10 best things to do in Vienna Austria

Vienna is just one of those cities you have to visit once in your lifetime. This magical little capital will offer you everything you need in one place. In this article, we will share the top 10 things to do in Vienna Austria in case you are not quite sure where to go on your first visit. The best things to do in Vienna include going to museums and visiting palaces. We will also share Vienna things to do for young adults and things to do in Vienna with a baby.

10 best things to do in Vienna Austria – What to do in Vienna Austria

The cool things to do in Vienna Austria are all written here. I chose something for everyone. There are also the best things to do in Vienna in October as the capital can offer you magical scenery during autumn. What I think is so amazing about this city is how versatile it can be. Whether it’s summer or winter, you will always have some sort of event going on. Let’s see the top things to do in Vienna Austria!

1. Schönbrunn Palace

The first on the list of the top 10 things to do in Vienna Austria is visiting Schönbrunn Palace. You can probably plan a whole day of spending here because there are just so many things you can visit. The best Vienna things to do start with looking at the gardens next to the palace. This would also be one of the best things to do in Vienna in October as the colors will make the scenery even more magical.

Schönbrunn Palace is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and it’s Austria’s most visited tourist attraction. It was the summer home of the Habsburgs for centuries. The name means “beautiful spring” and it was called like this due to the artesian well which was used to consume water by the court. The palace is in Rococo style and it’s one of the most important architectural, cultural and historic monuments.

Visiting the palace is just one of the things to do in Vienna for young adults. You can visit the Sisi museum, have a look at all the royal families’ rooms, visit the 18th-century interiors from the time of Maria Theresia, visit the Privy Garden, Orangery Garden, Maze, and Gloriette. Schönbrunn just has it all and that’s why it is on the list of best things to do in Vienna.

2. The Hofburg

Are you wondering what to do in Vienna Austria in winter? Visiting The Hofburg is a great idea. The Hofburg palace is an exquisite building and should be on your list of top things to do in Vienna Austria. The palace is a former residence of the Habsburg dynasty. Located in the heart of Vienna, Hofburg was built in the 13th century and they expanded the building several times afterward.

As the Schönbrunn was the summer residence, the Hofburg acted as a winter residence for the Habsburg family. Since 1946 it is the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. The building is a mix of baroque, gothic, renaissance, and neoclassical architecture. Visiting the Hofburg will be one of the cool things to do in Vienna Austria.

Things to do in Vienna for young adults should include visiting the Hofburg as it offers a variety of attractions. The attractions are the Imperial Silver Collection, the Sisi Museum, and the Imperial Apartments. If you create a list of two days in Vienna what to do, include all of the museums. On rainy days it’s the perfect activity for you and your family, and friends. Let’s see some more of the top 10 things to do in Vienna Austria.

3. Natural History Museum

The best things to do Vienna when you are unsure how to spend your day is to visit a museum. The Natural History Museum is counted as one of the most important history museums worldwide. The museum has 39 exhibition rooms that present over 100,000 objects. The scientists work on various research projects that include topics like human sciences, earth sciences, and life sciences.

Inside the museum, you get to discover a number of exhibitions. Some are permanent and others are seasonal. The exhibitions are about geology, dinosaurs, and prehistory. There is a zoological floor that still uses the original cabinets. In case you are feeling tired after taking in all that information, you can rest at the cafe in the Museum. The reason why visiting the National History Museum is one of the 10 top things to do in Viena Austria is because you can visit this at any time during the year.

So if you are researching what to do in Vienna in February, search no more. Whether you are wanting to get away from the cold weather or even the hot weather, the museum will keep you entertained for a few hours. Besides February, it’s also one of the best things to do in Vienna in October. Drink a glass of hot chocolate in the cafe inside!

4. Rathaus

Rathaus Vienna or otherwise known as the Vienna City Hall is one of the top things to do Vienna Austria. This building is the seat of local government. Built in neo-gothic style by Friedrich von Schmidt, the Mayor of Vienna resides here. The Rathaus is quite a massive building, holding 3 and a half floors, 2 basements, an attic, and a tower.

The Rathaus went through some renovations in 2012 which were around 35 million euros and they should finish by 2023. The already opened parts are the neo-baroque Salon Ziehrer and the redesigned Lanner-Lehar Hall. Do you also think that visiting the Rathaus is one of the cool things to do in Vienna Austria? We surely think so.

“How can you get in?” you might ask. You can get free guided tours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1 PM, however, don’t take our word for it, sometimes these might change due to different reasons. It’s just interesting to see where the mayor of this gorgeous capital is living and doing his everyday activity. Would this be one of the best things to do in Vienna?

5. Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

The next on our list of top 10 things to do in Vienna Austria is visiting another amazing museum, the Museum of Art History, otherwise referred to as “Museum of Fine Arts”. The building has an octagonal dome and it’s built in renaissance and baroque style. It is also the largest art museum in the whole of Austria and the most important museum in the world.

