Old Town South Walking Tour, Vienna (Self Guided)

The Innere Stadt, first district of Vienna, is part of the World Heritage Site Historic Centre of the city. Originally the inner city was divided into four quarters, which were designated after important town gates. Take this tour to explore the beautiful landmarks, art galleries and specialty shops in the Southern part of the Innere Stadt.
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Old Town South Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Old Town South Walking Tour
Guide Location: Austria » Vienna (See other walking tours in Vienna)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 17
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 km
Author: leticia
1
Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der Bildenden Künste Wien

1) Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der Bildenden Künste Wien

This very famous institute of art was first organized in 1872. The final competition of the building happened in 1876. At that time, it was named the Academy of Fine Arts. The architect was none other than Theophil Hansen.

Some of the finest Flemish works of art to be found anywhere can be viewed here. You will also be able to enjoy the fine works of Dutch artists of the 17th Century. That list of artisans includes the likes of van Dyck and Rembrandt.

In more recent times, the Academy created a so-called space exhibit. It is now open to the public, and displays more modern types of art from students and professors of the institution. There is also a very good graphic collection to see here. The Academy of Fine Arts Painting Gallery is located at 1, Schillerplatz 3.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10 am - 6 pm. Also open to visitors on most major holidays.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
State Opera House

2) State Opera House (must see)

The State Opera House is an impressive structure with an equally impressive company of performing singers. The history of this location dates all the way back to around the 1860s. The place was originally called the Vienna Court Opera. That name was changed by the Habsburgs in 1920 during the early formation of the first Austrian Republic.

Many of the members of the Opera end up performing with the Vienna Philharmonic. The group has a large repertoire of very famous pieces as well, such as La Traviata, La Clemenza di Tito, and Verdi’s Don Carlo. You will see many very famous singers coming to this venue to sing. Some of the world’s most famous directors have also earned their fame here – from Gustav Mahler to Herbert von Karajan and Claudio Abbado. Apart from the singers and orchestra, the building itself is worth the visit. The State Opera offers guided tours of the location in 12 different languages. They are available every day of the week and last for around 40 minutes.

Tip:
Do not buy opera tickets from the dressed up people outside on the street – they don't sell real tickets!
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Opern Confiserie

3) Opern Confiserie

Opern Confiserie is another fabulous Viennese confectionery. You will be delighted with the vast range of handmade truffles, chocolates, cakes and pastries, brightly colored fruit gelées, shaped marzipan, Austrian liquors and schnapps, teas and delicious coffees on offer.
Open Hours: Mo to Sa from 09:00 AM to 07:00 PM, Su to Su from 11:00 AM to 06:00 PM
4
The Monument Against War and Fascism

4) The Monument Against War and Fascism (must see)

The split Monument Against War and Fascism is actually made up of four statues, each symbolic and thought-provoking in their own right. Designed by Alfred Hrdlicka in 1988, they represent the many individuals exterminated during World War II by the German Nazis.

The pieces are all created from granite. Ironically perhaps, the granite was taken from a location that is part of what used to be the Mauthausen Concentration Camp. The location of the monument sits atop the old Philipphof House. This home was destroyed during a bomb run in March 1945. Sadly, three hundred individuals were killed during that attack. You will also be able to find a stone reproduction of Austria's Declaration of Independence affixed in the Stone of the Republic.

In the scenes depicted here, you can find the so-called “Gates of Violence” that commemorate all people that have lost their lives during the war. Images of knives, clubs, and gas masks that were so commonplace during the first World War, along with chained slave laborers from the Mauthausen Camp, are all depicted. A mother is caught in childbirth, essentially giving birth to a soon-to-be soldier.

The location has been quite controversial with the local community; however, it is still worth the visit, for what it reminds one about that terrible time in history.
5
Bonbons Anziger

5) Bonbons Anziger

Out of the many fantastic places to buy chocolate in Vienna, one of the best is Bonbons Anzinger. Making all of their truffles, confectionerie and chocolates by hand, with decorative designs that identitify them as perfect gifts. Delicate with an attractive aroma, these bon bons with boost your day! You can also stop for a hot cocoa and browse the wares, this confectionerie sells chocolates sourced from all over the world. They also make their own sweets and lollies, in so many varieties that the names are actually untranslatable, specialities which until now only Vienna has known. If you simply can't decide they also sell their own handmade Viennese chocolates in specially wrapped variety packs. An individual Mozart Kueglen, the sweet chocolate confectionary famously made for Mozart, can be purchased on its own for a mere 39c. Buy a dozen! Or buy a large octagonal box for €6.49, or an even more interestingly packaged violin shaped box for 7.20€. Bonbons Anzinger is conveniently situated at Tegetthoffstr 7

Business hours: Monday-Friday 8.00 – 18.30, Saturday 9.00-18.00, Sunday 12.00 – 16.00
6
Kapuzinerkirche

6) Kapuzinerkirche

The Kapuzinerkirche or the Capuchin Church is also a monastery for the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. The building was started in the early 17th century, but was interrupted by the 30 years war. Finished in 1632, the church is best known for the tombs that lay beneath the Church itself. Here one will find the tombs of several of the Habsburg dynasty. The last Habsburg to lie in state at the church was Otto von Habsburg who died in July of 2011.

