Are you looking for things to do in the Vienna historic center? Try our tourist scavenger hunt through the historic center, the Innere Stadt, while discovering its churches and palaces!
It will take you from Stephensdom to the Vienna State Opera, and from Michaelerplatz to the Maria Rotunda. We offer challenges at every step. Each challenge will tell you where you are going next and a bit of local history and advice.
Vienna is the capital of Austria with a population of 2.6 million in the metropolitan area. It is located on the Danube River.
You will see
- Vienna State Opera
- Spanish Riding School
- Mozart’s appartment
- Jesuite Church
- Maria Rotunda
- And much more!
We visited Vienna in 2014 and will do so again in the fall of 2019.
- Starting point: outside the Stephanplatz metro station, at the intersection of Graben and Stock-im Eisen-Platz at 1010 Vienna, Austria
- Distance: 4.1 km / 2.5 mi
- Duration: 3 hours
- Methode: walking
- Required: Fully charged smartphone with internet access (data plan) – Wifi will not be enough.
- Water bottle
- Local map
This region was inhabited by Celts around 500 BC. In 15 BC, the Romans fortified the city which was then called Vindobona. It was to protect the empire from northern Germanic tribes.
In 976, Leopold I of Babenberg is named Count of Margraviate (this region), on the eastern border of Bavaria. Each subsequent Badenberg leader contributed to strengthening the region and the Austrian monarchy. In 1145 the Duke Henri II Jasomirgott moved the Badenberg residence from Klosterneuburg to Vienna. It has remained the capital ever since.
In 1440, the Habsburg dynasty settled in Vienna. It became the capital of the Holy Roman Empire between 800 and 1806. It was the center of the arts, sciences, music and fine cuisine from 1437 onward.
Hungary occupied the city between 1485-1490.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, Christian forces pushed back the Ottoman army twice outside of Vienna. In 1679 a plague ravaged the city, killing one-third of the population.
In 1804, Vienna was once again the capital of the Austrian empire, and then the Austrian-Hungarian empire. The city became the center of classical music with Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler, and Richard Strauss followed one another after that, maintaining the city’s classical status.
The Ringstrasse is built at the end of the 19th century. It’s a large boulevard encircling the historical center of the city.
After World War I, in 1919, Austria became a republic. The Secessionist artistic movement started here, as did psychoanalysis.
In 1934 there was a civil war called the February revolution. During the Second World War, it was quickly invaded by Germany. Russia liberated Vienna at the end of the war and controlled it until 1955.
Since then, the city has maintained an important role internationally, particularly with several UN organizations.