31 BEST Things to do in Vienna [November 2019]

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It’s no mystery why Vienna has made the list of top cities to visit and live in numerous times. The capital of Austria offers a bit of everything: culture, nature, art, cuisine, and history.

If you’re hoping to find a place in Europe that captures true style and sophistication, Vienna is the place to go. From elegant palaces to the stunning scenery of the famous Danube River, Vienna’s charm will captivate every traveler.

In this short guide, not only will you find a list of accommodation options for every budget, but also the top sites and tours of Vienna to make lifelong memories during your vacation!

Table of Contents

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Vienna!

Whether you’re visiting Vienna on a shoestring budget or looking to live the high life, here are three options for where to stay in Vienna to ensure you have the best trip possible!

City Center Homes

An Excellent Small-Budget Option

City Center Homes

City Center Homes is our pick for an excellent small-budget option

  •             Excellent location in city center!
  •             Cafés, art venues and museums nearby

If you’re hoping to stay in the city center of Vienna without breaking your budget, City Center Homes is the place for you! Perfect to enjoy the art and culture scene of the city and easy walking distance from numerous museums and city landmarks.

 

Kunsthaus Apartments

Best Mid-Range Apartment Choice

Kunsthaus Apartments

Kunsthaus Apartments is our pick for the best mid-range apartment choice

  •             Enjoy privacy in your own apartment!
  •             Located next to the Kunsthaus Wein

A perfect location next to museums, a hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus stop, supermarkets, and tram lines. Each comfortable apartment is decorated antique furniture, Wi-Fi, and a complete kitchen to boot!

 

Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna

Top Luxury Hotel Option in Vienna

Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna

Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna is our pick for the top luxury hotel option in Vienna

  •             Build for the 1873 World Exhibition
  •             Central location and state-of-the art facilities!

A 5-minute walk brings you to museums, the Danube Canal, parks, and local cafés to help you enjoy an authentic local experience in Vienna. Back at the hotel relax in style with at the lounge, restaurants, spa and fitness center!

 

The 31 Best Things to Do in Vienna

#1 – Explore the City with the Hop-on Hop-off Bus

Explore the Vienna with the Hop-on Hop-off Bus

A great introduction to Vienna!

  •             Comfortable bus ride on your own schedule!
  •             Perfect for any type of weather
  •             See as much of the city as possible

The benefits of the hop-on hop-off bus are you can take a city tour at your own pace!

Rain or shine, you can ride the bus to see all the top sites of Vienna and stop at the ones you’re most interested in visiting.

 

Ready to book? Here are our favorite areas to stay in Vienna!

#2 – Visit the Austrian National Library

Perfect activity for reading fans!

  •             Book-lover dream come true!
  •             Explore history and art
  •             Incredible fresco decorations!

One of the gems of Vienna, the Austrian National Library was once an Imperial ceremonial hall.

Come view the world famous collection of precious and rare books, and the ceilings decorated with epic frescoes for a truly jaw-dropping effect.

 

#3 – Bird’s Eye View from the Danube Tower

Bird’s Eye View from the Danube Tower

Don’t go if you’re afraid of heights!

  •             Best view in Vienna!
  •             Vienna’s tallest building
  •             Perfect spot for photos!

Especially during a clear and sunny day, the Danube Tower is the best way to appreciate the size and scenery of Vienna.

With a restaurant and café on site, you can enjoy traditional Austrian cuisine along with the spectacular panorama view! Make sure you bring your camera to snap some keepsake photographs.

#4 – Hofburg Palace Imperial Jewels

Hofburg Palace Imperial Jewels

Discover the secret treasures of Vienna

  •             Priceless jewels of Vienna
  •             World’s largest cut emerald!
  •             Crowns, diamonds, and more….

Considered one of the most important treasuries in Europe, the Swiss Wing of the Hofburg Palace is home to Habsburg jewels.

You can view Empress Elisabeth’s personal jewels as well as other dazzling wonders!

 

MUST READ! Find out where to stay in Vienna for any type of trip or budget!

#5 – Food and Souvenirs at the Naschmarkt

Food and Souvenirs at the Naschmarkt

One of Vienna’s top foodie experiences (Photo Credit – 123rf.com)

  •             Local shopping experience
  •             Over 1.5 km of shops!
  •             Food, gifts, clothes, and more!