It is one of the things to do in Vienna for young adults as the exhibitions are interesting and have a great story. The primary collections are those of the Habsburgs, especially the collections of Ferdinand of Tirol and Emperor Rudolph II. You are able to view their portraits and armors. You then also get a collection of paintings of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm.

Art lovers should definitely visit this museum as it holds many famous paintings, such as “Madonna of the Meadow” by Raphael, “Self Portrait” by Rembrandt, and “The Four Seasons” by Giuseppe Arcimboldo. The collections include the Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection, the collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities and the collection of Sculpture and Decorative Arts. There are quite a few things to choose from when visiting the Museum of Art History in Vienna.

6. Tiergarten Schoenbrunn – Zoo Vienna

If you are looking for things to do in Vienna with a baby then going to the zoo is one of them. The Zoo is on the list of the top 10 things to do in Vienna Austria. What better place for families than going to the zoo and enjoying nature and the lovely animals. This would be one of the best things to do in Vienna in October as the scenery would be magical.

The Zoo was established by the Habsburgs as part of the Schönbrunn Palace around 1752 and today it is the oldest operating zoo in the world. The zoo is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site along with the palace. Their motto is “Seeing animals. Protecting species. Welcome to the Imperial Zoo”. The Imperial Zoo is one of the best things to do in Vienna in October when you are not quite sure what else to visit in the city.

There are many types of animals you can see here. The exotic ones include pandas, elephants, polar bears, rhinos. Then you have your aquarium with crocodiles, fish, and free-living birds. The rainforest house will spook you with an artificial thunderstorm just to create that perfect atmosphere. As you can see visiting the zoo is one of the cool things to do in Vienna Austria.

7. Belvedere Museum

Here we have another spectacular building and visiting it makes it one of the top things to do in Vienna Austria and also one of the cool things to do in Vienna Austria. The Belvedere is a historic building built in Baroque style. The Belvedere was built for Prince Eugene of Savoy as a summer residence. Sometimes I wish I lived in those times and have palaces built for me.

What can you see at the Belvedere Museum then? You should definitely take a walk around Belvedere Lake. In case you want to spice up your social media account, take some amazing pictures of the lake which reflects this majestical building. You can also come here during Christmas as the Belvedere Christmas market will be open.

For more adventure, visit the Privy Garden, a Baroque garden that will take you back in the time when the Prince was alive. Make sure to check out the iconic painting of Napoleon Bonaparte. The interior design of Belvedere is worth the visit as well and it’s one of the best things to do in Vienna in October!

8. St. Stephen’s Cathedral

I just love these buildings. Looking at them really takes you back in time and makes you wonder what it was like to live in a time of kings and queens. Visiting the St. Stephen’s Cathedral is definitely between the top 10 things to do in Vienna Austria and also one of the things to do in Vienna for young adults.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna. Currently, it is the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal. The cathedral was built in Romanesque and gothic style and it’s on Stephensplatz.

What can you see inside the church then? Inside you can see the beautiful Organ Case from 1513 in the late gothic style. The chapels were built in 1359 and it is the burial place of Prince Eugene. Now the one thing the cathedral is really famous for is its towers which were built in 1356.

9. Leopold Museum

Leopold Museum – Photo from Wikipedia

We are almost at the end of our list of the top 10 things to do in Vienna. The Leopold Museum is one of the largest collections of modern Austrian art. The largest collection is the Egon Schiele Collection. Visiting Leopold Museum is definitely one of the cool things to do in Vienna Austria.

The best things to do in Vienna when the weather is not the best but you don’t want to waste time is to visit all of the exhibitions. This year’s exhibitions were the following: Universal Artist, Emil Pirchan who is an expressionist. “A symphony in Pictures from Vienna 1900” made by Josef Maria Auchentaller. “The Body Electric” by Erwin Osen and Egon Schiele is based on the drawings of Ervin Osen which were recently discovered.

Leopold Museum is really for the curious mind. This isn’t your typical museum where you would see objects from the 14th and 15th centuries and the rooms of kings and queens. This Museum is a representation of the modern world and what our modern artists can do nowadays. Visiting Leopold Museum is just one of the things to do in Vienna for young adults.

10. Haus des Meeres – Aqua Terra Zoo

Hause de Meeres Aqua Terra Zoo – Photo from Trfihi Parks

In case you are looking for things to do in Vienna with a baby, then why not take your family to the public aquarium of Haus des Meeres. The aquarium has over 10,000 aquatic beings and they are all inside a tall concrete flak tower that was built during World War II.

Why is it one of the top 10 things to do in Vienna Austria? Because it is managed by the Aqua Terra Zoo which is a non-profit organization and they don’t receive support from the authorities. It is important for us to support this by visiting and buying the tickets as all of that money goes into investing into the aquarium even more.

You can see an Atlantic tunnel which is a 500,000-liter Atlantic aquarium by means of a tube. You are able to see sharks, jellyfish, rays, and perches through this. Inside the aquarium, there is also an artificial Stalactite cave where you can see nocturnal animals, centipedes, and cavefish. Looking at all these interesting sea animals will make this experience one of the best things to do Vienna.

