A. Strengths and Weaknesses of Vienna
As a city of traditions with a famous musical legacy and a population of more than 1.8 million, Vienna has played a prominent role in world culture.
Reminders of the city's illustrious past are everywhere from the world heritage listed Historic Centre, the Imperial Palace (Hofburg) itself to the palaces of Belvedere and Schönbrunn.
Vienna is known for its very high quality of life topping several lists for the world's most livable cities.
Cosmopolitan Vienna scores rather high in almost all of the categories.
This consistency leads to a remarkable high rank in our study.
Vienna is expensive.
6/10 [1.850 Mio.]
B. Best Things to Do in Vienna (Detailed List with Photos and Information)
These sights and attractions contribute to a sights score of 7.20/10.
SCHLOSS SCHÖNBRUNN 8
This overwhelmingly opulent former summer residence of the Habsburg family in Baroque style was constructed in 1696.
The beautiful vast gardens as well as 40 of the palace's 1441 rooms are open to the public. Among the highlights of the interior are the private apartments of Franz-Joseph and empress Elisabeth, the Blue Staircase, the Mirror Room and the Hall of Ceremonies.
Palace (World Heritage Site since 1996)
by Simon Matzinger/ CC BY-SA 3.0
HISTORIC CENTRE 7
Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2001 Vienna's historic largely pedestrianized center (Innere Stadt), in its unity, is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe.
From its central point — the famous St. Stephen's Cathedral — Vienna's most famous streets expand in all directions, including Graben and Kärntner Strasse. The outlines are marked by the famous late-19th-century Ringstrasse lined with grand buildings (including the State Opera House, the City Hall, the Austrian Parliament or the Hofburg Palace).
Historic Area (World Heritage Site since 2001)
by Lumturi1989 / CC BY-SA 3.0
HOFBURG (Imperial Palace) 7
Today the office of the President of Austria, the immense 13th-century Hofburg palace complex, which until 1918 was inhabited by the imperial Habsburg family, contains numerous sights.
The most interesting from a tourist perspective include the Imperial Apartments (Kaiserappartements) with 19 authentic equipped rooms as well as the Sisi Museum, the Imperial Silver Collection and the butterfly house.
Furthermore the baroque Austrian National Library (Nationalbibliothek) with its State Hall (Prunksaal) one of the most beautiful historical libraries in the world.
Palace (World Heritage Site since 2001)
by Bwag / CC BY-SA 3.0
Built between 1861 and 1869 this splendid neo-Renaissance opera house is one of the most famous in the world.
Highlights of a 40-minute guided tour include the main staircase, the Schwind Foyer and the magnificent auditorium. For many decades, the opera house has been the venue of the internationally highly renowned Vienna Opera Ball.
Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) 7
Considered one of the great art museums of Europe Vienna’s Museum of Art History houses the outstanding former private collection of the of the Imperial family in a splendid purpose built building lavishly decorated with marble, stucco ornamentations, gold-leaf.
Visitors can marvel at the famous Salt Cellar sculpture by Benvenuto Cellini as well as world-class paintings by Jacques-Louis David (“Napoleon Crossing the Alps”), Pieter Bruegel the Elder (“The [Great] Tower of Babel”, “The Hunters in the Snow”), Caravaggio (“The Crowning with Thorns”, “David with the Head of Goliath”), Raphael (“Madonna del prato”), or Vermeer (“The Art of Painting”).
#3 by Benvenuto Cellini (Jerzy Strzelecki) / CC BY-SA 3.0
STEPHANSDOM (St. Stephen's Cathedral) 7
This majestic Gothic cathedral marks the very heart of Vienna's historic centre.
Climb the 343 steps to the top of the South Tower (or use the elevator to reach the lookout terrace at the North Tower) for wonderful views over the whole city.
Cathedral (World Heritage Site since 2001)
by Andrew Bossi / CC BY-SA 2.5