Vienna, Austria, is filled to the brim with historical treasures and monuments.
Once you’ve covered all the essential sites, like Schönbrunn Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Belvedere Palace, and the Vienna State Opera, it’s time to venture off the beaten path.
Curious what gets left off most people’s Vienna itineraries? Good – us too! Well, we’re going to fill you in on all our favorite hidden gems and secret places in Vienna.
This post is borne out of years of exploring Austria’s capital city together.
From modern architecture and wine cellars to concept stores and palaces, there’s something on this list for everyone. And, if you live in Vienna, you’ll probably discover something new too.
However, if you haven’t visited them, they are definitely worth seeing. And finally, here are our favorite hidden gems in Vienna.
Some of the following attractions are seasonal, so make sure to read the full description, before setting off.
Vienna Hidden Gems
- Schlumberger Cellar World
- Burggasse 24
- Hermes Villa (seasonal)
- Lainzer Tiergarten
- Krypt Bar
- Justice Palace
- Weinstube Josefstadt (seasonal)
- Augustiner Kirche High Mass
- Tichy (seasonal)
- WU – Vienna University of Economics and Business
- Gasthaus Quell
- Ernst Fuchs-Museum (Otto Wagner Villa)
- Laolao near Michaelerplatz
This post links to products and services we love, which we may make a small commission from, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our blog!! – Sabrina and Kati
Vienna Hidden Gems Map
Get the Vienna City Card
With the Vienna City Card, you’ll get discounts on the following hidden gems:
- Schlumberger Cellars (-22 % discount)
- Hermesvilla (-30 % discount)
- Ernst Fuchs Museum (-27 % discount)
Where to Stay in Vienna
Budget | Comfy apartments at Siebertgasse is a cheerful, and light-filled apartment-style accommodation in the 12th district, close to the Margaretengürtel U-Bahn station (U4). Each apartment has a kitchen and dining area. We love the airiness, the pastel accents, and the minimalist design of these apartments. This is a great place to stay if you’re an independent traveler, who craves exploring a city on your own terms.
Midrange | Hotel Schani Salon is an excellent hotel located on Mariahilfer Straße, Vienna’s biggest shopping street, a few steps away from the Neubaugasse U-Bahn station (U3). We love this Vienna hotel, because of the bright, modern rooms, the friendly vibe, the communal lounge and bar, and the helpful staff. Breakfast is healthy and varied.
Luxury | Altstadt Vienna is a boutique 4-star hotel in the charming Spittelberg quarter, close to Kunsthistorisches Museum. This contemporary-art-filled hotel features uniquely designed interiors and a hidden rooftop terrace (open from March until October). A wonderful breakfast is served in the Red Salon daily. In the afternoon, complimentary tea and homemade cakes are served in front of the open fireplace.
Luxury | The Leo Grand is advantageously located in the inner district of Vienna, steps away from Peterskirche, Stephansdom, and the Graben. This top-rated hotel features luxurious rooms with romantic, pastel-colored furnishings and decor. Stay here for the unbeatable location, helpful personnel, and fairy tale vibes. Breakfast is available at an extra charge.
Luxury | The palatial Hotel Imperial harkens back to imperial times with its grand, antique-filled interiors and sumptuous rooms and suites (fit for royalty). This 5-star hotel is set on the Ringstrasse boulevard in the heart of Vienna, walking distance to the Vienna Opera House, the Kärntner Strasse shopping street, Karlskirche, and the Musikverein concert hall. This hotel features a cocktail bar in the historic Hallensalon, rooftop fitness center with a sauna, on-site restaurant (Opus) and café (Café Imperial). Breakfast available.
Secret Places to Visit in Vienna
1. Schlumberger Cellar World
If you love wine
If you’ve ever walked into a grocery store in Vienna, you’ve probably seen the memorable Schlumberger Sekt bottles.
They’re the ones with the fairy logo. If you haven’t, please remedy that asap. Or, even better, head to Schlumberger Cellar World and visit Austria’s oldest sparkling wine cellars.
At Schlumberger Cellar World, you can take an audio guide tour through their 300-year old cellars. This excellent self-guided tour navigates you through the process of making bottle-fermented wine – the production method that Schlumberger has employed since the mid-1800s.
