Vienna is one of those European cities where history comes to life while walking the streets, many of them dotted with stunning buildings. Austria's imperial heritage is quite evident both in the downtown are and when visiting the various former Habsburg residences spread out through the city. Many of the historic tourist spots are located near to each other, so it's a good idea to start your explorations at Maria-Theresien Platz and continue your journey towards the Hofburg building complex.
Here are 10 of the most popular historic buildings worth checking out while in Vienna.
This is the former official residence of the Habsburg family who ruled Austria. The
buildings demonstrate several architectural periods, including Gothic, Renaissance,
Baroque or even Rococo. It is a vast building complex that houses several important
venues and museums, including the Imperial Apartments, the Sisi Museum, the Silver
Collection, the Imperial Chapel (Burgkapelle) and the Hofburg Treasury.
Address: Michaelerkuppel, 1010 Wien
Official website: https://www.hofburg-wien.at/en/
Schönbrunn palace is one of the signature sights of historic Vienna. It used to be home
to the Habsburg royal family. The lavish baroque building is surrounded by a huge park that
takes at least half a day to fully explore. Parts of the park include the Gloriette, the Zoo,
the Palm House, the Children's Museum and many more.
Address: Schloß Schönbrunn, 1130 Vienna
Official website: https://www.schoenbrunn.at/en/
Take a trip back to historic times while walking through the halls and rooms of this
extraordinary Baroque building complex. It consists of the Upper Palace and the Lower Palace,
each providing several highlights for tourists. This is also a famous site for both
Christmas markets and Easter markets. If you travel to Vienna at these periods of the year,
don't miss out on such a spectacular event.
Address: Prinz Eugen Strasse 27, 1037 Vienna
Official website: https://www.belvedere.at/en
The cathedral is located in the historic center of Vienna. It is a perfect starting point
for exploring the downtown for both sightseeing purposes or just shopping. Parts of the
church were built in Gothic style. During the reconstruction works over the centuries it
grew into this massive, emblematic building drawing visitors' eyes towards its architectural
Address: Stephansplatz 3, 1010 Wien
Official website: https://www.stephanskirche.at/
Have you heard about the famous Lippizaner horses? If not, you can get acquainted with
them during one of the shows that are held at the Baroque Winter Riding School. The Riding
School is part of the Hofburg Palace and is quite easy to find. Be sure to secure tickets
for the horse riding shows in advance.
Address: Michaelerplatz 1, 1010 Wien
Official website: https://www.srs.at/en/
The Austrian capital is well-known for its accommodating nature for art and especially
for classical music. Just think of the yearly held Opera Ball. The Opera House
(Wiener Staatsoper) was built in the Renaissance style in the second half of the 19th
century and is situated in the center of the city, easily reached by walk.
Address: Opernring 2, 1010 Vienna
Official website: https://www.wiener-staatsoper.at/en/
The formidable Neo-gothic building of the city hall is a popular tourist attraction in
the heart of the city. The nearby park is a comfortable resting place and during weeks
leading up to Christmas the square in front of the city hall and the adjacent park plays
host to Vienna's most famous Christmas market. There is also free wifi provided in the park,
should you urgently need net connection.
Address: Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz 1, 1010 Vienna
Official site: https://www.wien.gv.at/english/cityhall/
This classical building that was heavily influenced by Greek architecture is the home of
the Austrian national and federal parliament since 1918. It is in walking distance from the
city hall and therefore an easy target for tourists to explore. The sculptures in front of
the building are a popular background for selfies. There is also a Visitor Center inside the
parliament that is worth to check out if you are not too busy. (This year - 2019 - there are
major renovations going on, so parts of the parliament are temporarily closed off.)
Address: Dr.-Karl-Renner-Ring 3, 1017 Vienna
Official site: www.parlament.gv.at/ENGL/
Fancy an evening out at Vienna's most important theatre? Do you want to get lost in the
sight of the splendid interior decoration and the building's impressive exteriors? Then why
not pay a visit to the National Theatre in the heart of the city? It''ll be definitely worth
Address: Dr Karl-Lüger-Ring 2, Vienna
Official site: https://www.burgtheater.at/en/
This famous square provides home to the grand monument of Empress Maria Theresa. The
square is adjacent to two historic buildings: the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History
Museum) and the Naturhistorisches Museum (Nature History Museum).
Address: Maria-Theresien-Platz, Burgring, Vienna