Vienna Bucket List: Top 50 things you need to do around the citySeptember 13, 2017 10:00 am
Make the most of your trip to the Austrian capital with our ultimate Vienna Bucket List guide below!
Brimming with history, Vienna is world-renowned for its imperial and musical pedigree as well as its culinary and cultural traditions; so much so, that it can be difficult to sift through everything it has to offer. If you’re struggling to put together an itinerary for your next Viennese trip, worry no more. Brought to you by the team at the Vienna PASS, our Vienna bucket list reveals the best of everything the city has to offer, from must-visit museums to classic cooking and historical highlights.
BEST FOR… SNAP-HAPPY SIGHTSEEING
1. Watch the sun setting over the city from the top of Stephansdom, Vienna’s magnificent Gothic cathedral; a climb up the 343 steps will get you there.
2. Check out the Rathaus, Vienna’s City Hall, which hosts many events throughout the year and provides the backdrop for the Wiener Eisraum (ice rink) in winter.
3. Admire the Greek-style parliament building, once the centre of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
4. If you’re a bookworm, visit the stunning State Hall of the National Library and browse the 200,000 works held there.
5. Watch a ballet performance with a twist at the Spanish Riding School. At this world-famous equestrian centre, Lipizzaner stallions perform to classical music in front of an enraptured audience.
6. Hop on the Riesenrad (Giant Ferris Wheel), one of the oldest in the world. Situated in the Prater park, the fairground ride has been featured in several films and is a hit with adults and children alike.
7. Visit the weird and wonderful Hundertwasserhaus, an apartment building famous for its wacky architecture, sprawling plants and delightfully mismatched colours.
8. Take a boat tour of the city along either the Danube river or the Donaukanal and glide past the historic and modern sights of the city in style.
9. Go back in time and channel your inner aristocrat on a horse-and-carriage ride through Vienna’s city centre.
BEST FOR… HISTORY BUFFS
10. Wander around the palace and gardens at Schloß Schönbrunn, the summer residence of the Habsburg family. Now a World Heritage site, this former imperial palace is a Vienna bucket list essential.
11. Another Habsburg family residence, the Hofburg was used by the imperial monarchs from 1273 until the end of the First World War. Go on a Sunday to see the Vienna Boys’ Choir in their weekly performance.
12. Descend into the Kaisergruft, the imperial crypt, to see the resting places of Austrian emperors and empresses of the past.
13. Visit Peterskirche (the Church of Saint Peter) and admire its distinctive blue dome, an iconic feature of the Viennese skyline.
14. Admire the architecture of Karlskirche, widely considered to be the most outstanding Baroque church in the whole city.
15. Check out the impressive collection of crown jewels stretching back for centuries at the Kaiserliche Schatzkammer.
16. Explore the ruins of 14th century Vienna at the Museum Judenplatz, complete with the foundations of a medieval synagogue.
17. Discover the life and work of Vienna’s most famous resident, Sigmund Freud, at his former apartment and practice; now home to the Sigmund Freud Museum.
18. Travel back in time at the Wien Museum to experience Vienna through the ages, from Neolithic times to the 20th century.
BEST FOR… BUDDING ARTISTS
19. The Albertina was once used by the Habsburg as guest apartments, but now houses what’s considered to be the greatest collection of graphic art in the world. With everything from Monet to Picasso, this is an artistic must-see.
20. Another Baroque palace, Schloss Belvedere, is a Vienna bucket list essential. Admire the beautiful architecture and gardens outside, before venturing in to catch a glimpse of Gustav Klimt’s famous painting ‘The Kiss’.
21. Visit the Leopold Museum to admire its collection of over 5,000 paintings by Austrian artists from the 19th and 20th centuries.
22. Discover the Klimt Villa, where Gustav Klimt painted and worked from 1911-1918. Newly refurbished, it shows the studio in its original design, and is also now home to some of the artist’s early works.
23. Admire Vienna’s best collection of 20th century art in the Museum Moderner Kunst (MUMOK) featuring everything from pop art to expressionism.
24. See what treasures you can unearth at the Kunsthistorisches Museum housing everything from Imperial Roman sculptures to paintings by the Old Masters.
BEST FOR… THEATRICAL TYPES
25. Visit the Mozarthaus and see the grand apartment where Wolfgang Amadeus spent his happiest years and composed his best works.
26. Catch a spellbinding performance at the Staatsoper, Vienna’s main opera house, or sneak yourself onto the guest list for one of the lavish Viennese balls hosted there.
27. Experience the world of sound, music and hearing at the Haus der Musik, and discover everything from the creation of sound to the Viennese Philharmonic Orchestra.
