Vienna is one of the most picturesque cities in Europe. It attracts with medieval architecture, and countless museums, palaces, theaters and elegant parks give it additional charm.
What to do in Vienna
The city has prepared many surprises for admirers of ancient architecture: magnificent palaces, the famous imperial residence, medieval statues — all these objects are worthy of attention.
Vienna is a city with majestic temples, the beauty of which is unparalleled anywhere else in the world. Many of them are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. History and art lovers are recommended to visit local museums.
Active tourists and adventurers go to the zoo, get acquainted with its inhabitants, swim and sunbathe on the Danube Island, listen to ancient legends in the Vienna Woods.
The palace itself and the park area bordering it are among the popular tourist routes in Vienna. Every year Schönbrunn is visited by 3 million people.
The construction of the future palace began with a hunting castle in the 17th century. And the beauty of the surroundings and convenient location became the reason for the construction of the imperial summer residence. This is how the current appearance of the palace appeared, and at the same time the fountain of Neptune and Roman statues.
The interior decoration is notable for its refined interiors. There are no less than 1440 rooms, including the private chambers of the Empress. It will take a whole day to explore the palace and garden.
The imperial residence in Vienna embodies the history of the Austrian state. On the territory of the residence there are 19 palaces built at different times. In addition, two parks Burggarten and Volksgarten, the royal treasury and library, the famous gates and stables await visitors.
To get the most out of the palace complex, it is better to view it from the side of the square, which overlooks the semicircular empire facade. During its existence, the residence was reconstructed more than once, and acquired its current appearance in the 20s of the last century.
This is not just a building, but the administrative center of the city. To get an idea of its size, it is enough to imagine that the Town Hall occupies the area of the former stadium. It was built in 1883 along with a tower and an iron figure carrying a banner.
The arched courtyard is never empty in the summer — concerts are regularly held here. The tour also includes a tour of the Schmidt-Halle — the entrance where the carriages stopped by to put passengers on. Two main staircases adjoin it.
Exhibition Center “Secession”
In addition to the familiar Gothic and Baroque buildings, Art Nouveau structures occupy a significant place in Viennese architecture. Marble, glass, tiles, metal appliqués, colorful pieces and gilding ennobled the houses. Floral ornaments are found on one of the most important Art Nouveau buildings, the Vienna Secession.
Built by Joseph Olbrich in 1898, it was the first exhibition building in Central Europe dedicated to contemporary art.
A successful combination of architecture and art. The park, with two palaces, is still admired today. In the cool halls of the exposition, they introduce you to the 800-year period of the development of art — from the Middle Ages to the present day.
The most attractive part of the Upper Palace is the first floor, with statues and a carved staircase, amazing frescoes. There is also an old hall with an art gallery and small sculptures. The Lower Palace is famous for the Marble Gallery, which houses majestic statues.
The Parliament in Vienna has been operating since 1918. The building itself belongs to the 19th century, although its Greek columns give the building an old look. The carvings on the outer facades are noteworthy. Another striking decoration is the fountain of Athena Pallas, which is guarded by four symbolic figures representing full-flowing rivers.
Parliament is not only the heart of political activity — the historic building literally breathes history and noble architecture. Alas, inspection of the interior is not available to everyone.
This is one of the attractions of Eisenstadt, the capital of the province of Burgenland. In the former princely residence, you can look at the glamorous life of the Esterhazy princes. Ballrooms, crystal chandeliers, exquisite candlesticks and art objects — much has been preserved or restored for display.
In 1622, Prince Esterhazy became the ruler of Eisenstadt and received the palace into his possession. The building has been expanded and renovated several times to keep up with the spirit of the times. Since 1945, it has housed government offices.
World-renowned architects have designed the new building of the Vienna University of Economics and Business, which is open to students and those interested in science. There is room for 25,000 students and 1,500 employees.
The impressive building of the library stands out in particular — the rest of the buildings are grouped around it. Futuristic architecture has become an original solution in the spirit of new generations. Thanks to this, the campus has become a landmark of Vienna.
Main public library
Directly above the metro station is the new library, opened in 2003 and designed by architect Ernst Mayr. The load-bearing structure spanning three floors makes the building look like it was suspended above the tracks of the old Otto Wagner station pavilions.
An open staircase connects to the roof of Urban-Loritz Square. The Library, 150 meters long and 26 meters wide, has a useful area of 6,000 square meters and provides access to 240,000 copies of printed publications.
The nature park is a popular recreational area in Vienna, where everyone will find a corner for themselves. Extreme entertainment, cozy restaurants and dance floors await guests. No other place exudes as much energy and joy of life as the Vienna Prater. An exciting world awaits visitors and guarantees entertainment for people of all ages: roller coasters, ghost trains and all kinds of attractions.
Churches and cathedrals
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
The bright roof of a slender majestic structure is visible from afar — the spiers of an unimaginable building can be seen from anywhere in Vienna. On the side there is an entrance to the observation deck of the tower. Although the climb is difficult, the views are worth the effort.
The cathedral was almost not damaged in the wars, but was barbarously set on fire after it ended. He lost the North Tower and the famous bell. However, the restoration work returned the building to its former glory, keeping the image almost unchanged.
St. Peter’s Church
Peter’s Church dates back to the second half of the 14th century and is believed to be the oldest in Vienna. At the end of the 17th century, the dilapidated church and the surrounding cemetery were demolished. The construction of the new baroque building began under Gabriel Montani, who was later replaced by the famous Austrian architect Lucas von Hildebrandt.
