15 Things To Do In Vienna As A First Time Visitor

Vienna is a city that is full of culture, art, and history. It’s no wonder it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe!
Vienna, Austria. Photo: Jacek Dylag | Unsplash

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If you’re planning a trip to Vienna, or if you just want to learn more about this amazing city, then you’re in luck. In this blog post, we will discuss 15 things that you should do when you visit Vienna. From visiting the Schonbrunn Palace to going on a river cruise, we have got you covered! So without further ado, let’s get started!

1. Visit the Hofburg Palace

Hofburg Palace. Photo: Peter Oertel | Unsplash

I had the opportunity to visit the Hofburg Palace during my recent trip to Vienna, and I was absolutely amazed by the sheer size and beauty of the complex. The Hofburg Palace has been the primary residence of the Austrian royal family for centuries, and it is currently home to the President of Austria. The palace complex consists of numerous buildings, including the imperial chapel, the national library, and the treasury. Visitors can tour many of these buildings, and I would highly recommend taking a guided tour in order to learn more about the history of the palace. Even if you’re not interested in history, the Hofburg Palace is definitely worth a visit for its stunning architecture and beautiful setting.

2. Take a stroll through Vienna’s Old Town

Vienna’s Old Town. Photo: Leyre | Unsplash

There is something special about Vienna’s Old Town. Perhaps it’s the grandeur of the historic buildings or the lively atmosphere of the cafes and restaurants. Whatever the reason, a stroll through Vienna’s Old Town is always a delight. I love wandering down narrow alleyways and discovering hidden courtyards. And, of course, no visit to the Old Town would be complete without a stop at one of the many cafes for a delicious cup of coffee. With its beautiful architecture and charming cafes, Vienna’s Old Town is truly a unique place to explore.

3. Check out Schönbrunn Palace

Check out Schönbrunn Palace. Photo: Hyde ciel | Unsplash

Schönbrunn Palace is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vienna and for good reason. The palace, built in the 17th century, was the former summer residence of the imperial Habsburg family. Today, visitors can explore the stunning gardens, tour the opulent staterooms, and listen to a performance by the world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Schönbrunn Palace is a must-see for anyone visiting Vienna.

4. Wander around Heldenplatz

Heldenplatz. Photo: Simon Berger | Unsplash

Heldenplatz is one of the most popular squares in Vienna and it is easy to see why. Located in front of the Hofburg Palace, it is a beautiful space that is perfect for people-watching. On a sunny day, you will find locals and tourists alike enjoying the sun and the square’s many features. Be sure to take some time to wander around and explore. You will find plenty of things to see, including the Austrian National Library, the Hofreitschule Vienna, and the National Opera House. There is also a variety of shops and restaurants nearby, so you can easily make a day of it. Whether you are looking for history, culture, or just a place to relax, Heldenplatz is sure to provide an enjoyable experience.

5. Admire the architecture of St. Stephen’s Cathedral

St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Photo: Ezgi Deliklitas | Unsplash

The Vienna skyline is punctuated by the Gothic spires of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. This magnificent structure has been a fixture of the city for centuries, and it remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vienna. The exterior of the cathedral is covered in intricately carved stone, and the interior is adorned with beautiful frescoes and stained glass windows. Visitors can also ascend to the top of one of the towers for a stunning view of the city. Whether you’re admiring the architecture from below or soaking up the views from above, St. Stephen’s Cathedral is sure to take your breath away.

6. Enjoy a concert at the Musikverein

The Musikverein. Photo: Francisco Anzola |Flickr

The Musikverein is one of the most prestigious concert halls in the world, and it is considered to be one of the finest examples of Viennese architecture. Located in the heart of the city, the Musikverein plays host to a wide variety of musical events throughout the year, from classical concerts to pop and rock performances. Visitors to the Musikverein can enjoy world-class acoustics, beautiful decoration, and a sense of history. The Musikverein has been hosting musical events since 1869, and it continues to be one of the most popular venues in Vienna. If you are looking for an unforgettable concert experience, be sure to check out the Musikverein.

7. Sample some traditional Austrian food and drink

A Wiener Schnitzel. Photo: Mark König | Unsplash

If you’re visiting Austria, make sure to sample some of the traditional food and drink! The country is known for its hearty cuisine, and there are plenty of dishes to choose from. Some of the most popular include Wiener schnitzel (a breaded and fried veal cutlet), Tafelspitz (boiled beef), and Apfelstrudel (a pastry filled with apples). As for drinks, Austria is home to some world-famous wines, as well as delicious beers such as Vienna lager and Gose. And of course, you can’t visit Austria without trying a cup of strong coffee! Whether you’re enjoying a meal at a restaurant or grabbing a quick snack from a cafe, make sure to try some of the local specialties. You won’t be disappointed!