The Church is aisle-less, and its simplicity lends to its beauty. Although most tourists visit to tour the Imperial Crypt, this historical church is also important. It has survived throughout the centuries with minimal damage from war and other political events.

The Imperial Crypt is the final resting place for 18 Empresses and 12 Emperors. Around 120 other aristocrats also are housed here. Some of the tombs are very lavishly decorated especially those of Marie Antoinette’s mother and father. Tours are available to see the church and the crypt. Additionally, the extraordinary form of the Roman rite is celebrated daily at the church. Although this is not the most spectacular church in Vienna, it is a must for any history buff.
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Kaisergruft

7) Kaisergruft

The Imperial Crypt ( Kaisergruft or Kapuzinergruft) lies below the Capuchins' church (the Church of St. Mary of the Angels) and monastery founded in 1617 and dedicated in 1632. It located on the Neue Markt square, near the imperial Hofburg palace. Since 1633 it has been the principal place of entombment for members of the Habsburg dynasty. The bodies of 143 Habsburg royalty, plus urns containing the hearts or cremated remains of four others, are deposited here (as of 2009). They include 12 emperors and 18 empresses. The most recent entombment 148 was in 2008. The visible 104 metal sarcophagi and 5 heart urns range in style from puritan plain to exuberant rococo. The Imperial Crypt is one of the top tourist attractions in Vienna. To this day, some of the dozen resident Capuchin friars continue their customary role as the guardians and caretakers of the crypt along with their other pastoral work in Vienna.
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Galerie Frey

8) Galerie Frey

The Galerie Frey opened to the public in 2004. This gallery focuses on young artists, specializing in painting. You will see a lot of interesting works of contemporary art here.
Hours: Fri: 11-18.30; Sat: 11-16
9
Galerie bei der Albertina

9) Galerie bei der Albertina

Established in 1973 by Christa Zetter, Galerie bei der Albertina is located at Lobkowitzplatz, Vienna, near Albertina and State Opera House. The gallery's extensive collection is displayed over three spacious floors. Specialized in 20th century Austrian art, including classical modernist paintings and sculptures, gallery's main focus is on art works from the Art Nouveau period, as well as works from the Wiener Werkstätte. Each year, the gallery showcases a selected art work at the two leading Austrian art and antique fairs - the Residenz Salzburg at Easter, and in the Vienna's Hofburg - in November. Works are also presented at "Art Austria" in the Leopold Museum and at "Art Salzburg" in the Residenz Salzburg.

Operation Hours Monday - Friday: 10 am - 6 pm; Saturday: 11 am - 2 pm; Saturdays in December: 11 am - 5 pm
10
Palais Dietrichstein-Lobkowitz

10) Palais Dietrichstein-Lobkowitz

The Palais Lobkowitz, or Palais Dietrichstein-Lobkowitz is a baroque palace in the first Viennese municipality district of the inner city. It is located on the Lobkowitzplatz, a square named after it which previously had been called the "pig market", at which time it was a less distinguished address. The Lobkowitz Palace ranks among the oldest palace buildings of Vienna. The palace is the first important baroque city palace built after the Battle of Vienna, when the aristocracy no longer had to invest its money only for military purposes. The palace facade, unlike its interior, is still to a large extent in its original condition from the time of its construction. After end of the Second World War, the house was used as seat of the Institut Français de Vienne. In the year 1980, the palace became government property, and since the year 1991, after a comprehensive renovation, it has served as the theater museum of the Austrian National Library.
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
Lutherische Stadtkirche Wien

11) Lutherische Stadtkirche Wien

Lutherische Stadtkirche Wien or the Lutheran City Church has been through many changes since it was first built in 1582. At that time it was a Catholic monastery built at the behest of Elisabeth of Austria. She lived here after being widowed and it is speculated that the church was built to atone for the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre.

