New Year's Eve Concerts: Hofburg Palace

Vienna Walking Tours: 9 Thought-Provoking Walks

If you belong to the smart 27% of Vienna visitors*) who are keen to learn about the city while there check these eight Vienna walking tours. Since my home city offers almost 100 guided walks start on top with this manageable list of the best group tours: from basic orientation walks to expert-led tours, from Jewish to architectural, shopping and movie tours.

Basic Vienna Walking Tour

Vienna Walking Tours: HofburgIn most cases, tour guide Herbert leads this walk. According to his glowing customer reviews he has turned into an attraction in its own right.

Essentially, Herbert provides first time visitors to Vienna with an ‘excellent’, ‘informative’, ‘entertaining’, ‘cheerful’ yet ‘relaxed’ overview of the city, its people, culture and food, and will help you connect with the best places to visit in Vienna.

You will step right into the Imperial Palace (Hofburg), a town within a town. Follow Herbert through baroque alleys and historic squares of Michaelerplatz and Josefsplatz, to the Vienna State Opera. Vienna’s landmark St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Mozart house right next finish off the tour. Don’t hesitate to ask about current developments in Vienna and Austria. You will get a great response. The 2-hour tour is available in various languages.

Small Group Walking Tour

Vienna Walking Tours: Hofburg Imperial PalaceIf you better absorb history, architecture and culture without a guide on loudspeaker, this small group walking tour is great. Unlike most city walking tours, this one also covers the best parts of Ringstrasse Vienna boulevard.

On the one hand you will cover a vast range of top landmarks such as Hofburg Imperial Palace, the Spanish Riding School, the  Vienna State Opera and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. On the other hand, the tour also lets you discover lovely Volksgarten and Burggarten, and brilliant gems such as Lobkowitz Palace, where Beethoven first conducted his Eroica Symphony. That tour feels less than the regular 2.5 hours hours, thanks to an entertaining and knowledgeable tour guide. Learn more about the

Walk With An Expert Intellectual

Vienna Walking Tours: Austrian ParliamentWhat are the best places to visit in Vienna if you are a history fan, work in art, media or love writing? Consider exploring Vienna at the hand of a like minded person.

This Vienna walking tour is guided by historians, professors, art critics, journalists and doctoral students. Because they see Vienna through different eyes so will you. The tour covers key highlights such as Stephansdom, Graben and Kohlmarkt boulevards, Museumsquartier, Ringstrasse, church St. Charles Borromeo, Belvedere Palace and historic Naschmarkt. Expect to see iconic gems such as modernist Loos House.

Insider Food, Coffee and Market Tour

cafe VollpensionUnlike the historic orientation walks this captivating tour takes a few steps further to feel the pulse of the real Wien. First of all, you will start off with a visit to a historical coffeehouse in the center (Innenstadt).

Soon you will leave the tourist center to discover trendy Mariahilf and Vienna’s most famous food market Naschmarkt before moving on to coffee tasting in Neubau. What I love most about this tour is that it includes a deep dive into our much loved Viennese breakfast (Wiener Frühstück) that I regularly recommend to my trip planning clients and exploring locally made beer and wine. With all this action you will find that the 4.5 hours will pass in a flash. 

Vienna City Walking Tour

Vienna Walking Tours: Swiss GateMore than other tours, this city walking tour is both informative and fun. You will join people who love to hear hard facts AND historic anecdotes. Bottomline, the 2.5 hour walking tour covers highlights such as St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Heroes Square in front of the Imperial Palace, Vienna City Hall, and the Austrian Parliament. You will also explore one of the most mystic places to visit in Vienna: Minoritenkirche, where parts of the Da Vinci Code were filmed.

As to the participants’ mix, this tour is popular with young to middle aged people and a good way to connect with other travellers.

 Themed Vienna Walking Tours

Themed walking tours cultivate your personal interests. You can choose to dive into architecture, neighborhood shopping, films or Jewish history. Here are my tried and tested BEST OF.

Vienna Jewish Tour

Vienna Walking Tours: Jewish SynagogueVienna Walking Tours. When my grandmother’s cousin married a jew from Vienna in 1934, the city’s Jewish life was blooming and very different. Do you have Jewish ancestors in Vienna, too?

During this private Vienna Jewish Tour I could basically call the shots. The tour was individually put together. In my case we visited the Jewish Museum in Vienna, the area of the Jewish Temple and other monuments and places where Jewish history happened.

If you prefer a group tour, join the Jewish Vienna walk. I participated in that, too. The tour guide was from one of the best tour companies in Vienna, what a passionate and knowledgeable lady.

Private Culinary Tour Through Vienna

Vienna Walking Tours: Swiss GateVienna Walking Tours. When I grew up my Viennese grandmother used to reward me with a warm Leberkässemmerl from the local butcher during our Saturday morning shopping tour. That was long before my regular midnight snacks at a Vienna sausage stand after a clubbing or a ball. And even longer before I we celebrated our teenage daughter with delicate cakes at Gerstner patisserie. Long story short, as an independent traveller you can get to know all these food traditions in one afternoon. In fact, there are local private and small group guides who have an appetite for international foodies.

Insider Shopping in Vienna: Vintage And Luxury

vintage shopVienna Walking Tours. You will definitely have discovered shops while sightseeing. If you are serious about unique authentic gifts and local craftsmanship join this award-winning local shopping guide. During a morning or afternoon she will take you to independent stores and family businesses offering lovely vintage finds, top regional delicacies, quality jewelry and much more.

These shopping tours are fantastic for buying original souvenirs and for treating yourself. Since I joined that passionate tour guide on a private walk do read my review where to buy when shopping in Vienna.

Third Man Movie Tour

MoelkerbasteiVienna Walking Tours. Highly interesting, wildly funny, truly engaging: I am a big fan of the Third Man movie with Orson Welles. That tour was just the right thing. Apart from learning more about the making of the film, I have turned into an expert on post war Vienna. We went right through the city center most of the time. Whether you have seen the film or not, the stories and anecdotes shared during this tour will resonate with you for a while.

The two-hour tour is conducted in both German and English. More information about the tour.

Jean Nouvel Buildings: Gasometers

Gasometer City ViennaVienna Walking Tours. This unusual tour to Gasometer city is a must for architecture fans. The listed Gasometers are among the best off-path places to visit in Vienna. The buildings beautifully blend 19th century industrial design with contemporary updates. My favourite takeaway from the tour was to learn about the exceptionally closely knit urban community of Gasometer City.

Vienna’s four iconic gasometers host stunning interiors designed by architects such as Jean Nouvel and Coop Himmelblau. Find out what to expect from a guided tour.

*) Source: ‘Vienna visitor survey 2017/2018; Vienna Tourism Office

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