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Vienna Attractions - A City Tour

Updated on October 20, 2009

Vienna Attractions - Introduction

Vienna or Wien, as is said by the locals, is a beautiful city. With this article I will give you a sample of Vienna attractions. The legacy of the Hapsburg Dynasty is all over the many Vienna attractions; the buildings, the statues and just the general feel of the city. But there are other aspects to this majestic city; Strauss, Mozart, Mr Psychoanalysis Dr Sigmund Freud, fantastic cakes, strong coffee and friendly people. However, before we can sample these, let us take a ride around the city of culture, tradition and vitality.

I will give you a city tour of the Vienna attractions that will start at the corner of the Stubenring and Franz Josef Kai. The city tour of Vienna attractions will follow the ring road around the city, it often changes names such as Burgring and Opernring. You can walk my city tour or take a circle tram. So enjoy a city tour of Vienna attractions…

Urania Building
Urania Building

Vienna Attractions – Stubenring

Urania

The first of our Vienna attractions originally designed as a Planetarium, but city lights became too bright for good viewing

Now houses an art house cinema

Look for Franz Joseph’s name at top

Old PoliceBuilding

Need to look at three things; the man on the horse, the faces on the first level and the double-headed eagles on top and on the columns

The man on the horse is Field Marshal Radetzky, a general who fought to rid Austria of Napoleon and his army; Strauss wrote a march in honour of him

The faces represent the many faces of Franz Joseph, the nose is the same in each one; different hats (commander’s hat, night cap...) show his different roles

The double-headed eagles represent the Dual Monarchy of Austria and Hungary (late 19th/early 20th centuries)

Statue of Luegar

Dr Karl Luegar, important Mayor of Vienna, and one of the important Vienna attractions, he pioneered workers’ rights

Golden statue of Johann Strauss II in Stadtpark
Golden statue of Johann Strauss II in Stadtpark
Stadtpark with Kursalon in the background
Stadtpark with Kursalon in the background
Kursalon at the end of Stadtpark, where social waltzing still happens
Kursalon at the end of Stadtpark, where social waltzing still happens

Vienna Attractions – Parkring

Stadtpark

Opened in 1862 as the first public park created by the government

One of the more relaxing Vienna attractions, it’s a great place to stroll, sit, have a picnic or watch the world go by on a beautiful afternoon

Europeans in apartments, no backyards, park becomes a communal garden for walking dogs, family outings, football and frisbee matches, sunbaking, etc

Many memorials in the Park

Gold statue in homage to Johann Strauss II who wrote the Danube Waltz

His father, Johann Strauss I didn’t want his son to become a musician like him as there was no money or not many prospects

Luckily, young Johann ignored his father’s advice and went on to write many pieces, including 4000 waltzes

Kursalon

Opened in 1867 for waltzing, concerts and balls and is one of the more quaint Vienna attractions

On Saturday afternoons, can go for coffee or a drink and practise the rather difficult Vienna Waltz with complex steps and a change of direction

Waltzing was considered a fad, a phase of the time like grunge, techno or rap, but soon became very popular and endures today

Russian Monument
Russian Monument

Vienna Attractions – Schubertring

Statue of Schwarzenberg

Prince Schwarzenberg also commanded armies against Napoleon in Leipzig in 1813

Russian Monument

One of the more curious Vienna attractions, as Germany was occupied by the allies after the end WWII, Vienna was as well.

Erected by the Russians when they left Austria after the occupation following WWII

Fountain in front said to hide an inscription by the Russians that read “We will return” maybe this is where Arnie got his inspiration for the Terminator catch phrase!

Vienna Attractions – Opernring

Kärntnerstrasse

The fantastic pedestrian area for shopping, eating and people watching

Hotel Sacher located just off it for decadent Sacher Torte

Also find artists, buskers and the Church of Saint Stephen, which is one of the most striking of the Vienna attractions, to climb the towers for views of the city

Staatoper

Built in 1861, but destroyed in WWII and rebuilt in 1948

First building on the Burgring and epicentre of Viennese culture

First performance in here was Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”

Top hat and tails and gowns are worn, the closer to the front your seats are the more you dress up

Once reserved seats with a white handkerchief tied to the rail

To stop the audience coughs and sneezes during the music, they hand out throat lozenges, 800kg per year!

Mozart statue the Burggarten
Mozart statue the Burggarten
Hofburg Palace
Hofburg Palace
Spannish Riding School
Spannish Riding School

Vienna Attractions – Burgring East

Statue of Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), great German writer and poet and preserved the German language, spent time in Vienna writing

Wrote Faust (sold his soul to the Devil for a woman), “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and helped his friend Schiller with “Wilhelm Tell” (William Tell)

Statue of Schiller

Friedrich von Schiller wrote “Die Räuber” and also “Wilhelm Tell”

Met Goethe in Weimar and formed a lasting friendship as well as writing partnership to reignite and redefine the German language

Burggarten

Goethe has a great view of one of the city’s prettiest gardens.

Forms the front of the HofburgPalace

A statue of a young Mozart stands in a flower bed the shape of a treble clef

Hofburg Palace

The winter home of the Habsburgs and housing many museums, which makes this district thick with Vienna attractions.

