Top tourist attractions of Vienna

One of Europe’s most elegant cities, Vienna offers so many wonderful sightseeing opportunities. Here’s what we’d get up to if we had 24 hours in Austria’s capital.

A morning sightseeing

Before you set off on a morning of sightseeing, find a comfy spot in one of the city’s famous coffee houses and enjoy the Viennese pastime of watching the world go by. Why not try Café Frauenhuber – the oldest in the city – where both Mozart and Beethoven are said to have played. Now you’re ready for a journey of discovery along the Ringstrasse, a grand boulevard, which at 5.3km long packs in plenty of sights. Admire the Neo-Renaissance-style Vienna State Opera, the impressive Burgtheater, the last of the magnificent monuments erected on the Ringstrasse, and the Hofburg Palace. Here you can explore the Sisi Museum, where personal items belonging to Empress Elisabeth of Austria are displayed.

Afternoon at the palace

Perhaps stop for a lunch of Austrian speciality wiener schnitzel, or enhance a coffee break with a slice of sachertorte. This rich chocolate cake was created for Prince Wenzel von Metternich in 1832. That should set you up for an afternoon exploring the exquisite Schönbrunn Palace, the summer residence of Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth. Built in the late 17th century to rival Versailles, this beautiful Baroque complex has 1,441 rooms, with around 45 open to the public. That’s more than enough to give you an idea of its magnificence and an insight into the lives of those who called it home. Be sure also to leave time for a stroll around the spectacular gardens.

A musical evening

The whole of Austria is synonymous with classical music. Many of the great composers were either born here – Mozart, Strauss, Mahler and Haydn for example – or drawn here to live, such as Beethoven and Brahms. This evening, you could head to one of the many venues in the city to enjoy a concert. Maybe you’ll choose the historic Kursalon Vienna. This is where Johann Strauss directed his orchestra from his position of first violin.