Vienna Highlights

Things to do and see during your visit to Vienna

IPSO is pleased to share these Vienna Highlights, which have been curated by IPSO member and Vienna expert, Christine Mrakotsky!


Vienna’s most famous sights are well summarized by the information site of the City of Vienna:


Not to miss:

  • The first district (1. Bezirk;  “Innere Stadt”) in the center of the city with the Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral- hike up the South tower, see the Pummerin- big bell, or descend to the catacombs), the oldest parts of the city with narrow streets, little taverns, café’s and shops
  • The Ringstrasse – encircling the 1st district like a ring (where the old city wall was)- catch a tramway and see a range of the most important buildings and architecture
    •  including the Staatsoper (state opera) –catch an opera!
    • Hofburg (where the president resides), the museums (see below),
    • the Parliament (seat of the government)
    • the Rathaus
    • the Burgtheater
    • the University of Vienna (amongst others).
  • Schoenbrunn Palace, with Gloriette and Zoo ( in the 13th district “Hietzing” on the outskirts of Vienna). Summer ‘house’ of the Habsburgs, famous Sisi collection, great fun for kids too



Café’s/Restaurants in Schoenbrunn: (catch a glimpse of beautiful views of Vienna up on the hill while sipping coffee)

Since we are only in walking distance, the historic amusement park is worth to see for those young and young at heart. Even if theme parks are not your thing, take a ride on the Riesenrad (Giant Ferris Wheel, ), which will give you excellent views of the city of Vienna and its surroundings



For current information on some of the best exhibits go to:

  • Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien: one of the 2 big museums vis-à-vis from each other on the Ringstrasse (close to the Oper), with magnificent art collection
  • Naturhistorisches Museum: the other museum at the Ringstrasse- great to visit with kids, but also those who enjoy natural history
  • Albertina: famous art collection
  • Museumsquartier (including mumok, Leopold Museum, Kunsthalle Wien)- must see if you like modern art
  • Kunsthaus Wien – collection and exhibit around the famed Viennese painter & architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser
  • Sigmund Freud Museum– must see for any neurologist, psychologist, therapist- Freud’s apartment where he lived and worked- the cradle of psychoanalysis
  • Haus der Musik – a gem for all music aficionados and those who still want to become one. Great fun for adults and kids. Where else do you get to conduct the Vienna Philharmonics?
  • If you have more time also plan a visit to Mozart’s, Beethoven’s and Schubert’s houses.
  • Secession: quintessential Art Nouveau museum, housing Klimt amongst others






The art of the coffee house (Kaffeehaus) was born in Vienna. Some of the best traditional coffee houses can be found here (off the beaten path of Café Sacher, which is a bit too touristy and really a hotel rather than a café- and you can get Sacher Torte in every traditional Kaffeehaus)

City favorites: Café Museum, Café Central, Café Korb, Café Hawelka

Also Café Tirolerhof

For those enjoying  Austrian Habsburg tradition the historic (and touristy) Demel: Welcome to DEMEL – K.u.K. Hofzuckerbäcker Wien

And here are some cafes that also provide concerts:




There are too many to list, but there is something for everyone- recommend checking out the listing at:

Restaurants in Vienna – (

The classics: (a few)

Plachutta  (both in the city and the original one in Hietzing)- this is were you get the classic Viennese “Tafelspitz” (boiled beef)


Figlmueller Lugeck (if you like Schnitzel, though touristy)

Steirereck (modern, high end, likely also touristy)

Piaristenkeller K.u.K. Piaristenkeller – Historisches Restaurant im schönsten Klosterkeller Wiens


Very traditional Viennese:

Gmoarkeller Home – GmoaKeller das Wiener Wirtshaus

Schweizerhaus (this one is close to the Hilton and a traditional Prater staple- though not if you are vegetarian)


Bistros (and “in” places)

Welcome Aboard im Motto am Fluss

The Adlerhof in a new guise – (


Rooftop bars with a view

Restaurant ( restaurant and bar next to St. Stephen’s

Skybar (

Lamée Rooftop – lamee rooftop



I highly recommend touring this vibrant multicultural market with its culinary delights. Not fancy, but fun!




An absolute must is a trip to the vineyards on the outskirts of Vienna, in the towns of Grinzing, Neustift, Sievering und Nussdorf (among others)

Some classics:


Heuriger Wolff


For those more adventurous you can take a day trip along or on the Danube – hop on and off train or ship and experience wine tastings in the Wachau (a part of Lower Austria along the Danube north of Vienna). Best done by guided tour.

By bike for example:

More information about the Danube Bike Path:

Also by ship:

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