Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour
Ringstrasse Tram Tour in Vienna

Ringstrasse Tram & Walking Tour:

Location: Vienna’s Ringtrasse (Ring Road)
Cost: Free, 4-14€ for tram pass (optional prices below)
Start: Museum Quartier (Museumsquartier Subway Stop)
Stop: Burggarten (Burgring Tram Stop)
Map Key: Red Tram #1 is in BLUE, Red Tram #2 is in RED, and the Yellow Tourist Tram is in YELLOW.  Subway lines are also marked.
Distance: Tram loop is 3.6 miles (additional walking is light)
Time: 24 Minutes for loop (4-5 Hours with stops)
Fun Scale
: 9 out of 10

Ringstrasse Tram Tour Overview:

From museums to beer gardens and cathedrals to memorials, there is a ton a great stuff to see and do along the Ringtrasse Tram Line in Vienna.  The Ringstraße (pronounced Ring-Strassa), traces the path of the Medieval city wall that surrounded Vienna until 1860.  With the urging of controversial Mayor Karl Lueger, Emperor Franz Joseph had the Medieval wall replaced with a grand boulevard to help modernize the expanding city.  During the massive project, the Ringtrasse (Ring Road) quickly became lined with some of Europe’s most impressive buildings and the Vienna began to boom.  Prior to the project Vienna had 500,000 residents, but by 1900 it had grown to 2.5 million and the 5th largest city in the World at the time.  You can imagine how the grand Ringtrasse became the place to see and be seen.

Consider our Vienna tram tour as a hop-on, hop-off walking tour around the Ringstrasse that you get to do at your own pace.  You’ll be compelled to walk between many of the stops but make sure to utilize the public transportation options listed below at least a couple times to help save your feet as the sights are spread out.  Hope you enjoy our Ringstrasse tram tour in Vienna!

Suggested Tram Line Options:

vienna tram tour red 1 and 21. Red #1 & #2 Trams: If you want the most flexibility we suggest doing a combination of the #1 (blue on our map) and #2 (red on our map) Tram Lines.  This is a nice option as it allows you to catch trams in both directions around the Ringstraße loop all day which come about every 5-10 minutes.  While the #1 and #2 lines overlap for part of the Ringstrasse you will have to switch lines halfway through to complete the full loop.  Each line goes a couple miles out of the way where they split from the loop so you have to pay attention when it’s time to switch lines. The best thing about this option is that you can use the standard city tram pass good on all normal lines and do not need to buy a special pass like you would with the Yellow Line option.  Red Tram Hours: 4am-Midnight, every 5-10 minutes.  Tickets: Single ride tickets are 2.20€ and you’ll have to use one every time you get on.  Unlimited City-wide Tram/Bus/Metro Pass is 7.60€ for 24 Hours, 13.30€ for 48 Hours, & 16.50€ for 72 hours.

vienna tram tour yellow tourist

2. Yellow Tourist Tram:
   The Yellow Tourist Tram is the only tram that continuously follows the Ringstraße loop without needing a line change.  It runs clockwise starting at the Schwedenplatz Tram Stop and takes 24 minutes to circle the entire loop. This 31 seat tram is complete with LCD screens going over the highlights and has headphones for narration in 8 languages. Unfortunately this tram not longer lets you do a hop on hop off option but it is enjoyable is you want to take in all the sights quickly.  Schwedenplatz is accessible from the #1 & #4 subway lines.  Yellow Tram Hours: 10am-6pm, last Yellow Tram leaves the Schwedenplatz Tram Stop at 5:30pm.   Yellow Tram Tickets: A special ticket is needed to ride this tram for a one-time 30 minute continuous loop ride which costs 8€ (4€ for children).  More Info: Yellow Tram Website.

3. Underground Metro:
While the road level tram lines are the best way to experience the Ringstrasse, you can also hit up most of the sights by using Vienna’s extensive underground Subway lines (marked on our map as thin lines).  Printable Subway Map: Click Here.