The local food and flea market of Vienna, the Naschmarkt is the perfect shopping experience for you during your vacation.

Known for its pleasant ambiance, it’s a great spot to browse for a traditional handcraft souvenir, then enjoy a meal at one of the numerous street eateries!

 

#6 – Escape into Nature in the Vienna Woods

Escape into Nature in the Vienna Woods

Tired of the city? Take a break in the woods (Photo Credit – viennawurstelstand.com)

  •             Escape city traffic
  •             Discover the natural side of Austria
  •             Perfect for hiking!

If you’re a nature enthusiast, the Vienna Woods are the place for you! Get out of the city to enjoy the natural green wonder of Austria.

The nature reserve is famous for its diversity of trees and over 150 species of native birds!

Excited to visit Vienna? Get excited to take an amazing day trip too!

#7 – Visit the Belvedere in Vienna

Visit the Belvedere in Vienna

  •             UNESCO World Heritage Site
  •             Stunning Baroque design
  •             One of Europe’s best museums

From Gothic alters to the famous Klimt collection, the Belvedere is one of Vienna’s true treasures.

Take full advantage of this unique opportunity when visiting Vienna to explore the wonderous art collections and historic rooms like the Palace Chapel!

#8 – Tour the Vienna Central Cemetery

Tour the Vienna Central Cemetery

One of the more unique things to do in Vienna

  •             View famous graves
  •             Eerie….but fascinating!
  •             Unique historic experience

Delve into the history of Vienna by taking part of a tour in the Central Cemetery.

Nearly 330,000 graves are located on the grounds; learn about the life stories of famous historic figures before they came to rest in the mysterious yet elegant cemetery of Vienna.

#9 – Have Fun on a Walking Tour

Have Fun on a Walking Tour

One of the best cheap things to do in Vienna

  •             See the Old Town
  •             Learn about local legends!
  •             Vienna through the eyes of a local

A great way to learn about some of Vienna’s top attractions like the Spanish Riding School, Hofburg complex, and St. Stephan’s Cathedral.

Each tour takes about 2 hours, giving you plenty of time to go back to your favorite spot or enjoy other activities during the day!

#10 – Summer fun at the Schönbrunner Pool

Summer fun at the Schönbrunner Pool

Time for some summer fun! (Photo Credit – coolcousin.com)

  •             Perfect outdoor pool!
  •             Cool down during the summer
  •             Fun for the whole family

Vienna summers can become hot, so why not cool off in the elegant and historic Schönbrunner outdoor pool?

With a restaurant on site along with a wellness center, including a sauna, it’s easy to make a trip to the pool an all-day relaxing experience!

 

#11 – Satisfy Your Sweet-tooth at the Chocolate Museum

Satisfy Your Sweet-tooth at the Chocolate Museum

One of the best fun things to do in Vienna

  •             Famous chocolate of Austria!
  •             From cocoa bean to chocolate bar
  •             Sweet vacation experience

From the historic chocolate-making rituals of the Mayans and Aztecs to modern day Austrian chocolate factories, explore the world of cocoa at the Chocolate Museum!

A family-friendly option with interactive displays, incredible chocolate sculptures, and of course plenty of delicious, fresh samples!

#12 – Take a Boat Ride on the Danube

Take a Boat Ride on the Danube

Things to do in Vienna this weekend

  •             Stunning river scenery
  •             Perfect photo opportunity!
  •             Numerous important landmarks

Boat rides along the Danube aren’t only scenic and relaxing, but also take you through both the historic and contemporary districts of Vienna.

Make sure you have your camera ready to get pictures of the numerous waterside landmarks and picturesque city lights visible from the river!

#13 – Stroll around the Stadtpark

Stroll around the Stadtpark

One of the best free things to do in Vienna (Photo Credit – tripadvisor)

  •             Clean, beautiful, and peaceful
  •             Escape the city traffic!
  •             Perfect place for a picnic lunch

This large municipal park is the perfect way to experience the elegance of Austrian landscape and design.

Covering about 65,000 square meters, the Stadtpark is a great spot for a relaxing afternoon picnic or pleasant evening stroll during your vacation in Vienna.

 

#14 – The Unique MAK Museum of Vienna

The Unique MAK Museum of Vienna

One of Vienna’s best art museums

  •             Free Tuesday evenings!
  •             Architectural landmark of Vienna
  •             Impressive art collection

The Make Museum, or Museum of Applied Art, is one of Vienna’s most remarkable venues, which focuses on Viennese artists during the 1900s.