11. MuseumsQuartier

MuseumQuartier – Photo from MQ Facebook – Taken by Hertha Hurnaus

In case you haven’t seen enough museums and thinking of what to do in Vienna Austria in Winter, check out the MuseumsQuartier. This museum is considered one of the largest districts for contemporary art and culture in the whole world. Are you looking for historic architecture? You’ll find it here. What about contemporary design? That’s also here. Fine art, music, fashion, theater, dance, literature, street art, and more. All of these are available to view and enjoy at MuseumQuartier.

The building itself has features of Baroque and Modern architecture. It was designed by Laurids and Manfred Ortner. The structure that was before the museum had to be renovated and they started doing that in April 1998. MuseumsQuartier was finished in 2001, however, it opened in two stages, one in June and the other in September. Today it is a magnificent building that is not only picturesque but it’s a great way to spend your day in Vienna. It should be on your list of ‘two days in Vienna what to do’.

Did you know that the Leopold Museum is also within the MuseumsQuartier? Yes, that’s right. We have mentioned this on our list already and it belongs to this huge field of different edifices. A total of 10 institutions can be found here. These are Architekturzentrum Wien, Dschungel Wien, Halle E+G, Kunsthalle Wien, Leopold Museum, mumok, Q21, Tanzquartier Wien, WIENXTRA-Kinderinfo, ZOOM Kindermuseum.

12. Palmenhaus


If you’re already visiting The Hofburg, Palmenhaus will not be a big detour as it is right next to the building. It is a gorgeous greenhouse that holds exotic plants and flowers. But what you might not have known is that Palmenhaus is also a cafe and restaurant in one. Unlike the greenhouse at Schönbrunn, here you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee and a delicious meal while looking at the most stunning view.

The building was built in 1822 and it is an Art Nouveau greenhouse that is part of The Hofburg Palace. It was designed by Ludwig Gabriel von Remy. Sadly the original one was torn down, however, there was another completed in 1901 designed by Friedrich Ohmann. The beautiful flowers and plants are often time backdrop for special events.

13. Shopping in Vienna

shopping vienna

Everyone loves to do a little shopping when they are abroad. Vienna is the perfect place to go on a shopping street with its famous Kärntner Straße. Why is this so popular? Well, if you have been to different capital cities, almost all of them have specific streets where you’ll find luxury shopping. You don’t have to think about what to do in Vienna Austria in winter when you have all of these shops to go through. For example, you’ll find stores like Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Armani, Rolex, Dior, Fendi, and so on. All of your high-end shops to visit.

Next up, there’s another street where you’ll find slightly cheaper brands, but still pretty good ones. For instance, Boss, Chanel, Ray Ban, Steffl, and so on. Then the Mariahilfer Straße is a favorite for many as here you’ll find all of the brands that are affordable. Brands such as H&M, Puma, Pull&Bear, Nike, and many others. You’ll also find many shopping malls. In case you love staying indoors, check out the Wien Mitte, Donau Zentrum, or Ringstrassen Galerien.

14. Sigmund Freud Museum

The next on our list of Vienna things to do is visiting the Sigmund Freud Museum. The building where the museum is right now used to be the house of Victor Adler. It was built in 1891 when Freud moved there. Victor lived in this house for 47 years and later one of the rooms became Freud’s office. And now the museum has his former practice and part of his old private life.

You can view all of the original items owned by Freud. Some of the furniture is not in Vienna but in the London museum. In this museum, there are about two thousand documents, photographs, paintings, drawings, and sculptures. You’ll even see most of the pictures of Freud and his family in the museum. If you’re a lover of his work and you are not sure what to do in Vienna in February, then you must visit this amazing museum!

15. Prater


Finally, the last of the Vienna things to do is visit the Prater. This is the ultimate amusement park for kids and adults. Best for families but also couples of all ages! I haven’t been here for a very long time. When I was a little girl, my parents took me here while we were visiting Vienna. Needless to say, I loved it. But you’d be surprised how long this amusement park has been open: since 1766! It holds the oldest Ferris wheel which has been operating since 1897.

What can you see at Prater? Everything! There are plenty of adventure areas for children, cycling options, a cinema, an aqua park, and some more children’s playgrounds. Of course, don’t forget the best of the roller coasters. Some of them are quite scary, try at your own risk! Besides all of the attractions, you’ll find a number of cafes and restaurants within the park too. Whatever you wish to do, you can find it at the Prater!

Conclusion – Top 10 Things to do in Vienna Austria – What to do in Vienna Austria

We have arrived at the end of the list of things to do Vienna. Hopefully, you have enjoyed these top 10 things to do in Vienna Austria as we have selected the list with care and with consideration of families who are looking for things to do in Vienna with a baby. We have also included things to do in Vienna for young adults.

The cool things to do in Vienna Austria can all be found in this list and the best things to do in Vienna in October as during autumn everything is more magical. So what are your top things to do in Vienna Austria? Please tell us if you have found other interesting things to do besides these ones. Don’t miss the best ski resorts in Austria either!

Hungarian article: Bécs látnivalók

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