well in advance of your arrival.
Here is my Vienna Itinerary

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Kate started traveling for work. Now with grown children, who are travelers, she travels for pleasure looking for great travel experiences. Currently, her home is in Bellevue, WA, and lives with her cat Angelina Jolie. She has a Bachelor's of Fine Arts, Studio Arts and Art History from the University of Colorado, an MBA and Master of Arts, Management. Her favorite things are exploring new cultures, traveling the world, creating a painting and sour or spicy foods.

2 Comments

  1. Jim allen

    June 21, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Sounds like a nice city to chill in at an outdoor cafe with a glass of wine after a day of trekking through the city. Enjoyed the read Kate. Your article reminded me of Buenos Aires—a city with music and dancing wherever you go.

    Jim

    • Kate

      June 21, 2018 at 3:37 pm

      You are right, it’s a great place to walk all day, through the city and museums. Then, Jim, you might like to visit the mountains and continue your trek – I highly recommend Vienne for everyone.

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