During the religious turbulence of the 18th century, the church was abandoned. In 1783 the monastery was purchased and divided among the three new owners, the Lutheran Church, the Reformed Church and a private investor who used his portion to build a palace. At this time in Vienna’s history, Protestant churches were not allowed to have steeples or any exterior adornments that would denote that a church was there. The building was significantly altered during this time.

In 1876 the winds of religious fortunes again changed and Protestant churches could now look like a church. Significant modifications were again made to the building. WWII bombing caused significant damage to the Church and the building was again rebuilt with a new face. The latest renovations to the building occurred in the late 1980s with a return to the 1907 look.

Several features have survived all the remodeling and damage. Christ on the Cross is a copy of the van Dyke painting that is the altar piece. There are also marble plates that are relics from when the hearts of several leaders were buried here. The church has no aisles which makes it rather unique too. Located at Dorotheergasse 18, there are also other churches and sights to see within just a short walk.
Sight description based on wikipedia
12
Galerie Hofstatter

12) Galerie Hofstatter

This gallery focuses on works of Austrian activism, one of the most important art movements of the postwar period. Included in this important collection are works by Gareth Hunt and the early work of Bruno Gironcoli.
Hours: Tuesday - Friday 12-18; Saturday 10-14
13
Jüdisches Museum der Stadt Wien

13) Jüdisches Museum der Stadt Wien

The Jewish Museum is part of the Wien complex located in places all across Vienna. It is a fairly new location, having been opened in 1988. Don’t let that fool you, though, as there is plenty to see here.

The location depicts the life of the Jewish people of Austria, with special attention to the culture and sociological aspects of this group. You can find history here that dates back to the middle ages. The biggest collections housed here are the Jewish Community of Vienna exhibit, the private holdings in the Sussmann display, and the world famous Stern collection of Jewish artifacts and pieces. Recently, the Antisemitica display owned by Martin Schlaff has also been given to the facility, so it also now has a prominent showing here.

From a historical perspective, there is a part of the old street from the Jewish sector of town, which dates to 1421, which has been unearthed and placed on display here. You can actually see part of the foundations of the old synagogue on display in this section of the grounds, which measures approximately 5 square meters. It adds an unusual element to the otherwise typical displays of curia.

Operation hours: Sunday - Friday: 10 am - 6 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
14
Petit Point

14) Petit Point

The Petit point stitch is used in canvas embroidery and needle art, which can be found in this small shop in the center of the city. It exclusively sells first-class, high quality Petit point products, which are of great value and are more than just a souvenir.
15
Galerie Wolfgang Exner

15) Galerie Wolfgang Exner

The Galerie Wolfgang Exner focuses on contemporary art. Since 2001 it has presented no less than ten exhibitions each year. Artists such as Christo, Jeanne-Claude, Gunter Damisch, Gareth Hunt, Charles Hikade are on display here.
Hours: Tuesday - Friday 11-18; Saturday 11-17
16
Malteserkirche

16) Malteserkirche

The Maltese Church (Malteserkirche) is a Gothic church of the Knights Hospitaller in Vienna, on Kärntner Straße. The first church on this site is mentioned in 1217, as a "House of the Prueder of the Order of Saint John", a commandry to care and support crusaders. The current building was built in the mid 15th century. In the 17th century it was a favored preaching location for Abraham a Sancta Clara. This building was rebuilt to fit contemporary taste in the Baroque era and in 1806, and the Kommendenhaus (1839) and parts of the church (1857) had stained glass added during the 19th century. The Order ran into financial trouble after the First World War and in 1933 had to sell the church and the Johanneshof, and the church was given over to other uses within a historical preservation order. It was bought back in 1960 and restored in stages, finishing with a general restoration in 1998. The church's high altarpiece was painted in 1730 by Johann Georg Schmidt.
Sight description based on wikipedia
17
Haus der Musik

17) Haus der Musik (must see)

The Haus der Musik is a real hands on museum that is designed to get the visitor to interact at all levels with the displays. It is located in the First District of the city, not very far away from St. Stephen’s Church. The place has won numerous awards for the innovative way that they present their exhibitions.

The 5,000 sq. meter facility used to be the home of the famous Archduke Charles. There are many musical inventions displays among its halls, as well as exhibits that display just how diverse our world’s understanding is as to what exactly constitutes music. The variety may astound you.

Another interesting tid bit about this place is that it used to be the home of Otto Nicolai, who wrote the now famous musical piece “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” This classic comedic opera is also the subject of a display here. In modern times, the museum has also become the official repository of the history of the Vienna Philharmonic. Plan on visiting this most unusual place.

