The cathedral's size sets it apart from any other church in Vienna with its impressive spire reaching a height of 136m. It is possible to climb to the top of this spire, which results in an impressive view of the city of Vienna.
Inside a wealth of art treasures from centuries past can be found. A guided tour can be taken, during which these treasures are explained and can be viewed.
A number of tombs and crypts can also be found inside the Cathedral. In fact, this site was used as a burial ground as far back as Roman times, with remains being unearthed and dated to the 4th century AD.
St Stephan's Cathedral marks what most people would consider to be the center of Vienna. It lies on the busiest shopping street in the capital and can be reached easily with public transport from anywhere in Vienna
The Vienna State Opera is arguably the most important opera house in the world. It is closely linked to the famous Vienna Philharmonic, whose members are recruited from here.
The Opera is located on the Vienna "Ringstrasse", making it very central and near other city attractions.
Building of the original structure took place in 1861, and although not entirely popular with the local population, it grew on them enough to restore it to its original state after damage in World War 2.
The building was the first major building on the Vienna Ringstraße commissioned by the controversial Viennese "city expansion fund". Work commenced on the building in 1861 and was completed in 1869, following plans drawn up by architects August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll, who lived together in the 6. Bezirk. It was built in the Neo-Renaissance style.
The Ministry of the Interior had commissioned a number of reports into the availability of certain building materials, with the result that stones long not seen in Vienna were used, such as Wöllersdorfer Stein, for plinths and free-standing, simply-divided buttresses, the famously hard stone fromKaisersteinbruch, whose colour was more appropriate than that of Kelheimerstein, for more lushly decorated parts. The somewhat coarser-grained Kelheimerstein (also known as Solnhof Plattenstein) was intended as the main stone to be used in the building of the opera house, but the necessary quantity was not deliverable. Breitenbrunner stone was suggested as a substitute for the Kelheimer stone, and stone from Jois was used as a cheaper alternative to the Kaiserstein. The staircases were constructed from polished Kaiserstein, while most of the rest of the interior was decorated with varieties of marble.
The decision was made to use dimension stone for the exterior of the building. Due to the monumental demand for stone, stone from Sóskút, widely used in Budapest, was also used. Three Viennese masonry companies were employed to supply enough masonry labour: Eduard Hauser (still in existence today), Anton Wasserburger and Moritz Pranter. The foundation stone was laid on 20 May 1863.
One tip if you are visiting Vienna on short notice and have not pre-booked tickets, or if you are short on money, is that cheap, standing tickets can be bought before each show. These tickets are only sold at the last minute, immediately before the show. Unfortunately, long lines can develop for these tickets, so it's best to arrive early and wait if you are intent on seeing the show.
The Austrian National Library (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek) was once the Royal Library of the Habsburgs, one of Europe's most powerful families. It is housed in a spectacular baroque building, which is almost as spectacular as the books and artifacts that it holds.
This is the largest baroque library in Europe and is almost 20 meters high and 80 meters long, and over 7.4 million items are housed here. Sections of the library include the State Hall (Prunksaal), Map Collection and Globe Museum, the Papyrus Collection, the Esperanto Museum, old and precious prints and a Music section.
One of the most impressive exhibits here are the two Venetian globes, both with a diameter of over a meter.
Although the thought of visiting a library on holiday probably doesn't appeal to most people, this is truly an exception. The majority of visitors are not so much interested in the contents of the library, rather the interior and exterior of the building itself. It is possible for a small cost to do a tour of the State Hall (Prunksaal), which is possibly one of the most impressive places in Vienna.