The Very Best Things to do in Vienna
Shaped by great artists and minds such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Sigmund Freud, Vienna is one of the most culturally rich cities in the world. This magical place is also home to many impressive museums, palaces, and cathedrals that are just waiting to be explored.
From the delicious food, mesmerising Opera, fascinating MuseumsQuartier and stunning vineyards, there are countless amazing things to do in Vienna. To make it easy for you, we have made a list of the top 10 things to do during your stay in the wonderful city of Vienna.
10 Things You Can't Miss in Vienna
- Wine Tasting at Heuriger
- Käsekrainer at a sausage stand
- Riesenrad Ferris Wheel
- Xocolat Emporium
- Street Art Trail
- St. Stephen’s Cathedral
- Schoenbrunn Palace and Gardens
- Vienna Zoo
- Vienna State Opera
1. Discover Vienna’s famous MuseumsQuartier
This stunning district in the heart of Vienna was once the Imperial stables but is now a vibrant area filled with museums and gardens. The MuseumsQuartier is the perfect spot for a summer picnic, people watching and some serious art gazing.
Three of the biggest museums in Vienna call this beautiful area home, the impressive Leopold Museum, the very contemporary Kunsthalle Wien, and the imposing Museum of Modern Art, MUMOK. If you only have time to see one of these famous museums, make it the Leopold. This large limestone cube of a building is filled with the world’s largest collection of Egon Schiele’s life’s work.
2. Enjoy Vienna’s finest wines
Vienna is the world’s largest wine-growing capital city, so sampling some Viennese wine while in the city is one of the top things to do in Vienna. Over seven square kilometres of vineyards lie within the boundaries of Vienna, but the most impressive are on the northern side of the city.
Visit a Heuriger and enjoy a glass of full-bodied red, while looking out over the rustic taverns and stretches of lush green vineyards. Some of the most memorable wines from Vienna are Heuriger Göbel, Stammersdorfer Kellergasse, and Zawodsky.
3. Scoff down a traditional street snack
Nothing says Vienna like having a delicious Frankfurter in one hand and a cool glass of beer in the other. After a busy morning of wandering around the city, the sight of a Würstelstand (sausage stand) is definitely a welcomed sight.
Eat like the locals do and try a Käsekrainer, a piping hot sausage filled with molten cheese, heaven! If you aren’t really a fan of street food, then head on down to the impressively sleek looking Bitzinger stand over on Albertinaplatz for a snack worthy of a queen.
4. Get an aerial view of the city
Have you really seen Vienna without seeing it from the clouds? A ride on the fantastic, 19th-century Ferris Wheel is on the ‘Top Things to do in Vienna’ list of every tourist and local. This famous Ferris wheel was featured in ‘The Third Man’ and is the only standing work of the amazing British engineer Walter Basset.
The entire ride takes around 20 minutes, and at its highest point reaches an impressive 65 meters. The views from the top are absolutely breathtaking and riding on this beautiful wheel is like experiencing a piece of history first hand.
5. Fill up on famous Viennese chocolate
Chocolate lovers rejoice! The home of Lindt, Milka and Mozart chocolate is the perfect place to sample some of the country’s very best chocolate. Spend an afternoon in one of the many chocolatier cafes and warm up with a creamy hot chocolate or pay a visit to the Schokomuseum and learn about the history of Viennese chocolate.
A short walk through the impressive stone arches of the Ferstel passage will lead you to the magical creation of Catalan chocolatier Enric Rovira, the Xocolat emporium. Here you can stock up on some of his most delicious creations, or get involved in a chocolate workshop, where you can watch the chocolatiers in action.
6. Wander down the Street Art Trail
Any art lover worth their salt will tell you that the exciting streets of the MuseumsQuartier are the best place in Vienna to see the work of upcoming urban artists. Every street you turn down brings another colourful surprise. The art installations are forever changing, and feature comics, typography, sound art and noteworthy street art.
One of the most famous areas of the Street Art Trail is on the bridge leading to Spittelberg. This passage is home to a spectacular piece of work by French artist Invader and vending machines selling copies of a coveted street art magazine by Betonblumen.
7. Marvel at the St. Stephen’s Cathedral
This breathtaking structure is the most important church in Austria and stands proudly in the Stephensplatz. With an impressive main tower, vibrant tiled roof and gothic design, its undeniable beauty can be seen from streets away.
However, the true elegance of this mighty cathedral can only be seen from the inside. The gold spattered alters, mini chapels and haunting catacombs truly make a visit to St. Stephen’s Cathedral one of the top things to do in Vienna.
8. Stroll through the Schoenbrunn Palace and Gardens
Standing proudly since the 1600s, the Schoenbrunn Palace is one of the most important buildings in Vienna’s history. This impressive palace has over 1441 rooms and was home to the glamorous Habsburgs and many emperors of Austria. The Schoenbrunn Palace has since become a popular tourist attraction for both locals and tourist alike.
Once you’ve explored the elegant interior of the palace, you can spend the afternoon wandering through the stunning gardens that surround this mighty building. The gardens are completely free to stroll through and are home to many Roman statues and fountains.
If you’re looking for other free activities in Vienna, you can head over to our Free Things to do in Vienna blog post for some great ideas.
9. Go wild at the Vienna Zoo
Nestled in the middle of the Schoenbrunn gardens is the oldest zoo in the world. Originally built as a private menagerie, Tiergarten Zoo is now a centre for species preservation and educational fulfilment.
Not only is this zoo a wonderful piece of history, but it’s also home to some wonderful species, such as the endangered Giant Panda, Sloths, Giraffes, Sea Lions, and Leopards. The fantastic Zookeepers and simulated rainforest environment make this an extremely magical place to visit while in Vienna.
10. Get your cultural fill at the Vienna State Opera
When you think of Vienna, one of the first things you think of is Opera. This cultural city has been home to some of the biggest classical artists in history, including Mozart and Beethoven and is home to some of the best Opera in the world.
Take a tour of the amazing Neo-Renaissance State Opera house and marvel at the stunning dominating arches, and luxurious interior. If you’d like to see a live opera concert, then you can ask inside for the schedules and showings available during your stay. A trip to the magical Vienna State Opera is definitely one of the top things to do in Vienna for both Opera fans and history buffs alike.