Best Historic Things to Do in Vienna (with photos)
Vienna is an amazing, beautiful city with history so rich that it will take some time for you to grasp it. If you’re seeking some information about the ways to learn a little bit of Viennese history keep reading — we bring you the best historic things to do in Vienna. You will discover a little bit about Vienna’s beautiful castles, palaces, and churches, as well as about its amusing culture and history.
We know reading is not enough to get to know a city like Vienna is, that’s why we prepared several tours around this magical city, that are available on our Cultural Places platform.
Tours around Vienna:
Now let’s explore the historic Vienna…
Explore the Amusing Castles
Do you know what are the top-rated tourist attractions in Vienna? Yes, it’s all about famous Vienna’s castles and palaces. No wonder — they’re so beautiful, you’ll see for yourself. The most beautiful and popular ones are for sure the Schönbrunn Palace, the Hofburg, and the Belvedere Palace. All three of them are majestic in their own way, and we simply cannot decide which one is our favorite.
Both Hofburg and Schönbrunn belonged to the Habsburg rulers — Hofburg was the main palace for the winter, and Schönbrunn served as their summer residence. Hofburg, whose name translates to “Castle of the Court”, is an extraordinary castle complex, the main residence of the Habsburgs and the political center of the Habsburg monarchy. Today, it still has the same role — it’s the main palace of the president of the Republic of Austria. This glorious complex is located in the very center of Vienna and it is impossible to be missed. Its gardens serve as the public park, and during the summer you will see many people, both locals, and tourists just chilling between the buildings of this complex.
The Schönbrunn Palace
The Schönbrunn Palace (meaning “beautiful spring”), located a bit further from the city center, served as the summer residence for the Emperor. This gorgeous 1,441-room Rococo palace was built in the 16th century, and it never ceases to amaze its visitor ever since. It’s a real architectural jewel of royal Austria, and it’s hard to tell what is a more beautiful sight to see — the palace itself or its glorious gardens. One thing is sure, you must take a full day to fully enjoy this complex, you won’t regret a second spent over there.
While in Schönbrunn, you can also visit the most amazing greenhouse ever, called Palmenhaus. It’s a true tropical paradise in Vienna — click here to read more about it.
The Schönbrunn Palace at Night
The Schönbrunn Palace
The Belvedere Palace
Belvedere is another beautiful palace, built in the 18th century and was used as a summer residence for the Prince Eugen von Savoyen. Similar to the Schönbrunn Palace, it has quite amusing gardens, and its upper part offers the most beautiful view of the city. You will especially love it if you’re a true art-lover because this palace hides an extraordinary museum, called the Orangery, where you will find the most amusing collection of Gustav Klimt’s artwork.
The Belvedere Palace
The Belvedere Palace
Vienna is full of amazing museums, and some of them — such as the Orangery in the Belvedere that we already mentioned, are located in those gorgeous palaces and castles.
In the Hofburg complex, you will find the Albertina museum — the best and the most famous art museum in Austria. Each of its floors houses a different exhibition, and some of the artists whose artwork you’ll get to see are Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse, Miró and Picasso — quite impressive, right? Also, it is a home to the world’s largest and most important graphic collections, where you’ll see more than 65.000 drawings and around a million prints.
The Albertina Museum
Next to Hofburg, you will find two identical, beautiful buildings that house two amazing museums — the Vienna’s Art History Museum that is known as one of the world’s best museums, and the Natural History Museum where you will discover the diversity of nature and learn about the beginning of the life on our planet.
Natural History Museum
There are so much more museums that you will love for sure, such as the Imperial Furniture Collection, founded in 1747 by Empress Maria Theresia, where you will see the most impressive furniture collection in the world, or the Imperial Carriage Museum contains one of the world’s greatest collections of historic vehicles.
If you’re into some more unusual museums, you should definitely read about one of those on our blog about the wax museum Madame Tussauds — there is also our tour around it that you can get at the Museum.
Visit Viennese Churches
Vienna is also full of gorgeous churches that are true architectural gems — you will love them. Our definite favorite is St. Stephen’s Cathedral, or Stephansdom, which is one of the biggest attractions of the Austrian capital, with its 5,5 million visitors a year. This gorgeous extraordinary church is set in the very center of Vienna and its spire is what makes it really special, as well as its astonishing interior. To read more about gorgeous Stephansdom, check out one of our previous blog posts on the following link: Stephansdom – the Pearl of Royal Austria.
Not that far from Stephansdom, there is another church that took our breaths away. It’s St. Peter’s Church, or Peterskirche. Its gorgeous new dome is known to be the first dome in Vienna built in baroque style, and the old building dates back to late Antiquity, which makes it the oldest church in Vienna.
St. Peter’s Church — Peterskirche
St. Charles’ Church, or Karlskirche, is another really beautiful church, and it’s located near the Belvedere Palace. It is commissioned by Emperor Karl VI, built in the 18th century and it is definitely one of the most important Baroque churches built north of the Alps.
St. Charles’ Church — Karlskirche
Wondering how to get to some of these gorgeous landmarks of Vienna? Download the “Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Vienna” and you will find out everything that you need for your first visit to this gorgeous city and more.
Discover the Places That Inspired Great Classical Musicians
Vienna is known to be the capital city of classical music, so if you’re a music lover you must explore the places that were the most important for the making of this music. You will find different concert halls all around Vienna, as well as some landmarks and monuments to the famous classical Viennese musicians.
Some of the most popular musicians that started their career in Vienna are Johann Strauss Jr. — the Waltz king and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In Vienna’s Stadtpark, you will find the famous monument to the Waltz king. It’s one of the most photographed sights in this amazing park, partially because it is so nice and shiny, and partially because it’s about one of the best Viennese composers.
Monument to the Waltz King
Mozart is Salzburg-born composer, who composed some of his best works in Vienna, where he lived for the last ten years of his life. Visit the house where he lived and just imagine him sitting by one of the windows of this apartment building and composing.
We highly recommend you download our tour “A Music Lover’s Guide to Vienna” to learn a little about the history of classical music in Vienna, and also to hear a bit from those famous compositions done by the most famous Viennese musicians. Also, it will guide you to the best places where you can listen to classical music, such as The Wiener Konzerthaus, the Deutschordenshaus, the Hofburg’s Imperial Chapel where you can hear the Vienna Boys’ Choir, Opera House, and many other venues.
We won’t tell you more, you have to get the tour to discover why is Vienna called the capital of classical music.
The Wiener Konzerthaus
If you’re traveling to Vienna for the first time and looking for the must-see places, the tours that we mentioned above will give you the perfect overview of this historic city. Just check them out, add them to your trip planner and enjoy!