The former summer residence of the Habsburgs impresses with imperial ceremonial rooms and magnificent gardens. Maria Theresa, Emperor Franz Joseph, Empress Elisabeth and others once resided here.
Schönbrunn Palace is one of Europe's most beautiful Baroque complexes and has been in the possession of the Habsburgs since 1569. The wife of Emperor Ferdinand II, Eleonore von Gonzaga, had a pleasure palace built on the site in 1642 and called the property "Schönbrunn" for the first time. The palace and garden complex created from 1696 onwards following the siege of Vienna was complete redesigned under Maria Theresa after 1743. Today, due to its historical significance, its unique layout and magnificent furnishings, the palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site. https://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing/sights/imperial/schoenbrunn-palace
Vienna's Imperial Palace is one of the biggest palace complexes in the world. The oldest parts date to the 13th century, with construction having continued right into the 20th century. The Imperial Palace was the residence and seat of government of the Habsburg emperors until 1918. Today, it is home to numerous museums with outstanding collections, the Spanish Riding School, a congress center, the seat of the Austrian Federal President as well as the historic Heldenplatz. https://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing/sights/imperial/hofburg-vienna
The Belvedere is not only a magnificent Baroque palace but also houses one of Austria's most valuable art collections – with key works by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka.
Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736), successful general and art connoisseur, had Belvedere garden palace built by Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt as his summer residence – at the time it was still outside the gates of the city. This baroque architectural jewel consists of two palaces (Upper and Lower Belvedere), which today house Austrian art from the Middle Ages to the present day.
The heart of the Belvedere collection is formed by the 24 paintings of Gustav Klimt with his golden images "The Kiss" and "Judith". Klimt's "The Kiss" in particular is world-famous. The 180 x 180 cm painting was created in 1908/09 and shows Klimt and his friend Emilie Flöge as a couple in love. "The Kiss" is probably Austria's most famous work of art. Klimt's portraits of women also impress and be marveled at in the Upper Belvedere. https://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing/museums-exhibitions/top/belvedere
The most beautiful boulevard in the world is home not only to many of Vienna's best-known sights, such as the Imperial Palace, the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Natural History Museum, the Vienna State Opera and Parliament. Magnificent palaces, extensive parks and important monuments also line the "display window" of the former Danube monarchy.
Vienna's Ringstrasse is 5.3 kilometers long. Long enough to provide space for numerous monumental buildings, which were built during the period of Historicism in the 1860s to 1890s. Today, the buildings that stand there – from the Vienna State Opera to the Museum of Fine Arts – are among the most important sights in the city of Vienna.
Nobles and rich citizens hurried to build pompous palaces along this magnificent boulevard. Many of these former private homes can still be admired today (mostly, however, only from the outside). The style in which the buildings were built went down in history as the Ringstrasse style (a type of Historicism). It is marked by a pluralism of styles: numerous architectural forms of previous epochs were imitated. https://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing/ringstrasse
An amusement park for many, place of nostalgic dreams for some, oasis of greenery for almost everyone – and the location of the Giant Ferris Wheel, one of Vienna’s most famous symbols. The Vienna Prater is in season from March to October. But the world-famous Giant Ferris Wheel and a few other attractions are open all year round.
The Vienna Prater is entertaining and exciting, but it can also be relaxing and quiet. One part of it contains attractions ranging from a nostalgic merry-go-round to an ultra-modern roller coaster. In the other area, known as the “Green Prater,” one finds widespread meadows to lie on, shady trees, and quiet paths. The motto is to have fun and enjoy yourself.
