Vienna is a captivating city fuelled by inspiration and creativity.
Everyone has their own mental image of Vienna, and there are not enough adjectives to describe every facet of the city. The historic centre of Vienna is, in fact, a UNESCO World Heritage Site itself - a true reflection of how utterly breath-taking this city is.
Known for its dazzling palaces, imperial artwork and rich musical culture, there is so much to discover here. While you travel from sights to museums, don't forget to stop, look around and take in the unique architecture.
We have created a list of the top 10 must-see sights for you:
As a World Heritage site and Austria’s most visited attraction, the Schönbrunn Palace is the perfect place to start your tour of historic Vienna. Known as “Schloss Schönbrunn” in German, this palace dates from the 17th century, and later became the summer residence of the Habsburgs. For centuries, it was owned by the Habsburgs and is mostly in its original, historic condition. This Baroque complex lures visitors with one of Vienna's most beautiful parklands, the oldest existing zoo in the world and the Gloriette, which sits high above Vienna. Today, the palace and gardens are open for all to explore. Entry to the Palace Park is free, while other areas require tickets to gain entry. Booking online is recommended, as queues can become very lengthy during peak periods. Spend a day at Schönbrunn and enjoy a day full of Austrian history.
Current opening time:
Palace and tours | daily 10:00 – 17:00
Park | daily from 6:30 - 21:00
The palace is located at Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Vienna - just 25 minutes car ride from Palais Hansen Kempinski. The easiest way is to travel by the subway U4 to station Schönbrunn.
With modern and spacious compounds, visitors have the chance to admire more than 700 animal species up close at the oldest zoo in the world. From the dangerous Siberian tiger, giant panda bears to the small, soft and cuddly koala bear, everybody will be stunned by the diversity of the wildlife.
Daily from 9:00 (closing time may vary)
The zoo is located at Maxingstraße 13b, 1130 Vienna - just a 30 minutes car ride from Palais Hansen Kempinski. The easiest way is to travel by the subway U4 to the Hietzing station.
The Imperial Palace
First built in the 13th century, the Hofburg Imperial Palace has experienced multiple expansions to become one of the biggest palace complexes in the world. Known for being the political centre of the monarchy right up to 1918, it is a must-see for anyone intrigued by Vienna's imperial past. Visitors today can explore numerous areas of the Imperial Palace, including the Imperial Apartments and the Imperial Treasury. The treasury is home to the Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire and the Austrian Imperial Crown, as well as what is believed to be the Holy Grail. The Imperial Apartments offer a glimpse into the life of Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth. Across 24 rooms, the indulgent Rococo décor has been maintained, and a tour will guide you through each. The Sisi Museum, the Imperial Silver Collection and the Spanish riding school are also located in this building complex.
Current opening times:
The complex is located at Michaelerkuppel, 1010 Vienna. You can walk there from Palais Hansen Kempinski in about 17 minutes (1.4 km) or take the No. 2A bus to the Michaelerplatz bus stop.
St. Stephen's Cathedral
The 880-year-old Viennese landmark is considered a must-see sightseeing point during a stay in Vienna. Not only many tourists but also many locals often visit the “Steffl”. Discover and admire the historic vaults of St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the mystical underground catacombs, or climb 343 steps to the tower room of St. Stephen to see one of the most beautiful views over Vienna. Thousands of details make St. Stephen’s Cathedral a historic architectural and art treasure, offering a lot of new things to discover.
Current opening time:
Monday – Saturday 06:00 – 22:00 Sunday and bank holidays 07:00 – 22:00
You can walk to the St. Stephen's Cathedral from Palais Hansen Kempinski in about 15 minutes (1.2 km) or take the No. 3A bus to the Stephansplatz bus stop.
Natural History Museum
With more than 30 million artefacts and about 560,000 visitors every year, the National History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum) will take you on a journey through time. From precious stones, minerals and meteorites to rare fossils, dinosaur skeletons and the 29,500-year-old Venus of Willendorf, there's something for everyone to see here. Even the elaborate, ornate interior of the museum itself is something to marvel at. With both permanent and temporary exhibitions and a brand-new planetarium, it's all too easy to spend an entire day here. Guided tours are available for any age, and regular events can be found online via the National History Museum's monthly programme.
Thursday - Monday 9:00 - 18:30 Wednesday 9:00 - 21:00
Tuesday is closed
The museum is located at Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Vienna. You can reach the museum via tram, bus, subway or on foot. From Palais Hansen Kempinski, the easiest way is to either enjoy a pleasant 20-minute walk or take the No. 1, 71 or D trams from the Börse station to the Burgring station.
