Looking for Vienna Instagram spots that’ll make your social media sing? Need tips for the perfect places for photography in fair Wien?
Well, in a lot of ways, it’s pretty easy to find Instagrammable spots in Vienna. The capital of Austria is decorated like a particularly ornate birthday cake – imagine a cake for an Empress, then chuck a bit more gold and fancy bits on top, and you’re pretty much there. Everywhere you turn, there’ll be something pretty; even fairly nondescript streets out of the city center have gorgeous murals on the walls, celebrating a famous former resident.
But the abundance of beauty can make Vienna a little overwhelming. You can take oodles of pics of fabulous architecture, get distracted by a pretty park for an afternoon, make like a travel blogger and spend two hours getting that perfect shot of a fountain (yeah, I feel your pain). But that means that it’s actually really easy to miss some of the main, most gorgeous Vienna Instagram spots. You don’t want to post a photo to Instagram, and be met with a bunch of comments saying “what do you mean, you missed seeing Belvedere Palace? Are you sure you even went to Vienna?”
No, I say; no! We’re not letting that kind of Insta-shame happen to you. I’m going to give you the definitive list of Vienna Instagram spots, and you can check them off one by one, ensuring that you don’t miss a thing. But, I’m also going to make sure that you make the most of your time in Vienna, because if you reduce a city to just a series of photo opportunities, it’s a pretty hollow experience. So let’s check out the most Instagrammable spots in Vienna, and learn a bit of history and context too!
How to get to Instagram spots in Vienna
I’m going to take a wild guess, and assume that you don’t have a car at your disposal during your time in Vienna. If you do – meh, leave it at the hotel anyway, because most of our Vienna Instagram spots are located in the city center, in easy walking distance from each other! Hurrah! Plus, half of the fun of visiting Vienna is walking those pretty, pretty streets.
However, you probably don’t want to be walking all the time, especially if you’re a bit pressed for time. Whilst I recommend adding these Vienna Instagram spots to a map app – maps.me is a favorite of mine – so you can organize your route and visit as efficiently as possible, you’re probably going to want to take public transport at some point. That floaty dress and insta-ready straw hat are going to look pretty sad if they’re soaked in sweat, y’all, and there’s at least one sight that you’re definitely going to need to visit by tram.
Fortunately for all you budding influencers, Vienna is blessed with fantastic public transport. It’s not even terribly expensive, which is impressive in a city known for being terribly expensive. Even better, the tickets are valid on all three forms of Vienna public transport: buses, trams, and subway. At the very least, you’ll want a 24-hour ticket, but if you’re in town for a few days, go for the 48 or 72 hour tickets.
They’re also pretty easy to get – even before you leave! You can purchase them from the Wiener Linien online shop, or you can skip all that unnecessary paper and buy tickets through the app. I’ve used apps for public transport before, and it’s a simple, secure way to get around!
Why you should find Instagram places in Vienna… for more than photos
It’s nearly time to discover the most Instagrammable spots in Vienna… but first, we need to take a moment.
Being the intrepid researcher and downright nosy travel blogger that I am, I like to haunt a few travel forums and Instagram hangouts in order to see what people are up to. I like to look up places that I’ve visited, and see what people thought, see if they visited the same places I did. I like to see if anyone else got ripped off in that market the same way I did, so I feel a little less bad about myself as a human being. But in general, I just like to share in other peoples’ experiences.
When I got back from Vienna, I looked it up in a few travel forums and on Instagram… and I was completely dismayed to see that some people had beautiful photos, but had no idea what they they’d actually taken a photo of. You can pose beautifully outside a building, with perfect hair and fashion, but if you’re not sure whether it was a church, a castle, or a museum, did you really visit it?
Vienna is much too beautiful, and too interesting, to reduce to a series of backdrops. Take your time at each place: explore, and soak it all in. If it’s a museum, go inside, buy a ticket, and check it out. If you’re in a park, sit a while and take in your surroundings. Read up on the places you’re going to visit, so you know the context in advance, and so you can really appreciate some of the extraordinary places you’re going to see. Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and it’s totally possible to see all the best Vienna Instagram spots without reducing the city to a backdrop.
Make Vienna the star. Your captions will thank you for it!
The 25 most Instagrammable spots in Vienna!
The Vienna State Opera
If you’re looking for Instagrammable places in Vienna, the chances are that you’re going to start at the Vienna State Opera!
