14 Vienna Adventures You Need To Do

Tiergarten

things to do in vienna tiergarten
Popular among younger and older generations alike, the Tiergarten is best known for being the World's oldest zoo.

Conceived by Emperor Franz Stephan I, the zoo was originally built in 1752 as a menagerie - a place where animals were kept for exhibition.

Tiergarten was originally intended only for the Royal Family but several years later opened it's doors to the public for the first time.

During WWII, the zoo took a major hit when it was struck with a series of bombs.  As a result, many of the animals perished and the large collection of animals was reduced to approximately 300.

Though many of the tiny original enclosures still exist as a piece of history, the animals are no longer contained within them.

Today, the zoo is most well known not only for being the oldest zoo in the world, but also for being the first zoo to give birth to a baby elephant in human care in 1906.

The zoo currently features over 500 different species of animal, as well as a rain-forest house, an orangutan restaurant, and an entire Polar World.

Schönbrunn Palace

things to do in vienna schonbrunn palace
Dating back to the 14th century, the Katterburg estate first came into the possession of Habsburg in 1569.  By 1745, the Imperial Family occupied the residence every summer.

Today, the Schonbrunn Palace remains one of the most beautiful and beloved palaces in all of Vienna, and is open year round.

The site is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site and is free for visitors to explore.  Within the palace are 1441 rooms, though only 45 are open for public exploration.

Around the Palace you will find a series of impressive fountains, monuments, statues, trees, and gardens.  Also within the Palace park are the Tiergarten zoo, the Imperial Carriage museum, the Maze and Labyrinth, and the Desert Experience House.

MuseumsQuartier

things to do in vienna museumsquartier
The MuseumsQuartier is the world's largest district for contemporary art and culture.  The district spans over 90,000 square meters and features pretty much anything you can think of related to the arts.

Whether you enjoy dance, art, music, fashion, literature, culture, street art, photography, or any other type of art, the MuseumsQuartier has a little something for everyone.

The Quartier began over 300 years ago where it has since been used to host a variety of trade fairs and exhibitions.  Today, the Quartier is open to the public free of charge, 24 hours a day.

If preferred, guided tours of the Quartier are available.  General tours are the most popular option, but backstage tours are also available.  These give visitors the option to learn more about the associations, agencies, and companies that make the Quartier what it is.  Alternatively, you can opt for a KaiserQuarter Tour to learn more about the history of the area.

Naschmarkt

things to do in vienna naschmarkt
Open since the 16th century, the Naschmarkt is known as the most popular and well known market in Vienna.

What was once a market that sold mainly milk containers, has now turned into a massive culinary experience featuring some of the top chefs from around the world.

Want to try some Indian food?  You can find it here.  Want to try Vietnamese?  You can try it here too.  Feel like Italian?  Yep, you will find it at the Nachmarkt as well.

After you've filled up on your share of food during the week, Naschmarkt turns into a full fledged flea market every Saturday.  Here you can roam through thousands of vendors that are selling antiques, oddities, and of course, junk.

Natural History Museum

things to do in vienna natural history museum
Home to one of the world's most impressive collections is Vienna's Natural History Museum.

The museum allows guests to explore the history of the Earth, taking visitors on a walk through the ages.  Explore the history of evolution, revel at some of the world's largest dinosaurs, and enjoy live presentations to learn more about the Earth in the digital planetarium.

With over 39 themed halls, there is so much to be seen at the Natural History Museum.  While here, don't miss out on the opportunity to see some of the most impressive exhibits in the museum including the world's oldest collection of meteorites that features over 1100 rocks that have fallen to the earth, and the 29,500 year old Venus of Willendorf figure.

Vienna City Hall

things to do in vienna vienna city hall
The official seat of the Mayor, City Hall is considered to be one of the most monumental buildings in all of Vienna.  Constructed between 1872 and 1883, the hall was built in traditional Gothic Style by designer Friedrich Schmidt.

The Hall is more officially known as “Rathausplatz” and contains over 1575 different rooms.  Throughout the year the hall is home to a variety of different events including the Life Ball and the Vienna Festival Opening.

You can take a free guided tour though the building on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Sigmund Freud Museum

things to do in vienna sigmund freud museum
Considered to be the founder and father of the doctrine of Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud continues to remain one of the most beloved, and controversial, names in the field of Psychology.

In Vienna you can visit Freud’s former residence where he spent many of his most prolific years and where many of his most famous and groundbreaking theories came to light.

Within the museum, you’ll find many of Freud’s writings and papers, along with some of his most personal belongings.

While here, you can also check out the attached library that houses over 35,000 volumes of research surrounding the psychoanalytic field.

