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top 10 best tourist attractions in vienna, austria

Some people might say that Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, or at least that it is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe when it comes to architecture and design. Vienna is the capital and the largest city of Austria, so it is a great place for tourism mainly because it has a long history and many sightseeing attractions including museums, palaces, churches etc. If you're planning a trip to Vienna, here are the top 10 attractions you shouldn't miss.

1. Schönbrunn Palace
The baroque palace known as Schönbrunn which is as large as 1441 rooms should not be missing on any list of attractions when one is in Vienna. This world heritage site occupies an area of 59 hectares and has more than 1,400 rooms, making it the largest palace in Europe where the Habsburg kings and queens used to live during summer and rule. Visit the stately interior of the Austrian Empire, go through the working environment of the monarchs, Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth, and stroll through the gardens and at the Gloriette terrace that gives a splendid view.

2. St. Stephen's Cathedral
The Stephansdom or the St. Stephens Cathedral is another famous landmark whose image cannot go unnoticed because of the multi-colored roof tiles. This church which dates back to the Gothic style has been around since the 12th century, still standing after the world war and hosting crucial ceremonies such as Mozart's wedding. Observe the delicate carving of stones and artistic stained glass windows inside and do not miss out on the catacombs as well as the 343 steps to reach the top of the cathedral’s south tower to behold sweeping views of the city.

3. Belvedere Palaces
Standing tall on a hilltop overlooking the city of Vienna are the two beautiful castles of Baroque-styled Belvederes. The Upper Belvedere today serves as a large Austrian gallery of paintings that comprises Klimt’s works including the famous painting of The Kiss, works by Schiele and Kokoschka. Lower Belvedere has also temporary exhibitions while there are also eye-catching baroque parterre gardens between the two palaces. Both places have admission prices, but depending on which part you get to you, the price ranges differ.

4. Vienna State Opera
Talking about musical theater, it is worth mentioning the 19th-century Vienna State Opera house which hosts more than fifty operas and ballet performances per month, and it is worth coming here to see only the interior decorated with gorgeous gilding and chandeliers. If you are able and willing to stand the costs, then it is good to attend an opera or ballet because it will enable you to access the two magical forms of art in Vienna. Another way is to visit the theatre during a show and take a 45-minute guided tour that will show you backstage if you do not get a chance to see it during a performance.

5. Prater Amusement Park
It will be incomplete even if one does not get a chance to stroll around the most famous attractions in Vienna, the Prater park. Sights involve making a tour in the Wiener Riesenrad which is a Ferris wheel of 212 feet in height founded in 1897 and permits viewing of numerous housing estates within the city of Vienna. Other traditional games include lucky-dip games, bumper carriages and round about, snack kiosks, and modern-day twist of roller coasters.

6. Schloss Schönbrunn Zoo
If you are traveling with kids or simply lovers of animals, the Schönbrunn Zoo – the oldest zoo in the world – which houses over 700 species is a must-visit. These are the incredible attractions that could be observed by visiting the zoo: panda enclosure, sea lion feeding time, elephants, hippos, big cats, and penguins in an enriched environment. It is recommended to visit the zoo in combination with visiting the palace and gardens, which will be considered as a single excursion.

7. Museum Quarter
Definitely, dedicate a day and a half strolling around the Museum District, which is situated in the complex of the imperial palace. Its magnificent Baroque and Neo-Renaissance architecture you will find the Kunsthistorisches Museum with an impressive number of fine art pieces together with the Naturhistorishes Museum displaying natural history. Other museums of interest within the vicinity include the Architecture Museum and other specialized museums such as the Instruments Museum, Musical Instruments Museum, and Arms and Armors Museum among others.

8. Hofburg Imperial Palace
Originally an early Gothic palace, the Hofburg Imperial Palace has been a royal and imperial residence since the 13th century and was home to the Habsburg dynasty for over 700 years, and is still the official residence of the Austrian President. Visit three wings of the public interest including the Imperial Apartments, the Imperial Silver Collection, the Sisi Museum for Elisabeth, and the Imperial Chapel where the Vienna Boys’ Choir conducts the Sunday High Mass certifying the palace’s importance. Lipizzaner stallions of the Spanish Riding School are also found within the palace complex.

9. Vienna Coffeehouses
Tourists and locals drink coffee to make it through a workday or to catch up with friends and family, which is why no visitor to Vienna can leave without visiting a coffeehouse. Treat yourself to different types of coffee specialties and cakes, all served in the upscale historic setting of coffee houses such as Café Central or the Jugendstil Landtmann. Talk to people, read books/magazines/newspapers, or just observe people passing by while embracing the sophisticated aura of the place.

10. Danube River Cruise
The most suitable relaxation technique while finding connections for many popular sites is taking a Danube River cruise. Sail around and under architectural wonders such as the United Nations, the beautiful monasteries’ gardens, ancient castles, and wine producing villages. For those who prefer to relax and enjoy meals at a leisurely pace, several multi-course dinner cruises offer the opportunity to taste authentic Viennese dishes while enjoying the view of the city at night for a couple of hours.

Vienna is simply a must-visit destination with imperial palaces, attractive cathedrals, world-class museums and art galleries, amusement rides and coffee houses. Below is the list of top attractions and experiences that will make your visit to Vienna a memorable one as it is a city of eternal elegance and appeal.