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Things to see in Vienna

Tourist Offices

Wien Tourismus

Address: Central, Albertinaplatz, Ecke Maysedergasse, Vienna, 1010
Telephone: +43 1 24555.
Opening times:

Daily 0900-1900.

Website: http://www.wien.info

Vienna's main tourist office should be the first stop for visitors. They can help with a hotel booking, maps, sightseeing information and advice on where to eat.

Tourist passes

The Vienna Card (www.wienkarte.at) offers discounts at more than 210 attractions, theatres, shops, cafés and restaurants, as well as on the CAT train from the airport. It also includes unlimited travel on the U-Bahn, bus and tram networks (including night buses) for 72 hours. Passes are available from tourist information offices, hotels and Wiener Linien sales and information counters.

Attractions

Belvedere

The Oberes Belvedere (Upper Belvedere Palace), built from 1721-23 for Prince Eugene of Savoy, offers terrific views across the gardens to the Unteres Belvedere (Lower Belvedere) and the city beyond. Artwork from the Middle Ages and the baroque era is featured in the Unteres Belvedere. The Oberes Belvedere houses art from the 19th-century classical, Romantic and Biedermeier periods on the second floor and post-1918 art on the ground floor. The first floor includes paintings by Gustav Klimt (including the iconic The Kiss), Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka and other fin-de-siècle artists.

Address: Central, Prinz Eugenstrasse 27, Vienna, 1030
Telephone: +43 1 7955 7134.
Opening times:

Daily 1000-1800 (Wed until 2100 for Unteres Belvedere).

Website: http://www.belvedere.at
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Spanische Hofreitschule (Spanish Riding School)

For over 400 years, the horses of the Spanish Riding School have performed their elegant manoeuvres at the Imperial Stables. The easiest way for visitors to see the horses in action is at their morning training sessions, which take place from 1000-1200 Tuesday to Saturday. Tickets to the training sessions, which involve classical dressage exercise to music, are only available at the door on the day. Tickets for the actual performances are in high demand and need to be booked well in advance. The season generally runs from March to June and from September to December. Gala performances vary from month to month, usually Saturday or Sunday mornings and occasionally Friday evenings. Final dress rehearsals before the season starts are cheaper and tickets are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Address: Central, Michaelerplatz 1, Vienna, 1010
Telephone: +43 1 533 9031.
Opening times:

Tues-Sat 1000-1200 (morning training sessions). Guided tours Tues-Sat in the afternoon. Gala performances are usually held on Sunday morning at 1100, occasionally on Friday evenings.

Website: http://www.srs.at
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Stephansdom (St Stephen's Cathedral)

The imposing St Stephen's Cathedral marks Graben's eastern end and is a landmark from afar not least due to its brightly coloured roof tiles. Inside, though, it's a genuine masterpiece of baroque design with wonderful altars and vast ceilings. Construction began on the cathedral in the 12th century and was completed in 1433. Major restoration and rebuilding work was necessary after the cathedral caught fire at the end of WWII. The Square outside the Cathedral is a popular meeting place too and it often throngs with people.

Address: Central, Stephansplatz 1, Vienna, 1010
Telephone: +43 1 5155 23054.
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 0600-2200, Sun 0700-2200.

Website: http://www.stephanskirche.at
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Prater

The Prater is a giant wooded park, most famous for its fairground and the location of one of Vienna's most emblematic sights: the century-old Riesenrad (Ferris wheel). Made famous in the 1949 film The Third Man, the Ferris wheel was completed in 1897 at a time when other such rides stood in cities like London, Paris and Blackpool, but it is the only one of the era still surviving. After dark, the wheel lights up and acts as a giant clock for the city by flashing the correct number of times on the hour.

Address: Prater, Prater, Vienna, 1020
Telephone: +43 1 7280 516.
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website: http://www.prater.at
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Hofburg

The Imperial Palace until 1918, the Hofburg today houses the office of the Austrian president, an international conference centre, a dozen museums, the chapel where the Vienna Boys' Choir sing and the hall in which the Lipizzan stallions perform. Visitors can tour the Kaiserappartements (Imperial Apartments), including Franz Joseph's and Sisi's (Empress Elisabeth's) private rooms, the great audience hall, dining rooms and staterooms. Schatzkammer (Treasury), at Schweizerhof 1, contains stunning exhibits that exemplify the power and wealth of one of Europe's most important empires. The Sisi Museum showcases many personal objects and some of the most famous portraits of the beautiful empress. Also within the central core, the Prunksaal (State Hall) of the Nationalbibliothek (Austrian National Library) is a jewel of baroque architecture and one of the most beautiful historical libraries in the world.