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour:

1. Museum Quartier:

Vienna Ringstasse Tram Tour Map - Museum Quartier
Vienna Ringstasse Tram Tour Map - Museum Quartier

About Museum Quartier: In the mid-to-late 1800 Emperor Frans Joseph I tackled a number of huge projects to enhance Vienna and bring it into an a boom period.  Maybe the largest of all the Emperor’s proposed projects was theKaiserforum which was meant serve as an Imperial Forum celebrating the might of Austria.  As seen in this 1865 mockup mockup sketch, the Kaiserforum complex was set to be quite vast with tons of buildings and construction started in on the Museum Quartier section 1872.  While most of Emperor Franz Joseph’s other projects went smooth, the Kaiserforum complex went really slow because of the over-the-top amount of detail they chose to use.  It ended up taking 19 years for the 1st two museums to open and other parts took even longer causing a lot of the complex to go unbuilt, but the parts they finished are amazing.

To the Eastside of the square is the highly rated Kunsthistorisches Museum which holds Vienna’s greatest collection of paintings covering very fun loving art from over a 200 year span.  The museum to the Westside of the square is the Museum of Natural History (Naturhistorisches) which holds Austria’s most famous work of art, the Venus of Willendorf, in its vast collection.  The only 4-inch-tall Venus statue is a chubby, naked female figure carved into limestone and is dated to be from between 24,000-22,000 BC.  Behind these two massive museums is a third one worth a stop for any modern art lover, the Leopold Modern Art Museum.  The museum itself is housed inside of the old Imperial Horse Stables.  Our favorite piece at the Modern Art Museum comes right away and is an upside down house home smashed into the side of the Museum called House Attack.  Make sure to check out the huge fountain statue of Empress Maria Theresa sitting in the Museum Quartier before moving to the next stop.

Art History Museum Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm, open on Thursday until 9pm, closed Mondays.  Art History Cost: 14€ for Adults, Children and teens are free, but a guided tour is 3€ extra. Combo ticket to include Neue Berg is 20€ for both or for the Leopold is 22€ for both.  Natural History Museum Hours: Wednesday-Monday 9am-6:30pm, open on Wednesday until 9pm, closed Tuesdays.  Natural History Museum Cost: 10€ for Adults, Children and teens are free, but a guided tour is 3€ extra.  The best deal also includes the nearby Neue Berg for just 20€ for both.  Leopold Museum Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm, open on Thursday until 9pm, closed Mondays.  Leopold Museum Cost: 12€ for Adults, students 8€. Combo ticket to include Kunsthistorisches is 22€ for both.

2. Hero’s Square (Heldenplatz):

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Hero's Square Heldenplatz Archduke Charles Horse Statue
Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Hero's Square Heldenplatz

About Museum Quartier: As you cross into Hero’s Square, you’ll immediately run into a large gateway over the road called Auberes Burgtor.  The columned gateway is all that remains from a wall built around the Palace in 1817 after the originally castle wall was damaged during the Napoleonic  Wars in 1809.  This new Palace wall didn’t last long as it and the entire Medieval wall that surrounded all of Old Town Vienna were torn down in 1860 by Emperor Franz Joseph I to making way for the Ringstrasse loop.  This move helped the growing city expand and was part of a large series of enhancements the Emperor made to the City.

As you pass through the gateway it opens up into the large Heldenplatz (or Hero’s Square) complete with a back drop of beautiful Neue Burg (or New Castle).  It can be easy to get distracted by the amazing curved building, but the square itself is worth investigating.  Heldenplatz and 2 other large gardens (Burggarten & Volksgarten) were laid out after parts of a Medieval castle wall that stood here were destroyed Napoleonic Wars.

While the the other Gardens have remained green, most of Heldenplatz has been paved over during the decades but a couple of the original equestrian statues remain.  Our favorite statue is Prince Eugene of Savoy and sits right by Neue Burg’s main entrance.  Eugene left France for Austria after being denied entrance to their military for appearance and went on to become the greatest General in Austrian history.  He led military campaigns for 60 years over 3 different Holy Roman Emperors based out of Vienna and was very successful.  The gain fame with battles over the Ottomans later gaining heavy praise fro Napoleon all while getting super rich from his endeavors.  To this day Eugene serves as a point of Austrian pride and will power.  On your walk over to Volksgarden in 2 stops you’ll also pass a great statue of Archduke Charles of Austria riding a horse while triumphantly holding a flag.  The statue of Charles, erected in 1860, was meant to portray the Habsburg Dynasty as great Austrian military leaders.

