15 Best Vienna Tours

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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Vienna holds a number of impressive distinctions.

It’s Austria’s capital, one of the country’s nine states, and with nearly 2 million residents it’s also its most populous city.

For generations Vienna has been the country’s economic and cultural heart, and each year guests from all over the world descend on the historic city to experience some of the most memorable attractions on the continent.

Vienna is rich in history, but it’s also a center of business, recreation, and food, and it’s full of buildings with impressive architecture as well.

Below are 14 of the best tours of Vienna.

1. Private Vienna Welcome Tour with Local Guide

Vienna, AustriaSource: Arcady / shutterstock
Vienna, Austria

Back in the late ‘70s Billy Joel proclaimed, “Vienna waits for you.”

Whether you took the hint and visited then or are just getting around to it four decades later, Vienna is definitely a city that deserves to be experienced.

This private, guided, welcome tour introduces new guests to the city’s most popular attractions, and is a great way to get up to speed quickly for those with limited time.

Depending on available time and the interests of participants, tours can range from 2 to 4 hours, which means you’ll only spend time on the things you want to see.

Entrance fees, food and drink, and optional activities aren’t included.

2. Skip-the-Line Guided Tour of Schönbrunn Palace & Gardens

Schönbrunn Palace, ViennaSource: chaoss / shutterstock
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna

For much of its existence Schönbrunn Palace was home to the Hapsburgs who ruled the country for generations.

It goes without saying that they spared no expense in ensconcing themselves in luxurious appointments, and for many travelers time spent on-site is one of the most memorable experiences of their trip.

Priceless art, gilded furniture, expansive gardens and dozens of staterooms are among the palace’s most impressive features, and guests will learn about the family and country’s history as they’re led around by their knowledgeable guide.

Tours generally last a few hours, and entrance to the Imperial Crypt is an option that may be chosen at booking.

3. Lipizzaner Performance

Performance Of The LipizzansSource: www.getyourguide.com
Performance Of The Lipizzans

For those who don’t know much about horses, Lipizzaners are a majestic breed that have been trained to perform for generations.

Lipizzaners are purported to be the oldest breed in Europe, and they perform feats that seem to defy the laws of physics.

In fact they’re such an impressive cultural attraction that they’ve received recognition from UNESCO as cultural heritage icons.

This multi-hour extravaganza usually leaves spectators breathless, and is accompanied by traditional Viennese music which adds to the already unique and inspiring atmosphere.

Tickets tend to go quickly during peak times, so plan ahead if that’s when you’ll be visiting.

4. Guided Viennese Coffee House Tour

Guided Viennese Coffee-House TourSource: www.getyourguide.com
Guided Viennese Coffee-House Tour

If you can’t get over-caffeinated in a coffee loving town like Vienna in three hours you’re just not trying hard enough.

Not only will participants taste some of the city’s best java in all its delectable forms, but they’ll learn about how beans are roasted, ground, and transformed into the addictive elixir.

Vienna has a distinct coffee culture that most visitors find alluring, and there’s no better way to experience it than as part of this guided coffee house tour.

It’s reserved for small groups, so is a great fit for those traveling with friends and family.

5. Sightseeing Boat Tour with Lunch

Sightseeing Boat Tour with Lunch - ViennaSource: www.getyourguide.com
Sightseeing Boat Tour with Lunch – Vienna

This boat tour along the Danube River is a great fit for international visitors who want their first view of the historic city to be from a unique perspective.

Cruises last about an hour and include lunch with soup, main course and desert.

The boat is both stable and comfortable, and offers guests plenty of indoor area from which to relax or just enjoy the sights if the weather happens to take a turn for the worse.

You’ll see many of the city’s most prominent attractions and lots of stunning examples of medieval, renaissance, and baroque architecture.

6. Strudel Show and Tasting at Schönbrunn Palace

Strudel Show with Tasting at Schönbrunn PalaceSource: www.getyourguide.com
Strudel Show With Tasting At Schönbrunn Palace

Strudel occupies a central place in the lives of many Austrians.

It’s so popular in fact, that a number of tours offer visitors trips to Strudel bakeries that always include tastings.

The famous Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna is a premier attraction that’s been one of the city’s baking centers for centuries.

Guests will see how Viennese strudel is made from start to finish, and even get a copy of the original recipe to try at home.

It definitely won’t be as good as what you devoured at Schönbrunn Palace, but before leaving you’ll have ample opportunity to eat your fair share.

7. Panoramic Night Tour by Bus

Vienna by NightSource: Guniva / shutterstock
Vienna by Night

Vienna is a stunning city regardless of when you see it, but many agree that it’s particularly special at night.

This one hour bus tour is a great way to end a hectic day, and it offers international guests the option of listening to an audio guide in nearly 20 languages.

Participants will see the Vienna State Opera building, Belvedere Palace, and the Museum of Natural History to name a few.

Though you’ll only see them from the bus, you may choose to visit them on your own later in your visit.

Tours end early enough to head out for a nightcap or two.

8. Classic Ensemble Vienna in St. Peter’s Church

St. Peter's Church, ViennaSource: Mistervlad / shutterstock
St. Peter’s Church, Vienna

According to historians it took nearly three decades in the early 18th century to build St. Peter’s Church.

Thank goodness the foremen didn’t rush things, because it’s now one of the city’s most impressive examples of baroque architecture, and it offers regular musical events that are second to none.

Vienna’s Classic Ensemble includes amazing classical music from old-world masters like Bach, Mozart and Schubert.

The evening lasts about an hour and starts promptly at 8:00 pm so don’t be late.