It’s the same method used in Champagne, France. As you walk through the cellars, you’ll probably see people riddling (turning and angling) the wine bottles by hand.
What makes Schlumberger sparkling wine especially unique is that all the grapes are sourced from Austrian winegrowers. So, the base wine is made from blends of Austrian varietals like Grüner Veltliner, Welschriesling, and Weissburgunder as well as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
After the 50-minute tour, you can taste Schlumberger’s famous sparkling wines.
If you’ve opted for Connaisseur tour, you’ll sample (1) Sparkling Brut, (2) Pinot Noir Brut Reserve, (3) Chardonnay Brut Reserve.
In addition, you can try other Schlumberger specialty wines for an additional 5 EUR per glass. Bonus Tip: try the memorable Vintage Blanc de Noirs Brut.
We promise that you’ll leave this Vienna hidden gem with a newfound appreciation for sparkling wine – we certainly did.
Visiting Schlumberger Cellar World Info
The audio guide is available in 8 languages: German, English, Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, Chinese, Japanese. Make sure to bring your own headphones. Otherwise, you can rent headphones for 1 EUR.
Opening Hours | Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am until 6 pm
Entrance | 11 – 20 EUR per person depending on the tour selected
How to Get to Schlumberger Cellar World | Take the subway line U4, or U6 to Spittelau station. From Spittelau, it’s a 2-minute walk.
Address | Heiligenstädter Strasse 39, 1190 Wien | Google Maps
2. Burggasse 24
If you love vintage clothing and concept stores
Burggasse 24 is a two-floor concept store with an in-house café in Vienna’s 7th district. The name of the store is also the store’s address. We stumbled upon this unique shop completely by accident.
The retail side of the store features one-of-a-kind vintage clothing items. You can tell that everything has been selected with care. If you love dressing up, hunting for unique pieces, or building your own costume, you’ve got to check this place out.
I (Sabrina) was searching for a ball dress in Vienna and failing miserably to find anything I liked. However, within 10 minutes of being in 24, I found and bought a silk dress, originally made for the Vienna stage.
The other side of the shop is a charming café. The Burggasee 24 Café is a lovely place to curl up with a book or meet your friends. It gets really busy during the weekend (especially during brunch), so make sure to make a reservation. Otherwise, come during the week.
Tips for Visiting Burggasse 24 | Bring cash and don’t come on a Sunday. While the café is open on Sunday, the store is not.
Store Hours | Monday – Friday from 11 am – 8 pm. Saturdays from 11 am – 6pm
Café Hours | Daily from 10 am – 10 pm
Address | Burggasse 24, 1070 Wien | Google Maps
Read Next: Best Coffee Houses in Vienna
3. Hermes Villa
If you love palaces and Habsburg history
** seasonal **
Hermes Villa is a palace, located in Lainzer Tiergarten, the former imperial hunting area of the Habsburgs. Most Habsburg-related historical treasures are centrally located in Vienna. Hermes Villa is the exception, a true Vienna hidden gem.
The villa was a gift from Emperor Franz Joseph to his wife, Empress Elizabeth (aka Sisi). Sisi abhorred court life and preferred to travel.
In giving it to her, he hoped that she would spend more time in Vienna. She called Hermesvilla her Palace of Dreams (Schloss der Träume).
The architect Carl von Hasenauer designed the villa and it was constructed between the years 1882 and 1886.
He also designed the Museum of Fine Art and the Museum of Natural History along the Ringstrasse. The interior is decorated with murals by Gustav Klimt, Hans Makart, and Victor Tilgner.
Today, Hermes Villa is a museum. You can tour the interior and see the exhibition “Sisi’s Castle of Dreams – The Hermes Villa and its History.”
Entrance | 8 EUR / 6 EUR reduced. Insider tip: Free admission every first Sunday of the month.
Hermes Villa Opening Days and Hours |
- Palm Sunday until November 1st. (Closed in Winter)
- Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
How to Get to Hermes Villa | The easiest way to get to to the Villa is by entering Lainzer Tiergarten at the Lainzer Tor: Hermesstraße, 1130 Wien | Google Maps
4. Lainzer Tiergarten
If you love parks
Wildlife park Lainzer Tiergarten (where Hermes Villa is located) is one of Vienna’s best-kept secrets.
