Vienna, Austria’s capital, lies in the country’s east on the Danube River. Past residents include Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud.
The city is also known for its baroque streetscapes, imperial palaces, including Schönbrunn, the Habsburgs’ summer residence, its coffee-house culture and vibrant design scene. In the MuseumsQuartier district, historic and contemporary buildings display works by Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt and other artists.
Below we have outlined the top 10 best luxury tours in Vienna which, will give you the best possible experience of this cultural capital.
If you want to stay at a luxury hotel in Vienna, Austria or beyond, contact our luxury travel concierge. Our agents offer exclusive free upgrades, free breakfasts, free hotel credit and VIP gifts at luxury hotels like Four Seasons, Aman, Belmond, Hyatt, Ritz Carlton, InterContinental and more… for the same price as the hotel’s own websites.
1. Riding Dinner’s Private Horse and Carriage Rides
Vienna is the cultural capital of Austria and probably the best place to start your tour of Austria. Vienna is famous for its many cultural events, classical concerts, imperial architecture, coffee houses, cosy wine taverns, and Viennese charm.
The best tour in Vienna is Riding Dinner’s private, magical and memorable Horse and Carriage Ride. These rides will show you the sights in style and come with sparkling wine, sandwiches, petit fours and a Butler.
Riding Dinner has been created by enthusiasts of both Vienna and delicious food. Their desire is to combine culinary arts, sightseeing and Viennese tradition in a memorable experience, whilst also conveying the cultural and traditional values of the magnificent city of Vienna.
Enjoy the memorable 40 minutes of your entire Austrian Experience with this magical, ‘Sparkling Sightseeing Tour’. During your horse and carriage ride, you will enjoy delicious Austrian sparkling wine, small savoury and sweet delicacies from one of the most traditional restaurants in Vienna: the Zum Schwarzen Kameel.
Besides the coachman, you will be accompanied by your butler who will take care of your every need and will also serve the food and drinks. This truly is the most exclusive table in the entire city, inside your very own horse-drawn carriage!
2. Boat Ride In Vienna
The Danube river and the Danube canal flow through Vienna like a blue thread. Let the waves carry you to the most beautiful sights that Vienna has to offer. Choose from 3 different routes for your hop on hop off boat ride in Vienna.
Route A shows you the ‘green part’ of Vienna and starts in the heart of the city at Schwedenplatz. Sail on the Danube canal past the Observatory Urania, through the recreational grounds of the Prater to the Freudenau lock and the yacht harbour “Marina Vienna”. The boat trip ends at the Reichsbrücke, the main shipping harbour, where nearby the impressive Franz of Assisi church is located.
Route B presents the modern side of Vienna and its urban skyline of the United Nations, the Danube Tower and the new area called the Danube City. The boat trip starts at the Reichsbrücke, from where you sail on the Danube out of the city to the old lock at Nußdorf. After a short stop, you continue on the Danube canal, where you can experience the historic sights of Vienna. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere on board while the city passes by. The final destination is the new shipping station “Vienna City” at Schwedenplatz, where state-of-the-art architecture and hip restaurants radiate urban flair.
Route C is a round trip on the Danube canal. The starting point is at Schwedenplatz in the city centre. From there you sail upstream to the historic lock at Nußdorf and back. The view from the boat offers you a unique impression of sights such as the Ring Tower, built 1955 with weather lights, the Rossauer military barracks and the Observatory Urania. The final destination is again at Schwedenplatz.
Enjoy Viennese delicacies in the boat’s restaurant or sunbathe on the upper deck. During the cool evening hours and in the winter time the ship is comfortably heated. The large panoramic windows offer you a perfect view of Vienna.
3. Kunsthistorisches Museum
This is a tour that you can carry out on your own but it must be on your bucket list next time you tour Vienna. Explore the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, containing works by Europe’s finest painters, sculptors and artisans.
You will tour around a neoclassical building that rivals the art within. Collections span Classical Rome to Egypt through to the Renaissance. Don’t miss the old masters in the Gemäldegalerie.
4. The Spanish Riding School Tour
Enjoy a cocktail in the reception room while you explore the history of the Spanish Riding School, followed by a rehearsal performance.
The Spanish Riding School in Vienna is the only institution in the world where the classic equestrian skills have been preserved. Treat yourself to an unforgettable experience showed by the precision of movement of the Lipizzan horses, which move in perfect harmony with the music.
The Spanish Riding School and its world-famous Lipizzaners offer the highest standard of horse-riding art in the Baroque ambience of the Imperial Palace.
5. Ringstrasse Tram Tour
if you are in Vienna on a budget, this do it yourself (DIY) tram tour is a must do. Trams are the cheapest way to see the sights while mingling with the locals. Take this tour on the Vienna tram past all the city’s palatial monuments.
Board tram 1 at Schwedenplatz (platform B) and tour past the Monument to the Victims of Fascism at the former Gestapo headquarters site. Next up is Vienna’s Börse Palais (Stock Exchange), before you arrive at Schottentor station with its beautiful neo-Gothic steeples.
