Search for your Vienna Hotel
Located in the heart of Europe, Vienna is the capital of Austria, the landlocked alpine country between Italy and Slovenia to the South, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic to the East, Switzerland to the West and Germany to the North.
This city of around 1.8 million is known to have one of the highest qualities of living worldwide. Once it used to be the center of the vast Austro-Hungarian empire. Remnants of these times can be found all around the city, ranging from magnificent palaces and museums to large parks and monuments.
Nevertheless, Vienna did not stop developing and has many faces today - ranging from traditional and historical to progressive and alternative - that alternate and complement one another often in a very unexpected way. The city features vibrant cafés and clubs, modern architecture and trendy designer stores as well as concert halls, imperial palaces, numerous museums and traditional establishments.
St. Stephens Cathedral
Probably one of the greatest Gothic edifices in Europe, St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom to the Austrians) is located right in the center of the city of Vienna (U1/U3 Stephansplatz).
St. Stephen's is the most important religious building in Austria's capital and the mother church of the Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of the Archbishop (Erzbischof) of Vienna.
The Cathedral is always open to the public during the following Opening Hours:
Monday to Saturday:
6 am - 10 pm
Sundays and Public Holidays:
7 am - 10 pm
The two magnificient palaces on the Belvedere grounds lie in the middle of a splendid park. They were constructed for Prince Eugene of Savoy by J.L. von Hildebrandt, a famous Baroque architect.br /> At this time the Belvedere Palaces were still located outside Vienna's defences, but today they are a part of Vienna`s third district which is not far away from the very centre of Vienna. The Palaces' architecture and interior design are typical for Rococo style. br /> Today, both palaces house museums featuring Austrian painting. In the lower palace the "Österreichisches Barockmuseum" (Austrian Museum of Baroque Art) displays Austrian Art of the 18th century. In the upper palace you can visit the Austrian gallery with a collection of 19th- and 20th-century Austrian paintings. There, you can find works of artist of the Secession movement such as Gustav Klimt (1867-1918), Egon Schiele (1890-1918) or Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980). br /> In 1803, Europe's first alpine garden was created in the extensive park area of Belvedere castle following a suggestion of Archduke Johann. Today, more than 4000 plants represent the diverse flora of the alpine ecosystem. Spring and early summer are the best times to visit as many plants foliate and start to flower. br />br /> Schonbrunn Palace
Schonbrunn Palace with its surrounding buildings and the huge park is one of the most significant cultural monuments in Austria. The castle was build to rival French Versailles in Baroque beauty and importance but House Habsburg lacked funds to outdo its rivalling nation France. In earlier times it served as summer residence to various Habsburg rulers.
Emperor Franz Joseph (ruled 1848-1916), who was born here in 1830, spent the last years of his life entirely in Schönbrunn. In 1918, the palace became the property of the new republic. Due to this historical importance, its beautiful location and its gardens this palace is one of the very top sights in Vienna. Furthermore the entire complex was added to the UNESCO's world cultural heritage list.
Don't miss out on a tour of the residence itself and a chance to admire the magnificent apartments of Maria Theresia, her sitting rooms, bedroom and the parlour in which 6 year old Mozart used to play for the Empress, as well as the parlours and apartments of Imperial couple Franz Joseph and Sisi. The interior is an orgy of frescoed ceilings, crystal chandeliers, huge mirrors and gilded ornaments.
When you are a tad tired after visiting almost 40 rooms bear in mind that you have seen less than 3% of the residence's 1441 rooms!
A Tirolian garden complete with original hut, orchard and pasture farm enhances the charms of Schoenbrunn castle and its park. Again, Archduke Johann was the driving force behind this project. Empress Sisi, too, was immensely fond of this alpine patch. In 1874, a second hut was built for her.
Schonbrunn palace also features a palm house with 3 climate zones and plants stemming from rain forests from all continents!
Wiener Hofreitschule - Spanish Riding School
The Spanish Riding School is the oldest and last Riding School in the world where classic dressage is still practised in its purest form. This Institute was founded in 1572.
It's name was derived from the fact that the horses were of Spanish origin. The Lipizzaner is regarded to be the oldest classic horse race in Europe. The horses have been bread in Lipizza in Slovenia. Tody, there is a stud in Piber, close to Graz. Young Lipizzaner are black and only turn white when reaching maturity. They need to undergo elaborate training before they are able to perform their prancing Renaissance ballet to the sound of classical music.
The Riders of the Spanish Riding School train the horses and perform in the Winter Riding School in the Vienna Hofburg (Imperial Palace) in a splendid Baroque hall built by Josef Emanuel Fischer von Erlach between 1729 and 1735. The magnificient rooms are adorned with chandeliers and set off the performance to best effects. The presentations of classical dressage have been open to the public since 1920.
Tickets are expensive but the elegant and complicated performance will provide exquisite pleasure. The shows are often booked for months in advance. In July and August the white horses enjoy their well-deserved summer break.
Wiener Staatoper, the Operahouse
Vienna Opera House is situated in the frist district of Vienna at the southern end of the Kärntnerstrasse. August von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll built the State Opera House from 1861 to 1869.
The Vienna Opera House has a world-wide reputation for its first-class opera performances and is also known because of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. A night at the State Opera is one of the most impressive events any visitor to Vienna can experience.
The building itself closely resembles Italian Renaissance, as this epoch was immensely important for art and music. The first operas were written and performed in Italy during the 16th century.
The loggia towards ring boulevard aims to emphasize the house's openess to the public. It is adorned with a precious cycle representing the Mozart's 'Magic Flute' and other famous operas accomplished by painter Moritz von Schwind.
Numerous statues and figurative embellishments at the inside and outside of Vienna opera underline the festive character of the house.
Hofburg, The Imperial Palace
The Hofburg was orignially a medieval castle, but today only the castle chapel ('Burgkapelle') demonstrates its medieval past.
The Hofburg was extended to a magnificent residence when the Habsburg's power increased. That's why one can find almost any architectural style, from gothic to art nouveau. Nowadays this enormous complex is home to National Library, Imperial Treasury, and houses a collection of musical instruments, another collection of weapons, a Museum of Ethnography and famous Spanish Riding School.
Vienna's Imperial castle also houses exotic butterflies in a marvellous art-deco glass house!
Vienna has a really good train connection to Western Europe and Eastern as well. There are many airlines flies regularly to Vienna International Airport
Check out our bus transfers in/out Vienna
Railjet train tickets
Public transport in Vienna is (especially in comparison to most other large cities worldwide) extremely well developed and efficient: You are able to reach virtually every point of town by train, subway, tram or bus within a unified public transport network.
There is a flat fee for single rides (which though is fairly high), with a bunch of more economic options for longer-term tickets (3 days, 1 week, 1 month to 1 year) available.
Website of the transportation company in Vienna
Check out public transportation map of Vienna
Traditionally based on a mixture of influences from the different people of the old empire, such as the famous veal cutlet Wiener Schnitzel from Milan, the sweet Powidltascherl from Bohemia or the typical beef stew Gulasch from Hungary, new influences from various more recently appeared ethnics (ranging from the ubiquous Turkish kebab to Asian and African cuisine) contribute to the multicultural flavour of the restaurant scene in Vienna.
Vienna is a potentially safe city, but you have to do your homework.
There are pickpockets as all major touristy city have. Mainly on underground, near train stations and crowded places.
Prostitution is legal, so you can see girls and strip clubs around.