Top attractions include masterpieces by Gustav Klimt and Otto Wagner all housed in an impressive historic building!

#15 – Enjoy an Evening at an Independent Cinema

One of the best local activities in Vienna

  •             Authentic local experience!
  •             English and international films
  •             Beautiful and historic venues

Vienna is known for its charming independent cinemas, perfect if you’re looking for a genuine local experience while traveling.

Many venues also function as cafés and restaurants; make a perfect evening out of it by tucking into traditional cuisine while enjoying the feature film.

 

#16 – New Discoveries at the Botanic Gardens

New Discoveries at the Botanic Gardens

Photo Credit – wien.info

  •             Over 12,000 plant species!
  •             Peaceful and serene landscape
  •             Incredible learning opportunity!

Maintained by the University of Vienna, the Botanical Gardens of the city have been a site of scientific discovery and natural wonder since they were opened in 1754.

You can personally enjoy this historic and beautiful attraction of Vienna and learn about plants from around the world!

 

#17 – Ride the Giant Ferris Wheel

Ride the Giant Ferris Wheel

A whole new perspective of Vienna!

  •             Amazing panoramic view!
  •             Iconic landmark of Vienna
  •             Fun for the whole family!

A truly picture-perfect landmark of Vienna, the impressive Giant Ferris Wheel is a fun way to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city.

One rotation usually takes about 15 minutes, allowing you plenty of time to take in the view and snap some memorable photos.

#18 – Taste the Art of Viennese Coffee

One of the best things to do in downtown Vienna

  •             True culture of Vienna
  •             Delicate, delicious pastries!
  •             A memorable historic experience

Viennese coffee has become an art of its own, and one you’ll have to try for yourself when you travel to the city.

Café Prückel has distinguished status as being one of the best authentic and historic coffee venues in the city, perfect for a delicious breakfast or mid-afternoon treat.

 

#19 – Concerts in St. Anne’s Church

Concerts in St. Anne’s Church

One of Vienna’s top music attractions

  •             World-renowned musicians!
  •             Stunning historic Baroque architecture
  •             Musical and artistic perfection!

St. Anne’s Church is known for its fantastic acoustics; what better way to appreciate this incredible architectural design than by listening to one of Mozart’s or Beethoven’s famous pieces?

The Viennese orchestra will serenade you for an unforgettable evening during your vacation!

#20 – Fine Art at the Albertina

  •             Housed in a neo-classical Viennese palace
  •             Top pick for art lovers!
  •             World-famous art collections

One of Vienna’s best art museums, the Albertina is known for the print rooms containing countless priceless master prints.

A must-visit attraction for every history and art fan traveling to Vienna!

 

#21 – Visit the Kunsthistorisches Museum

Visit the Kunsthistorisches Museum

Perfect place for history and art fans!

  •             Blend of art and history
  •             Ancient Egypt to famous painters
  •             Impressive historic building

One of Vienna’s most impressive museums, the Kunsthistorisches Museum houses artwork through the ages, from the pharaohs of Egypt to masters like Titian and Durer.

Expand your knowledge of history, art, and marvel at the architectural design of this museum built in the 18th century by Emperor Franz Joseph! Not only do the galleries hold wonders, but the museum building itself is an impressive sight.

#22 – Bend Your Mind at the Museum of Illusions

Bend Your Mind at the Museum of Illusions

Great thing to do in Vienna with kids!

  •             Crazy fun for all ages!
  •             Explore the limits of your mind
  •             Over 70 displays!

Children and adults alike can enjoy the unique experience at the Museum of Illusions, as well as the creative photo opportunities the museum has in place.

Top attractions include a vortex tunnel, an inclined room, and plenty of creative lateral thinking puzzles!

#23 – Spend a Sunday at the Riesenflohmarkt Wienerberg

It’s free! Until you find a souvenir…

  •             Shop like a local
  •             Keepsakes, furniture, toys, and more!
  •             Perfect spot to grab souvenirs

A traditional Sunday market, the Riesenflohmarkt Wienerberg is full of clothing, toys, antiques, and other little treasures.

If you’re hoping to score a good deal, up your bargaining game and talk to some locals for the best prices!

 

#24 – Sample Austrian Wine

No requirement to be a wine connoisseur!

