<p>Photo: Prater amusement park</p>

Prater amusement park still delights Viennese of all ages since the opening of its Giant Ferris Wheel in 1897.

Photograph by Georg Knoll/Bilderberg/Aurora Photos

Lipizzaner Stallions
Majestic city ambassadors since the 16th century; teams of white stallions, trained in classical dressage at the Spanish Riding School, perform complex movements and jumps resembling dancing; public performances at the school, located at Hofburg Royal Palace. First district, Michaelerplatz 1; tel. 43 1 533 90 31 0; fee. www.srs.at

Giant Ferris Wheel
Fanciful city landmark built in 1897 for the jubilee of Emperor Franz Joseph I; 212 feet (64.75 meters) tall at its highest point, offering sweeping panoramas of Vienna through the glass windows of 15 spacious red cabins; four cabins furnished with tables for catered dinners and parties. Second district, Prater 90; tel. 43 1 729 54 30; fees. www.wienerriesenrad.com

Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna
Commissioned by Empress Maria Theresa in the 18th century; 9,000 species representing every continent; oldest plants include a 200-year-old Ginkgo biloba, and an Oriental plane tree and two tulip poplars, all more than 150 years old; features endangered native plants such as österreichischer Drachenkopf (Dracocephalum austriacum) and Pracht-Königskerze (Verbascum speciosum). Third district, Rennweg 14; tel. 43 1 4277-54100. www.botanik.univie.ac.at/hbv/

Home to the world’s largest collection of Gustav Klimt paintings, including “The Kiss” and “Judith I”; baroque palace surrounded by a beautiful park. Third district, Prinz-Eugen-Strasse 27; tram D, station Schloss Belvedere; tel. 43 1 79 557 0; fees. www.belvedere.at

Heurigen Wine Taverns: Hajszan
Heurigen are traditional wine taverns, most situated in the vineyards on the outskirts of Vienna, and some of the best in the Grinzing district; typically serve house wine plus a small buffet of blood sausages, cheese spreads, potato salad, and breads. Nineteenth district, Grinzingerstrasse 86; tel. 43 1 37 07 237. www.hajszan.com

Sisi Museum
Celebrates the life and legend of Empress Elisabeth “Sisi” Habsburg; includes clothing, portraits, personal items, and the death mask created after her 1898 assassination in Geneva; covers several rooms in the Imperial Apartments of the Hofburg Imperial Palace. First district, Hofburg; tel. 43 1 533 75 70; fee. www.hofburg-wien.at

Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum)
Collection includes originals by Venetian Renaissance artists Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto; also Flemish masters Rubens and van Dyck, plus Rembrandt, Bruegel, and Velázquez; features Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities. First district, Maria Theresien-Platz; tel. 43 1 525 24 0; fee. www.khm.at

MuseumsQuartier (MQ)
“A place to start the night out; only about one third of visitors actually go to the museums.”—Thomas Rottenberg, local journalist. Cultural district covering more than 71,760 square yards (60,000 square meters); home to seven museums, including the Leopold Museum and MUMOK (Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna), plus numerous exhibition halls and recreational facilities; also outdoor cafés, bookstores, restaurants, shops, and children’s art activities. Seventh district, Museumsplatz 1; tel. 53 1 523 5881 1731; fee for museums. www.mqw.at

Naturhistorisches Museum
Natural history museum with more than 5,000 objects on display; one of the world’s largest meteorite collections, including remnants from an 1882 Romanian meteor shower; also dinosaur skeletons, a giant topaz weighing 258 pounds (117 kilograms), and the “Venus of Willendorf,” female statuette circa 23,000 B.C. First district, Maria-Theresien Platz; tel. 43 1 521 77 276. www.nhm-wien.ac.at

Schönbrunn Palace, Park, and Zoo
Baroque palace surrounded by an elaborate park—star-pattern system of lanes, walks of trees, fountains, and the world’s oldest operating zoo, home to giant pandas and Galápagos tortoises; palace tour includes the Mirror Room, site of six-year-old Mozart’s first concert before Empress Maria Theresa. Thirteenth district, Schloss Shönbrunn; tel. 43 1 81113 239; fee. www.schoenbrunn.at; www.zoovienna.at


About Vienna and Austria

  • <p>Photo: Hofburg Palace</p>


    Get travel tips, see photos, take a quiz and more with National Geographic's Ultimate Guide to Vienna.

  • <p>Photo: Salzburg, Austria</p>


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