3. New Royal Palace (Neue Burg):

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - New Royal Hofburg Palace Neue Burg Museum
Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - New Royal Hofburg Palace Neue Burg Museum

About Neue Burg: While you’ve already visited the first parts of Emperor Franz Joseph’s Kaiserforum at the Museum Quartier, the Neue Burg Wing (or New Castle) wing of Hofburg Place was probably the biggest part of the new complex.  This huge palace section was started in 1881, but its construction was drug out for over 30 year into the beginning of WW1 which Austria lost, further delaying the project.  Because of the huge delays most of the rest of the Kaiserforum complex was scrapped for the most part, but overall the completed buildings are really impressive.

Once inside Neue Burg it is easy to be in awe of the marble lined corridors, grand staircases, and our favorite are called the Hunting Plateau which is a common place for weddings.  The amazing details of the grand Neue Berg make it the perfect setting for the building many museum collections.  The 1st collection that was housed here came from Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1908 after he got back from an extensive trip around the World.  After the Afranz Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914, which sparked WW1, his entire collection was given to Neue Berg giving a starting to a series of wonderful museums. Today the building houses Collection of Ancient Musical Instruments, Collection of Arms and Armor, Papyros Museum, and Ephesos Museum.  Our favorite of these museums is the Ephesos which has a great collection of classical and even ancient statues.  The highlight of the Ephesos Museum is the Parthian Monument, part of an antique altar erected at Ephesos (modern day Turkey) during the Hellenistic Period.

While the Neue Burg section of the Hofburg Palace is run by the Kunsthistorisches Museum the main part of the Palace sits just to the North and also worth a visit.  Because of the location of the entrance the main Hofburg Palace is best seen on our Old Town Walking Tour.  Highlights of visiting this historic landmark include the Imperial Apartments, Sisi Museum, and the Imperial Silver Collection.  We suggest getting the Sisi ticket as you will also be able to see the Imperial Furniture collection and a free pass to tour Schönbrunn Palace.   Neue Burg Museum Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 10am-6pm; Closed Monday & Tuesdays.  If you only have time for one museum stop, consider the world-class collection of museums at nearby Museum Quartier instead of Neue Berg.  Museum Cost: 15€ for Adults; Children are free; and guided tours are 3€ extra.  Your ticket covers all of Neue Burg’s Museum plus the Art History Museum (Kunsthistorisches) in Museum Quartier.  You can also get a combo ticket to include the Natural History museum and Leopold Modern Art Museum for a couple euros more. We’ve bought the combo ticket and they let us see the two museums on different days, but ask to make sure.  Neue Burg Website: Here.

4. The People’s Garden (Volksgarten):

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - People's Garden Volksgarten Greek Temple

About Volksgarten: The People’s Garden Park was one of the fist public parks in Vienna and opened during a period which the royal family greatly expanded public spaces.  The park has an excellent free Rose Garden which is a real treat to visit during the Summer months.  If you looking for the most peaceful spot in Vienna’s city center, look no further than Volksgarten’s white-washed Empress Elizabeth statue and alter.  The Empress, also known by her nickname Sissi, was the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph I in the late 1800s.  She was widely known for her beauty and was endeared  by citizens.  Probably the biggest sign of Roman influence on early Vienna is Volksgarten’s modern replica of the Greek Temple Hephaestus (Theseion).   The Romans first became fortifying Vienna in 15BC and parts of their ancient walls can still be see around Old Town today.

