Imagine you are going back in time, walking through huge parks, surrounded by buildings with astonishing baroque architecture, breathing fresh air and feeling like a Kaiser or Kaiserin (emperor and empress in English) with every step.
Sounds cool, right?
Did a city come to your mind while reading the previous lines?
If you thought about Vienna, then you've hit the nail on the head.
The Austrian capital has loads of historical spots where you can expand your knowledge and make your visit to Vienna an unforgettable experience.
Check out the best places for history in Vienna below…
1. St. Stephen’s Cathedral
Located in the heart of the city, the cathedral holds nearly 900 years of history around its walls and is a symbol of Austrian identity. If the cathedral’s walls could talk, they would tell us many stories.
This iconic building was not only witness of Mozart's wedding and Antonio Vivaldi's funeral, but World War II. During the war, the cathedral suffered heavy damage, but the Habsburg duke Rudolph IV, a.k.a. “The Founder”, laid the foundation stone for the reconstruction of the cathedral in 1359. Nowadays, the cathedral can be seen in a Gothic style with beautiful mosaic roof tiles.
Insider tip: the entrance to the cathedral is free, but it’s worth paying 5€ to climb the south tower and get an astonishing view of the city.
Karlskirche is considered one of the most astounding baroque buildings in Vienna. It was built during the reign of Emperor Charles IV and dedicated to St. Charles Borromeo. This magnificent building is famous for a large dome and two flanking columns of bas-reliefs, symbols of imperial power.
The church has an elevator, which will take you to a height of 32 meters, where you can look at the painting walls from up-close and enjoy a breathtaking view of Vienna from above.
3. Schonbrunn Palace
The palace, built in 1696, used to be the summer home of the Habsburg monarchs. Now, a UNESCO World Heritage, Schönbrunn has been a witness to many important events through the years, like a little six-year-old prodigy called Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart making music in the mirrored hall of the palace.
The residence, located in the southwest of Vienna, is one of the most beautiful Baroque complexes in Europe.
Even though you need a ticket to enter to the buildings, there’s a large, stunning park which is home to splendid fountains, statues and monuments you can visit for free. So if you want to indulge your prince or princess fantasy, this is the place to do it.
Be sure to arrive as early as possible and spend a day like a royal.
4. The Volksgarten
Vienna is all about museums, castles and historical churches, which are sure to better your knowledge if you are a history geek, but what about learning more about the capital’s history in a place where you can relax and learn at the same time?
Let me tell you about Volksgarten or ‘People’s Garden’ in English - a beautiful landscape park located on one side of The Hofburg palace complex. It was originally used for fortifications, which were destroyed by Napoleon back in 1809 and laid out again by Ludwig Remy in 1821. At first, the park was meant to be a private garden for archdukes, but it was opened to the public in March 1823.
Nowadays, the Volksgarten has notable points worth visiting like the Theseus temple, the Sisi memorial and a cosy café where you can take a break and plan your next steps.
Insider tip: are you a fan of roses? Visit the park from June onwards, when the roses start blooming. Go in the early morning and take your killer pictures!
So, you’ve been walking around palaces, museums and even parks, and at some point, you need to stop by to eat. Not sure what to get? Vienna is well-known for its Schnitzel, but what if your belly is craving for something else?
If you’re looking for something different, Naschmarkt is a wonderful idea. It’s a huge market located at the Wienzeile over the river, and it has around 120 market stands and restaurants where you can find food according to your taste.
From Viennese to Indian, and Vietnamese to Italian, this colourful market has become a meeting point for young and old. You can find food every time, from breakfast to a late-night snack. The market is open from Monday to Saturday and has a flea market worth visiting, even if you go there just for a look.
Let me finish with a bonus you can’t miss if you are in Vienna. After the incredible places you visited and the unbelievable history you’ve heard about in every spot you stopped by, you deserve a rest in a calm but cheerful place.
Here comes my tip. St. Christopher’s Inn offers a comfortable stay in one of Vienna’s top locations, where you’ll feel at home from the first minute you arrive. You won’t only sleep like a baby in your cosy room, but you’ll also enjoy the daily events in Belushi’s Bar downstairs and make plenty of new friends.
Make your own history and check out the brand new Vienna hostel!