Vienna is the capital of Austria, the cradle of classical music, the home of the rich Habsburg heritage, and one of the world'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
▲▲▲ 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.
▲▲▲ Vienna State Opera Dazzling, world-famous opera house.
▲▲▲ St. Stephen's Cathedral Enormous, historic Gothic cathedral in the center of Vienna.
▲▲▲ 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.
▲▲ World Museum Vienna Four museums in one: Uncrowded collection of armor, musical instruments, ancient Greek statues, and ethnographic treasures in the elegant halls of a Habsburg palace.
▲▲ Albertina Museum Habsburg residence with state apartments, world-class collection of graphic arts and modernist classics, and first-rate special exhibits.
▲▲ Kaisergruft Crypt for the Habsburg royalty.
▲▲ Natural History Museum Big, beautiful catalog of the natural world, featuring the ancient Venus of Willendorf.
▲▲ 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.
▲ Karlskirche Baroque church offering the unique (and temporary) chance to ride an elevator up into the dome.
▲ Academy of Fine Arts Painting Gallery 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 Hundertwasser.
▲ Imperial Furniture Collection Eclectic collection of Habsburg furniture.