Vienna, the capital of Austria, is a city rich in history. It is also home to some of the country’s finest architecture, palaces and museums.
The city has a lot to offer and it is easy to see it all in just 3 days! To help you make the most of your time in Vienna, here is our guide to what to do.
The city hall of Vienna, or Rathaus as it is often called, is located on the renowned Rathausplatz across from the popular Ring Boulevard. It serves as a major attraction for locals and tourists alike, with its towers looking over the public square and even the Ringstrasse.
Its neo-Gothic design is inspired by Flemish town halls. It was designed by German architect Friedrich Schmidt between 1872 and 1883.
He spent a cool 14 million gulden on its construction and it’s not just an architectural marvel. It also holds the record for being the tallest neo-Gothic building in Europe.
The 105-meter tower features a 98-metre steeple and an iron standard-bearer (known as Rathausmann). He’s cast from melted-down Russian kopeks and weighs 650 kilograms.
The Hofburg Palace
The swooping white curve of the Hofburg Palace is a striking image. Designed in the 13th century, this palace has been expanded numerous times over the centuries and is home to several emperors.
The complex is comprised of a number of wings, libraries, squares and halls. After your Vienna Bus Tour drops you off, you could easily spend a day exploring all of its many offerings.
For example, the Imperial Apartments offer a glimpse into what life was like for a Habsburg emperor. The Sisi Museum, which is housed in the former home of Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth, will give you a chance to see personal items of the royal couple along with a collection of stunning silver tableware.
Other attractions in the Hofburg complex include Stallburg Gallery, where you can admire beautiful stained glass windows and soaring pillars; and the Spanish Riding School, where you can watch a performance of classical dressage. To truly experience all that this opulent building has to offer, you’ll want to book a tour with a knowledgeable guide.
Schonbrunn Park & Gardens
If you love gardens, you’ll love Schonbrunn Park & Gardens. This park has over a square kilometre of trees-lined avenues, lawns, and landscaped flowerbeds that evoke the grandness of European palaces.
The extensive baroque park was once the private summer residence of the Habsburg emperors. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage site and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vienna.
There are many different tours to choose from, all of which are included in your ticket price and come with an audio guide. You can also get priority entrance tickets, which are helpful if you want to skip the queues and take in more of the interior.
You can also visit the zoo, which is rated as one of the best in the world. It’s a great spot for families and kids, but it can get busy during the summer months, so be sure to arrive early.
The Mozart Apartment
During the 18th century, Vienna was a hub of music, as many talented musicians sought fame and fortune here. This is why the city has one of the world’s best museums dedicated to its greatest musical composer, Mozart.
It is also home to a concert hall where Mozart’s music is still performed regularly in historically accurate costumes. These classical concerts are a must-see for anyone looking to get a feel for the city’s rich musical heritage.
The first floor of the museum recreates Mozart’s living space, enabling visitors to imagine what it must have been like for him to live in these rooms during his lifetime. He lived here from 1784 to 1787 and it was here that he wrote some of his most famous works, including Le Nozze di Figaro and three of the Haydn Quartets.
The museum is divided into three floors, focusing on different aspects of Mozart’s life and music. You learn about the city in the 1780s, Mozart’s relationships with the Viennese aristocracy and his Freemasonry, as well as paintings and maps that give you a glimpse of how different the city was back then.