If you’re craving the outdoors and a long walk, this is where you should come. Just don’t be alarmed when free-roaming boars cross your path. Lainzer Tiergarten was formerly the hunting area for the Habsburg nobility.
Other areas of the park feature spacious animal enclosures of red deer, fallow deer, and wild sheep. There are also forest playgrounds for children.
Lainzer Tiergarten Opening Times | The opening times of the park change throughout the year. Consult this Stadt Wien page before heading out.
How to get to Lainzer Tiergarten | There are six gates to the Lainzer Animal Park. We recommend going to the Lainzer Tor (Gate), located at Hermesstraße, 1130 Wien | Google Maps
If you love alternative venues
WUK (Workshop and Culture House) is an entertainment venue and alternative cultural center in Vienna’s 9th district.
This is an awesome space to hear indie and jazz bands and attend themed-parties and art exhibitions.
Most importantly, WUK is a gathering place for everyone. Check out their calendar of events to find something for you. We’ve attended World Cup viewing parties here as well as progressive LGBTQ dances.
You’ll also find the restaurant-bar Statt-Beisl in WUK, a true hidden treasure in Vienna.
They have 11 beers on tap and you can order a beer flight of 4 beers for 7.90 EUR. Their menu features Austrian classics as well as some Asian-fusion dishes.
Address | Währinger Straße 59, 1090 Wien | Google Maps
6. Krypt Bar
If you love speakeasies
Krypt is a speakeasy-style bar in the 9th District. The bar is so well hidden that you might have a difficult time locating it (at least we did).
Krypt’s inconspicuous entrance adds a bit of excitement to the experience, or frustration (depending on who you ask).
When we arrived on a weekday, we had to ring the doorbell to be let in. However, on the weekends, there’s probably a bouncer. As soon as you enter, you can hand over your heavy coats, before proceeding downstairs.
The bar is stylish and well-designed. Dim lighting warms up the interior brick walls. A striking modern painting serves as the backdrop of the working mixologists.
And, along wooden table extends from the bar, providing guests with a communal-like seating arrangement.
As you sip your inventive cocktail, you’ll relish Krypt’s secretive atmosphere. And, perhaps, you’ll be inspired to linger all evening.
Address | Berggasse, Wasagasse, 1090 Wien | Google Maps
7. Justice Palace
If you love Renaissance architecture and rooftop views
The Palace of Justice (Justizpalast) is a beautiful Neo-Renaissance building in Vienna and serves as the seat of the Supreme Court of Austria.
The stunning interior features a glass ceiling, symmetrical arches, a melting staircase and a statue of Lady Justice.
Though the building is open to the public, you‘ll have to pass a security check. So, most people never venture inside this Vienna hidden gem.
After admiring the interior, head to the top floor to the Justizcafé for a bite to eat, or a drink. The cafeteria-style Justizcafé also offers a great view of Vienna.
When to Go | Monday – Friday between 7:30 am and 3:30 pm
Address | Schmerlingplatz 10-11, 1010 Wien | Google Maps
8. Weinstube Josefstadt
If you love wine taverns and secret gardens
This lovely wine establishment is tucked away from the street. The only indication that the wine tavern is open is by the illuminated lantern hanging above the entrance.
We found this Vienna hidden gem by accident, and we’re so glad we did. While many restaurants and cafés in Vienna feature outdoor seating, most dining spaces are located along the street.
Weinstube Josefstadt has a beautiful outdoor seating area in an urban garden environment. Come here for wine, or beer and heuriger-style food. They only accept cash payments!
When to Go: Open daily from 4:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. (16 bis 24 Uhr) in Spring, Summer, and Fall. Closed during winter months: January, February & March.
Address | Piaristengasse 27, 1080 Wien | Google Maps
9. High Mass at Augustinerkirche (Sundays)
If you love choral music
Augustinerkirche (the Augustinian Church) is a parish church located at Josefsplatz, next to the Hofburg. On Sundays, you can experience the Catholic High Mass. In this type of service, almost everything is sung.
We recommend attending a solemn high mass at Augustinerkirche, because of the incredible orchestral and choral music. The church choir, orchestra, and organ elevate the service to a work of art.