5. Austrian Parliament:

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Austrian Parliament
Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Austrian Parliament

About Parliament: The Austrian Parliament is truly a powerful looking government building sitting above the Ringstrasse like a mighty Roman Temple.  Sitting in front of the beautiful building is a huge white fountain capped off with a statue of Athena, the goddess of wisdom, wearing golden armor is the main attraction.  This fountain is quite a statement piece and leads to some of the coolest photos in Vienna.  If you choose to join one of the free guided tours of the interior, you’ll tour both chambers of the building, the National Council (Nationalrat) and the Federal Council (Bundesrat).

Free Guided Tours: 55 minute guided tours are available at the top of the hour Monday-Saturday at 11am-4pm.  In the off season they only have the Noon and 1pm tour on Saturdays.  Parliament Website: Here.

6. City Hall & Beer Garden (Rathaus):

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Town Hall Rathaus
Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Town Hall Rathaus Ice Skating

About Town Hall: The City Halls is a really fun place to take a break during the tram tour.  As you step off the tram you’re confronted with the huge Neo-Gothic towers of City Hall which overlook a vast beer garden, called Rathaus Platz.  The largest of the towers stands over 321 feet tall and is capped by a 17 foot tall Rathausmann who stands guard over City Hall.  The watchman might not look that big from the ground but he weighs over 1400 pounds and is so large that he takes a size 31 shoe!  When the City Hall was completed in 1883, the Emperor made sure that the tower was smaller than the 324 foot tall tower of neighboring Votive Church, although technically City Hall is 342 feet tall with the Rathausmann and flag pole added onto the top.  There are ongoing tours of the interior which are a little boring, but you are free to hike the 331 steps to the top of the tower for some great views.

Even if you don’t make it all the way to the top of City Hall’s towers, the structure still offers a great back drop for your photos from ground level.  In the Summer months a full-sized movie screen takes up the entire side of City Hall as it plays free outdoor movies over the park and Beer Garden.  The Rathus Platz Beer Garden has authentic food, great beer, and wine from all over the world with good prices and a ton of great outdoor seating.  Most of the Beer Garden workers are often in traditional Austrian dress which makes the whole experience that much more unique.  We recommend getting a tall glass and relaxing on the posh Carpe Diem patio near the road.  In the Winter there is a large outdoor ice staking rink set up in the park and the entire City Area turns into a Christmas Village.

Free Guided Tours: If you want to get a closer, in-depth, look at City Hall’s Senate Chamber, Coat of Arms Room, Festival Hall and more they have free tours.  The City offers free guided tours in German at 1pm on Monday, Wednesday, & Friday.  To join a tour group, check their tours website ahead of time.  If you don’t speak German, don’t worry, they have a ton of multilingual audio guides available for checkout.  Town Hall Website: Here.

7. National Royal Theater (Burgtheater):

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - National Theater Burgtheater
Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - National Theater Burgtheater Backstage Inside

About Burgtheater: The National Royal Theater (Burgtheater) was first opened in 1741 in an unused banquet hall of Hofburg Palace along Saint Michael’s Square with Empress Maria Theresa’s permission.  It was only one generation later, in 1776, that the successful theater became the official Royal Theater (Burgtheater) under the watch of Emperor Joseph II.  Many famous premieres took place at the theater including Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro in 1786 and Beethoven’s 1st Symphony in 1800.

Opened in 1888 after 14 years of constructions, the new Royal Theater building was one of the final projects to help round out the new Ring Road (Ring Road).  While the building was ruined in WW2, it was rebuilt in the 1950s.  Through the centuries the Burgtheater has been considered the best theater in the German speaking world and has a permanent ensemble of more than 80 actors and actresses.  If you are looking to catch a great show, the theater still houses some of the best playwrights and performances in Austria even though new theaters have been built.

Right next to the National Theater is the most well known cafe on the Ringstrasse called Cafe Landtman (website).  The Cafe, opened in 1873, have been visited by Sigmund Freud, the Dutch Queen Juliane, Hillary Clinton and Paul McCartney.  Guided Tours: Daily tours at 3pm last 1 hour and are in German Monday-Thursday and English Friday-Sunday.  In July and August each tour session is in both languages.  Show Tickets: Show tickets can be bought online Here and range from $2.50 for standing room tickets up to about $51 for prime seats.  Theater Website: Here.

