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Introduction to Vienna Tour

Your essential primer on historic Vienna
From US$164 for 1 person
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Tour Details
3 hours
Product Type
  • St Stephen's Cathedral
  • Hofburg exterior
Photos & Highlights
  • Get acquainted with Vienna's remarkable historical center
  • Led by an expert in history or local culture
Select a date
Tour Description
In this 3-hour introductory tour we will visit Vienna’s First District with an expert in local history. We’ll explore its spectacular monuments, quiet streets and unique elegance, gaining a broader view of the city and the many forces that have shaped this remarkable area. As we walk, we’ll see the remnants of this ancient neighborhood’s many past occupants, including the Celts, Romans, Babenbergs, Habsburgs, the Ottoman Empire, and the Nazis.
  • Ruprechtskirche
  • Maria am Gestade
  • Freyung
  • Ringstrasse
  • Hofburg
  • Stephansdom
  • 3 hours with a PhD or MA-level guide
We’ll begin our tour in the most ancient part of the city, overlooking the Danube Canal, at the romanesque Ruprechtskirche, Vienna’s oldest church. Passing through the original Roman settlement area and center of the medieval city, we’ll visit the Gothic church of Maria am Gestade with its intricate, lattice-like style tower. As we continue to follow the chronology of the city’s development, we’ll stroll through the tightly compacted area once inhabited by the Babenberg court all the way to Freyung, an area of recently restored 18th-century palaces, where we’ll get our first hint of great imperial power: the mighty Habsburgs. While many of the streets of the First District are quiet and narrow, the Habsburgs carved out an enormous area and created an astonishing architectural display of their wealth and power. We’ll head briefly along the famous Ringstrasse, past the Hofburg, the huge structures of Habsburg authority where the Parliament building meets the grounds of the great imperial palace.

As we turn back toward the city’s heart, we’ll discuss what drew artists, musicians, and authors to Vienna, and introduced a strong sense of Viennese culture. Our final stop will be at the Stephansdom, Vienna’s cathedral, an architectural marvel of Gothic design and an icon of the city’s centuries of survival in the midst of political and religious upheaval. By the end of our time together, we’ll have a sense of the many layers of history that have built up over centuries and make the city what it is today.

For a deeper look at the opulence of the Habsburgs, join our Schonbrunn Palace Tour. Or, for a closer look at music in Vienna, consider our Vienna Opera Tour.
Where do we meet? Where does it end? 
The tour starts and ends within the First District. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point.

Do we go inside the venues?
Since this is an introductory tour, we'll see the exteriors of the buildings mentioned.

Can this walk be booked for other times of day? For example, in the late afternoon? 
Yes, certainly! This walk can be booked on a private basis for any day, any time. In winter (November-February) it's better not to start later than 1:30-2:00 pm because it gets dark by 3:30-4:00 pm.
Where You'll Start
268 Reviews (4.74)

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Alexa was amazing, so knowledgeable as well as warm and welcoming. We were blown away by our first tour in Vienna and treasured each moment!
Absolutely terrific! Only regret is that we had not scheduled tour for first day in Vienna, and for next day to follow. Clearly, Elizabeth is a true professional.
Our tour was fabulous. Informative, interesting and really enjoyable. Stephan was a superb guide.