Today, the Green Prater is a paradise for walkers, runners, bicyclists and horseback riders, and is highly appreciated as a large leisure area within the city limits. To get an overview of this green oasis in the city of Vienna, one best takes the Liliputbahn, a miniature railway spanning more than three miles. https://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing/prater
St. Stephen's Cathedral is the symbol of Vienna. Construction commenced in the 12th century. Today, it is one of the most important Gothic structures in Austria. St. Stephen's Cathedral is 107.2 meters long and 34.2 meters wide. It has four towers. The tallest of these is the south tower at 136.44 meters. The tower room, from which there is a gigantic view across Vienna, is reached via 343 steps. A total of 13 bells hang here. However, the best-known bell of St. Stephen's Cathedral, the Pummerin, is located in the 68.3 meter-tall north tower. It is the second-biggest free-swinging chimed church bell in Europe. On the roof of St. Stephen's Cathedral, colorful roof tiles were laid to create the Royal and Imperial double-headed eagle and the coat of arms of the city of Vienna. The interior of St. Stephen's Cathedral was changed again and again over the centuries, right through to the Baroque period. https://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing/sights/st-stephens-cathedral
The Hundertwasser House in Vienna is one of Austria’s architectural highlights. The house designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser draws visitors from around the world.
The Hundertwasser House in Vienna bears the unmistakable hand of the artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, whose birth name was Friedrich Stowasser. The colorfully decorated exterior façade of Hundertwasser House in Vienna draws attention to itself almost magically. Anyone who lives in the Hundertwasser House also has the right to decorate the façade around the windows entirely to their own taste. More than 200 trees and shrubs on the balconies and roof terraces make the Hundertwasserhaus a green oasis in the heart of the city. The Hundertwasserhaus can only be viewed from outside.
Right opposite the Hundertwasserhaus, however, is the Hundertwasser Village, which is open to visitors. It was created out of a tire workshop in 1990-1991. The artist created his own shopping center here with a "village square", a bar and numerous stores in the typical Hundertwasser style. https://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing/sights/hundertwasser-house-vienna
The Wien Museum enables us to travel back in time to the Vienna of the 2nd and 3rd centuries. In the Roman Museum on the Hoher Markt in the 1st district of Vienna you can admire Vindobona.
Visitors will be able to experience ancient Vienna with all their senses through digital reconstructions. Combined with the remaining remains of the tribune houses and the 300 exhibits in the basement, a fascinating insight into the daily lives of the soldiers and inhabitants of Vindobona is provided.
The 300 exhibits of the permanent exhibition were supplemented with digital reconstructions. At various gaming stations, animation films about the supply of Vindobona, replicas for attacking and a Playmobil® legionary camp are presented. https://www.vienna-trips.at/en/roman-museum-vindobona/
The Vienna State Opera is one of the top opera addresses in the world – where you can enjoy the very best in first-class productions. This famous stage offers a different program every day, with over 50 operas and ballet works on around 300 days per season.
At the Vienna Opera Ball, the Vienna State Opera is transformed into the world’s most famous ballroom. The committee, consisting of approximately 150 pairs of young men and women in white ball gowns and tails, ensures a glamorous opening of the Opera Ball. https://www.wien.info/en/music-stage-shows/opera-operetta/state-opera
The former city prison of Tulln opened in 1990 on the occasion of the 100th birthday of Egon Schiele as the first museum dedicated exclusively to the life and work of the artist. To date yearly 6000 visitors come from all over the world to get an idea of the artistic beginnings of Egon Schiele.
The partly preserved prison cells pose challenges for the design of exhibitions, but also contribute to the distinctive ambience of the museum. A specially furnished studio in the attic allows guests of all ages, not only to look at pictures, but also to create them. https://www.schielemuseum.at/en
Here you can see what the Habsburg Emperors collected - such as the world’s largest collection of paintings by the famous Bruegel in the picture gallery, marble statues and gold treasures in the antiquities collection, or mummies and grave goods from the empire of the Pharaohs in the Egyptian-Oriental collection.
There are also ancient statues of mythical beasts to admire, while anyone interested in finding out how the children were dressed in the Spanish court 300 years ago should take a close look at the masterpieces by Velázquez. https://www.wien.info/en/vienna-for/families/museums/kunsthistorisches-museum
Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna is the world’s oldest zoo still in existence and has already been voted Europe’s best zoo on five occasions. Today the Zoo at Schönbrunn is considered one of the best and most modern zoos in the world. Each year more than two million visitors come to see the panda baby, newborn elephants and many other rare animals. More than 700 kinds of animal live here - from the Siberian tiger to koalas and rhinoceros. Highlights are the giant rainforest house, the large South American enclosure and the ORANG.erie, home to Vienna's orangutans.
