Vienna’s Best Historical Sights
Vienna is a city full of culture and intriguing historical structures to explore. The baroque streetscapes are laced with beautiful architecture and imperial palaces are plentiful. With our short guide, we show you how to see the best of the city’s culture, which can be achieved in one long weekend.
The majority of historical sights, grand architecture, art galleries and museums are located in the Museum Quarter, Museumsplatz, which is one of the largest cultural quarters in the world.
Here, you will find abundant museums such as the Natural History Museum, the Leopold Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and not forgetting the stunning Hofburg Palace.
Below, is our short guide on how to soak up the best of the Viennese culture. You can easily explore the top cultural sights within one long weekend while also having time to indulge in the delicious cuisine.
We recommend visiting during the Spring for beautiful weather so you can leisurely stroll around this beautiful city.
The City Hall is located in the heart of Vienna in the Rathausplatz in the Innere Stadt district. Originally, the building was designed and built by former architect of the Cathedral of Cologne, Friedrich von Schmidt.
It was considered the most important secular building in the neo-gothic style in the city between 1872 and 1883. To date, it is arguably one of the most stunning City Halls in Europe.
The Natural History Museum
The Museum of Natural History covers some square footage and comprises an extensive collection of world-famous and unique objects. For example, expect to see enormous dinosaur skeletons and both land and underwater creatures.
It even has its own Digital Planetarium that shows full dome films and you can check out latest screenings here. A tour inside to explore the 39 exhibit halls will take you on a journey through the ages.
The National History Museum offers a great way to spend a long afternoon. We recommend allocating around 2-3 hours to cover the entire museum at leisure.
Plus, you can take a short break at the café. It serves traditional Viennese coffee specialities, pastries and traditional snacks as well as main dishes during lunch hours.
Stunning Hofburg, The Imperial Palace, was the residence and seat of government of the Habsburg emperors until 1918. Today, it is home to numerous museums with outstanding collections.
This includes a Spanish Riding School, a congress centre, the seat of the Austrian Federal President and the historic Heldenplatz.
The Austrian National Library
One of our favourite of Vienna’s best historical sights is the Austrian National Library. It’s the country’s largest library and central memory institution. As you can see from the photos, the interior is absolutely stunning.
You will be amazed by the historical collections of unique artefacts, manuscripts, photographs, maps and globes.
The library is home to over 3.9 million books. Besides attracting lots of international visitors, it is a great meeting place for researchers and students.
St Stephen’s Cathedral
St Stephens Cathedral is a must for every visitor to Vienna. For more than 700 years, the cathedral has been the symbol of Vienna.
Today, it remains one of the most important and iconic Gothic structures in Austria. Inside, you can climb the 343 steps up the tower and enjoy breathtaking views of the city.
The National Theatre
The Austrian National Theatre, also known as Burgtheater, is one of Europes largest theatres. Located opposite the City Hall, the venue attracts over 400,000 theatre-goers to over 800 performers each year.
The stunning white building with marble features is adorned with statues of famous writers such as Goethe and Schiller. Inside, the theatre provides a great atmosphere for cultural events such as Austrian playwrights.
It has a world-wide reputation for dramatic art and is proudly one of the first German-speaking theatres in Europe.
Other beautiful buildings around Vienna
To sum up, these are without a doubt some of Vienna’s best historical sights. But it’s not just the wonderful historical buildings that are now home to museums and art galleries that have the most beautiful architecture, the city is laced with it.
Almost every corner you turn will present you with a stunning sight. That’s why we recommend visiting in the spring or summer months so you can enjoy a stroll around the inner streets at leisure.
Have you visited Vienna before? We’d love to hear about your trips to one of our favourite European cities!
Or if you are planning any trips, why not take a look at our travel resources for before you go?