23 Things Vienna Is Famous And Known For

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Vienna is famous for its imperial history and architecture, profound musical heritage, vibrant art scene, and irresistible aroma wafting from traditional coffee houses.

Vienna is the artistic capital of Austria that holds an enviable position in the tapestry of European culture and history. Despite being landlocked, Vienna is known for its majestic beaches because of its location on the Danube River. Similarly, it is great for skiing, as The Austrian Alps cover 62% of the land.

Named the ‘City of Dreams’, Vienna exudes an aura that transcends time featuring a unique blend of experiences.

What Is Vienna Known For? 

Vienna is famous for its historical grandeur and spectacular buildings with impressive architecture, particularly palaces and opera houses. In the same way, it is rich in culture thanks to the ball and festivals it holds annually. Worldwide, Vienna is known for being one of the best cities to live in, according to the liveability index.

History, Culture, And Traditions Vienna Is Known For

The Wine Capital 


Whether you enjoy wine with friends, romantic dinners, or alone, Vienna is the city to experiment in. It is the wine capital that Austria is known for, due to the plentiful vineyards and immaculate weather for growing grapes. Since 1132 AD, the city has been perfecting its flavors.

The most popular is Grüner Veltliner, a white wine grape, produced also in Slovakia and Hungary. It has a dry, powerful citrus flavor, and is commonly paired with seafood appetizers. 

A Variety Of Balls


As we mentioned, Vienna is a cultural city. Over 450 balls are held in the city each year, meaning there is an event to enjoy regardless of the season.

One of the best events that Vienna is famous for throwing is the Opernball in February held at the State Opera. Predominantly it features classical music, and the dancing is mainly waltz- after all, Vienna is also known as the waltz capital of the world.

On the other hand, the Blumenball is just as prestigious, showcasing a plethora of flowers at Vienna City Hall.

Music And Concerts


On the same note, Vienna is famous for its long and illustrious musical heritage, which makes the concert culture here a unique experience for music lovers worldwide. The Austrian capital quite literally waltzes to its own tune.

The city is often referred to as a “City of Music” having been home to many famous composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Strauss. Their influence is palpable in the city’s classical music scene, which ranges from grand orchestral performances to intimate chamber music sessions.

That said, you will be able to plenty of musicals and concerts to attend. And there’s no shortage of venues in Vienna where you can soak up the city’s rich musical history. Apart from the renownded Vienna State Opera, there is also the Musikverein, Konzerthaus and even some churches hold concerts.

Some of the popular ones you can attend include the following:

The Coffee Culture


The Viennese are infamously critical of coffee, and rightly so. 

Coffee culture in the capital is widespread and plays an instrumental part in the day. Coffeehouses are traditionally elegant and chic, typically in a Historicism design. The tall ceilings, newspaper tables, and red-velvet chairs create a luxe atmosphere. 

Viennese coffee is sold globally. Traditionally, it is served in tall, transparent glasses with whipping cream and shaved chocolate on top. 

The Battle Of Vienna

Undoubtedly the most significant historical event that Vienna is famous for happened in 1683. The Holy Roman Empire, of which Vienna was a part, fought the Ottoman Empire on Kahlenberg Mountain. This was a consequence of being strategically conquered for trade purposes. 

Led by Leopold I and with the help of Lithuania and Poland, the Holy Roman Empire came out victorious after eight weeks of bloodshed.

The battle was significant because this was the first time in history the Holy Roman Empire fought side by side with the Commonwealth, creating an alliance. It’s a key historical fact about Austria that is good to know.

Districts And Areas Vienna Is Known For


Vienna comprises 23 districts. Landstraße is the 3rd, located on the bank of Donaukanal, a former arm of the Danube. 

In contrast to other areas, it is relatively quiet and peaceful. As a result, it is the ideal destination for a romantic getaway while still being close to the attractions of the city. 

In Landstraße, you can also find one of the most famous landmarks in Austria, The Belvedere Palace. The complex houses The Orangery and The Stables, as well as a park and museum.



Mariahilf is a small yet chaotic district known for its luxury boutiques and elegant architecture. 

It is best known for Mariahilferstraße, one of the best shopping streets that Vienna is famous for. The 1.8-kilometer street is the largest in the city, peppered with international chains and lavish cafes. 