It sits right at the head of Vienna’s Old Town, on the famous Ring Road (which contains a few of our Vienna Instagram spots, spoiler fans), and it’s just a logical place to get started. After all, you really can’t talk about Vienna on your Instagram without mentioning its musical history – did you know that the city had residents such as Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, Salieri, Strauss and Schubert? You do now!
You’ll spot the Vienna State Opera as soon as you get near; it’s a grand, two-story building facing the road, with multiple arches and alcoves on the front of the building filled with statues of worthies. Though it’s actually not nearly as old as it looks; construction began in 1863, making it a mere whippersnapper as far as historic buildings go. It was also heavily damaged during the Second World War, a bombardment destroying the front half of the building, until it was lovingly restored. So don’t be fooled by the Mozart impersonators outside, and be tempted to state that the great man played here – he never set one talented foot in the place!
But what it lacks in Mozartiness (and don’t worry; we’ll be going to see him later), it more than makes up for in beauty. Grab a shot from across the Ring Road if you want to highlight the building itself, or make the use of the fountains at the sides of the building of you want to take a portrait!
You really shouldn’t visit Vienna without a day trip to Schonbrunn Palace. If you do, I will hunt you down and confiscate your camera for at least two hours, because it’s simply one of the most beautiful places in the world!
The Palace is located a little way out of the city center – you need to take the U4 subway line or the number 60 tram, for a journey which should take about half an hour. And it’s worth every minute! There’s been a residence of some variety on this spot since 1569, when the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II thought “hey, this place is rather awesome”, and slapped down a mansion and hunting area on the spot. This quickly grew into a palace, and the personal playground of the Hapsburg family, who were Emperors and related to pretty much every royal family in Europe.
When the Emperor Franz Joseph died in 1918, the property passed into the possession of the Austrian Republic, and was converted into a museum. You can enter the building and see the incredible collections within – but what really makes this one of the finest Vienna Instagram spots is the extensive arrays of gardens. Not only does it contain its own zoo (one of the first in the world), but the Neptune Fountain is a downright magnificent, huge basin with water cascading over rocks and statues. You’ve got to see it!
Not enough for your insatiable need for Instagrammable places in Vienna? Walk up the 60-meter high hill, and stop by the Gloriette – a structure with an observation deck, which simply gives the best view of Vienna you’re likely to find!
If you’re looking for more Vienna Instagram spots right in the heart of Vienna city center, then Belvedere Palace really couldn’t be more perfect!
Built in 1697 as a summer residence for Prince Eugene (who was a military commander who won pretty much every battle he set foot in, and therefore could pretty much do what he wanted), the palace was constructed in the Baroque style – basically, as ornate as possible. It also included some fancy gardens for the Prince to stroll around and plot some more military shenanigans, which surrounded the buildings and showed off a fine collection of statuary.
After Prince Eugene died, the palace became the home of the royal family’s treasures – and that’s continued on to this day, as it now hosts one of the best art museums in the city. The Belvedere is best known as the home of Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss, a fact you can’t fail to notice when you visit Vienna; you’ll see it featured on everything from mobile phone cases to t-shirts. If you want to see it in person, you’ll have to buy a ticket for the museum, which will cost you in the region of €14. If you’re travelling with bae, how about utilizing this most prime of Vienna Instagram spots, and staging a kiss in front of it?
If art (or PDAs) just aren’t your thing, you should still visit! The gardens aren’t up to the size nor magnificence of Schönbrunn Palace, but they’re a lovely spot for a photo, whether it’s of the grounds, or of yourself. Be sure not to walk on the grass, though; the gardeners here rightly take their work seriously!
The Palm House
Located just along the street from the Albertina Museum, the Palm House is perfect for those looking for Vienna Instagram spots – or just a good cup of coffee!
Not to be confused with the Palm House at Schönbrunn Palace, this gorgeous building was constructed as a – yup, you guessed it – palm house for the Imperial family, where they could get out of any dreary Austrian weather, and go for a stroll among tropical flora. It wasn’t limited to palm trees, but a multitude of hanging vines and potted greenery… and now, you can go in and eat some brunch in the middle of it all!
Yup, what makes this one of the most Instagrammable spots in Vienna is its Jekyll and Hyde identity, as part-greenhouse, part coffee house/restaurant/bar. You can even come along for a DJ set on some evenings, and dance among the flowers, but if that isn’t high on your list of priorities, come here for a simple breakfast. The Viennese excel in pastries (did you know that croissants are actually Austrian?), and the ones served here are deliciously fresh and flaky. Snap a pic of a croissant, with a pot of jam on the side, surrounded by flowers, and you’ll have an Instagram feed to envy.
