Vienna is the capital of Austria, the cradle of classical music, the home of the rich Habsburg heritage, and one of Europe's most livable cities. The city center is skyscraper-free, pedestrian-friendly, dotted with quiet parks, and traversed by electric trams. Many buildings still reflect 18th- and 19th-century elegance, when the city was at the forefront of the arts and sciences. Compared with most modern European urban centers, the pace of life here is slow.
At a Glance
▲▲▲ Opera Dazzling, world-famous opera house.
▲▲▲ St. Stephen's Cathedral Enormous, historic Gothic cathedral in the center of Vienna.
▲▲▲ Hofburg Imperial Apartments Lavish main residence of the Habsburgs.
▲▲▲ Hofburg Treasury The Habsburgs' collection of jewels, crowns, and other valuables — the best on the Continent.
▲▲▲ Kunsthistorisches Museum World-class exhibit of the Habsburgs' art collection, including works by Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Bosch, and Bruegel.
▲▲▲ Schönbrunn Palace Spectacular summer residence of the Habsburgs, rivaling the grandeur of Versailles.
▲▲ Haus der Musik Modern museum with interactive exhibits on Vienna's favorite pastime.
▲▲ Hofburg New Palace Museums Uncrowded collection of armor, musical instruments, and ancient Greek statues, in the elegant halls of a Habsburg palace.
▲▲ Albertina Museum Habsburg residence with decent apartments and world-class temporary exhibits.
▲▲ Kaisergruft Crypt for the Habsburg royalty.
▲▲ Belvedere Palace Elegant palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy, with a collection of 19th- and 20th-century Austrian art (including Klimt).
▲ St. Peter's Church Beautiful Baroque church in the old center.
▲ Spanish Riding School Prancing white Lipizzaner stallions.
▲ St. Michael's Church Crypt Final resting place of about 100 wealthy 18th-century Viennese.
▲ Natural History Museum Big building facing the Kunsthistorisches, featuring the ancient Venus of Willendorf.
▲ Karlskirche Baroque church offering the unique (and temporary) chance to ride an elevator up into the dome.
▲ Academy of Fine Arts Small but exciting collection by 15th- to 18th-century masters.
▲ The Secession Art Nouveau exterior and Klimt paintings in situ.
▲ Naschmarkt Sprawling, lively outdoor market.
▲ Museum of Military History Huge collection of artifacts tracing the military history of the Habsburg Empire.
▲ Kunst Haus Wien Museum Modern art museum dedicated to zany local artist/environmentalist Hundertwasser.
▲ Imperial Furniture Collection Eclectic collection of Habsburg furniture.