8. See the Ringstraße

The Ringstraße. Photo: Arno Senoner | Unsplash

This grand avenue, which encircles the city center, is one of the most iconic sites in Vienna. Built in the 19th century, the Ringstraße is lined with stunning architecture, including several museums, the Opera House and Parliament Building. Be sure to take a stroll down this historic street and take in the sights of this beautiful city!

9. Visit the Belvedere Palace

The Belvedere Palace. Photo: Martin Zenker | Unsplash

This lavish palace was built in the early 18th century for Prince Eugene of Savoy, and it now houses an art museum with a stunning collection of Austrian and international art. The museum is spread across two buildings, the Upper Belvedere and the Lower Belvedere. Both are worth exploring, but the Upper Belvedere is particularly noteworthy for its grandiose design and stunning views of the city. Visitors can also enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in the café, which has an outdoor terrace that overlooks the gardens. In fine weather, the Belvedere Palace is one of the most pleasant places to relax in Vienna.

10. See the Spanish Riding School

The Spanish Riding School. Photo: John Harwood |Flickr

The Spanish Riding School in Vienna is one of the oldest and most prestigious riding schools in the world. Founded in the 16th century, it is best known for its Lipizzaner stallions, which perform classical dressage routines set to music. The school also offers training courses for both riders and horses, and it operates a breeding program for Lipizzaner horses. The Spanish Riding School is open to the public for performances and tours, making it a popular tourist destination in Vienna. Visitors to the school can watch riders and horses in action, learn about the history of the school, and even meet some of the famous Lipizzaner stallions up close.

11. Take a boat trip down the Danube River

Danube River Photo: Arno SenonerUnsplash

The Danube River is one of the most iconic waterways in all of Europe, and a boat trip is a perfect way to see it. The river flows through 10 different countries, including Austria, and it offers a stunning view of Vienna as it winds its way through the city. There are a variety of boat trips available, from short sightseeing excursions to longer sunset cruises. Whichever type of trip you choose, you’re sure to enjoy the stunning scenery and fresh air. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some of the river’s wildlife, including ducks, herons, and even turtles.

There are plenty of great companies to choose from. Viator offers small group tours that guarantee an intimate experience, while City Wonder Tours provides both English and Spanish-speaking guides. For those looking for a more luxurious experience, Danube Delights offers private tours on elegant boats. Whichever company you choose, you’re sure to enjoy stunning views of the cityscape as you cruise down the river. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride on one of Vienna’s best riverboat tour companies.

12. Explore the Naschmarkt Market

The Naschmarkt Market. Photo: Ashley Winkler | Unsplash

Naschmarkt is Vienna’s most famous market and a must-visit for any foodie. This sprawling open-air market is packed with stalls selling fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and international specialties. The market dates back to the 16th century, and today it is a beloved local institution. Visitors can wander through the stalls, sample delicious dishes, and enjoy the lively atmosphere. Naschmarkt is also home to a number of restaurants, cafes, and bars, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon.

13. Discover some of Vienna’s many art museums

The Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. Photo: Martin Zenker | Unsplash

Vienna is home to a number of world-renowned art museums, including the Albertina, the Belvedere, the Kunsthistorisches, and the Leopold Museum. These museums boast impressive collections of both Austrian and international art, and they are definitely worth a visit for any art lover. The Albertina is particularly noteworthy for its extensive collection of drawings and prints, while the Belvedere houses one of the largest collections of Austrian art in the world. The Leopold Museum is also worth a visit, as it boasts an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art.

14. Ride on a Ferris wheel in Prater Park

Ride on a Ferris wheel in Prater Park. Photo: Jannes Klingebiel | Unsplash

Prater Park is one of Vienna’s most popular tourist destinations, and it is home to a number of attractions, including a Ferris wheel. The park dates back to the 18th century, and it is best known for its amusements and rides. The Ferris wheel is one of the most popular attractions in the park, and it offers stunning views of Vienna. The ride takes about 30 minutes, and it is definitely worth the wait.

15. See the Vienna skyline from Kahlenberg Hill

Kahlenberg Hill is one of the best places to see the Vienna skyline. The hill is located just outside of the city, and it offers stunning views of both the city and the surrounding countryside. There are a number of hiking trails that lead to the top of the hill, so you can choose how long and strenuous your hike will be. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of Vienna. So make sure to bring your camera and take plenty of pictures!


Vienna is a beautiful city with plenty to offer tourists. From boat trips down the Danube River to exploring Prater Park, there are a number of activities that visitors can enjoy. So whether you’re looking for culture, history, or just a good time, be sure to add Vienna to your list of travel destinations. You won’t be disappointed! I hope you enjoyed this blog post! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.


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