A Tour of Vienna from the Ringstrasse
The City of Vienna evokes images of statuesque Baroque architecture, the sounds of Mozart, Strauss and the Vienna Choir Boys; not to mention, the promise of Schnitzel, Strudel, and Sacher Torte, and you can find all of these with a tour of the Ringstrasse.
This wonderful City is divided into six central districts (with more beyond). It is worth downloading a Vienna Pass on your mobile, not only does this give you access to central trams, buses, underground and rail, but also the City’s top 10 attractions. At €89 it'll be worth it, with access to many of the sights included. Equip yourself with a City map, find your nearest tram stop and jump on.
Tram outside the Opera House.
Karlsplatz & Nachtmarkt
- First stop, is the grand Vienna Opera House, book a guided tour to see behind the scenes or book well in advance for performances. The Nachtsmarkt to the south is a seemingly endless food market and thriving pop up restaurant scene.
The Opera House, Vienna.
The Museum District & Neubau
- Further along, peppered with the lawned landscapes of the Burggarten and the Volksgarten, lies the incredibly grand Museum Quarter, including the Kunthistoriches Museum with its acquisitions from ancient Rome to Egypt and the Renaissance. Not forgetting the Art Galleries with their vast collections from the Old Masters.
- To the southwest is the Neubau district, full of arty design shops, boutiques, vegan cafes and buzzing breakfast bars.
The Innere Stadt and the Hofburg
- Here you'll find the unmistakable Gothic Rathausplatz, Vienna’s Parliament building surrounded by its own Rathauspark which, in winter, becomes an ice rink and site for the renowned Christmas Market. Why not visit the wonderful Café Landtmann, a traditional Viennese coffee house, a must when in Vienna.
- Stroll through the winding streets towards the Hofburg Palace which houses the Spanish Riding school and the wonderful Burgkapelle.
Horse and carriage before the Hofburg Palace.
- Head north past numerous museums to Stephensdom, the incredible gothic masterpiece of St Stephen’s Cathedral, with a spire that rises 137 metres above you. The wow factor of the ornate roof can be seen from the square but the Sky Bar (on the top floor of the Steffl department store on Kärntnerstraße) affords a stunning rooftop view.
St Stephen’s Cathedral.
Prater and East of the Danube
- The Ringstrasse heads on towards Prater and the Ferris Wheel, this district comes alive in the summer with activity parks, bars and urban beaches beside the Danube.
- There are some incredible sights which you simply can't leave Vienna without visiting. The Schloss Belvedere, the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy is a masterpiece in the making, with sweeping sculpted gardens rising up towards one of the most awe-inspiring baroque palaces. The views encompass all of Vienna and the interior holds galleries of Medieval and Modern Art including the famous Klimt and works from the Impressionists and Romantics.
- The remaining iconic building from the Hapsburg Empire which has to be mentioned is the Schloss Schönbrunn which lies to the south-west of the city. This hits another level of opulence and is where Mozart played to a Royal audience in 1762 at the age of six. With endless gilded corridors and fabulous formal gardens, it's a great full stop to your visit to Vienna.
Below, find our recommendations of some of the best places to stay on your tour of the Ringstrasse.
Hotel Grand Ferdinand 188 rooms from £164Vienna
A chic boutique hotel on the bustling Ringstrabe boulevard, in the heart of the city. Uniquely designed rooms, high end furnishings and open bathrooms with tubs. There are three gourmet restaurants to choose from and the rooftop pool offers great views of the city. An understated glamorous choice.Romantic Break - Deep soaking tubs, plush bedding, spectacular views and fantastic food combine to make this a couples paradise.City Style - Sleek, smooth and achingly cool- this hotel exudes an elegance and refined charm like no other!Local markets - Located in the heart of the city, easy to explore important sights, restaurants and shopsSights nearby - The Vienna State Opera and the City park are moments away.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet
DO & CO 43 rooms from £228Vienna
A chic contemporary hotel with an unbeatable location. Stunning views from the bar stretch across the city. Rooms feature modern open bathrooms. The uber cool bar & restaurant is ever popular. Ideal for a stylish city break.Foodies - The restaurant is sure to knock your socks off with an impressive traditional Austrian fare plus top notch sushi and sashmi bar.City Style - Sleek and understated chic design, impeccable service and unbeatable location with views over Stephansplatz.Local markets - Have a culinary adventure at nearby Vienna Naschmarkt, packed with stalls and restaurants.Sights nearby - Visit the impressive St. Stephens Cathedral or simply admire its facade from the terrace.Recommended by - Tablet, Frommers, Kiwi Collection, Michelin Travel, Design Hotels
The Guest House 39 rooms from £206Vienna
Contemporary 5* hotel. Large bedrooms have modern furniture, Bang & Olufsen electronics, stunning city views and big grey marble bathrooms. Delightful brasserie designed by Sir Terence Conran offers updated traditional dishes. Private, chic and central.Local exploring - With the feel of a private apartment, but with 5* hotel service, a chic base to explore Vienna's streetsSights nearby - Hofburg Imperial Palace & St Stephen's CathedralGreat walks - Five minute walk from Burggarten ParkViews - Great views from hotelRecommended by - Tablet
Topazz 33 rooms from £172Vienna
A 21st century take on historic Vienna in the very heart of the old city. Comfortable, stylish, funky and fun rooms. The elliptical window seats and modern artwork in every room are stunning features. Good bistro and access to its sister hotel's excellent restaurant and humming rooftop bar.Sights nearby - Superb location right in the heart of the city. Walking distance to most major attractions.City StyleLively - Hip and happening.Local markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - Tablet