New and extensive enclosures and animal houses are added each year. But the zoo's historic charm is always preserved. The zoo is part of the Schönbrunn UNESCO world heritage site. In the summer of 1752, Emperor Franz I. Stephan von Lothringen, Maria Theresia's husband, took his royal guests to the newly constructed menagerie in the park at Schönbrunn Palace for the first time. Ever since then, the world's oldest zoo has been operating in Vienna. https://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing/sights/imperial/schoenbrunn-zoo
The universe is in Graz! It’s no joke, but rather a wonderful example of harmonious architectural skill: Eggenberg Palace on the edge of the city centre. Set within a beautiful park is the main palace, which was laid out as an architectural allegory of the universe. The building represents a precisely calculated cosmos. It was commissioned by Prince Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg from the year 1625 to embody his wish for a harmonious structure, reacting to the chaos of the 16th century.
365 windows, 31 rooms on each floor, 24 state rooms with 52 doors and, in all, 60 windows, 4 corner towers - all allusions to time, to the seasons, to weeks, days, hours, minutes. This number symbolism based on the then new Gregorian calendar is the architectural programme of the palace. Also the paintings in the Planetensaal (Planet Hall), whose decoration was started in 1678, are characterized by astronomical symbolism. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/eggenberg-palace_sh-1199
Anything but antiquated, this impressive castle towers over the Mur river valley. This extraordinary event centre, located close to the river Mur cycle route, is open all year and accessible to the public from April to October on. Access to the castle by means of the Atlantis-Shuttle is a unique experience, offering fantastic views of the surroundings. A state-of-the-art energy supply system in the form of a heat pump highlights the successful marriage of history and modern technology. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/trips-around-graz/burg-rabenstein_af-5072
The fortified medieval tower got its present shape around 1560. And its characteristic wooden gallery as a fire station. Three bells are ringing from the Clock Tower. Three coats of arms decorate the walls.
A tower on this spot of the hill was first mentioned in the 13th century. When the fortress was reconstructed in the middle of the 16th century, the tower was given its present shape. The hands on the huge clockfaces often confuse people. Is the clock out of order? No. The fact that originally there were only long hands for the hours which could be seen from the distance, and that those for the minutes were added only later caused the "swapping" of the hands. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/clock-tower_sh-1252
The countryside immediately around Graz is wild and romantic. Among the natural attractions hidden away here are narrow gorges and gullies, through which busy streams rush. The beautiful Kesselfallklamm is like a little sister to the mighty Bärenschützklamm. Well secured steps allow you to explore this romantic gully comfortably with children too. At its northern end is the town of Semriach, a health resort popular for its air quality and treasured as a wonderful patch of Styria.
The Kesselfall gorge, the most spectacular section of the Rötschbach stream, has been accessible since 1904. The Kesselfall circle trail (R3) starts at the Sandwirt restaurant in Augraben. A pictorial sign will show you the way: a man falling into a pot (Ger. "Kessel"). Fresh from the spring, the water rushes and roars over waterfalls, in rapids and through pools. From the highest of the falls, the water plunges in cascades over a 38m drop. Thanks to more than 50 ladders and bridges, in all, about 1,800 rungs, you can experience this marvel up close. On the upper reaches of the gorge, where the Rötschbach stream is silently murmuring, the circle trail turns to the right. Walking steeply uphill, you will first reach an unusual rock formation called "Stone Gate" and will pass a cave, before going downhill and finishing the tour in the valley at Sandwirt. In one and a half hours of walking you would have covered 2.7 km and an altitude difference of 200m. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/trips-around-graz/kesselfallklamm_af-1272
At 1445 metres not exactly the highest, but the Schöckl, local mountain of Graz, is an extremely popular destination. Featuring everything from steep slopes to an extended plateau, it holds an almost supernatural fascination for visitors. Many hike around it several times per week, ascend on their mountain bikes or treat themselves to the comfortable cable car from St. Radegund, all with a view to rising above workaday concerns for a real highlight.