Now home to the Vienna Boys Choir and the SpanishRidingSchool

Can take a tour of the private chambers of the former Kings and Queens of the Hapsburgs

Statue of Marie Therese
Statue of Marie Therese
Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum

Vienna Attractions – Burgring West

Museum of Fine Arts

Has a statue of a woman on top, quite appropriate

Mirror to the Natural History Museum, twin pavilions

Hapsburgs channelled many works here including many by Reubens as he was under contract to the family

Statue of Maria-Therese

In the centre of the pavilions, the big fat green lady!

The beloved mother of Austria and Habsburg Queen 1740-1780

First woman ruler, her father Charles VI had no male heir so he drew up the “Pragmatic Rule” enabling her to take the throne, she now holds this document in her hand

She was one of the most enlightened to rule the Empire and in her spare time she had 16 children, making this one of the most famous statues of all of our Vienna attractions.

Museum of Natural History

Mirror to the FineArtsMuseum, but a statue of a man on top...make your own jokes about nature, apes and dragging knuckles!!!

Has a good zoological collection as well as dinosaur skeletons and meteorite fragments

Volks Garten
Volks Garten
Austrian House of Parliament
Austrian House of Parliament

Vienna Attractions – Dr. Karl Renner Ring

Volksgarten

The park of the people at the back of HofburgPalace

Beautiful rose gardens opened to the public in 1823

Strauss would hold open air recitals here

Three Heads - Reumann, Adler & Hanusch

Founders of the Republic of Austria after WWI

Wrote the Constitution for the democracy

Houses of Parliament

Greek façade with Corinthian columns, this makes the building classical in style and one of the Vienna attractions that is quite different to the rest.

6m high statue of Athena, goddess of wisdom holding Nike in right hand for victory; why is wisdom outside and not in the building?

On the left ramp the figures are Greeks (democracy) and the right ramp has the Romans (parliament and ruling), one is said to be Julius Caesar

Bust of Karl Renner

Silver bust of the man who was first President of the new Republic after WWII

Vienna Rathaus (Town Hall)
Vienna Rathaus (Town Hall)
Burg Theatre
Burg Theatre
Inside the Burg Theatre
Inside the Burg Theatre

Vienna Attractions – Dr. Karl Lueger Ring

Rathaus

Neo-Gothic building, the same architect who designed the Köln Cathedral

There was a design competition for the building, but it was already decided that his entry would be the final design

The seat of Vienna, surrounded by statues of Austrian greats including the Hapsburgs and the Rathaus Man on top

Burgtheater

Originally built during the reign of Maria-Therese, but the acoustics were terrible so it was torn down and rebuilt

Destroyed again in WWII, so again rebuilt perfectly this time

One of four state theatres in the city, the most important one and one of the Vienna attractions that centres around music.

Universität Wien

University of Vienna founded in 1883 by Franz Joseph I

Known as the Oxford of Austria

Alma mater of Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein

Assassination Site

Across from the University is the site where an assassination attempt was made on the life of Franz Joseph

Votiv Kircher (church)
Votiv Kircher (church)

Vienna Attractions – Scottenring

Votiv Kircher

Built by Maximillian, the brother of Franz Joseph to commemorate his survival of the assassination attempt

The twin spires represent brotherhood

Ironic as not long after the church was completed, Maximillian was assassinated.

It is one of the least seen of the Vienna attractions.

Stock Exchange

Orange building, the meeting place of west and east Europe

During Communism, was the eastern-most stock exchange in Europe

The Danube Canal
The Danube Canal
One of the many Jewish memorials to the Holocaust in Vienna
One of the many Jewish memorials to the Holocaust in Vienna

Vienna Attractions – Franz Josef Kai

Danube Canal

The DonauRiver

A canal built to stop the flooding of the mighty Danube

The DanubeRiver flows west to east from its source in the Alps, across seven countries to the Black Sea in Bulgaria

Check the colour; if blue then in love, if brown...try again!

Strauss wrote a waltz for the river it is so inspiring

Morzin Platz

Old Jewish Quarter of Vienna

220,000 Jews lived here, but after WWII only 100,000 were left; they were boarded in and left to starve

The small memorial marks the area with “Niemals Vergessen” inscription, it is one of the most unassuming of the Vienna attractions.

Ruprecht Kirche

Brown building with green ivy

The oldest church in Vienna from 740, and largest bell

My name is Robee Kann, for six years I was a tour guide throughout Europe. I loved my job and I would love to hear from you. You are most welcome to message me to say hello or request a hub about a European subject. Please look at my other hubs and leave a comment for me.

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Comments on Vienna Attractions

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    • profile image

      tanja 

      5 years ago

      this is not the danube canal you portrayed, it is the wien river that flows through the stadtpark and then into the canal (nearby the urania)

    • Klavdija Frahm profile image

      Kendi 

      5 years ago from Slovenia

      Great hub, nice presentation of Vienna's attractions. I'm going on a trip and some concert this weekend so your hub was useful :) Also voted up for great hub.

    • Robee Kann profile imageAUTHOR

      Robee Kann 

      7 years ago

      Thanks Austria girl, you come from a wondrous place.

    • profile image

      Austria Girl 

      7 years ago

      Great list of attractions. As a local I give you two thumbs up for the list.

    • Robee Kann profile imageAUTHOR

      Robee Kann 

      8 years ago

      Thanks karji

      I am glad you enjoyed a trip down memory lane. It has been 5 years since I was in Vienna and I am looking forward to the day I get to go back too!

    • kraji profile image

      kraji 

      8 years ago from Slovenia

      Nice hub!

      It has been almost 20 years since I was in Vienna last time despite it is only a few hours to there. So I have to find time and visit it again. :)

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