Attractions in Vienna

  • The Vienna Seccession was an art movement in the late 19th century started by a group of Austrian artists that seceded from the Vienna Künstlerhaus of prevailing conservatism and traditional art. The Seccessionist Museum symbolizes the birth of art nouveau and was aimed at uniting separate art forms such as sculpture, architecture, painting and music. In 1902, the Seccessionist artist association planned an exhibition as homage to Ludwig van Beethoven, and it was for this event that Gustav Klimt painted the famous Beethoven Frieze, which can now be found here at the museum and is, what I think, the most touching piece of artwork I have ever seen.
  • Built in 1907 at the height of the Seccessionist movement, Kirche am Steinhof was designed by famous architect Otto Wagner and is considered one of the most important art nouveau churches in the world.  It is part of the Steinhof Psychiatric Hospital and when drafting plans for the building, Wagner consulted with doctors concerning special requirements, such as no sharp edges, no visible crosses, and easy access to side exits.
  • Schönbrunn Palace was the summer residence of the Hapsburgs and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and the most visited attraction in Vienna.  With 1,441 rooms, this Baroque palace is one of the most exceptional architectural, historical, and cultural monuments in Austria.  The beautiful french styled gardens of Schönbrunn are perfect for an afternoon walk or picnic by the infamous Gloriette.  
  • Hofburg Palace was home to the Hapsburgs from 1273 to 1918 and served as the center of their empire.  Located centrally in Vienna, no traveler should pass up the opportunity to visit.  This ‘city within a city’ is replete with gardens, grandiose rooms, cafes, restaurants, and magnificent art.  As a great deal of European history was written from here, you will take a march through bygone times when visiting the Hofburg.  
  • If you love horses, you should visit the world-famous Spanish Riding School, which is truly reminiscent of the imperial Hapsburg era. Equestrian ‘ballets’ are performed to classical music and can be seen from the original pillared balconies. You should book these at least a month to two months in advance to make sure you will get a seat during your visit. You can also take guided tours through the performance hall, stables and other equine facilities.
  • The Belvedere Palace is a Baroque masterpiece in itself and home to Gustav Klimt’s world famous The Kiss, as well as other works from Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka. It is one of the world’s finest examples of Baroque architecture and through its ornate windows, you can gaze at Vienna’s dazzling skyline.
  • You can take a self-guided tour through the church of Stephansdom, which was built in the 12th century and considered today as Vienna’s Gothic masterpiece.
  • Bought in 1560 to be used as Maximilian II’s hunting ground, Prater Park is now one of Europe’s largest public parks.
  • Vienna’s opera house called the ‘Staatsoper’ is the city’s foremost opera and ballet venue where the likes of Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler have directed. You can buy tickets to see a performance or simply take a tour through this cultural bastion.
  • The Albertina Museum houses one of the largest and most important print rooms in the world, with hundreds of thousands of drawings, old master prints, modern graphic works, and architectural drawings.
  • You can visit Vienna’s artistic trinity at the Museums Quartier. Once the imperial stables, the Museums Quartier is home to three art museums: the Leopold Museum, which is home to the world’s largest collection of Egon Schiele’s work, Kunsthalle Wien and MUMOK (the Museum of Modern Art).
  • On balmy summer evenings, you can join the Viennese for an evening in a Heuriger, which are rustic wine taverns dotted throughout the vineyards of the Viennese woods. Up to date hours for the venues can be found in English at www.
  • Check out the Viennese beaches that are dotted along the Danube River. The nude beaches are marked FKK on maps and there are loads of paying beach clubs that have clothed and nude sections, such as the Gänsehäufel, which also has swimming pools. This is a fun place to be in summer and a nice reprieve from the heat!
  • Vienna is an awesome place for those who like to bike, with over 1000 kilometers of bike paths. They have an incredible public bike rental scheme called Citybike and you can register online or buy a Citybike Tourist Card at Pedal Power. It’s a great way to get to know the city while burning off last night’s wiener schnitzel.
  • Karlskirche is a baroque church located on Karlsplatz, built between 1716 and 1737 by Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI.  Baroque architecture is intended to ‘awe’ and Karlskirche does just that.  In fact, its interior has been called one of the greatest spaces to worship on the planet.  
  • The Hundertwasserhaus is one of Austria’s architectural highlights, though it was created outside of any ‘normal’ architectural school of thought.  It is built with undulating floors, hardly any straight lines, a roof covered with earth and grass, and with trees growing in the rooms and their limbs extending out the windows.  More than 250 trees and shrubs living in and on the house make it a green oasis in the city.  
  • For over 25 years, the city of Vienna has offered a free cultural and culinary Film Festival in front of their grandiose City Hall.  It goes between June and September, offering top opera, ballet, jazz and dance productions, as well as a wide ranging mix of food and wine from around the world.  
  • If you are interested in the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, you can visit the Sigmund Freud Museum at the place where he lived and worked from 1898 to 1938, until he was forced into exile by the Nazis.
  • The Naschmarkt is Vienna’s largest open-air food market and is open from Monday to Saturday. You can find anything from tulips, to figs, to Austrian wine. They have it all! It is a great Viennese experience!
  • If you like decadent coffee and cake, check out Vienna’s famous sachertorte at Hotel Sacher in the city center.

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