As the soloists’ voices rise up to fill the cavernous space, there’s something really moving and celestial about the experience. We attended the Dreikönigshochamt (Three Kings High Mass) and heard J. G. Rheinberger’s Missa solemnis C-Dur (C-Major).
You don’t have to be a Catholic or Christian to appreciate the music and the performative ritual of the ceremony. You also don’t have to stay for the whole service, which can last 1:30 – 2 hours.
Just take a seat towards the back of the church, so you can exit easily. If you want to have a seat, we recommend showing up 20 minutes before the mass begins. We read that you should show up an hour before (which we did), and that wasn’t necessary.
Schedule | High Mass Schedule at Augustinerkirche. Here you can see what masses (music) are being performed on which days. E.g. WA Mozart: Small Credo Mass, J. Haydn: Nicolaimesse, G. Puccini: Messa di Gloria.
Time | 11 am on Sundays
Entrance | Free. The church asks for a donation of 8 EUR to support the music and ongoing costs of maintaining an orchestra, soloists, organist, and conductor.
Address | Augustinerstraße 3, 1010 Wien (Josefsplatz) | Google Maps
10. Tichy Eissalon
If you love old-fashioned ice cream parlors
Tichy is a family-run ice cream parlor in the 10th District (Favoriten) and arguably Vienna’s best-kept secret.
Tichy occupies a special place in the city’s collective heart. Here, dessert is the main course and you’re invited to spend a whole afternoon indulging. The old-fashioned interior is reminiscent of the 1960s.
Tichy’s menu features an extensive list of specialty ice cream sundaes. However, it’s the original ice cream- apricot dumplings that locals go nuts for.
Opening Hours | Daily from 10 am to 11 pm. Tichy is closed in Winter. Depending on the weather, Tichy is open approximately from Mid-March to the end of September.
Address | Reumannplatz 13, 1100 Wien | Google Maps
11. WU – Vienna University of Economics and Business
If you love modern architecture
Vienna is renowned for its Art Nouveau and Baroque architecture. It’s definitely not celebrated for its modern architecture. But, we have another Vienna hidden gem for you.
The WU campus is one of the most impressive modern building complexes we’ve ever seen.
Walking on the campus, you’ll see a myriad of different shapes and designs that seem to play off each other. It’s a visual feast of color and texture that seems to go on forever.
Standout buildings are the Library & Learning Center (LC), Teaching Center, and D3 Department and Administration building.
The WU campus was designed by 6 architects. If you want to learn more about the buildings, you can request an Architecture Tour.
It looks like tours are only available for groups, but you can reach out to [email protected] for custom tours.
How to get to WU | Take the subway U-2 to Messe.
Address | Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Wien | Google Maps
12. Gasthaus Quell
If you love traditional Austrian food
Gasthaus Quell is the perfect place to go if you want to eat traditional Austrian food in a very authentic restaurant.
The interior is warm and cozy and the service is always friendly. If you’re in Vienna during a weekday, this is a great place for lunch.
We hit up this Vienna hidden gem everytime we’re in the city, and our experience is always exceptional. Without fail, Kati always orders the Augsburger gegrillt mit Rösti & Salat, which is a sausage paired with hashbrowns (Rösti) and a side salad.
Opening Hours | Monday – Friday: 11 am – midnight. The kitchen is open from 11 am to 10:45 pm. Closed on weekends and holidays.
Address | Reindorfgasse 19, 1150 Wien | Google Maps
13. Ernst Fuchs Museum (Otto Wagner Villa)
If you love Art Nouveau Architecture
The Ernst Fuchs Museum occupies the fanciful Otto Wagner Villa in Vienna’s Penzing district.
Otto Wagner (1841-1918) was a visionary architect in the late 1800s. His designs have left an indelible mark on Vienna.
If you’re in the inner city, you’ll likely encounter his work at the city railway stations (Wiener Stadtbahn), the Postal Savings Bank (Postsparkasse), and the residential buildings at Linke Wienzeile, which are next to Naschmarkt.
One of Otto Wagner’s buildings, named Otto Wagner Villa I, is rarely visited. This hidden gem is a fantastic display of the Viennese art nouveau movement.
Today, the Villa houses a collection of Ernst Fuchs’ (1930-2015) paintings and drawings. Fuchs’ art is both beautiful and grotesque. His use of color is almost psychedelic.
