travel guide

What to see and Where to Go

From the Opera House, take a walk to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, which was built in 1147 A.D. and partially remodeled from then to 1433, and also suffered much damage from bombing during the war. However, the Gothic spire (448 feet) escaped damage. The Cathedral contains many beautiful pulpits, choirs, galleries and a great organ of Baroque design. The catacombs connect with subterranean passage ways which extend under the entire area around the Stefanplatz. 

Next on your list should be a visit to the  immense imperial summer palace and beautiful gardens of Schoenbrunn in the western outskirts of the city are an absolute must. Don’t fail to walk through the interior of this palace, the Hall of Mirrors and see the magnificent collection of coaches. Walk around the beautiful gardens and take in the oldest zoo in Europe, the Tiergarten. 

The Hofburg is the former principal imperial palace of the Habsburg dynasty and is located in the heart of the city. Built in the 13th century and expanded several times afterwards It  served as the imperial winter residence.  The renowned wrought-iron Michaeler Tor (Michael’s Gate), built around 1300 AD,  is the only city gate that has been preserved of the medieval fortifications and ranks among the oldest town buildings.  In 1785 baroque reconstructions of the city altered its shape and placed on top of the gate the statue of St. Michael and the Dragon.  The gate leads into the Michaeler rotunda. Off this are the imperial apartments and state suites, the private apartments of Franz Joseph, containing the personal furnishings of the Emperor, the suites of Empress Elizabeth, the gorgeous state apartments now used by the President of Austria and the rooms containing the imperial porcelain collection, Adjacent is the world famous Spanish Riding Academy which was founded in he 16th century and In the beautiful hall the famous Lipizzaner horses are put through their Spanish paces at regular performances. A main entrance leads from the rotunda to the central courtyard of In der Burg. Here too you should visit the Schweizerhof, from where you enter the unique collection of the crown jewels. You should also visit the imperial chapel. Check for hotel offer in our Vienna accommodation page .

Lippizan horse breed with their foals running on a paddock