8. Beethoven’s Pasqualati House:

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Beethoven's Pasqualati House
Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Beethoven's Pasqualati House

About Beethoven’s Pasqualati House: The Pasqualati House is where Beethoven lived and composed for 11 years from 1804 to 1815.  While it is a very large house, Beethoven only rented out two large rooms he rented on the 4th floor which was still luxury for his time.  Today his residence is preserved as a museum complete with many of Beethoven’s original possessions.  When he lived here Beethoven’s rooms had excellent views onto what was then the Vienna Woods.  While living here, he composed a few of his most important including the Fourth, Fifth and Seventh Symphonies, Fourth Piano Concerto, Violin Concerto, and his only opera Fidelio.  By the time Beethoven moved out of the Pasqualati House in 1815 not only had his fame grew, but he had also gone almost completely deaf.  After Beethoven died in 1827, the dark green door from the house he died in was moved to the Pasqualati House and is still used as the entrance.

If you are a huge Beethoven fan you should consider visiting his grave site in the nearby Zentralfriedhof Cemetery which is stop #2 on our Additional Attractions Page.  There is also a statue of Beethoven toward the end of this Vienna tram tour on Beethovenplatz.  If you not interested in touring the inside of his home, from outside of the building, the windows his rooms can easily be seen straight above a large chuck of the old city wall on the forth floor.  Museum Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm with an hour break from 1-2pm; Closed Mondays.  Cost: Adults 4€, People under 19 are Free.  Museum Website: Here.

9. Votive Church (Votivkirche):

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Votive Church Votivkirche
Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Votive Church Votivkirche Inside

About Votive Church: Completed 4 years before City Hall in 1879, the massive Votive Church was built on the site of a failed 1853 assassination attempt of Emperor Franz Joesph by a Hungarian nationalist.  The church was commissioned by Franz’s brother Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph, who later become emperor of Mexico, as a way of giving praise to God (votive offering) for sparing Emperor Franz Joesph’s life.  And to remind other possible revolutionaries of the Habsburg’s divine power.  As an added bit of religious symbolism, the floor plan of the Church itself is laid out in the shape of a cross.  Votive’s two overpowering towers are awe-inspiring places to take pictures and even though it can be hard to fit all into one frame.  Church Website: Here.

10. Sigmund Freud’s Home:

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Sigmund Freud's House Museum
Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Sigmund Freud's House Museum

About Sigmund Freud’s Home: Welcome to the home and office of Sigmund Freud, one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th Century who is credited as the father of Psychoanalysis.  He was very innovative and believed that both libido and unconscious drives could explain a lot about a person’s mental state as well as actions.  By digging into patients repressed emotions and memories Freud was able to reveal their unconscious thoughts and motivations to help them control their impulses.  When visiting Freud’s home and office you get to sit in the same waiting room his patients would wait in to meet with the Doctor.  Hours: Daily 9am-6pm.  Cost: 10€ Adults; 7.50€ Students.  Guide Tours: While an audio guide is included for free, there are also guided tours for 3€  at 11am & 2pm daily.  Museum Website: Here.

11. Rossauer Military Barracks:

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Rossauer Military Barracks Red Brick Building
Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Rossauer Military Barracks Red Brick Building

About Rossauer Military Barracks: The large castle like red-brick Rossauer Military Barracks (Roßauer Kaserne) is one of 3 barracks the Emperor Franz Joseph had built in Vienna during the late 1800’s.  This one housed 4000 troops and almost 400 horses, but wasn’t built to defend against outside forces; instead it was made to defend against the Austrian public’s growing desire for Democracy.   The 1848 Revolution had been viewed as a large threat to the Empire and the Barracks was a good tool to remind the Public of the Emperor’s might.  The Barracks is not open to the public, but the contrast of the building’s red-brick exterior to its surroundings is a favorite among photographers.

If for some reason you are running short on time the Vienna Stock Exchange Building (or Borse) sits just inside the Ringstrasse and is a smaller version of the Barracks.  The Stock Exchange, often called the Temple of Money, seems to be made out of the same bricks as the Barracks.

