Vienna's Sights

Vienna is a city that took root in the first century AD - so it is hardly surprising that it is a city rich in history.

Vienna was once the capital of an Empire that controlled much of Europe and many major turning points in European history either took place here or were the results of decisions made here.

Hofburg, Vienna

But it is not just history and politics that make Vienna a city with some fascinating locations to visit.

The prominence of the city means that it was home to a whole range of musicians and artists spanning varied periods. And scientists and researchers were encouraged by the ambience of Vienna.

Finally, Vienna has always seen itself as the melting-pot of western and eastern Europe. And influences from this mélange can be traced in many different arts and disciplines - from food to architecture to music.

With Vienna, it is all too easy to "tick off" the main sights. And indeed they are spectacular buildings or places, which is why we have included plenty of the main locations, mostly with maps, such as the Schönbrunn Palace or St Stephen's Cathedral or the Prater Ferris Wheel or the Vienna Ring Road.

But equally, the smaller places can sometimes be the most atmospheric and leave the most lasting mark on the memory. So it's important to mix in the "sights" with the lesser-known and harder-to-find places of interest, such as the Bellevue Heights with its view and connection to Sigmund Freud, or the atmosphere of the Cemetery of the Nameless or the architecture of the Wotruba Church.

You can find plenty more examples of both kinds of "sight" in the navigation index on the left - all of them personally visited by our writers.

More sights within a reasonable distance of Vienna can be found in the Burgenland and Lower Austria sections of our sister site Austria Direct.