Things to do in Vienna
Discover the hidden crypt of the Vergilius Chapel
Why there’s a church room below Vienna’s streets remains a mystery, but the incredibly well preserved, subterranean chapel of St. Virgil shouldn’t be missed. Dating from around 1250, the chapel was only discovered when contractors were digging for the Metro in 1973. With gothic interiors and an interesting exhibition documenting the history of Medieval Vienna, many will find themselves lost in the city’s fascinating past. Visit the museum website (www.wienmuseum.at/en) for tours.
Marvel at the beautiful Secession Gallery
The Secession Gallery (tel: +43 1587 5307; www.secession.at) near Karlsplatz is surely one of the world's most beautiful art space. Designed by Joseph Maria Olbrich in 1897/98, it is a fine example of Art Nouveau architecture, boasting white walls and golden adornment that remain stylish to this day. Highlights include Klimt's Beethoven Frieze and changing exhibitions throughout the year.
Spot fish living in a WWII bunker at Haus Des Meeres
There’s something fishy about the Vienna Haus Des Meeres (tel: +43 1 587 1417; www.haus-des-meeres.at/en/Home.htm), and it’s not the thousands of different species of marine life on show. In a public park, this aquarium was a former World War II flak tower used to try and shoot down RAF bombers.
Visit another country without leaving the city at the UN Complex
Well, sort of. The United Nations complex (tel: +43 126060 3325; www.unvienna.org) in Vienna exercises extraterritoriality, which means it’s international territory. Several UN agencies allow fascinating hour-long tours of their offices and give visitors the chance to see exhibitions about the UN’s work, enjoy artworks at the Vienna Visitor Centre, see a real moonrock and experience 1970s architecture.
Visit the strange Church of the Most Holy Trinity
In rolling woodland outside Vienna lies the Church of the Most Holy Trinity (www.georgenberg.at), a place of worship that looks like a giant stack of Jenga blocks. Opened in 1976, the so-called Wotruba Church is a brutalist masterpiece designed by the artist Fritz Wotruba.