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Vienna attractions

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Top 5 things to do in Vienna

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Belvedere Palace
#1
Belvedere Palace
The Belvedere Palace is in fact two palaces: the Upper and Lower, both of which were built by Prince Eugene of Savoy. These Habsburg palaces are the centerpieces of gorgeously landscaped gardens, with tiered fountains and statues nestled in the greenery. Both palaces are filled with priceless art in the permanent collections (including Gustav Klimt's The Kiss), as well as changing exhibitions.
Museum of Illusions
#2
Museum of Illusions
The Museum of Illusions in Vienna is dedicated entirely to tricking its visitors' senses with physics-defying optical illusions and mind-bending puzzles. The museum is accessible to people of all ages and makes a great family day out with equal parts fun and learning.
Albertina Museum
#3
Albertina Museum
With around 65,000 drawings and more than a million old master prints, the Albertina is a mightily impressive collection of art. Located in the largest Habsburg residential palace, the collection also includes more modern works - including two significant collections of Impressionist and early 20th-century art, and temporary exhibitions. Also on display are 21 exquisite Habsburg state rooms, spread over two floors of the palace.
Tiergarten Schönbrunn
#4
Tiergarten Schönbrunn
Located on the grounds of the imperial summer palace, Tiergarten Schönbrunn is the oldest zoo in the world - and yet still frequently voted one of the world's best. The zoo was founded as an imperial menagerie in 1752, by the then Holy Roman Emperor, Francis I. It was opened to the public in 1779. The Tiergarten has an amazing array of animals (more than 700 species in all).
Kunsthistorisches Museum
#5
Kunsthistorisches Museum
Kunsthistorisches Museum features an extensive art collection that belonged to the once-mighty Habsburg family. It houses pieces by Caravaggio and Titian - and many other Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces. Viennese classical composers once made groundbreaking music with some of the instruments in the Historical Musical Instruments section. There are also impressive collections of coins, arms and armor, as well as Egyptian, Near Eastern, Greek, and Roman antiquities.
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Reasons to visit Vienna

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All things to do in Vienna

Planning your Vienna visit

Language

Austrian German

Currency

Euro (€)

Dialing code

+43

Time zone

Central European Time (CET)

Getting around

Vienna's got a great public transport network. In fact, 53% of Viennese workers travel to work by public transport. Wiener Linien operates five underground lines, 29 tram and 90 bus lines. Fares within the city cover all modes of transit, and are available for various durations, (24 hours, 48 hours, etc). Tickets are available at machines in most underground stations or at tobacconists. You can also buy tickets on the bus or tram (which cost €.10 more than from the machines - €2.30 per ticket). There are no ticket barriers or inspections when entering public transit system, but plainclothes inspectors conduct random ticket checks.

Habsburger history

The Habsburgs were one of the most influential royal houses of Europe. In fact, they occupied the throne of the Holy Roman Empire continuously for more than 300 years (between 1438 and 1740). That means the Habsburgs held authority over the largest realm in Europe during the Renaissance, and they ruled from right here in Vienna. Their power and influence lasted until the end of WWI, when Emperor Charles I abdicated the throne (though not the hereditary titles for him and his family). Since then, Habsburgs have been carrying on in the upper echelons of European society and building business (instead of political) empires.

Wiener cuisine

Viennese cuisine is known for two dishes: Wiener schnitzel (a thin, pan-fried veal cutlet), and Sachertorte (a dense chocolate cake made with apricot jam). But don’t limit your Viennese culinary exploits to these two items; there are other rich and delicious foods that Vienna should be known for. Including sausages from the ubiquitous würstelstands (try the Käsekrainer – a deliciously cheesetastic health scare in a bun). If you’re looking for something more familiar, try Vollpension. After a Wiener Melange (the coffee to drink while in Vienna) and a slice of cake, you'll wonder why not every city has one of these. Reserving a table is highly recommended.

What to do in Vienna for 3 days

Hit the high notes

As the home of the Habsburg Empire, Vienna was the epicenter of power and all its trappings. That legacy remains in the form of sachertorte, Baroque buildings, and opera. The iconic Vienna State Opera (German: Wiener Staatsoper) is the busiest opera house in the world. But just around the corner, in the Stadtpark, is perhaps the best place in the city to catch a concert. The Kursalon. In 1868 Johann Strauss gave his first concert there, and it was such a success that it has remained a concert venue ever since. Throughout the summer, the Kursalon hosts concerts of music by Strauss and the other Viennese golden boy: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. As you make your way inside look for the gilded statue of Strauss himself.

Schönbrunn Palace

Royal dynasties didn’t come much grander than the heavyweight Habsburgs. Need proof? The opulent Schönbrunn Palace was initially envisioned as a hunting lodge. They must have had a completely different definition of the word 'lodge'. Any way you look at it it's a spectacular place to visit. With over 1400 rooms in the palace (40 of which are open to the public, and vast UNESCO Heritage-protected gardens - plus a labyrinth), it's no surprise that it's Vienna's most popular tourist attraction. The Imperial Carriage Museum and the Tiergarten are also both onsite here, offering a wide array of activities. A day here is a day spent basking in the warmth of the Austrian sun (and the former glory of the once-mighty Habsburgs).

Travel through time

Vienna's got a lot of history to get your mind around. At Time Travel Vienna there's 1,300 m2 of space to accommodate your family's time traveling adventures. In just one hour you'll get to know this fascinating city - right back to its foundations as the Roman camp Vindobona. Led by a real tour guide, each trip offers fact-based insights into the city that was the home of the Holy Roman Emperor for more than 300 years and that played a key role in the outbreak of WWI. Plus, it's an actual 400-year-old monastery.

Home of The Third Man

With sharp cinematography, outstanding acting, and a unique zither-centric score, this 1949 British film noir is considered one of the greatest films of all time. The action unfolds in Vienna. Now that you're here, make like the film's protagonists Holly Martins and Harry Lime (played by Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles) and take a ride on the 19th-century Riesenrad (Ferris wheel) in the Prater amusement park. It’s the only remaining work of engineer Walter Basset (who also built wheels for Blackpool, London and Paris).

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