Address: Kaisertor, Innerer Burghof 1, Vienna, 1010
Telephone: +43 1 533 7570.
Opening times:

Daily 0900-1730 (Sep-Jun); Daily 0900-1800 (Jul-Aug).

Website: http://www.hofburg-wien.at
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

MuseumsQuartier

On the site of the former imperial stables, this large cultural complex (akin to London's Southbank Centre) is one of the biggest of its kind in the world. Don't miss the excellent Leopold Museum, a must for anyone interested in Austrian art, and MUMOK, the Museum of Modern Art. The MuseumsQuartier (MQ) is a very pleasant place to hang out for a few hours, especially on a summer evening, when the place is packed with students and people of all ages relaxing outside on its large bench-like constructions or eating and drinking in one of the many alfresco cafés.

Address: Central, Museumplatz, Vienna, 1010
Telephone: +43 1 523 5881.
Opening times:

Varies

Website: http://www.mqw.at
Admission Fees:

Varies

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Schloß Schönbrunn (Schönbrunn Palace)

Schönbrunn Palace is Vienna's answer to Versailles and was used as the summer residence of the Habsburgs from the 18th century until 1918. Of the 1,441 rooms in the palace and its adjacent buildings, 40 state rooms are open to the public. The golden-yellow palace is set within equally magnificent gardens, landscaped in the baroque style, with some fabulous views. The palace and gardens are included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The Gloriette is a triumphal arch that stands on the hilltop behind the palace and affords a stunning view over the grounds and the city beyond. The Palmenhaus (Palm House) is an excellent example of late 19th-century architecture, with cast iron columns delicately holding up the glass walls and roof. The world's oldest zoo (from 1752) can be found in the park too.

Address: Central, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, 1010
Telephone: +43 1 8111 3239.
Opening times:

Daily 0830-1730 (Apr-Jun); 0830-1830 (July-Aug); Daily 0830-1730 (Sept-Oct); 0830-1700 (Nov-Mar).

Website: http://www.schoenbrunn.at
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

KunstHausWien (Vienna Art House)

This magnificent building was constructed to house all the Imperial Hapsburg collections in one place, although these grew to occupy the Hofburg and Schönbrunn Palace too. The grand staircase provides passage to the galleries, which include the Antiquities, Egyptian-Oriental and Coin collections. The Kunstkammer (art chamber) houses sculpture and decorative arts. The Gemäldegalerie (picture gallery) has works by Old Masters, including Dürer, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens and Titian as well as the most comprehensive collection of Brueghels in the world. The twin building directly opposite holds the old fashioned but superb Museum of Natural History.

Address: Central, 3 Untere Weissgerberstrasse 13, Vienna, 1030
Telephone: +43 1 712 0491.
Opening times:

Daily 1000-1900.

Website: http://www.kunsthauswien.com
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Albertina

As the largest Hapsburg residential palace, Albertina dominates the southern tip of the Imperial Palace on one of the last remaining fortress walls in Austria. It boasts the leading and most valuable graphical collections in the world, with works such as Dürer's Hare and Klimt's studies of women. On permanent display in the Albertina's new exhibition collection are the most exciting art movements of the last 130 years: from French impressionism to German expressionism to the Russian avant-garde and the present. Monet's Water Lily Pond, Degas's Dancers and Renoir's Girl are on view, alongside paintings by Macke, Chagall, Rothko, Rainer and Katz.

Address: Central, Albertinaplatz 1, Vienna, 1010
Telephone: +43 1 534 830.
Opening times:

Thu-Tue 1000-1800, Wed 1000-2100.

Website: http://www.albertina.at
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts)

KunstHausWien is the unmistakable architectural expression of Friedensreich Hundertwasser's unique vision. Appearing like a Klimt painting seen through a kaleidoscope, the building contains an exhibition of Hundertwasser's artwork as well as a bright café with chic clientele and a relaxing garden. Art is a central motif of Viennese life and this is the place to come if you want to understand why art and Vienna are so inexplicably linked. The nearby Hundertwasserhaus is an apartment project, which can only be viewed from the street.

Address: Central, Maria-Theresien-Platz 1, Vienna, 1060
Telephone: +43 1 525 240.
Opening times:

Fri-Wed 1000-1800; Thu 1000-2100 (Jun-Aug); Tue-Wed 1000-1800, Thu 1000-2100, Fri-Sun 1000-1800 (Sep-May).

Website: http://www.khm.at
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

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