Food, drinks, and transportation to and from the church aren’t included, but it’s near to public transportation so getting there won’t be a problem.

9. Nabiel’s Cooking Classes and Naschmarket Tasting Tours

Naschmarket, ViennaSource: travelview / shutterstock
Naschmarket, Vienna

Small group private tours are great ways to get a more unique experience than you would with larger ones.

This cooking class and tasting tour combo is just the ticket for foodies and those who prefer getting their hands dirty to seeing things from a distance.

In the cooking class portion of the tour you’ll learn lots of traditional Viennese techniques like how to make schnitzel that’s typically ranked as the world’s best.

Then you’ll head out to the Maschmarket to explore and taste a variety of treats from vendors.

Options are available for vegans and those with food allergies and dietary restrictions too, so drop the tour provider a line before booking.

10. Vienna Segway Tour

Vienna SegwaysSource: JJFarq / shutterstock
Vienna Segways

Segways are great ways to get around quickly, and they’re surprisingly safe and fun for those of most ages as well.

Vienna’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and as such it’s chockfull of interesting contemporary and historic attractions that can be easily seen together on this whirlwind 3 hour tour.

It’s a private, guided, small group tour so guests can customize their experience, meaning no time wasted on things that don’t perk their interests.

If you’ve never used a Segway it’s no big deal because they’re easy, and you’ll get all the instruction you’ll need before heading out to see the sights.

11. Vienna Highlights Bike Tour

Hofburg Palace, ViennaSource: Mistervlad / shutterstock
Hofburg Palace, Vienna

Though Segways have their place in urban tourism, they’re not very fast, are limited by terrain, and don’t permit riders to get much exercise.

Enter the traditional bicycle—a reliable mainstay of transportation for who knows how long.

This 3 hour bike tour of Vienna is led by a local guide and includes many of the city’s most iconic and photogenic sites.

The Hofburg Imperial Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and the Austrian Parliament Building are chief among them, and sweeping views of the Danube are among the perennial favorites as well.

Participants will have time to stop, relax, snap a few photos and enjoy a cold drink along the way.

12. Vienna Hop-On Hop-Off Tour by Bus

Hop On Hop Off, ViennaSource: Ceri Breeze / shutterstock
Hop On Hop Off, Vienna

Hop-on hop-off bus tours have become increasingly popular in recent years because they offer activity minded travelers the option of venturing out on their own when the spirit moves them.

These Vienna tour tickets are good for either 1, 2, or 3 days, and guests will see many impressive city attractions from the comfort of a double decker bus.

Tours include multiple routes, free Wi-Fi, and commentary as well.

Riders can hop off at any stops that strike their fancy, and choose to spend as much or as little time as they like.

Tours generally last between 1 ½ and 2 hours.

13. Full-Day Vienna Woods Wine Tour

Vineyard, Vienna WoodsSource: Zoltan Tarlacz / shutterstock
Vineyard, Vienna Woods

Vienna is a vibrant and bustling city of nearly 2 million residents, and though it’s full of attractions, many visitors need a break from the urban setting after a few days.

Thankfully the Austrian countryside is characterized my towering mountains, green pastures, ancient forests, and idyllic panoramas.

It’s also home to some amazing wineries that have been churning out world-class products for hundreds of years.

Lower Austria is the country’s wine epicenter, and this tour gets underway at the city’s main rail station before making the scenic trip to the Thermal Region and Vienna Woods.

Tours include round-trip transportation, tours and tastings at two wineries, and interesting narration from your knowledgeable guide along the way.

14. Private Guided Tour of Musical Vienna

Vienna State Opera HouseSource: TTstudio / shutterstock
Vienna State Opera House

Vienna has always been a city rich in musical history, and this 5 hour guided tour is the perfect way for music lovers to get their fill in a relatively short time.

Along with your private guide you’ll explore such attractions as the State Opera and Mozarthaus, where the famous composer lived in years past.

You’ll also visit the graves of old masters like Beethoven and Schubert, and learn about the city’s history and culture from your knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide.

Previous guests have described the tour as both informative and entertaining, but it may not be a good fit for those traveling with young children.

15. Concert Tickets for the Vienna Residence Orchestra

Vienna Residence OrchestraSource: www.getyourguide.com
Vienna Residence Orchestra

Unforgettable musical evenings aren’t exactly rare in Vienna, but these concert tickets for the Vienna Residence Orchestra offer visitors a truly memorable experience with one of the continent’s most renowned orchestras.

The Baroque-style Palais Auerspert is where Wolfgang Mozart performed many of his most monumental works, and has been one of the country’s centers for entertainment and culture for ages.

Although the Palais is most associated with Mozart, it also performs other works by composers such as Joseph Haydn and Christoph Gluck.

Concerts start at 8:15 and last approximately 90 minutes.

15 Best Vienna Tours:

  • Private Vienna Welcome Tour with Local Guide
  • Skip-the-Line Guided Tour of Schönbrunn Palace & Gardens
  • Lipizzaner Performance
  • Guided Viennese Coffee House Tour
  • Sightseeing Boat Tour with Lunch
  • Strudel Show and Tasting at Schönbrunn Palace
  • Panoramic Night Tour by Bus
  • Classic Ensemble Vienna in St. Peter's Church
  • Nabiel's Cooking Classes and Naschmarket Tasting Tours
  • Vienna Segway Tour
  • Vienna Highlights Bike Tour
  • Vienna Hop-On Hop-Off Tour by Bus
  • Full-Day Vienna Woods Wine Tour
  • Private Guided Tour of Musical Vienna
  • Concert Tickets for the Vienna Residence Orchestra