Spanish Riding School

things to do in vienna spanish riding school
The Spanish Riding School is most well-known for it’s world famous performances by the Lipizzan horses.  Traditionally known as a horse of Royalty, the Lipizzan’s have been putting on extravagant shows in Europe for over four centuries.

Known as the “Ballet for the White Stallions”, such performances are the result of years of training for both the horses and their trainers.

Considered in Europe as a form of art, the practice of performing on Lipizzan’s has been a rich part of Vienna’s history since 1565.  Today, the Spanish Riding School is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and can be visited by guests for an unforgettable performance and show.
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State Opera House

things to do in vienna state opera house
Considered to be one of the most impressive and important opera houses in the world, the Vienna State Opera House is somewhere you can go to enjoy some of the very best shows in the industry.

The Opera House was built in 1869 by August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Null with its’ first performance being Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”.

Unfortunately, the Opera House faced devastation in World War II, but again reopened it’s doors in 1955.  Today, the Opera House is open over 300 days out of the year and offers a different program daily.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

things to do in vienna st stephens cathedral
Constructed in the 12th century, the St. Stephen’s Cathedral is one of the most important Gothic structures in all of Austria.

The same Cathedral in which Mozart was married in 1782, the Cathedral boasts a beautiful 137 meter high spire and invites in millions of guests every year.

On a discovery tour of the Cathedral, you will uncover the secrets within the church, explore ancient catacombs, and climb towers to reach some of the most beautiful views in all of Vienna.

Karlskirche

things to do in vienna karlskirche
More commonly known as the St. Charles Church, the Karlskirche showcases Baroque style architecture and has a very interesting history.

The erection of the church was commenced by the Emperor of Vienna Charles VI after a plague broke out in 1713.  He vowed that if the plague left the city he would build a church and, after his prayers were answered, the construction of the church began in 1715.

It was dedicated to, and named after, St. Charles Borromeo who was admired and respected for tending to the many people who felt victim to the 16th century plague.

Today, the church showcases two enormous twin columns that show scenes from the life of St Charles Borromeo.  A museum is also dedicated to his name within the church.

Belvedere Palace

things to do in vienna belvedere palace
Divided into two separate buildings, Belvedere Palace was originally constructed in the 18th century on behalf of Prince Eugene of Savoy.

During the time, the palace served as a summer residence and, today, the building stands as one of the most impressive examples of Baroque architecture in Vienna.

Belvedere Palace features a beautiful garden that conjoins the two buildings where a variety of Austrian Art pieces, as well as the world’s largest Klimt collection are housed.

You can opt to purchase tickets for both the Upper and Lower Belvedere buildings, or you can purchase tickets for each building individually.  While here, don’t forget to admire some of the masterpieces painted by Monet and Vincent Van Gogh.

Hundertwasser House

things to do in vienna hundertwasserhaus
No fan of architecture will want to miss the Hundertwasser House on their visit to Vienna.  Designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, the fantastically colourful house attracts millions of visitors from around the world every year.

The entire project cost over €7 million and was completed in 1985.  Unfortunately, the unit drew some controversy after it’s completion as many other artists and architects within the area dismissed it as distasteful.

Today, the units are rented out as individual apartments, and unfortunately there are no tours through the building.  While you can’t tour inside the building, you can wander around and admire from the outside for free.

There are also plenty of themed cafes and shops in the area making the visit to the Hundertwasser House well worth a stopover.

Prater Amusement Park

things to do in vienna prater amusement park
Located in the heart of the city, the Prater Amusement Park has something for the entire family.

Still referred to by the Viennese as the “Wurstelprater”, the Prater Amusement Park features everything from rollercoasters, to ghost trains, to aqua balls, labyrinths, and bungydomes.

By far, the most popular sight here, however, is the giant ferris wheel - one of Vienna’s most famous and prized symbols.

The park is open from the middle of March to the end of October daily until midnight, but the ferris wheel and several other attractions actually stay open year round.

Day trips from Vienna

amazing day trips from vienna
Don't forget to save some time to explore outside of Vienna.  There's several day trip adventures waiting for you outside the big city.

Among those adventures are admiring the Melk Abbey, getting in touch with nature in the Vienna Woods and exploring the historical Roman town of Carnuntum.

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Free walking tours

Vienna, along with almost every major city in the world, has companies that offer free walking tours.  These tours are usually run by young students who are passionate about telling the story of their city and country.

The tours are probably the best way to explore and learn about the city as the guides will take you to unique places in the city while telling you all sorts of interesting stories.

As a note, while these are "free" walking tours, tips are encouraged at the end of the tour and a €5 tip is the standard.
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