28. Go composer-hunting around Vienna and track down some of the biggest names in classical music – as well as Mozart, scattered around the city you’ll find places where Beethoven, Strauss, Schubert and Haydn lived and worked.
29. Go to a concert – whatever your taste in music, Vienna’s music scene has everything from classical music in grand halls to folk festivals and live jazz sessions.
30. See a movie at the world’s oldest cinema, the Breitenseer Lichtspiele, or check out the music film festival which sets up shop in front of the Rathaus every summer.
BEST FOR… OUTDOOR EXPLORERS
31. Founded in 1752, Vienna’s zoo, the Schönbrunn Tiergarten, is the oldest zoo in the world. Its 750 residents include pandas, tigers, giraffes and polar bears – a must-visit for animal lovers.
32. Vienna’s biggest park, the Prater, has something for everyone – from woodlands and meadows to children’s playgrounds and a swimming pool. Perfect for a family-friendly afternoon.
33. Wander through the beautiful Stadtpark, spanning the Wien river, and see how many of its famous statues you can spot.
34. Visit the Donauinsel, a long island sitting in the middle of the Danube River, and experience the many activities it has to offer, from beaches and rock-climbing to cycling and trampolining.
35. Check out the Naturhistorisches Museum and discover four billion years of natural history in a beautiful 19th century setting. Stand-out exhibits include fossils and dinosaur bones, and a collection of 1100 pieces of meteorite.
36. Walk along the Donaukanal, formerly a stretch of the river Danube, and admire the impressive works of street art that decorate its banks.
37. Stroll along the Ringstrasse, Vienna’s ringroad, and you’ll walk past some of the city’s most important buildings, from the Staatsoper to the Burgtheater.
BEST FOR… SHOPAHOLICS
38. Visit the Graben, Vienna’s bustling shopping street, to pick up some souvenirs and admire the beautiful architecture of the shops themselves.
39. Haggle your way through the Naschmarkt, Vienna’s most famous market selling everything from fruit and veg to fish and meats. Check out the antiques market on Saturdays to see what hidden gems you can find.
40. If luxury shopping is more your style, the boutiques on Kärntnerstrasse and Kohlmarkt are the places to go for upmarket purchases.
41. The vibrant market area of Yppenplatz hosts Vienna’s largest street market and the eclectic neighbourhood is also home to some great up-and-coming eateries.
BEST FOR… DAY TRIP ADVENTURERS
42. Discover Klosterneuberg Monastery, a 900-year old Baroque masterpiece housing sacred artwork and relics, as well as Austria’s oldest wine cellar and vineyard.Climb the Kahlenberg hill to see spectacular views over the whole of the city – keen-eyed visitors will spot the Schneeberg mountain towering above the horizon on clear days.
43. Climb the Kahlenberg hill to see spectacular views over the whole of the city – keen-eyed visitors will spot the Schneeberg mountain towering above the horizon on clear days.
44. Explore the sleepy region of the Wachau valley: cycling between picturesque villages and towns will take you to delicious local eateries, rural vineyards and impressive landmarks such as Melk Abbey and Schönbühel Castle.
45. Visit Liechtenstein Castle, the family seat of the Prince of Liechtenstein and the setting for several films, including the 1993 movie The Three Musketeers.
BEST FOR… FOOD LOVERS
46. Non-vegetarians can’t visit Vienna without sampling some Wiener Schnitzel. The Austrian delicacy is found all over the city, but head to Figlmüller to try their world-famous schnitzel dishes.
47. Vienna’s Kaffeehäuser (coffee houses) are almost a tourist attraction in themselves, and are famous the world over. Sit yourself down with a coffee and a cake – we recommend a slice of the classic Sachertorte – and soak up the special atmosphere.
48. Sample some traditional Viennese pastries and cakes, the most well-known of which is Apfelstrudel (apple strudel) – not to be missed!
49. Visit a traditional Viennese Heuriger (wine tavern), warm friendly restaurants serving Viennese wines alongside delicious meals and a cheery atmosphere. Vienna also grows much of its own wine in vineyards within the city, which are well worth exploring on a wine tour.
50. Vienna’s answer to street food, the many Würstel (hot dog) stands dotted around the city serve up sizzling hot dogs with a choice of sweet or spicy mustard. Perfect for a snack whilst sightseeing or shopping.
And there you have it: the best of Viennese culture, food and adventure in our top 50 guide to the City of Music. Make sure you pack a copy of our Vienna bucket list on your next trip to the Austrian capital to help you make the most of your visit!