Further along this tour, you can admire the neoclassical facade of Parlament, Austria’s parliament and fountain before reaching the Outer Palace Gate, the Roman gate that leads the way to the Imperial Palace, the Hofburg.
After passing the State Opera House, Staatsoper, before reaching Stadtpark, the Danube Canal and Schwedenplatz.
6. Schönbrunn Palace
Schönbrunn Palace is one of Vienna’s most popular attractions. Schonbrunn Palace is the sprawling former imperial summer residence. You can tour this palace and some of the impressive 1,441 rooms in the Schönbrunn Palace, each with a different style.
A visit to the piano nobile at Schönbrunn Palace begins at the Blue Staircase. The tour continues through the imperial apartments and the magnificent state rooms including the residential suite of rooms occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth in the west wing, which are furnished in nineteenth-century style.
The state rooms in the central section of the palace, the imperial apartments of Maria Theresa and Franz I Stephan, and the Franz Karl Apartment, which was occupied by Franz Joseph’s parents, Archduchess Sophie and Archduke Franz Karl, are also part of this tour.
It is here that Young Mozart gave his very first concert at the age of six to Empress Maria Theresa in the resplendent Mirror Room.
An inventory of the palace gardens in 1900 counted 25,000 orchids of 1,500 different species which held the record as the largest collection in Europe at that time.
7. Local Vienna Tour: Food, Coffee and Market
Get a thorough introduction to Vienna’s dynamic food and drink scene with a local showing you the best places to stop for all manner of sweet versus savoury on the Private Vienna Tour: Food, Coffee and Market.
Tour through the trendiest neighbourhoods and discover the legendary markets of this extraordinary city. Find out where to sip the best coffee in a city filled to the brim with historic coffeehouses and hear about the legendary debate over who invented the most famous dessert in Vienna.
Because your guide is local, they can share some of Vienna’s most beloved coffee spots, and you can tour and discover historic gems and locals-only hotspots.
Begin your Vienna tour on one of the most famous and attractive shopping streets in the city: The Graben. Home of the court jeweller Heldwein and the famous porcelain factory of Augarten, the area is littered with imperial architecture, opulent coffee shops, and first-rate eateries.
After a brief stroll, you will stop for a quick coffee and a snack, but not at one of the famous cafes, because only tourists go there, instead, you will be taken to one of the few cafes that locals still visit in the first, a proper and still functioning ‘Kulturcafe’.
To Nasch means ‘to nibble’ and that is exactly what one could do at the Naschmarkt, easily one of Europe’s best open-air markets. It is a mile long and showcases over 120 food stalls and some delectable restaurants that are cooking up some of the best food in the city.
While the Naschmarkt is a must-see, any local will tell you that they rarely pay it a visit, unless they fancy fighting out with tourists for the vendor’s attention. Instead every local has their own market that they like to visit, these may not be as big as the Naschmarkt, but they are certainly more lively and less touristy. To that end, you will be whisked away from the Naschmarkt to a real ‘functioning’ Viennese market.
Your local guide will introduce you to some Viennese guilty pleasures, sweet and savoury and life on the streets that no guide book would ever mention. Pausing to take in Wurstelstand life offers you the chance to taste Austrian’s favourite dish (Hint: it’s not schnitzel) while grabbing a beer or spritzer will help you rehydrate after the buzz of the markets.
8. Good Evening Vienna: Dusk Tour Of Vienna
Explore Vienna by night on this early evening tour of Austria’s glittering capital.
Visit some of the city’s trendiest neighbourhoods and get insider information on the best places to eat, drink and be merry from your friendly local guide. Enjoy a few drinks with us, alongside some delicious Viennese street food and indulge in a chocolate tasting that you’ve been dreaming about your whole life!
This tour is a fabulous introduction to Viennese nightlife, giving you plenty of ideas on how to spend your nights in one of Europe’s most dazzling cities!
9. Danube Valley Excursion Tour
The Danube Valley Excursion day trip takes you from Vienna to the Wachau, a picturesque valley along the Danube, known for its excellent wine.
The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and showcases many medieval castles, impressive monasteries and a breathtaking landscape.
The Danube winds its way through this romantic scenery, full of history and legends and past charming old villages and steep vineyards. The old castles tshoe the former importance of this trade and traffic-way. One of them – Dürnstein – is especially famous, because here King Richard Lionheart was imprisoned while waiting for his ransom to arrive from England.
The heart of the Wachau is the old wine-merchants’ town Krems. At the end of the day, you will visit Melk, the “Cradle of Austria“, the magnificent Benedictine Abbey, a pearl of the Austrian Baroque.
10. Vienna Woods And Mayerling Tour
This Vienna Woods And Mayerling tour is a perfect extension to your stay in Vienna. It takes you to the Vienna Woods, Mayerling, Abbey Heiligenkreuz and Baden. Take a bus tour through the picturesque Vienna Woods and enjoy a guided tour of the memorial chapel at Mayerling and of Heiligenkreuz Abbey, and learn about the mysterious deaths of the son of Franz Joseph I and his lover.
Stop off at a café and enjoy cake at Klostergasthof Heiligenkreuz and finish with a guided walking tour through Baden.
Disclosure: Most reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.