On this Jewish Vienna walking tour, we'll peel back the layers of history that lay thick over the city's first district, the Inner City, and second district, Leopoldstadt. We’ll walk a constellation of both famous and hidden spots, including the City Temple, Holocaust Memorial, the former site of the Leopoldstädter Temple, and neighborhoods of notable Jewish residents like Theodor Herzl. Together, we'll discover how the streets themselves have been the hosts to many different eras of Jewish history.
Jewish Vienna Walking Tour
Jews in Vienna were integrated in the city and at times forced apart from it; here they flourished and suffered. For centuries, Vienna’s Jews have been among the influential actors in the dramatic narrative of the city, firmly at the forefront of art, science, and music in Vienna. (For more focus on the music of Vienna, join our Vienna Opera Tour.) On this walk, we’ll dig into tough topics of anti-semitism, class division, and expulsion. But we’ll also sneak a bite at a Jewish kosher bakery and let ourselves be captivated by stories of human resilience. First and foremost, the walk focuses on Jewish life and the contribution of the Jewish community of Vienna, both then and now. Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl wrote extensively of the “striving to find meaning in one's life”—with the layers of the past still so tangible, we’ll use our time together to consider what this sentiment means for Vienna and its Jews today.
Visit the Vienna Holocaust Memorial
We’ll begin deep in Vienna’s first district in front of the City Temple, the only remaining 19th-century synagogue. Here we’ll set the stage for the themes of our walk: the deep relationship of Vienna to its Jewish community, the story of their tragic losses, and their meaningful return.
Questions about visiting the interior of the synagogue? It's possible as an upgrade to your private tour. More information in the FAQ.
Thereafter, we’ll make our way to the stark Holocaust Memorial at Judenplatz, initiated by Simon Wiesenthal. Like many other European countries, Austria still bears the recent scars of war and genocide—however, we can gain a deeper understanding of the country by experiencing how they memorialize those events in public spaces today.
Following the Way of Memory
Our exploration continues on the other side of the Danube canal, in the second district at the memorial site of the destroyed Leopoldstädter Temple, now marked by four white columns rising into the sky. From here, we’ll wind through the second district, taking in the beautiful Jugendstil architecture of the Jewish Theater, the sites of the destroyed synagogues of both the Ashkenazi and Sephardic communities, and the gathering point for Nazi deportations.
We’ll also stop frequently to hear stories of some of the members of the Jewish community who once walked these same streets and whose names are known around the world today: Sigmund Freud, Viktor Frankl, Theodor Herzl, and others. As we circle towards the river again, we’ll look back at the first district and Vienna’s Inner City, tantalizingly close across the Danube canal. Here, we’ll experience firsthand the geographical division that has always underscored both the integration and separation of Jews in Vienna.
What is a private tour?
Our private tours are limited exclusively to travelers in your party. They are designed to provide a learning experience that is completely tailored to you and your traveling companions. Private tours give you more flexibility with scheduling (you decide when the walk best fits in your trip), the ability to tailor your itinerary (we'll work to match the itinerary to the interests and dynamics of your group), and more personalized time with your guide.
What is a semi-private tour?
Our semi-private tours cover many of the same itineraries as our private tours, but they place you with other travelers in groups of 6 or less. They operate on a pre-scheduled calendar, and are designed to provide an opportunity to engage with and learn from other travelers. Most of our semi-private tours require at least three (3) participants to run, although there is some variation from walk to walk. However, there is some variation from walk to walk. As you sign up for a tentative walk we display the minimum number required in order to confirm.
Does this walk include the interior of the City Temple (Stadttempel, the main synagogue)?
The synagogue does not allow external visitors except on their own guided tours, which happen at restricted times. If you would like to add this as an upgrade to your Jewish Vienna walk with Context, please contact us regarding a custom extension.
Visitors can also contact the synagogue independently and sign up for an interior visit. Further information can be found here