If a good, swanky dinner is more your thing, be sure to ring in advance and book a reservation. This is one of the most popular restaurants in Vienna!
The Votive Church
When you’re searching for the best photography locations in Vienna, don’t miss the Votive Church off your list. This is a warm and welcoming place, and a photo of the interior is well worth the walk!
You can find this place just off the Ring Road, and a stone’s throw from the Sigmund Freud Museum (more on that later!), and you’ll spot it from a mile away – it’s a gorgeous, neo-Gothic building with a really interesting history. Basically, back in 1853, when Austria was Austro-Hungary, the young Emperor Franz Joseph was going for a walk when a Hungarian nationalist decided to try his hand at a spot of assassination. The Emperor was saved by a heavy gold collar which partially deflected the blow: shaken, he begged his guards to treat the would-be assassin well. They still executed him, natch, but the Emperor did make sure that his widow got a payout.
In thanks, the Emperor’s brother decided that a big ol’ church was the only suitable way to give thanks to God for the failure of the attempt, and so the Votive Church was constructed. Pop inside, and you’ll be treated to some of the most gorgeous stained glass I’ve ever seen, made even more impressive due to the fact that this place was heavily damaged during World War II. If you come in at the right time, you’ll have sunlight streaming through the colored glass panes, making it an instant must-see for your list of Vienna Instagram spots.
The Votive Church is super-welcoming (have a read of the notice board near the entrance!), but don’t abuse that by getting overly Instagrammy inside. It’s a place of worship for many Vienna residents; be respectful, and keep photos to that of the building.
You might not recognize the name, but Kohlmarkt is one of the hidden gems of the Vienna Instagram spots. Not bad for a fairly short street!
Head around St Stephen’s Cathedral and on to the glitz of Graben, take a right turn, and you’ll find yourself at the head of Kohlmarkt: a glittering street stretching from the cathedral to the Hofburg. Along with Graben, these are the most exclusive shopping streets in Vienna, and they’re decorated to match! But it wasn’t always that way – back when Vienna was a bustling medieval city with an equally-bustling market, the wares on sale were a bit less exciting. “Kohlmarkt” translates as “cabbage market”, whereas “Graben” equates to “ditch”.
Luckily for anyone seeking Instagrammable spots in Vienna, they’ve totally transformed! Graben is liberally decorated with statues, as well as having a nice line in street performers, while Kohlmarkt is home to some of the most expensive stores in the city. Which is saying something in a place where even some simple Vienna souvenirs will set you back a bit, so make sure that your credit card is in good working order before you venture in!
Kohlmarkt is your best bet for a fabulous photo – stand at the Cathedral end, and look down the road towards the graceful shape of the Hofburg. The street is unsurprisingly busy during the day, so if you want a quieter photo or a little space to work, get here early.
St Stephen’s Cathedral
Whilst the Rathaus, with its official status and Christmas markets, might be the technical heart of Vienna, there’s no doubt that St Stephen’s Cathedral is the most beloved structure in the city. Handily, with its decorated roof and beautiful architecture, it’s one of the best Vienna Instagram spots too!
You can’t fail to end up at St Stephen’s: go for a random wander around the city center, and you’ll almost certainly end up there – all roads lead to the Cathedral! It’s simply the most important church building in Austria, and one with a long and noble history. Completed in 1160 – yup, that’s pretty dang old – my personal favorite part of its history is that it caused Beethoven to discover the extend of his deafness. Apparently, he saw a flock of birds scatter from the bell tower, but couldn’t hear the bell itself, which makes you wonder how on earth anyone ever spoke to him.
The cathedral also had a lucky escape in the Second World War, when the German forces were retreating, and the city commandant gave instructions for the cathedral to be shelled and reduced to rubble. The captain in charge of the forces deliberately ignored the order (which wasn’t uncommon – structures in Florence and Krakow had similar escapes thanks to German officers disregarding orders), and the cathedral survived.
The interior of the cathedral is stunning, and well worth exploring, but save your Instagram shots for the exterior. The tiled roof is probably the cathedral’s most distinctive feature, so grab a photo of yourself at the sides of the building, where the coats of arms of Vienna and Austria are emblazoned into the roof!