12. Anti-Gestapo Memorial Site:

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Anti Gestapo Memorial Nazi Site
Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Anti Gestapo Memorial Nazi Site

About The Memorial: The Vienna headquarters of the Nazi’s evil Secret Police group, the Gestapo, was located at this very spot in the Hotel Metropol which was destroyed in WW2.  The Gestapo relied on terror to get what they wanted as prisoners were often tortured for weeks to obtain false confessions, and were even sometimes sent to prison camps or killed.  Today a memorial sits over the spot of the former headquarters to remind us of the suffering and murder of countless people.  Near the main Memorial there is a large relief on the facade the building across Salztorgasse which depicts the agony that thousands of prisoners had to endure.  Footprints that lead into the building through what was the back entrance of the Gestapo headquarters and symbolically don’t return out the other side.

13. Saint Ruprecht’s Church (Ruprechtskirche):

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Saint Ruprecht’s Church Ruprechtskirche Inside Windows
Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Saint Ruprecht’s Church Ruprechtskirche Statue

About Saint Ruprecht’s Church: Saint Ruprecht’s Church is Considered by many to be the oldest church in Vienna.  The church was first founded in 740 by 2 Monks from Salzburg and the current building was built sometime between 900-1100.  The name comes from Bishop Ruprecht who founded Salzburg’s Saint Peter’s Abbey in 696 and later became the Patron Saint of the Salt miners after his death on Easter Sunday in 710.  At the time the church was built it sat inside the original wall of the Roman camp Vindobona before it was expanded outward as modern Vienna through Medieval times.  Along the outside of the nave and lower part of the tower are remains from the only section of this part of Vienna’s city wall to make it through the Fire Of 1276 which burned a lot of Old Town.  The Church’s Romanesque, almost Gothic, tower looks stunning in the summer and fall while covered with lush leafy vines.  The trunks of the vines spider all the way up the wall of the Church and give photographers a treat as they beautifully frame statue of Saint Ruprecht.

Inside Saint Ruprecht’s Church the central stained glass windows also survived the great fire and date back to 12070.  If you search around the small chapel, you find the skeletal remains of martyr Saint Vitalis elegantly dressed in a glass coffin which Empress Maria Theresa gave to the Church as a gift in 1765.  Church Website: Here.

Stopping at Saint Ruprecht gives you the best opportunity to explore the Medieval streets of the Roman Camp Vindobona which pre-date Vienna.  Some remains of the Roman camp can still be seen across the canal in the form of small run-down rock walls.  One Block Southwest of the Church was once the Pine Market (Keinmartkt) which was a popular market from 1247.  Straight South of the Saint Ruprecht’s is the City Jewish Temple which is one of the only ones in Vienna to make it through WW2.  Just beyond that is Hoher Market which dates back to the 1300 and holds Vienna’s worthwhile Roman Museum.  A personal favorite of ours is the Griechenbeisl Restaurant and Inn open since 1447 with wine cellars date back to the 1300s.  It’s said that bagpiper Marx Augustin wrote his hit song Lieber Augustin here in 1679. A beautiful marker for Augustin with a lush vine back drop is one of Vienna’s best photo opportunities.  If you were thinking about visiting either the Mexican Church, Donautrum Tower, or Prater Park (all listed in our additional attractions section) this is a great spot to jump on the metro and do so.

14. Vindobona & Hoher Market:

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Vindobona Hoher Market Roman Ruins Museums
Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Vindobona Hoher Market Anker Clock

About Vindobona & Hoher Market: As you walk from Saint Ruprecht’s Church to Hoher Market you will be headed toward what was once the heart of the fortified Roman camp called Vindobona (meaning White Village) which predates the founding of modern Vienna.  The fort was built in 15AD and housed 6,000 Roman legion soldiers with another 15,000 civilians living outside of the walls.  While Vindobona was much smaller than the 50,000 person regional Roman capital of Carnuntum just 30 miles to the East, it helped to define the Northern edge of the Roman Empire.  After Rome fell in 433AD, the remaining citizens around Vindobona moved inside the walls of the abandoned camp which then hit a steady decline.  The camp was re-fortified including a small castle Berghof Restsiedlung built in 800AD over former Roman baths next to today’s Hoyer Market to help defend against Magyar (Hungarian) armies.  Shortly after, in 881, Vindobona took the name Vienna (Wein) after the Vienna River (Weinfluss) which is Celtic for Wood Creek.