Art History Museum
Directly opposite the Natural History Museum, you will find the Art History Museum with some extensive art collections by the Habsburgs. The two buildings share similar exteriors and were opened around the same time in 1891. It is the largest art museum in Austria, and the majority of permanent art here once belonged to the Habsburgs. Popular exhibitions include the Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection, the Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities, the Collection of Sculpture of Decorative Arts, the Coin Cabinet and the Library. There are many notable works by Caravaggio and Pieter Bruegel the Elder housed here too.
Opening times from June 2022 on:
Tuesday - Sunday 10:00 - 18:00 Thursday until 21:00
The museum is located at Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Vienna. You can reach the museum via tram, bus, subway or on foot. From Palais Hansen Kempinski, the easiest route is to either enjoy a pleasant 20-minute walk or take the No. 1, 71 or D trams from Börse station to the Burgring station.
Vienna State Opera
Ever since its opening day in 1869, the Vienna State Opera has shone with unique architecture, first-class productions and special atmosphere. As one of the top opera houses in the world, the Vienna State Opera is a must-visit place for music and opera fans. The Vienna State Opera also offers a 40-minute tour, allowing you to learn some interesting facts about the history of the house, the opera business and the architecture. As the former “living room” of Mozart, Strauß and Verdi, the Vienna State Opera still exudes the unforgettable charm of those bygone days.
Opening times of the box office:
Monday - Friday: 9:00 until two hours before showtime. The evening box office is opened one hour before the showtime.
You can walk to the Vienna State Opera from Palais Hansen Kempinski for about 25 minutes (2 km) or take the U4 subway to the Karlsplatz station.
Consisting of two Baroque palaces (the Upper and Lower Belvedere) constructed by Baroque architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt, and the Orangery and the Palace Stables, the grand Belvedere Palace is breath-taking. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, visitors can explore the grounds, view some of the finest Austrian art from the Middle Ages right up to the present day and enjoy the wide variety of temporary exhibitions found in the Lower Belvedere and the specially adapted Orangery. The Belvedere is also home to the world's largest collection of paintings by Gustav Klimt. Found in the exhibition titled Vienna 1880 - 1914, fans of the Austrian symbolist painter can view some of his finest works, including The Kiss and Judith I.
Lower Belvedere (temporary exhibitions) | 10:00 – 18:00 Upper Belvedere (permanent exhibitions) | Reopening 1 July 2020 | 9:00 – 18:00
Belvedere Palace is located at Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Vienna. You can take a car ride to the museum for about 11 minutes or No. D tram will take you there directly.
From Manet and Picasso to Leonardo Da Vinci, Richter and even Andy Warhol, the Albertina is home to some of the most important artworks in the world. Over one million prints and 65,000 drawings call this museum in Vienna home. You will even find Austrian vintage photography and sketches from Renaissance architects here. Forever changing, there are plenty of temporary exhibitions to explore at the Albertina, alongside a few permanent collections such as The Batliner Collection - renowned across Europe for its impressive compilation of Modernist art.
Opening times from June 2022 on:
Daily 10:00 - 18:00 Wednesday & Friday 10:00 - 21:00
The museum is located at Albertinaplatz 1, 1010 Vienna. From Palais Hansen Kempinski, the museum is just 20-minutes away on foot. Alternatively, you can take the 2A bus or the No. 1, 71 or D trams to get there.
The amusement park in the heart of Vienna is an amusement park for many, a place of nostalgic dreams for some and a green lung of relaxation for almost all. The Vienna Prater offers varied entertainment and culinary possibilities with something for everyone. The Schweizerhaus – the Austrian counterpart to the Bavarian Hofbräuhaus in the middle of Vienna's Prater – is the first meeting point for hungry visitors. In the huge garden, you will be able to sit side-by-side with locals and enjoy the famous Stelze with an original beer.
Whether you are on the trail of The Third Man tour or just want to enjoy an unforgettable, beautiful view from 65 m (213.5 ft) above the city, the Giant Ferris Wheel is definitely worth a visit. The gondolas of this landmark also offer unique moments over the roofs of Vienna.
The public area is open all year round. Amusement activities are open at different times between 10:00 and 1:00.
The park is located in the 2nd district of Vienna - just a 12-minute car ride from Palais Hansen Kempinski. The easiest way is to travel by the U2 subway line directly to the Praterstern station.