Blumenhaus zum Dom
Whilst you’re in the area of St Stephen’s Cathedral, quickly pop around the back of the building and take a look at Blumenhaus zum Dom – it’s surely one of the prettiest flower shops in the city, and therefore deserving of a place on our list of Vienna Instagram spots!
It might not be a big historic sight, nor one of the big Vienna attractions, but that doesn’t preclude it from being one of the most Instagrammable spots in Vienna. The shop creates beautiful displays of its stock outside its doors – the shop itself isn’t terribly big, so the owners have brought the displays out into the open air. You can expect loads of the brightest, most colorful blooms to be on display, with everything from roses for weddings, to adorable pot plants.
Feel free to take photos of the outside, but be sure not to get in the way of anyone wanting to enter – this is a business, after all. Given that it’s also a very small shop, you’re probably better off not entering unless you intend to make a purchase. But if you just want to admire the flowers, there’s plenty to see outside!
Also, be sure to check out the tiny newsagent/souvenir shop next door. It’s not a Vienna Instagram spot, but the older couple who run it are absolutely lovely. Greet them in German, and they’ll welcome you in for a browse!
The Ferstel Passage is most definitely one of the best Vienna Instagram spots – it may only take a few minutes to walk through it, but you’re bound to fall in love with it. And so will your followers!
The passage is a covered shopping arcade (which were super-fashionable in Vienna at one point), built into the Palais Ferstel. An architect was commissioned to build a new home for the Austro-Hungarian bank, and came up with the heavenly structure we see today. But rather than name it after its owners, as was the usual tradition, he thought “meh, screw it: I’m naming it after someone far more important”. So rather predictably, he named it after himself.
Ferstel probably didn’t foresee the Insta-fame that his decision would bestow upon him, but there’s no doubting that this is one of the most Instagrammable places in Vienna. Enter the passage from the Herrengasse side, and you’ll get a beautiful shot of a marble-lined corridor stretching through the building, framed by the gentle tinkling of a fountain dedicated to the water nymphs of the Danube. It’s suitably posh, and therefore lined with cafes – if you’d rather have a photo to yourself, be sure to get here very early, and you’ll be free to capture yourself skipping through the passage and looking ever-so-classy.
If you’re in the mood for shopping, but the passage’s stores are a little out of your price range, there’s often a small flea market just by the exit!
Who doesn’t enjoy taking pictures of beautiful winged creatures, gently fluttering by? No one, that’s who! And that’s why the Schmetterlinghaus is well worth a place on your list of Vienna Instagram spots.
As well as being one of my favorite German words (matched only by “krankenwagen“), a “schmetterling” is a butterfly! Awwww. The butterfly house, located literally next door to the Palm House, will fulfill all of your insect-related Instagram needs, with countless species of delicately colored critters flapping around a specially-constructed oasis. It’s a veritable butterfly paradise, with oodles of lovely greenery and hidey holes, warm temperatures, and even their own waterfall.
With over 400 butterflies in residence at any given time, you won’t lack for photo opportunities. There’s colorful flowers for the butterflies to perch on and feed from (some are artificial, but cunningly laden with butterfly treats), which make a lovely shot. You’re also very likely to receive a few visitors to your person; the butterflies seem pretty cool with perching on hands and heads and clothes, so you can post to your Instagram looking like a Disney princess.
It goes without saying, but be super-careful with the butterflies. They’re terrifyingly delicate, and lovely, gentle things. Don’t try to pick them up or manhandle them in any way – let them come to you, and let them depart when they’re ready!
The Spittelberg area is one of Vienna’s success stories – and now you can include it in your Instagram stories! (see what I did there?)
Definitely one of the city’s hidden gems, Spittelberggasse is right in the center of a collection of adorable, picturesque streets which were under the threat of being demolished back in the 1980’s. The area had gotten a little run-down, and a building contractor came up with the idea of knocking down the entire neighborhood to build new houses on the remains of some perfectly good houses! Not that it benefited their building company in any way, of course!
Luckily, the area was saved thanks to activists, and given a thorough renovation. Spittelberggasse is now one of the prettiest streets in the city – and if you’ve wandered around Vienna for any length of time, you’ll know that it’s got some competition! It’s also home to one of the Vienna’s best Christmas markets. In November, the streets are transformed into a winter wonderland, thanks to stalls selling food, drink, and a lot of clothing; it’s quieter than some of Vienna’s big markets, and more authentic.
Stand right at the top of the street, where it meets Burggasse, and you’ll get a gorgeous view of the street in all its glory. It doesn’t even matter if you’re not visiting at Christmas; you’ll love it either way! While you’re in the area, check out the gorgeous, stately buildings of the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Museum of Natural History in nearby Maria-Theresien-Platz.
A popular tactic for those seeking the finest Vienna Instagram spots, is to track down the most Instagrammable cafes in Vienna. After all, this is a city famed for its cafe culture. Snapping a pic of a genuine Sacher torte, in the cafe of the Hotel Sacher, might just be the ultimate in Vienna cafe shots!
You’ll no doubt see a few places selling Sacher torte in the city, but this is the only place to get the real deal… sort of. You see, the ultra-historic hotel (it’s still one of the best places to stay in Vienna) recruited a talented cake-baker named Franz Sacher, who came up with a delicious chocolate and apricot cake, and they marketed it as “The Original Sacher Torte” to dissuade imitators. Unfortunately, Sacher had previously worked at the Demel Bakery, and created a version of the cake there, so they claimed that they had the original recipe.
The legal battle between the two establishments carried on for over a hundred years – the hotel won, the bakery resorted to producing cakes in a different shape just to spite them, and everyone realized that the Viennese take their cakes hella seriously.
You may have to queue to get into the cafe (you can nab an outdoor seat if you’ve got the weather for it, plus the light is better for photography), but it’s well worth it. The cake doesn’t even cost as much as you’d expect, so take some artful photos of it – and then scoff the lot, because it’s utterly delicious!
The Jesuit Church
Whether you’re on the hunt of Instagrammable places in Vienna because you want some photo fodder, or whither you simply want to check out the most beautiful spots in the city, you have to check out the Jesuit Church. It’ll quite possibly be the most breathtaking church you’ll ever set foot in!
A short walk from the very center of the city, the Jesuit Church is also known as “University Church”, because of its proximity to the University of Vienna. This in turn led to one of its major claims to fame, as the church is immediately next to the university’s music hall, which saw the very first performance of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony! But you wouldn’t guess its importance – nor its inner beauty – by the outside of the building, which is curiously plain. Step inside, though, and it’s a different matter.
The church is an explosion of gold. Everything which could possibly handle a layer of gold has been gilded. There is a fake dome on the ceiling (it’s actually painted on to a flat surface) that’ll take your breath away, and have you doubting your own eyes. Then there’s my favorite aspect: marble columns, some straight and some twisting into fantastic spirals, colored in pink and mint-green hues that’ll have you thinking of confectionery. It’s truly stunning, and I can’t recommend it enough!
If you like your photos nice and quiet, get here just before closing time – you should find it peaceful, and free of distractions. Again, this is a working church, so be sure to be respectful of the building and its users.
Love the bright colors of the Jesuit Church? Want some more of that business for your Vienna Instagram spots, but a little less church-y? You got it!
Located not far from Prater Park, the Hundertwasser House is an apartment block in the Landstrasse area of Vienna. But not just any apartment block! This one was the concept of Austrian-New Zealand artist Friedenreich Hudertwasser, and it’s an absolute delight to visit – clearly everyone else agrees, because it’s one of the most popular attractions in Vienna. Constructed in the 1970’s, the exterior of the building features uneven levels, bright shades of pink, blue and white, and even trees sprouting from the sides of the building itself. It’s one of those places that totally messes with your mind, in a good way!
If we’re being honest, Hundertwasser House is probably the star of all the Vienna Instagram spots, and there’s accordingly a plethora of places to take amazing photos. Taking a portrait shot of the building exterior is a must, but you’ll also get fantastic photos by heading up the stairs to the small cafe (which has some interesting decoration in its own right!), and even heading into the small souvenir shop opposite – it has a very quirky layout!
Hop on public transport, and visit the Hunderwasser House – you really can’t go wrong, no matter where you point your camera!
Y’know what we haven’t seen yet on out list of Vienna Instagram spots? A flippin’ big staircase, inspired by an artist, and featuring a built-in fountain. Seriously, what list of Instagrammable place is complete without one of those?
Well, rejoice! Because Vienna has delivered again, and it’s absolutely perfect for gettin’ your Instagram on. The artist Peter Strudel lived in this area in 1680, and opened up an art school. However, it must’ve been a bit of a pain for his students to get around, because this part of the city was constructed on two different levels – the streets on the higher level towered over the lower ones, by a height of around twenty meters. Eventually Strudel died, and his school sadly declined soon after.