Here, you can also find the 19th-century Theater an der Wien, where Beethoven once resided. 


Wieden is regarded as a student city because of the dynamic nightlife and the University of Technology. It has trendy stores, boho cafes, and affordable attractions.

Nevertheless, Wieden is as cultural as any other district. The Wien Museum on Karlsplatz Square has an abundant collection of arts, history, and archaeology. Close by is the Karlskirche Church, an 18th-century Baroque structure.

Innere Stadt


Innere Stadt is the 1st district of Vienna. It is found in the heart of the city and is known as the Old Town. This is because it is the most historical district and houses one of the oldest streets that Vienna is famous for, Blutgasse.

Despite its popularity, Innere Stadt has the smallest population in the entire city. Instead, it is interspersed with landmarks such as the Hofburg Palace and Ringstrasse Boulevard.

Landmarks And Architecture Vienna Is Known For

St Stephens Cathedral


St Stephens Cathedral is a 136-meter church dominating the Vienna skyline, as it is the tallest church in Austria. 

The 1578 structure is made of limestone with Romanesque architecture. Its most distinct feature is the ornate tiles covering the choir resembling a double-headed eagle symbolizing freedom and royalty.

It also features 13 bells, one of which is the 2nd largest swinging bell in Europe. Climb to the top of the tower for some breathtaking city views (and a good workout!)

Schönbrunn Palace


The Schönbrunn Palace is a baroque fortification built in 1700. An interesting fact about Austria is that it was the home of the House of Hasburg, where all but one Holy Roman Emperor was from.

Formerly, Schönbrunn Palace served as the summer residence of the Hasburg Monarchy, hosting royals such as Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elizabeth.

The regal complex includes a garden with several sculptures. The Neptune Fountain is amongst the most noteworthy, ordered by Maria Teresa, a powerful Tuscan ruler. In addition, there are Roman ruins, consisting of a rectangular pool and an ancient arch.

>Check Skip-the-line Entry & Tour Of Schönbrunn Palace

Spanish Riding School

Vienna’s Spanish Riding School is one of the most famous equestrian institutions in the world, renowned for its beautiful Lipizzaner horses and precision riding displays. The school dates back to the 16th century, when Lipizzaner horses were first brought to Vienna from Spain.

Established during the Habsburg monarchy, the Spanish Riding School got its name from the Spanish horses that were considered the most suitable for the sensitive and elegant art of classical horsemanship. Today, it’s one of the few places in the world where the Renaissance tradition of classical dressage is still practiced in its original form.

That said, one of the most popular activities here is to catch a live show, watching the elegant white horses perform intricate dressage routines with their skilled riders. The performances are accompanied by classical music, providing a mesmerizing experience.

If you are interested in digging deeper into the world of classical horsemanship, guided tours of the stables and school are also available. They give you a behind-the-scenes look at the school’s history, the breeding of the Lipizzaners, and the daily life of the horses.

Belvedere Museum


Vienna is known for its art scene and the Belvedere Museum is one of the city’s most famous art museums. It is renowned for its impressive collection of Austrian art from the Middle Ages to the present day. The museum is housed in a stunning Baroque palace complex, consisting of the Upper and Lower Belvedere buildings.

The Upper Belvedere houses the world’s largest collection of paintings by Gustav Klimt, a seminal figure in Vienna’s art history. The most notable piece here is none other than “The Kiss”. Conversely, the Lower Belvedere focuses on temporary exhibitions that cover a wide range of eras and genres.

When you visit, don’t just focus on the interior; take time to really soak in the intricate exterior as well. Built in the early 18th century, the Baroque palace complex which served as a summer residence for royalty is a masterpiece in its own right.

>Check Tickets To Belvedere Museum (Upper)

Vienna Opera House


The Vienna Opera House is a Renaissance Revival structure dating back to 1869. 

Aside from poignant works by Mozart and Strauss, it is the most renowned building Vienna is famous for due to its innovative architecture. There are arches, verandas, and intricately built roofs. Inside, there are paintings, medallions, and a capacity for over 1,700 seats.

It holds a record for a standing ovation of 80 minutes, the longest in the world, for an Otello performance in 1991.

Viennese Giant Ferris Wheel


A fun fact about Vienna is that it is home to the oldest Ferris wheel in the world. The Riesenrad is a 64.75-meter wheel at the entry of Prater amusement park in Leopoldstadt. It is the most exciting way to view the city, gliding through the air in a wagon. 

Furthermore, the amusement park has several rollercoasters and water rides as well as confectionary stands for a tasty snack. Whether you are visiting with children or friends, there is plenty to enjoy.

>Check Ticket To Ferris Wheel

Food Vienna Is Known For

Wiener Schnitzel 


The most famous Austrian food is wiener schnitzel. There is much controversy as to where it was invented, however, the recipe remains the same. Simply put, it is a thin slice of pounded meat that is subsequently battered and fried. 

Wiener schnitzel, known as Viennese schnitzel, is always veal as opposed to regular schnitzel. Sides vary on the region. Often, it is served with fried eggs, a potato salad, or a green salad.



On chilly winter days, goulash is the ideal dinner. The 10th-century beef stew is an affordable dish that was once eaten by shepherds. The word is derived from Gulyá meaning cattle herder.

Although originally invented in Hungary, Austria is known for amending the original recipe. Instead of vegetables like potatoes, celery, and peppers, it substitutes them for only onion. It is seasoned with paprika for a sweet yet tangy kick and served over spaetzle.



Tafelspitz is an authentic main dish made by boiling tri-tip beef in a broth until it becomes tender and soft. It is plated up with many sides such as boiled potatoes, celery, and carrots. 

It is imperative to serve the meal with apple and horseradish sauces, which create a decadent flavor you are unable to replicate otherwise. Sometimes, chive sauce is used too. This hearty meal was a favorite of Franz Joseph I.

Apple Strudel


The oldest recipe for apple strudel is available at the Vienna Town Hall Library, written in 1697. As a result, the iconic dish remains one of the most celebrated desserts that Vienna is famous for offering, especially in coffeehouses. 

The pastry is filled with a sweet apple filling and traditionally has intricately woven designs. You have to give this delightful treat a try when visiting the country. If you want to take it a level up, you can even take part in the Strudel Show and Tasting at Schönbrunn Palace.

Other popular desserts in Austria include the invention of the croissant in the 13th century, which is called a kipferl, and also chocolate cake!

Famous People From/In Vienna 


One of the biggest composers in the world was Wolfgang Mozart, whose music continues to dominate today. He was born in 1756 in Salzburg and moved to Vienna aged 25. Here he worked as a teacher but spent the majority of his time composing music.

Many landmarks in Vienna are dedicated to Mozart. This includes The Mozarthaus Vienna, a museum that was formerly his residence, and the Operahouse which exhibits his works.

The Mozart Death House is found on Rauhensteingasse.


Ludwig van Beethoven was born in 1770 in Germany. However, he spent the majority of his life in Vienna, where he lived. 

Beethoven was a composer and pianist who was famous despite the adversity in his life, namely losing his hearing at 28 and eventually becoming entirely deaf. Nonetheless, he continued to write influential music such as Für Elise, Symphony 5, and Moonlight Sonata. 

His grave is located in Vienna Central Cemetery, and the Beethoven Museum is found in Probusgasse.

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud was the world’s first psychoanalyst. This includes therapy for mental pathologies by addressing the unconscious mind, such as repressed thoughts and dreams. As a result, Vienna is famous for its nickname, the ‘city of dreams’. 

The Sigmund Freud Museum is on Berggasse 19, where Freud lived for 47 years. His clinical practice was also in Vienna. However, he was forced to escape to England to flee from Nazism.

Erwin Schrödinger

Erwin Schrödinger was a physicist born in Vienna in 1887. He is nicknamed the father of quantum mechanics, as his discoveries have shaped science as it is today.

His biggest achievement was a Nobel Prize for Physics, for the discovery of the wave equation, which he won with the aid of Paul Dirac. Many concepts are named after him, most famously, Schrödinger’s cat theory.

The Erwin Schrödinger International Institute for Mathematics and Physics is an important part of the University of Vienna, dedicated to him.

Discovering More Things Vienna Is Known For

Vienna is known for more than its music, buildings, and food. Whilst these things shape the city, it is also a place of relaxation, culture, and community. There is an emphasis placed on unwinding from the stress of modern society and enjoying the simpler things in life. 

As a result, the most famous landmarks in Vienna are invigorating, awe-inspiring, and scenic. You will find a blend that reflects both its historical past as well as modern needs.



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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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