The Top 10 Sights on the Ring in Vienna's Old Town

The magnificently built Vienna Ringstrasse has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its entirety as the historic centre of Vienna. It is the ideal starting point for exploring the sights of Vienna's old town.

Once the city wall ran through here, today the 5-kilometre-long Ringstrasse is characterised by magnificent buildings from the late 19th century. Its architecture in the style of historicism is so significant that it was given its own name: the Ringstrasse style.


Between the majestic buildings from the imperial era, trees and parks provide greenery. Spacious squares create enough space and invite you to explore the interior of the Ringstrasse - also a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its entirety.

Town Hall Square (Universitätsring)

The square in front of the City Hall is one of the most famous and most visited squares in Vienna. There is always something going on here all year round, Austria - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

Rathausplatz is the centre of numerous cultural events. In summer, culinary delicacies, a film festival and summer cinema attract visitors in front of a gigantic screen, and in winter, the Christmas market and ice-skating rink fuel the anticipation of Christmas.

The City Hall houses the offices of the Mayor and the administration of Vienna. The premises of the city government can be visited during free guided tours .

Article: City Hall and City Hall Square in Vienna
Photo gallery: City Hall and City Hall Square in Vienna

Burgtheater (University Ring)

The Burgtheater on Vienna's Ringstrasse is one of the most important venues for German dramatic art in Austria and internationally - © clearlens / Shutterstock
© clearlens / Shutterstock

The Burgtheater in Vienna is internationally one of the most important sites of German dramatic art. Its classical stage and language style served as a model for many other German theatres. A guided tour of the Burgtheater in Vienna offers insights behind the scenes of the famous theatre.

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Votive Church (Schottenring)

The Votivkirche in Vienna towers as a neo-Gothic masterpiece at the Schottentor station next to Vienna's main university, Austria - © Mesut Dogan / Shutterstock
© Mesut Dogan / Shutterstock
The "Ringstrasse Cathedral" at the Schottentor underground station is one of the most beautiful neo-Gothic buildings in the world. Its 99-metre high towers make the Votivkirche the second highest church in Vienna behind St. Stephen's Cathedral.
It was built from 1855 onwards in gratitude for the failed assassination attempt on the then Emperor Franz Joseph I. In its richly decorated interior with its ornate stained glass windows, church services are held in several languages.

City Park (Parkring)

The golden monument to Johann Strauss Sohn is the most famous monument in Vienna's Stadtpark, Austria - © Arseniy Krasnevsky / Shutterstock
© Arseniy Krasnevsky / Shutterstock

The green oasis of the Vienna City Park between Parkring and Heumarkt was opened to the public in the 19th century. It is designed as an English landscape garden and delights the eye with its blaze of colour almost all year round.

Its two restaurants serve upscale Viennese cuisine and serve as event venues. Also to be discovered in the Stadtpark are several sculptures, statues and monuments, including that of Johann Strauss Sohn - the most photographed statue in Vienna.

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Photo gallery: City Park in Vienna

Kärntner Straße (Kärntner Ring)

Kärntner Straße is of historical significance as the first pedestrian zone in the city's history for Austria's capital, Austria - © Lila Pharao / franks-travelbox
© Purple Pharaoh / franks-travelbox

Behind the Parkring is the Schubertring. Past Schwarzenbergplatz, the Hotel Imperial and the Grand Hotel, as well as the shopping centre "Ringstraßen-Galerien", the route continues to Kärntner Straße. It leads from the Kärntner Ring to St. Stephen's Cathedral, the heart of Vienna's old town.

Vienna's most famous shopping street was the city's first pedestrian zone . Hidden among the numerous shops are also historical sights, including the traditional Hotel Sacher with its famous Sacher cake, Mozart's death house and the oldest nail tree in the world.

Article: Kärntner Street in Vienna


State Opera (Opernring)

Over 50 performances, both opera and ballet, delight audiences at the Vienna State Opera on more than 300 days a year, Austria - © Aleksandar Todorovic / Shutterstock
© Aleksandar Todorovic / Shutterstock

At the end of Kärntner Straße is the Vienna State Opera. It is one of the most beautiful and best opera houses in the world, but is not only worth seeing because of its performances.

The magnificent façade of the State Opera House already hints at the splendour that continues inside. Once a year it is the venue for the famous Vienna Opera Ball, the largest event in the country with 12,000 visitors.

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Maria-Theresien-Platz and Museums (Burgring)

The imposing Maria Theresien Square with its magnificent monument is one of the most frequented squares in Vienna, Austria - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox
The spacious Maria Theresien Square on the Ringstrasse was once intended to become part of the imposing Imperial Forum. An impressive monument to Empress Maria Theresa sits enthroned in its centre, surrounded by four equestrian statues, four lawns and four fountains.
The magnificent square is flanked by the two equally magnificent buildings of the Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History. Both museums are among the most important in the world and impress with breathtaking architecture and exhibitions worth seeing.

Heldenplatz and Hofburg (Burgring)

Events are always held at Heldenplatz; in the background, the Prince Eugene Monument and the National Library, Vienna, Austria - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

Behind the outer castle gate, the magnificent Heroes' Square opens up, also as part of the former Imperial Forum. Flanked by two impressive equestrian statues, ceremonies, parades and events take place here.

The largest castle in the world s its enthroned directly on Heldenplatz. The Hofburg was once ruled by the Habsburgs and today houses the offices of the Federal President. Apart from that, you can visit the Imperial Treasury, the Austrian National Library, the Spanish Riding School and the Albertina Art Museum.

Article: Heldenplatz in Vienna
Article: Hofburg in Vienna
Photo gallery: Heldenplatz in Vienna
Photo gallery: Hofburg in Vienna

Volksgarten (Dr.-Karl-Renner-Ring)

The idyllic Volksgarten in the heart of Vienna can be accessed via three entrances at the Burgtheater, Heldenplatz and opposite the Parliament, Austria - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox
The name of the Volksgarten is still a reminder of this today: this green space was opened to the public in 1823 as Vienna's first park. The strictly geometrical paths and the symmetrical flowerbeds were laid out at that time in order to better supervise the people.
Today, a gigantic Oriental plane tree, an 80-year-old rose bush, the columned Theseus Temple, a disco, two coffee houses, three monuments and Vienna's oldest public toilet facility can be found within the floral splendour.

Parliament (Dr.-Karl-Renner-Ring)

The Pallas Athena Fountain, Austria, is enthroned in front of the columned entrance hall of the Parliament in Vienna - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

Behind the architecturally imposing walls of the Vienna Parliament, guided tours explain the Austrian state system. In addition to the marble-clad entrance hall, the meeting rooms and the plenary sessions of the National Council are open to the public free of charge.

Article: Parliament in Vienna
Photo gallery: Parliament in Vienna