In 1907, the Viennese decided that they were tired of having to walk further around to get to those higher levels, so a staircase was proposed. This staircase would pay tribute to Strudel by being artistic, so they designed a beautiful construction which switches back on itself, contrasting white marble with the bright greenery of neighboring trees. Two fountains are built into the lower levels, and it’s simply just a lovely place to be – under-visited, though very much in use!
For the perfect shot of Strudlhofstiege, stand at the bottom and having the angle looking up. The stairs are very much a thoroughfare rather than a huge attraction, so you should be able to grab a quiet moment for a self portrait! Strudel would be proud of you.
St Marx Cemetery
You really need to visit a cemetery. No, bear with me here.
St. Marx isn’t just any old cemetery; not only is it pretty and scenic, in an old-fashioned way which is nothing less than you’d expect from one of the Vienna Instagram spots, but it’s also pretty significant. If you arrive and walk up the main path, with shaded glades on either side sheltering crumbling gravestones, flowers, and the occasional bunny, you’ll come to a crossroads. Take a left turn, and you’ll be able to pay homage to one of Vienna’s most celebrated residents – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Yes, him.
If you travel through Europe, you’re bound to bump into Mozart at some point – I’ve accidentally stumbled upon the house he was born in (Salzburg), his favorite pub (Prague), and various music venues he attended. He got around, but he ended up back in Austria after 35 years of living it up, where he was appointed the court composer of Emperor Joseph II. Unfortunately, times got hard due to a war with the Turks, and money for the arts was less forthcoming. He died poor, and was unceremoniously dumped into a common grave in St Marx Cemetery, just outside the main sprawl of the city.
It’s easy to visit and pay tribute to the great man; hop on the train and alight at Vienna Bio Center St Marx station, and it’s a short walk from there. Mozart’s grave is pretty well visited, so tourists aren’t an unusual sight, but be respectful to any locals who may be visiting the resting places of loved ones.
The Hofburg is the imperial palace of the Austrian Emperors – the Hapsburg family – and it’s absolutely huuuuuuuge!! If you’re looking for Instagrammable spots in Vienna, this vast complex definitely needs to be on your list!
Austria might be a small, relatively quiet place these days (it’s easy just to associate it with schnitzel, The Sound of Music, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, isn’t it?) but the Austro-Hungarian Empire covered an absolutely huge slice of Europe. In addition, the Hapsburgs were related to practically every royal family on the continent, and so they needed a swanky pad to display their power to all those lesser plebs. No problem: the Hofburg had been on this spot since the Middle Ages, so they just kept expanding it. And expanding it, and expanding it.
The Hofburg became the headquarters of the Austrian President when the imperial family got booted out in 1918, so you can’t wander willy-nilly through it, but there’s still plenty of areas that are fully open to the public, and dripping with gorgeousness. Horse fans should head to the famous Spanish Riding School with its famous white Lipizzaner horses, whilst if you love antique, classy interiors, you should head to the utter gorgeousness of the National Library.
Both of the above are ticketed attractions, but you won’t want for Instagram spots if you want to do it on the cheap. The exterior of the building on Michaelerplatz is stunning, and there’s a world of plazas, statues, and courtyards for you to find your perfect shot!
St Michael’s Church
Were you reading about the Austrian imperial family, and thinking “whilst I am undoubtedly interested in the finest Vienna Instagram spots, I am also intrigued by the spiritual life of these people mandated with the wellbeing of the Austrian people”? I know; I can actually read minds!
Fortunately, the Hapsburg’s fave church is also hella Instagrammable, so yay! You’ll find it on the Michaelerplatz, quite literally across the street from the Hofburg (because the imperial family didn’t want to go far from their cozy palace). Constructed sometime in the 1200s, it’s also one of the older churches in Vienna, and famous for its crypt. Due to favorable temperatures which pretty much stay the same, it’s home to over 4000 corpses who have become mummified and preserved in time – some of them still have their fancy baroque wigs attached!
If you can tear yourself away from that, be sure to grab a photo of the main altar. It’s framed by an amazing piece of sculpture, created by Karl Georg Merville in alabaster – named The Fall of the Angels, dozens of cherubs and angels tumble from the carved clouds above. It combines with the light streaming through the windows in order to look incredibly realistic, shadow and shade adding depth to the work. It’s most definitely worth a spot on your Insta feed!
