Vienna - 10 great things to do by Mark Sukhija

The Austrian capital, one time Imperial capital and residence of the Habsburg dynasty, is one of the most historical cities in Europe. I've briefly outlined a small selection of things I've enjoyed doing in Vienna - although I'm quite sure there's more.

  1. The interior of St Stephans Cathedral in central ViennaSt Stephans - the Vienesse Cathedral of St Stephans, predominantly in the Gothic-style of architecture, is a landmark of the old town of Vienna and an architecturally gem. The third church to be build on this location, the second tower was never completed. The masterpiece pulpit Gothic features "Fensterguncker" - a man peering out of a window - who is thought to be pulpits mason. Visit the catacombs which contain the entrails of the Habsburg monarchs.

  2. Mariahilfer Straβe - Mariahilfer Straβe is the central shopping street of Vienna with all the usual major brands.

  3. Hofburg - The Hofburg Imperial Palace complex once served as theThe Hofburg Palace in Vienna by Night Winter Palace for the ruling Habsburg Dynasty while Schönbrunn was their prefered summer residence. The Hofburg lacks any central location having been built had developed over many centuries and a large portion is now the official residence of the Austrian President. The Hofburg Palace is home to the Spanish Riding Schools and tours of the Imperial Rooms are available.

  4. Spanish Riding School - Contained in the Hofburg Palace, the Spanish Riding School remains the only school to teach riding in the Renaissance style. The School is famed for its training of the Lipizzaner which dates from the 16th Century and was developed with extensive support of the Habsburg dynasty.

  5. A statue by Canova on the stairs at the Art History Gallery in ViennaArt History Gallery - One the benefits of Empire is the ability to build a large collection of art work by renowned artists. Vienna is no exception. Works by Titian, Tintoretto, Rubens, Van Dyck and Carravaggio, Cranach and Dürer make up some of the notables in the picture gallery. Also of note are the Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities and Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection

  6. Schönbrunn - the Schönbrunn Palace, the favoured summer palace of the Habsburg dynasty, is a masterpiece of Baroque style architecture. Much loved and sculpted by Marie-Therese, the cohesive nature of the Palace, gardens and Gloriette and the associated museums are all worth spending a day.

  7. Natural History Museum - The Natural History Museum, like the Art History Museum, is a notable building from an architectural perspective. The contents are no less impressive and include an impressive collection of gemstones as well as rare fossils and skeletons.

  8. Schloss Belvedere - The Schloss Belvedere, another palace conversion to gallery, boasts one of the most impressive collections of Austrian arts from the medieval period to the present day with a very strong modern section.

  9. Imperial Burial Vault - underneath the Capuchin Church in the Viennese Old Town is the Imperial Burial Vault - containing the sarcophogi of the Habsburg dynastry. As burial coffins go these are, without a shadow of a doubt, some the largest and most impressive you're ever likely to see contained within another building.

  10. Entrance to Grinzing, the Viennesse suburb famous for its numerous heurigerHeuriger - Vienna is well known for it's numerous Heuriger - especially in the suburb of Grinzing - which are obliged to served their own wine. Heuriger wines are either "New" - from the most recent harvest - or "Old" - from the previous harvest. A selection of foods may be available. A convivial affair the Grinzing Heuriger can be touristic - so its probably worth checking out Neuwaldegg and Nussdorf as well.

Related Posts

Melk - a day trip to the monastic city Notes from our day visiting the Benedictine Monastry in Melk
Salzburg - great places not to miss Essential things to see and do when visiting the historic city of Salzburg
Austria - recommended places to stay Recommended hotels in Vienna, Salzburg and Bregenz
Glonn - grotto near the Bavarian village of Glonn Grotto on the hill near Glonn in the Bavarian countryside
Munich - Staatskanzlei Detail of the exterior of the Staatskanzlei in Munich
Munich - cuppola of the Theatine Church Interior of the Baroque cuppola of the Theatine Church in central Munich
Munich - Theatine Church interior Detail of the Baroque interior of the Theatine Church in central Munich
Munich - Frauenkirche The Frauenkirche in Munich seen from the tower of the Rathaus


Further reading

Austria - recommended places to stay - Recommended hotels in Vienna, Salzburg and Bregenz

Vienna - recommended hotels - Recommended hotels in and around Vienna

Vienna - Church of Mariahilf - Historical notes on Church of Mariahilf, Vienna, Austria

Vienna - Lazaristenkirche / Vincentian Church Immaculate Conception - Notes on the Lazaristenkirche / Vincentian Church Immaculate Conception in Vienna, Austria

Vienna - an evening in a Heuriger - Notes from our evening in a Vienesse Heuriger

Melk - a day trip to the monastic city - Notes from our day visiting the Benedictine Monastry in Melk

Austria - goals and achievements - Travel goals and achievements from various trips to Austria

Viennesse weekend - a presse - Thoughts from the our weekend in Vienna and Melk

Austrian weekend - the original plan - Plans for our long weekend in Melk and Vienna, Austria

Prague, Stockholm and Copenhagen - recommended hotels - Recommended hotels in Prague, Stockholm and Copenhagen

Vienna Tourism - Official website of Vienna Tourism

About Mark Sukhija

Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook