Many guided tours of Vienna and the Ringstrasse include the Rathaus, which is one of the boulevard’s gems. The seven interior courtyards of the Rathaus are free to visit, but you’ll need to join a tour to check out the inside. Richly decorated with state pomp, the interior is truly impressive, from the Council Chamber to two Coat of Arms Halls. Free, guided tours offered by the city are in German, and complementary audio guides are available for visitors who want to follow along in other languages.
Things to know before you go
- Rathaus is a must-see for history buffs and anyone interested in Viennese architecture.
- To borrow an audio guide, you’ll need a government-issued ID card as a deposit.
- Sign language guides are available in Austrian and British Sign Languages.
- Ramps and elevators make the Rathaus wheelchair accessible, with door widths of 36 inches (92 centimeters).
How to get there
Located at Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz 1 on the Ringstrasse, Rathaus is easy to reach using public transport. The nearby underground stop Rathaus can be reached on the U2 line, and multiple trams stop nearby including 1, 71, and D (Stadiongasse/Parlament); 2 (Rathausplatz/Burgtheater); and 1, 43, and 44 (Landesgerichtsstrasse). A city bike station is located at 108 Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz.
When to get there
Guided tours of the Rathaus interior are offered on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1pm. Tours are canceled for public holidays and special events, as well as Good Friday (the Friday before Easter), December 24, and December 25. Tours can fill up during the busiest periods, so plan to arrive early to ensure you get a spot.
Christmas Market on Rathausplatz
Vienna’s biggest Christmas market happens right in front of Rathaus, with stalls selling roasted chestnuts, steaming mugs of mulled wine, and plenty of seasonal treats. The nearby park is decked with lights, and there’s an ice skating rink where you can rent a pair of skates. While the Rathausplatz Christmas market is open throughout the day, it’s worth coming at night to enjoy the full effects of the twinkling Christmas lights.
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- Anchor Clock (Ankeruhr)
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- Bank Austria Kunstforum
- Historic Center of Vienna
- Vienna Museum of Illusions (Museum der Illusionen)
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