Whether you’re looking for the beautiful or the macabre, St Michael’s hits all the right notes.
The Imperial Crypt (Capuchin Church)
Loved the creepy, macabre feeling of the crypt in St Michael’s? Want some more weird places in Vienna? You’ll love the Imperial Crypt!
This place is the hidden gem of Vienna Instagram spots. A crypt full deceased members of the House of Hapsburg might not sound like the most Instagrammable places in the worlf, but you’d be mistaken. Apart from the creepy factor, some of the tombs are incredibly ornate and beautiful – my particular favorite is that of Emperor Charles VI, which is flanked on all four corners by skeletons dressed in royal finery, and looking somewhat perplexed about it.
It’s also the final resting place of one of the region’s favorite figures: the Empress Elizabeth – or Sisi, as she was known. Born in Munich, famously beautiful, and equally independent, she hated being part of formal life in the court of the Hapsburgs. She much preferred shooting off to Hungary (a move which didn’t win her many fans among the Viennese, who considered Budapest as being Yokelville in comparison to their own city), and was unusual in learning Hungarian in order to properly have a chat with her subjects. She was assassinated in Geneva in 1898, and remains beloved both in Austria, and Hungary in particular.
Whilst the crypt isn’t suitable for traditional Instagram shots, get some artistic photos of the tombs, or tell the story of Sisi. She’s a fascinating and inspiring character, and one that you’ll see a lot of during your stay in Vienna!
Remember the good ol’ Ferstel Passage? Remember that rather nice-looking, but seemingly un-extraordinary cafe which stood on the corner of the building? It’s the Cafe Central – and it’s our next stop on our tour of Vienna Instagram spots!
This is probably the most famous cafe in Vienna, and it’s not just for the cakes – though those are delicious too! It’s actually famous for the vast amount of famous people who have treated it as their regular. In the 19th century, this was the hotspot in Vienna if you considered yourself a bit of an intellectual. People came here to read newspapers, play chess against each other in attempt to prove how superior their intellect was, and to debate politics. This led to everyone from Hitler, Freud and Trotsky popping along for a spot of kuchen mit ein side of intellectual discourse.
In fact, Trotsky was such a regular that he became an almost permanent fixture. This was frequently mistaken for laziness. On one occasion, legend has it that two Austrians were discussing the possibility of war causing a revolution in Russia, to which one of them pointed to Trotsky and dismissively said “and who’s going to lead it? Him?”
The Cafe Central is incredibly popular for many reasons, so you’ll most likely have a queue outside unless you get here early. Grab a photo of yourself outside its famous doors, or head inside and photograph all those luscious cakes. There’s plenty to choose from!
Vienna loves a good wiener sausage – and würstelstands are ideal for getting a snap of everyday Viennese life!
If you’re wondering, würstelstands are the small shacks you see dotted all over the city, selling every kind of sausage imaginable. They’re famous for being there for every level of Vienna society, from the evening opera goers (in fact, my favorite of all the Vienna würstelstands is just outside the Vienna State Opera!), to revelers in the early hours of the morning. The stands are beloved, and right at the heart of any local – they have their own slang lingo, and a loyal, regular clientele. Any good Standler will be chatty, full of stories, and recognize you on sight.
So, repay the hardworking würstelstands with a starring role! They might not seem like obvious Instagram places in Vienna, but there’s so much to photograph – the food, the Standler, the locals queuing up to buy their usual. You’re definitely not going to go wrong with ordering a bite to eat, then putting it up on your feed – just remember that putting mayonnaise on your sausage is a big no-no here (I just saved you a whole bunch of Insta-shame). If you want a specific recommendation, get a Käsekrainer – a hot dog filled with pockets of melted cheese.
Yes, they’re unhealthy. Yes, they look disturbingly like pus; a thought which you need to immediately put of of your mind. But Käsekrainer, along with the würstelstands themselves, are a Vienna -must-do!
The Freud Museum
Just a short hop from the city center, the Freud Museum is a place that’ll get in your head – and that makes it one of the Instagrammable places in Vienna! Though goodness knows what Freud would’ve made of it…
Sigmund Freud was born in what is now the Czech Republic, but he moved to Vienna in order to take up his studies of medicine and neuropathology, and this museum is housed in the building he lived in. A rather pleasant stroll from Freud’s beloved Cafe Central, this was where he developed his theories on subjects such as psychoanalysis, dreams, and ego. Oh, and where he took vast quantities of cocaine, because he ardently believed it to be a help with soothing one’s mind. Not sure about that one, Siggy.
