Vienna, known as the City of Music, is the capital and the largest city of Austria.
Going to Vienna, one must make a list of places to visit, so might this list of 10 amazing spots in Vienna help you out to enjoy your trip to this dramatic place (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Let´s start with one of the most well-known squares in the world: The Stephansplatz, named after its most prominent building, the Stephansdom.
This ancient building is not only the cathedral of Vienna, but also one of the tallest churches in the world. If you are interested in architecture I suggest you to have a walk around this dramatic place and to discover the magnificent of this construction. Entrance to the cathedral is free for visitors.
Stephansplatz is located in the ancient downtown of Vienna, at the end of the Känrtner Straße, the shopping street, and the Graben*, one of the first residential streets in this area of the city.
*Graben = Ditch. This elegant shopping street began life as a ditch dug built up by the Romans to protect Vinodoba until Leopold V filled it in.
#9. Hotel Sacher
In the number 9 we can find another historical building of Vienna: The Hotel Sacher, mostly known as the house of the delicious Sacher Torte.
The hotel, built on the place where Antonio Vivaldi once lived, was founded in 1876 by Eduard, the son of the creator of the Sacher Torte, though it is best remembered for the period when it was managed by his widow Anna. Those days the hotel reached its glory days becoming a veritable institution, as well as the Sacher Torte.
The origins of this cake are dated to 1832 when Franz Sacher, an apprentice chef, came up with this delicious dessert.
Since the beginning the hotel has been an important meeting point for the Viennese high society, where aristocrats, artists and politicians conversed while enjoying the sublime Sacher Torte. Nowadays, the hotel is still a meeting place for businessmen, artists, politicians and royals, like the Queen Elizabeth II.
The imperial summer palace of Maria Theresa, built around 1712, is one of the most impressive palaces of the world (only comparable to Versailles, I would say).
The place is composed of more than 1.000 rooms and an immense garden which offers a lot of attractions for its visitors.
In the following link “Schönbrunn.at” you can find more information about the tickets to visit the imperial summer residence of Sisi.
Belvedere dates from the 17th century, after the Prince Eugene purchased a plot of land on the south of Vienna and decided to build his summer residence there.
This historical part of the city consists of two baroque palaces (Lower and Upper Belvedere) and a dramatic baroque-style garden. During the French Revolution both palaces served as home to French royals who left their country, in fact, the French embassy is yet located in a beautiful imperial building not far away from of Belvedere.
#6. Manner Store
In the number 6 of this list we come back to Stepahnsplatz (#10).
Located at one corner of the square you will find the original Manner Store.
Wait a second, do you know what Manner is? If so, maybe you want to discover now the spot number 5, although it is not so tasty as this one ;). If not, keep reading to find out more about this unique place in the world.
In 1889 Mr. Josef Manner I opened a confectionery store next to Stepahnsdom. Nine years later, in 1898, he invented, in honor of the golden jubilee of Emperor Franz Josef, the Neapolitan wafer, a composition of crispy wafers filled with hazelnut cream.
Although the Manner Neapolitans’ original receipt is still being produced, the Manner company has already introduced many other different wafer flavors as tasty and delicious as the original one. Millions of Manner wafer lovers around the world visit this store every year to find out new flavors and to buy tons of the original wafer.
To keep the tradition and the quality standards for all the products, the entire Manner production takes places in the factory in Vienna in the 17th district. Take a look at Manner´s website (manner.com) to get more insights about this unique product.
In the middle of the list we find MuseumsQuartier, a 60.000 square meters of exhibition space, situated in the former Messpalast, or convention center, which served the Empire for the imperial stables.
Three major museums are part of MQ (MuseumsQuartier); the MUMOK (Museum der Modernen Kunst – (en) Museum of Modern Art); the Leopold Museum for Classic Modern Art (the one I liked the most); and the Kunsthalle, for changing exhibitions.
MQ is a meeting place for young people and families not only in summer, when different festivals are organized on the square, but also in winter since more than a dozen smaller institutions such as the Zoom Kinder Museum are also part of MQ.
Tip: If you are hungry do not miss the chance to enjoy a great meal at the terrace of the restaurant Glacis Beisl .
One of my favourite buildings of the city. Rather than its official status (it is the Vienna´s Town Hall as well as the seat of the government for the State of Vienna) what really attracts me from this 1880s construction is the way its Gothic facade stands there “staring” at the city of Vienna and taking part in its most important moments, such as christmas or the Life Ball.
In fact, the Rathaus is a nice meeting point. In christmas its square (Rathausplatz) holds one of the most magical christmas market of the city and during the months of spring and summer many exhibitions and festivals are also organized in this part of the city.
The concept of the Hundertwasserhaus was developed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an Austrian artist, around 1984. Each of the 53 apartments that belong to this building has a different colour, as well as the facade, which is painted in bright colorful patches.
The desire of the designer, Mr. Hundertwasser, was to bring nature closer to the city and its citizens. The accomplishment of his desire is noticeable in the use of curves and in the landscaping of the terraces with trees and ivy.
Press here to get more information about opening hours and admission
A dramatic baroque church located in Karlsplatz dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo. Located beside the Spitaler Gottesacker, where Carlo Vivari was buried, this beautiful construction became popular among austrians and tourits due to its unique dome and its two flanking columns.
If you are a fan of classical music do not miss the opportunity to buy some tickets and to enjoy a live concert of classical music. Press here to find out more information about this and other music concerts which take part in churches (listening “The Four Seasons” of Vivaldi at Karlskirche is an incredible mix of feelings, I highly recommend it).
#1. Anker Clock
The Anker Clock is my favourite hidden gem in Vienna.
Located at the Hoher Markt square, the Anchor Clock was built around 1917.
The clock forms a bridge between two parts of an insurance company’s building and it is adorned with mosaic ornaments. In the course of 12 hours, around twelve figures move across the bridge. Some of these figures represent renowned people such as Haydn, Empress Maria Theresa and Eugene of Savoy.
Although at the very beginning I talked about 10 amazing spots in Vienna, I have a final suggestion:
# Extra Spot – Wiener Zentralfriedhof
This extra spot is my last personal recommendation if you ever decide to visit Vienna.
Wiene Zentralfriedhof is the largest cemetery of Austria (and the second of Europe), and it is known for being the place where notable persons such as Beethoven, Strauss or Schubert were laid to rest. If you ever decide to come to Vienna and to visit something different do not miss the chance to come to this place.
Some may find this sight a bit macabre, however, I can assure you that it is a unique place in the world.