He drew great inspiration from the Secession movement and both religious and mythical themes. Though there’s no information about the artist in English in the museum, we still think it’s worth visiting.
On a sunny day, light streams into the villa and illuminates the intoxicating works of Ernst Fuchs.
Entry: Adult 11 EUR, Wiencard: 8 EUR, Students and Seniors 6 EUR.
Opening Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 10 am to 4 pm
Address: Hüttelbergstraße 26, 1140 Wien | Google Maps
14. Laolao near Michaelerplatz
If you love takeout
Vienna is a formal city steeped in history and tradition. It’s what makes Vienna so attractive to visit. No one comes to Vienna for the cutting-edge food scene or the underground art scene. You come to Vienna to marvel at the gorgeous Art Nouveau, Baroque, and Gothic architecture and to experience Viennese culture.
And while it’s lovely to prance around Vienna as if you’re in a period piece, sometimes you need to satisfy your worldly, modern appetite.
Just steps away from Michaelerplatz, the square in front of the Hofburg with the Roman ruins (which also hosts a Christmas Market), there’s a tiny takeout restaurant called Laolao.
Though extremely small, we love the first district location, because it’s such a pleasant surprise.
First District Location | Herrengasse 6-8/11, 1010 Wien | Google Maps
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Austria Trip Planning Essentials
When to Visit Austria
Getting around Austria
Austria has an excellent public transit system. We’ve used it extensively to travel throughout the country. We highly recommend using transit if you’re visiting cities (Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz, etc…), and/or doing hut-to-hut hikes.
Some areas like Mayrhofen, Schladming and Lech am Arlberg have wonderful seasonal transit systems in place (e.g. summer hiking buses). However, if you’re not visiting during the high season, bus frequencies are significantly reduced and it’s far easier to get around with your own vehicle.
If you’re planning on visiting multiple destinations across Austria, we recommend renting a car.
Use these road trip itineraries for trip planning inspiration:
- 2 Week Austria Road Trip – starting in Vienna
- 1 Week Austria Road Trip – starting in Salzburg or Munich
- 10-Day Bavarian Alps & Tyrolean Alps Road Trip – starting in Munich
We recommend using the Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.
If you’re driving into Austria from a neighboring country, don’t forget to purchase a vignette at/near the border.
Hiking in Austria
Where to Hike in Austria
Read Austrian Alps Hiking Destinations for an overview of where to hike in Austria, with tips on specific trails and where to stay. Also check out Best Day Hikes in Austria and these region-specific hiking guides:
- Innsbruck Hiking Guide
- Salzburg Hiking Guide
- Filzmoos, Salzburg Hiking Guide
- Schladming, Styria Hiking Guide
- Lech am Arlberg, Vorarlberg Hiking Guide
- Vorarlberg Hiking Guide
- Vienna Mountains Hiking Guide
Hut to Hut Hiking in Austria
Austria is a premier hut-to-hut and long-distance hiking destination. The quality of the mountain huts are superb. We particularly love the high-alpine trails, which are called Höhenwege in German. We’ve summarized our favorite multi-day hikes in Trekking Austria. If you’re new to hut hiking, read this in-depth guide to Hut to Hut Hiking in Austria.
What to See & Do in Austria
- Visit a gorge like the Liechtenstein Gorge in Salzburg, or the Wolfsklamm Gorge in Tirol.
- Bathe in the thermal pools of an Austrian Therme like Aqua Dome in Tirol.
- Stay in a thermal spa hotel like Rogner Bad Blumau (designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser) in Styria, EurothermenResort Bad Ischl in Upper Austria, or the Aqua Dome Hotel in Tirol.
- Hike to a mountain lake like Lake Tappenkarsee in Salzburg or Lake Drachensee in Tirol.
- Go Wine Tasting in South Styria.
- Marvel at the culture, music, and architecture of Vienna.
- Eat heartwarming mountain food in an Almhütte at Grosser Ahornboden in Tirol or Ursprungalm in Styria.
- Drive the Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Hohe Tauern National Park.
- Visit the castles, monasteries, and wine taverns of the Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
More Vienna Travel Guides
Coffee Houses | Traditional Coffee Houses in Vienna
Balls | Vienna Rainbow Ball