Created in the late 19th century to replace the fortification walls demolished under Emperor Franz Joseph, the UNESCO-listed Ringstrasse was designed to accommodate some of Vienna’s most spectacular works of architecture, including the city hall and a number of important museums. Most Vienna tours on foot or by bike, “Ape” tuk tuk, Segway, or minivan trace part or all of the nine sections of the Ringstrasse to visit the city’s highlights set along the monumental route.
Things to Know Before You Go
- If touring the sights along the Ringstrasse on foot or by bike, be sure to wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
- The route itself is accessible to wheelchair users, but not all sights along the loop may be accessible. Confirm in advance.
- The Ringstrasse is lined with dozens of impressive palaces and landmark buildings built in an eclectic style known as Ringstrassenstil, or “Ring Road Style”. Architecture buffs will especially enjoy seeing the blend of Classical, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque elements.
How to Get There
The Ringstrasse can be toured via the Vienna Ringtram, a special tourist tram route that traces the entire ring departing from Schwedenplatz. Otherwise, trace all or part of the circular boulevard via a Segway, bike, tuk tuk, or walking tour.
When to Get There
The boulevard itself is outdoors, so best visited on a mild, sunny day if walking. Vienna can get very cold in the winter months, so plan to break up your Ringstrasse tour with stops at some of the museums or monuments along the route if visiting during winter.
Highlights along the Ringstrasse
There are more than a dozen landmark buildings and museums along the Ringstrasse, including the dramatic neo-Gothic Rathaus, or City Hall, set in the landscaped Rathauspark and the neighboring Parliament buildings. The magnificent Burgtheater and Volksgarten park stand opposite, and heading south, the ring road passes Maria Theresa Square and Franz Joseph’s elaborate Kaiserforum, now home to the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts) and the Naturhistorisches Museum (Museum of Natural History). The modern Museum Quarter, the Karlskirche and the world-renowned Vienna State Opera House are also located along the boulevard.
- Beethoven Pasqualatihaus
- University of Vienna (Universität Wien)
- Freyung Square
- Bank Austria Kunstforum
- Votive Church (Votivkirche)
- Austrian Parliament Building
- Vienna Museum of Illusions (Museum der Illusionen)
- Hofburg Imperial Palace (Hofburg Wien)
- Sisi Museum
- St. Michael’s Church (Michaelerkirche)
- Palais Auersperg
- Heroes’ Square (Heldenplatz)
- Spanish Riding School (Spanische Hofreitschule)