In terms of its geology, the Schöckl is a limestone mountain with a core of crystalline rock. At the interface of permeable and impermeable rock, springs come to the surface. Thanks to radioactive springs and healthy air, the village of St. Radegund on the southern foot of Schöckl became an internationally renowned spa in the 19th century. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/trips-around-graz/schockl-mountain_af-1271
Royal-imperial church architecture is crowning the historic city centre. The cathedral is definitely not to be missed on any sightseeing trip round Graz. Don’t be fooled by the relatively restrained exterior. The "Gottesplagenbild", an inspiring relic of splendid Gothic fresco painting, is still in excellent condition today. Inside the cathedral, a multitude of ecclesiastical along with general historical treasures is waiting to be discovered.
Today's cathedral reminds of the days when Graz was an imperial city. Emperor Frederick III erected the church together with his new residence in Graz. In the course of history, the cathedral saw many changes. Construction work of the court and parish church in late-Gothic style was started in 1438, as Jesuit church it was refurbished in Baroque style in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Since 1786 it has been the cathedral, i.e. the bishop's and main church of the Catholics in Styria.
The exterior of the cathedral looks very sober today. In the Gothic period, however, the façades were covered with paintings. One fresco has been preserved - the so-called Gottesplagenbild ("God's Plagues"). https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/cathedral_sh-1241
Just on the outskirts of Graz there’s an exciting park, offering all manner of adventures and opportunities to explore your limits. At Abenteuer Park Graz there’s a forest climbing park, tightropes on which to balance; you can try archery, climb piles of crates and explore nature discovery trails. Here the wisdom of Confucius applies: “Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Involve me and I will understand.” https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/trips-around-graz/adventure-park-graz_af-1227
A knight’s tale of passion? Certainly fitting for some of the warriors in shining armour. At the Landeszeughaus armoury of Graz, standing in rank and file are the armour and weapons of valiant warriors of the Middle Ages. The special historical setting and sheer number of collector’s items make a visit to the Graz armoury a treat not to be missed. Marvel at an unbelievable 32,000 exhibits arranged on four floors, where many a visitor, large or small, drifts into dreams of heroic sagas of times past. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/armoury_sh-1200
Whilst it’s not common for existing, traditional urban buildings to sit so perfectly next to breathtaking new architecture, with the setting of this museum of contemporary art in Graz it’s definitely the case. The Kunsthaus floats like a mysterious blue balloon between the roofs of the historic city centre. Named friendly alien by its creators, its fascinating magic draws visitors in.
Sometimes dreams come true. As the dream about a Kunsthaus in Graz. The site was a good choice. The right bank of the river Mur, so far a more or less neglected part of the city. The neighbourhood: the Eisernes Haus (Iron House), a nearly forgotten, as hardly visible, formerly bold cast-iron construction built by Graz architect Josef Benedict Withalm in 1848. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/kunsthaus-graz_sh-1097
What a perfect place for a party! The inevitable thought if you step into the Landhaushof in Graz. Taking in the Renaissance surroundings of this inviting location immediately conjures up colourful images of people enjoying festivities. Here in the summer, flowers decorate the magnificent arcades and, at Advent, the celebrated ice nativity scene finds a perfect setting. In between, concerts, theatre and indeed all manner of festivities take place in the splendid atmosphere of the Landhaus courtyard.
A touch of Northern Italy in Herrengasse, right in the centre of Graz? In fact, the Landhaus is reminiscent of some Venice palazzo. In 1557, the Italian architect Domenico dell’Allio started to construct a prestigious building for the Styrian estates. It still is the provincial parliament of Styria. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/landhaus-courtyard_sh-1246
Stala‘c’tite from the ‘c’eiling, stala‘g’mite on the ‘g’round. This mnemonic can help you to identify the wonderful stone formations at the Lurgrotte, Austria’s largest dripstone cave. Here calcium mineral deposition over millions of years has yielded enchanting natural artworks both fragile and massive, with fantastic names meaning prince, giant and grand candle stick. You can explore this fascinating cavern complex accompanied by an expert guide, starting from either Peggau or Semriach.
