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Ways to Beat the Crowds in Vienna

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Ways to Beat the Crowds in Vienna
A unique mix of old-world grandeur and contemporary charm means that Vienna attracts sightseers in their thousands. With a little bit of forward planning, however, you can swerve the crowds. From advance tickets to off-the-beaten-path sights, here’s how to experience a mellower side of Austria’s capital. 

Plan Ahead
Where possible, buy skip-the-line admission tickets to Vienna’s big hitters in advance. Go to Café Central, Hofburg Imperial Palace (Hofburg Wien), and Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn) as early or late in the day as you can, and try to avoid weekends. It’s also worth buying concert tickets for Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper), or the Vienna Musikverein (Wiener Musikverein) well ahead of time. 

Venture Beyond Innere Stadt
Hemmed in by the Ringstraße, the UNESCO-listed Innere Stadt is home to many of Vienna’s major attractions, which include St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom), the State Opera House, and Hofburg Imperial Palace, making it the busiest part of town. Venture beyond the Ringstraße’s boundary to Wieden, home to the Third Man Museum and Belvedere Palace (Schloss Belvedere), or go even farther afield to the likes of the Vienna Woods or the Danube Valley, where city-center crowds feel a million miles away. 

Put your Walking Shoes On
Much of Vienna’s Old Town is pedestrianized, which can make traveling by car a headache. Opt to explore on foot and you’ll find you can get between sights such as the Spanish Riding School (Spanische Hofreitschule), the Kunsthistorisches Museum, St. Peter’s Church, and more in minutes. 

Sightsee at Sunset
With most travelers hanging up their hats by late afternoon, evening can be a great time to explore. Tours take you to well-known city spots that are extra spectacular—and much less crowded—after dark.
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Vienna Tours & Activities (10)
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Melk Abbey and Danube Valley Day Trip from ViennaDay Trips

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Melk Abbey and Danube Valley Day Trip from Vienna

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Spend a day discovering Austria’s UNESCO-listed Wachau Valley on this trip along the Danube River from Vienna. Led by a local guide, pass the vineyards, abbeys, and forests of the countryside as you learn about the area’s rich history. Top off your day trip with a boat ride (summer only) to Melk along the Danube where you visit a Benedictine abbey overlooking the river or an Austrian meal in a local restaurant (winter only). Your excursion concludes with transportation back to Vienna.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
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Vienna City Classic Walk with a Small GroupWalking Tours

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Vienna City Classic Walk with a Small Group

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Get personalized attention on this small-group walking tour of Vienna. With an intimate group of just 15 people or fewer, see highlights such as St. Stephen's Cathedral and the Hofburg Palace. Learn about the history, culture, and famous residents of Vienna from your guide as you walk.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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Vienna Mozart Concert at the MusikvereinDining Experiences

Vienna Mozart Concert at the Musikverein

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Soak up Vienna’s rich music culture with a performance from the Vienna Mozart Orchestra at the Musikverein. Take your seat in the historic venue and travel back to the 18th century, as the orchestra performs Mozart’s famous works while dressed in period costumes. Upgrade to a VIP ticket to include a 4-course dinner, a carriage ride to the concert, the chance to meet the performers backstage and more.
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  • 2 hours
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Schönbrunn Palace Audio-Guided Tour, Dinner and ConcertDining Experiences

Schönbrunn Palace Audio-Guided Tour, Dinner and Concert

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Soak up Austrian culture and cuisine with this package including a self-guided audio tour, 3-course dinner, and a classical concert at Schönbrunn Palace. Explore Schönbrunn's ornate staterooms and guest apartments with an audio guide at any time during the palace's opening hours. Then, settle into a delicious dinner of local cuisine at a restaurant, adjacent to the palace. Top off the evening with a concert at the Orangery Schönbrunn and enjoy live classical works from Mozart and Strauss.
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  • 6 to 8 hours
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  • 6 to 8 hours
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Skip-the-Line Schonbrunn Palace Guided Tour and Vienna Historical City TourHalf-day Tours

Skip-the-Line Schonbrunn Palace Guided Tour and Vienna Historical City Tour

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Explore the magnificent city of Vienna on this city tour by coach, including admission into the Schönbrunn Palace without waiting time. Pass major attractions like the Hofburg Palace, City Hall, and the Vienna State Opera as you drive along the famed Ringstrasse. Afterward, explore the lavish summer home of the Habsburg monarchs, the Schönbrunn Palace. Skip the line at the entrance and learn the rich stories of its residents as you stroll from room to room.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
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Lonely Planet Experiences: Evening Sightseeing Tour With Food & Drink TastingsHalf-day Tours

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Lonely Planet Experiences: Evening Sightseeing Tour With Food & Drink Tastings

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Discover a new perspective on Vienna when you explore the city after dark—and get a taste of the Austrian capital’s vibrant nightlife—on this small-group walking tour. Meet your guide in the late afternoon outside the Karlskirche, and then head to the bustling Naschmarkt, where you can visit local market stalls and enjoy a chocolate tasting. Then continue to several of Vienna’s trendiest neighborhoods, where you’ll go to cocktail bars, try hearty street food, head to a rooftop bar, and more.
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  • 4 hours
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  • 4 hours
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Vienna Mozart Evening: Gourmet Dinner and Concert at the MusikvereinDining Experiences

Vienna Mozart Evening: Gourmet Dinner and Concert at the Musikverein

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Enjoy an elegant evening out in Vienna with a 3-course dinner at the Restaurant Bristol followed by a concert performed by the Vienna Mozart Orchestra. Savor fine Austrian specialties at the hotel once visited by President Theodore Roosevelt. Afterward, walk to the nearby Musikverein concert hall and settle into the famous venue. Travel back in time as the Vienna Mozart Orchestra plays symphonies and operas from Mozart while dressed in historical costumes and wigs.
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  • 4 hours
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  • 4 hours

Vienna Woods and Mayerling Half Day TripHalf-day Tours

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Vienna Woods and Mayerling Half Day Trip

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Discover the Vienna Woods on a half-day guided tour. Led by an expert guide, visit the Mayerling hunting lodge, where scandal once rocked the royal family, as well as the Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz, constructed in 1133. Experience a guided walk through the city of Baden. Then, journey back to your original departure point, spotting Liechtenstein Castle on the way.
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  • 4 hours 45 minutes
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  • 4 hours 45 minutes
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Skip the Line: Third Man Museum Admission TicketAttraction Tickets

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Skip the Line: Third Man Museum Admission Ticket

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Fans of the classic film ‘The Third Man’ won’t want to miss a visit to the Third Man Museum while in Vienna. Discover movie scripts, filming equipment, historical posters and other original documents and artifacts featured in the extensive exhibition. You’ll learn about the historical backdrop of the film’s pre- and post-war years, including occupied Vienna, as you marvel at displays among thirteen rooms.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
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  • 1 to 2 hours
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Viennese Evening Boat TourHalf-day Tours

Viennese Evening Boat Tour

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See Vienna illuminated at night on this 3.5-hour cruise along the Danube River. Hop aboard your boat and savor a dinner of traditional Austrian dishes served buffet-style, as live Viennese music keeps the mood festive. As the sun sets over the city, soak up stunning views of the capital’s top attractions while gliding along the Danube River.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
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