Operation hours: Daily 10 am - 10 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Vienna, Austria

Create Your Own Walk in Vienna

Create Your Own Walk in Vienna

Creating your own self-guided walk in Vienna is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Vienna's Modern and Art Deco Architecture Walking Tour

Vienna's Modern and Art Deco Architecture Walking Tour

Vienna’s architectural displays represent a wide array of time periods and styles. The popular Art Deco style, or Jugendstil, impresses visitors with its bold design and façade. This walking tour will introduce you to some of Vienna’s modern buildings of the 20th century.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Hofburg Sights Walking Tour

Hofburg Sights Walking Tour

The Hofburg area has been the seat of Austrian government since 1279 for a sequence of empires and republics. Throughout centuries, it has been expanded to include various institutions, such as The Imperial Chapel, The Naturhistorisches Museum and Kunsthistorisches Museum, The Austrian National Library and more. The area is also home to the former imperial palace, which now forms part of the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 km
Old Town Center Walking Tour

Old Town Center Walking Tour

The Innere Stadt, first district of Vienna, is part of the World Heritage Site Historic Centre of the city. Originally the inner city was divided into four quarters, which were designated after important town gates. Take this tour to explore the beautiful landmarks, famous museums and specialty shops in the Central area of the Innere Stadt.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km
Old Town East Walking Tour

Old Town East Walking Tour

The Innere Stadt, first district of Vienna, is part of the World Heritage Site Historic Centre of the city. Originally the inner city was divided into four quarters, which were designated after important town gates. Take this tour to explore the beautiful landmarks, art galleries and shops in the East area of the Innere Stadt.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km
Museums in Vienna's North

Museums in Vienna's North

Everyone would agree that Vienna is home to a vast range of world-renowned museums. Their impressive works of art, interesting exhibitions and unique collections captivate visitors. Taking this walking tour, you will become familiar with Vienna’s most famous museums located in the Northern Districts of the city.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.1 km
Old Town Churches Walking Tour

Old Town Churches Walking Tour

Sacred buildings in Vienna impress visitors with their historic architecture and magnificent interiors. The remarkable Gothic Stephansdom, charming Baroque St Peter’s church, and other sacred buildings of Vienna provide not only a history of the city, but a refreshing look at truly beautiful architecture, as you will see in this tour.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Vienna for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Vienna has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes


To save yourself time and money visiting Vienna's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Vienna PASS, Vienna City Card, or Vienna Card. A city pass combines all or multiple Vienna's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels


Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Vienna hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: Hotel Kaiserin Elisabeth, Hotel Royal, DO&CO Hotel Vienna.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Vienna, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours


We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Vienna typically costs somewhere between US$20 and US$100 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to admire Vienna's best-known landmarks in comfort from the open top of the bus listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able to get on and off at any of the stops along the route. The tickets are valid for 24, 48, or 72 hours.

- Pedal your way around Vienna on a 3-hour bike tour to see the city's most spectacular highlights stopping at some of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning interesting facts about the attractions along the way from a knowledgeable group leader.

- Follow an expert guide on a 2.5-hour walking tour of classic Vienna to see the city's greatest landmarks such as the Imperial Palace, Sacher cafe, and St Stephen's Cathedral, plus a number of hidden gems only the locals know about!

- Travel back in time for a glimpse of what the life of the Austrian monarchs was like on a 2-hour tour of their fabulous summer residence and the matching beauty baroque gardens. Feel yourself like a royal, if only for a few hours!

- Follow the trail of Graham Greene's “The Third Man” novel made into a movie in 1949 by Orson Welles, depicting post-WWII spy-ridden Vienna. Explore this fascinating city as it was more than 60 years ago.

- Give yourself away to the sounds of music on a memorable Mozart-filled evening in Vienna attending a combo of the world-renowned Vienna Mozart Orchestra concert and a lavish 3-course dinner at the elegant Bristol restaurant visited, back in the day, by the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and other historic figures.

Day Trips


If you have a full or half day to spare whilst in Vienna, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Salzburg, Melk Abbey and Danube Valley, Wachau Valley, Mauthausen, or Vienna Woods and Mayerling. For as little as circa US$60+ to US$160+ per person you will get a chance to discover the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage sites - harmonious blend of natural and cultural beauty manifested in Austria's medieval towns and countryside, visit Mozart's birthplace and original filming locations of "The Sound of Music" movie, admire picturesque Danube valley with ancient castles, grand monasteries and cute little villages, explore historic locations bearing sometimes grim memories of the past (e.g. the horrors perpetuated by the Nazis) and pay tribute to the Holocaust victims at one of the largest Nazi labor camps during World War II, take a boat trip along the Danube or down to the largest subterranean lake in Europe, and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in Vienna and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned coach or private vehicle to the destination of your choice and back again.