The first person daring to enter the depths of Lurgrotte was the Italian cave scientist Max Brunello. In 1894 he discovered the Great Dome. This huge hall with an area of 120m by 80m and a height of 40m is among the biggest of its kind in central Europe and can be reached from the Semriach entrance. During guided tours a special atmosphere is created in the chamber by dramatic sound and lighting effects. Along the approximately 2km trail accessible from Semriach you can marvel, for example, at the forty-ton "giant" being probably the thickest hanging stalactite in the world. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/trips-around-graz/lurgrotte-cave-peggau_af-1213
The Glockenspiel in the eponymous square in Graz leads the way. A sweet maiden and hearty lad clad in traditional costume pirouette three times a day (11.00, 15.00 & 18.00) up in the gable of the building on Glockenspielplatz square. The mechanism’s cheerful 24 bells play three different melodies. A charming, romantic show beyond compare. Enchanted and each with a spring in their step and a smile on their face, lucky viewers head off once the last note dies away.
In 1884 the spirits producer Gottfried Maurer bought a house in then "Fliegenplatzl" square. On his journeys to North Germany and Belgium the businessman got to know carillons and had one installed in his house in Graz. On Chrismas Eve in 1905, the 24 bells in the iron roof turrent chimed for the first time. In 1929 Gottfried Maurer bequeathed the carillon to the city of Graz, conditional on its continued existence. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/glockenspiel_sh-1243
Island or boat? It isn’t easy to tell with this extravagant steel construction by US-American artist Vito Acconci. The Island in the Mur, Graz was commissioned as part of the city’s role as Capital of Culture in 2003. What is clear is its function as a link between river and city, a wonderful place to drink coffee or enjoy a cocktail. With the river Mur swirling cheerfully by on both left and right sides, from the Murinsel you can appreciate a completely new perspective of the city of Graz.
The island has brought the river Mur back to the people of Graz. Up to a few years ago, the river had been polluted by sewage water and industrial effluent. So the fact that the Mur had dug itself 12m deeper into its riverbed after its regulation in the 19th century hardly bothered people. Now the river connecting and dividing the city has a good quality of water again, has become inviting. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/island-in-the-mur_sh-1223
An imperial place of rest next to the Dom. Turquoise domes stand out against the blue sky above the Mausoleum and, together with the Dom and Katharinenkirche church, define one of the city’s magnificent views. You could almost have been whisked away to the lands to the south, given how this ensemble enchants any visitor with more than just a hint of Florentine flair. Here in Graz, Emperor Ferdinand II had his court artist Giovanni Pietro de Pomis lay out the impressive tomb.
The so-called Stadtkrone ("Crown of the Town") of Graz comprises such important buildings as the Cathedral, the Burg, the Old University and today's Seminary (former Jesuit college). But it is the domescape of the Mausoleum which also visually crowns the city. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/mausoleum_sh-1247
Separation and reconciliation. Even official architecture can harbour surprises. The Burg in Graz, official headquarter of the regional government, is a real gem. Centuries of reconstruction have yielded interesting elements of the Gothic, Renaissance and Biedermeier eras. Particularly striking is the double spiral staircase, seeming almost like an optical illusion. This “staircase of reconciliation” consists of two opposing spiral stairs, which merge briefly on each floor, part and then rejoin. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/sights/burg-double-spiral-staircase_sh-1240
Tracking down the glory of the past in Lieboch. Housed within the former boiler house at the railway station is the Technical Railway Museum Lieboch. In the museum you can find gems like a steam locomotive from 1914, historical rolling stock and numerous exhibits, as well as experiencing historical, technical and socio-cultural aspects relating to rail transport. Multi-media presentations offer insights into important events in the history and future of Austrian railways. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/trips-around-graz/technical-railway-museum-lieboch_af-1210
“I’ll be back.” Hardly anyone could fail to recognise Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous line. Even though he doesn’t actually come back in person that often, nevertheless you can gain, at the very least, an intimate insight into the childhood and career of this international star at the Arnold-Schwarzenegger Museum, located at his place of birth in Thal near Graz. The beautiful building was constructed in 1806 and is the original forester’s lodge of the Count of Herberstein and Eggenberg. https://www.graztourismus.at/en/see-and-do/sightseeing/trips-around-graz/a.schwarzenegger-museum_af-1207
Hohensalzburg Fortress is enthroned on the Festungsberg, high above the rooftops of the Baroque historical district. The biggest fully preserved castle in Central Europe, this emblem of Salzburg draws millions of tourists to our “City of Mozart” every year.