You won’t see the famous couch, on which his patients used to lay to tell Freud about their troubles, and which fueled a million stereotypes about psychologists ever since. That followed Freud to London when he was exiled by the Nazis, but you can see an absolutely fascinating display of Freud’s collections and writings. These range from the cute (a little pottery cat), to the obscure, to the downright explicit, giving you a whole range of choice when it comes to your photography feed! The recreated rooms are also a visual treat.
It’s an interesting museum, and definitely one that’s attractive to the eye! Now, lie back, and tell me what you think about that attraction…
The Ferris Wheel from “The Third Man”
Prater Park is certainly one of the best-known attractions in Vienna, and it’s simply impossible not to include the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel on a list of Vienna Instagram spots!
You can easily reach the park by taking a subway train to Praterstern station, and following the lights and noise. In days gone by, this used to be imperial hunting grounds, but it was opened up to the public in 1766. This began a process of commerce moving in – although the park itself has remained free to enter ever since. Food stalls and small rides began to spring up, and eventually the whole area became an amusement park. It’s remained true to these early ideals; the park rides aren’t owned by some faceless business, but are independently owned by local families.
However, the most famous of them all is the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel. It was built in 1897 (yup, that’s one old fairground ride), and is considered as nothing less than the symbol of Vienna. It’s that famous. It achieved a whole new level of fame when it was featured in the classic film The Third Man, starring Orson Welles, in 1949. Consistently voted one of the best films of all time, it’s a film noir set in post-war Vienna, with a hell of a lot of atmosphere; the Ferris wheel is the star of a critical moment in which two characters confront and threaten each other.
Whether you’re a film buff or not, or whether you just want to capture the symbol of Vienna, you’ll definitely want to grab a shot of the Ferris wheel – or a portrait of yourself in front of it! Sunset and early evening are the best times to get an iconic shot of an iconic structure!
Karlskirche is one of the most beautiful buildings in Vienna – and most certainly situated in one of the most beautiful locations!
It was constructed in 1737 after a particularly savage bout of plague, as the Emperor wanted to give thanks to St Charles for sparing his nation (specifically him, one suspects). It once had a direct line of sight to the Hofburg, which was completely cemented as the base of Austrian power, but that was lost long ago thanks to the development of the city. However, it does retain its main claim to fame: an unusually-shaped dome, almost lozenge-shaped, and the interior of which is fairly coated in frescoes.
The church charges an entry fee – but fear not! If you’re purely on the hunt for Vienna Instagram spots, you won’t have to pay a penny. The outside of the church is an Instagrammer’s paradise, with a wide, shallow pool situated right outside which reflects the glorious architecture. Sit on the rim of the pool, or do as many inventive poses as you please: you’re outside in a public plaza, and you won’t be disturbing anyone using the church! Hurrah!
Be sure to get here early – Karlskirche is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, plus you’ll catch the glorious rays of morning sun.
Well, you’ve done a thorough tour of the Instagrammable spots in Vienna! Let’s head back to a lovely, peaceful spot, put your feet up, and reflect on what an amazing city this is!
Remember that nice park, situated just outside the Palm House and the Schmetterlinghaus? That’s the Burggarten, and it’s our final stop. You can also silently be grateful for Napoleon for the opportunity, because he was indirectly responsible for the park’s creation! He camped his troops on this spot in 1809, whilst he was busy giving the locals a bit of hassle, and the land understandably got a bit ruined. When he withdrew, the Emperor’s staff decided to make lemonade with their brand new lemony land, and turned it into a park instead.
Good call! These days, a winding path curves through carefully-tended grass, and you can admire various statues of local worthies. The most famous is that of Vienna’s favorite adopted son – yup, Mozart looks proudly over the city which became his home, bringing us full circle on our tour of Vienna. You can take a photo of the statue itself, or take a self portrait in front of the flowers which have been cunningly arranged into the shape of a treble clef. This is the City of Music, after all.
After all that, take it easy, and sit on one of the benches. Watch the sun slowly sinking over the Vienna skyline, and just take it all in, because Vienna is just too good to rush!
I really hope you’ve enjoyed this article about the best Vienna Instagram spots! Whichever ones you choose, you can’t go wrong – and you’ve now got all the info you need to enjoy them properly!
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