The exterior of the church is a fine example of baroque architecture. The building has not only a large dome, but also two tall columns on the sides of the entrance, which are decorated with spiral images of scenes from the life of St. Charles Borromeo.
Upon entering the church, it is worth paying attention to the ceiling to admire the luxurious frescoes under the dome, painted by Johannes Michael Rottmayr. Huge paintings praise the patron saint of Karlskirche, who saved the city from the plague with his prayers.
Church of Saint Jerome
The church belongs to the 17th century. Quite modest from the outside, it impresses with rich interior decoration in the Baroque style. The main altar with the image of the Virgin Mary was designed by Andrea Pozzo in 1707.
The temple houses the oldest organ in Vienna. The carved instrument was designed by Johann Wackerl in 1642. And today it attracts people who are far from faith, but who are interested in art, architecture and ancient musical instruments.
Parks and natural attractions
Emperor Francis I had a passion for animals, and in 1752 he built a small court menagerie. Much has changed since then, but the territory and even some of the original buildings that have survived intact have remained the same. Despite the fact that dozens of species of animals live in the zoo, cleanliness reigns here, and lush vegetation gives shade and coolness.
The pride of the Vienna Zoo is giant pandas and their cubs.
The public park is located on the Ringstraße in Vienna’s first district. It was created from 1819 to 1823. The Hofburg side was created in the English style, with shady alleys, while on the Ringstrasse side, the park was designed in the French Baroque style with detailed planning of every meter.
Visitors will find here the memorial of Empress Elisabeth and Franz Gryllparzer, as well as the Theseustempel, which is a smaller version of the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens. And lovers of flowers will be delighted with luxurious rose gardens.
The city park in Vienna lives up to all expectations from an “artificial landscape in the city”. The court painter Joseph Selleni and the director of the garden Rudolf Siebeck designed the city park, where the alternation of small groves and lawns divided the space into zones.
As was typical for the end of the 19th century, the plantings were selected in such a way as to provide a flowering perspective all year round. The landscape changes completely not only in certain zones, but also depending on the time of year.
The island is a nature reserve and 42 kilometers of beaches in the center of a European city that protects Vienna from floods. In addition, it has become a favorite vacation spot for tourists and a home for plants and animals. There are sports facilities, swimming areas with gently sloping beaches.
The island has an extensive network of trails for strollers, joggers, cyclists and rollerbladers, as well as picnic areas. And there are also meadows, playgrounds with markings, tennis and beach volleyball courts. A variety of bars and restaurants complete the range of entertainment.
The Vienna Woods is located 24 km southwest of the city. The trip takes half an hour. At the edge of the forest is the cozy village of Mayerling, where legends about the ghosts that live in these forests still live.
Wienerwald still keeps the sad secret of the hunting hut. In 1889, Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria was found dead here with his mistress, Baroness Maria Vetsera.
Museums and theaters
Vienna Opera House
The leading opera house in the world, whose past is steeped in tradition, and whose present is replete with performances and events. Every season there are about 350 performances, more than 60 different operas and ballets. Tickets have to be bought several months in advance, because there are world-class artists on the stage.
In 2013, the digital outreach project was launched. Now fans of opera and ballet will have a chance to see the performances of outstanding artists on the Internet.
The magnificent building opposite the Vienna City Hall was built in the Italian Renaissance style with many sculptures adorning the façade. The central statue depicts Apollo seated surrounded by the muses of tragedy and comedy.
Here are busts of famous writers such as Molière, Shakespeare, Schiller and Goethe. The balustrade is adorned with figures of Putti, each playing a different musical instrument. Inside are grand staircases with a long foyer that curves around a central theater hall.
Art and History Museum
The Museum of Art History houses important exhibits, including paintings, sculptures, and textiles. Not far from the entrance is a recently acquired rarity, a 15th-century Gothic Madonna and Child by Jakob Kaschauer. The expositions change every year.
Here you can see the monastic attire of different periods. The collection includes the so-called Gebhardsmiter of the 19th century and Totenkasel of the 16th century. A special place is occupied by the work of Admonter Benno Haan, who created many liturgical dresses of the highest quality.
The art museum, located in the Albrecht Palace, has become the repository of an exceptional collection of graphic art. Today, its permanent exhibitions alone include hundreds of paintings. Thematic exhibitions cover all schools and movements: French impressionists, Russian avant-garde, expressionists.
All the masterpieces hang in the palace where the Habsburg archdukes lived for centuries. The luxurious furnishings have been completely restored and are in keeping with a bygone era.
Johann Strauss Apartments
The great composer Johann Strauss lived in this apartment for seven years. At that time Praterstrasse was a fashionable and elegant suburban street. It was in this place that in 1867 he wrote the “Blue Danube” waltz, Austria’s favorite unofficial anthem.
The apartment features Strauss’ personal collections, instruments and furniture that give visitors a glimpse into the musician’s life. The composer’s admirers even today regularly visit the house-museum, bring flowers on anniversaries.
Natural History Museum
A curious place that will appeal to children and adults. The Natural History Museum in Vienna is famous for its dinosaur exhibition and the world’s largest collection of meteorites. The latter even includes the Tissint meteorite from Mars that fell in Morocco in 2011.
The 39 exhibition halls highlight the origin and development of humans and the evolution of human culture since ancient times. The list of especially rare treasures includes the Venus of Willendorf, a clay figurine dating back to 28–25 millennium BC.