In the year 1077, archbishop Gebhard had the fortress built and thus changed the Salzburg skyline forever. In the years which followed, his successors drove ongoing development of the fortress architecture. The complex acquired the appearance we recognize today under archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach in 1500. The original purpose of the fortress was to protect the principality and the archbishops from hostile attacks. In all of these years, it has never been captured by foreign troops. https://www.salzburg.info/en/sights/top10/hohensalzburg-fortress
Mirabell Palace was built in 1606 by prince-archbishop Wolf Dietrich for his beloved Salome Alt. Today, it serves as the backdrop for the most romantic weddings you could possibly imagine.
Mirabell Palace looks back on a colorful history. Today, Mirabell Palace is home to municipal offices as well as those of the mayor of Salzburg. Mirabell Gardens – Baroque pleasure gardens in the heart of the city. They were completely redesigned under archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun in 1690. The underlying geometric form, which is typical for the Baroque, is still clearly recognizable. The visual orientation towards the cathedral and fortress adds to the grandeur of the gardens – simultaneously incorporating them into the overall historical ensemble of the city.
Mirabell Gardens, along with the Felsenreitschule and Nonnberg Convent, is one of the most important shooting locations from the famous Hollywood musical “The Sound of Music”. In the film, Maria and the children dance around the Pegasus Fountain in front of the palace, singing the song “Do Re Mi”. At the end of the scene, the Trapp family stand on the steps in front of the Rose Hill and sing the song’s final bars. At the same time, viewers are enchanted by unique views across Mirabell Gardens towards the fortress. https://www.salzburg.info/en/sights/top10/mirabell-palace-gardens
W. A. Mozart was born in 1756 in the “Hagenauer Haus” at No. 9 Getreidegasse in Salzburg. Today, Mozart’s Birthplace is one of the most visited museums in Austria and is an absolute highlight, above all for Mozart fans.
The museum invites you to take a tour lasting about an hour through original rooms. Also amble through a middle-class apartment reconstructed as authentically as possible. Discover items of everyday life as well as furniture from the 18th century, and feel as if you have personally been transported back to the days of Mozart!
Original certificates, letters and memorabilia document Mozart’s life in Salzburg. A collection of portraits, mostly done during Mozart’s lifetime, allows you to basically stand face-to-face with this musical genius. A particular joy for Mozart fans: the historical instruments, including Mozart’s own violin and clavichord. https://www.salzburg.info/en/sights/top10/mozarts-birthplace
From 1773 to 1787, the Mozarts lived at the so-called “Dance Master’s House”, standing on today’s Makartplatz. The spacious eight-room apartment on the first floor is now home to a museum.
On 26 January 1996, the Mozart Residence celebrated its reopening. In the museum, you can see – in addition to Mozart’s fortepiano – many original documents and portraits. The exhibition provides an array of interesting facts about the history of the house, Mozart’s Salzburg years and the life of the Mozart family. A multi-vision show as well as rotating exhibitions, concerts and talks offer a very rich and diverse Mozart experience. https://www.salzburg.info/en/sights/museums/mozart-residence