  •             Local and authentic wine!
  •             Enjoy the Austrian countryside
  •             A true taste sensation!

Visit local family wineries close to Vienna for a personal experience of Austrian wine making!

A perfect romantic excursion, you can appreciate the countryside scenery and various types of high-quality wine along with traditional Austrian cuisine on a wine tour.

 

#25 – See the Picturesque Vienna City Hall

A ‘cool’ thing to do in Vienna in winter

  •             Annual Christmas market!
  •             Incredible neo-gothic architecture
  •             Great spot for photos!

Almost cathedral-like in appearance, the majestic city hall or Rathaus of Vienna is one of the most iconic landmarks of the city.

If you visit during the Christmas holidays, you can visit a local market and outdoor ice-rink located next to the hall.

 

#26 – Explore the Medieval History

Explore the Medieval History

Step back in time to see the dark side…

  •             Fun, engaging tours!
  •             Amazing architectural monuments
  •             A journey back in time

While Vienna is a bright and vibrant city today, its history is darkened by the black plague. Learn about the tragic past and famous legends which developed during the medieval ages!

Interactive maps and phone applications add an interesting twist to the experience!

#27 – A Night at the Vienna Opera

A very cool thing to do in Vienna

  •             Ball season every winter!
  •             Amazing photographs
  •             Operas, dinners, concerts, and more!

Vienna is famous for its history of opera performances, and what better way to experience the grandeur for yourself than at the Wiener Staatsoper, or the State Opera House?

This historic building, dating back to 1869, is full of stories and the perfect place to spend a memorable evening in Vienna!

 

#28 – Milestones in Art at the Leopold Museum

Milestones in Art at the Leopold Museum

  •             Viennese art from the 1900s
  •             Regular special exhibits!
  •             Gem of the MuseumsQuartier

The Leopold Museum is testimony to the myriad of changes that took place in the art world as masters such as Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele left behind old traditions and began to make new artistic ventures.

View the world’s largest collection of Egon Schiele artwork and countless other masterpieces!

#29 – Sample Traditional Viennese Sausage

Eat like a local in Vienna!

  •             The true food of Vienna!
  •             Countless varieties
  •             Perfect food-on-the-go

No trip to Vienna would be complete without trying one (or more!) traditional Austrian sausages!

There are plenty of street vendors selling the hot and sizzling treats in the city center, including cheese-filled, smoky, and spicy options. Try them all to decide for yourself which one is best!

 

#30 – The One-of-a-Kind Hundertwasser Museum

The One-of-a-Kind Hundertwasser Museum

One of Vienna’s top museum experiences

  •             Learn about developments in art
  •             One of Vienna’s most-celebrated attractions!
  •             Educational and intriguing

Friedensreich Hundertwasser is one of Vienna’s most famous artists, a man who was a champion both in the art world and in environmental groups.

The iconic museum is a great way for you to experience an important cultural aspect of Vienna during your vacation. Learn about the singular lifestyle of Hundertwasser and view some of his most famous pieces of artwork!

#31 – Visit St. Stephan’s Cathedral

The postcard image of Vienna

  •             An iconic landmark of Vienna
  •             Explore the catacombs!
  •             Impressive Gothic architecture

One of Vienna’s most highly praised architectural landmarks, St. Stephan’s is considered one of the city’s most important churches. In addition to the alters, catacombs, and stunning towers, the church also boasts Europe’s second largest free-swinging bell!

A great spot for photographs and a must-visit sight for every traveler coming to Vienna!

 

Conclusion

Vienna has charmed travelers from around the world with its cuisine, architecture, history, and culture. With high-class accommodation options and easy public transportation, Vienna is a great place to plan a memorable vacation.

It’s the kind of place you might visit for a week and wish to stay a lifetime. Ensure that you make the most of your time in Austria’s capital by finding the attractions that most interest you to take advantage of every moment. Embark on an adventure to Vienna and watch as your dreams come true!

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About the Author Nicola Smart

Gin lover. Coffee addict. Nicola has traveled the world for 7 years and is a staff writer for Hotel Jules. Born in London, Nicola first got the taste of travel studying abroad in Barcelona. Since then she's been hooked - traveling the world non-stop. Passionate about green travel and vegan lifestyle, Nicola spends more of her free time staring at maps wondering where she will head to next!