In 1156, Heinrich II of Babenberg was forced by the Holy Roman Emperor to give up his title Duke of Bavaria to Henry the Lion and was named the 1st Duke of Austria by the in return.  With a fresh canvass at his disposal, Heinrich II moved to Vienna and built Castle Babenbergerpfalz inside the Southwest corner of the old Roman wall on the foundations of Vindobona’s former barracks.  This established the 1st official Royal Court and elements of Vindobona’s Roman past started to become harder to find.  In 1246, Ottokar Duke of Moravia (King of Bohemia) moved the royal castle out of Vindobona and started to expand the city wall in all directions to follow the path of the Ringstrasse.  More changes happened when the next Duke, Rudolf I of Hapsburg (King of Germany), was elected starting what would be a 500 year family dynasty.

Hoher Market also saw changes under Hapsburg rule as it revamped into a lively market square in the 1300s complete with a beautiful fountains.  By the 1700s the square was surround by grand mansions and the fountain was done in bronze and marble with a wedding theme.  It was business as usual for the square until 1949 when post WW2 sewer line excavations revealed ancient Roman barrack foundations from the days of Vindobona below Hoher Market.  The findings were unexpected as the foundations had complete sections of walls from Roman military officer villas and geothermal heaters from nearby baths.  The excavations were opened to the public shortly after and were later combined with additional artifacts from Michael’s Square found in 1990.  Today the ruins are part of Hoher Market’s Roman Museum highlighting the history of early day Vindobona.  We highly suggest a visit along with a bite to eat at the square’s famous Wurstel Vienna Sausage Stand.  If you are lucky you will also be able to catch a show at the Anker Musical Clock while at Hoher Market.  Built from 1911-1914 the Art Nouveau clock has a “parade” show daily at Noon and xmas songs during advent at 5 & 6pm.

Roman Museum Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9am-6pm; Closed Mondays.  Roman Museum Cost: Adults 7€ ; kids free.  Wurstelstand Hours: 9am-4am.

15. Hermann Park Beach:

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Danube River Hermann Beach Park Bar
Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Danube River City Beach

About Hermann Park Beach: Maybe the best hidden gem on the Ringstrasse is the huge Hermann Park Beach on the shore of the Danube River.  There are a couple other man-made beaches on the Danbue, like the nearby Danube City Beach (website), but the Strandbar (website) at Herman Park makes it the best choice.  The bar sits right in the middle of the large beach and has tons of umbrella chair seating to help make the experience like no other.  We also love the back drop of beautiful buildings like the domed Urania Theater built as an observatory by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1910.   Hermann Beach was also the location of Castrum a small Celtic settlement at the mouth of the Vienna River going back to 500BC which pre-dates the Roman Camp of Vindobona.

Hermann Beach Bar Hours: Daily 10am-2am.  Danube City Beach Bar Hours: Daily 1pm-11pm.

16. Viennese City Park (Stadtpark):

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - City Park Stadtpark
Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - City Park Stadtpark Johann Strauss Gold Statue

About City Park: The Viennese Park honors the musical of the musicians that made the Viennese Balls possible with a ton of statues of the famous historical composers and musicians from Vienna.  The gold colored concert hall on the south end of the park is called the Kursalon and was opened in 1867 by the Strauss brothers who were famous for their Waltzes.  A statue of one of the brothers, Johann Strauss, show him covered in gold while playing his violin.  Johann was famous for playing his violin while conducting and the beautiful statue is one of the most highly photographed in Vienna. If nothing else the Viennese Park serves as a great place to relax and people watch for a while.  On the far Northwest corner of the park, a statue honors former Mayor Dr. Karl Lueger, who pushed the Emperor to modernize Vienna in the mid-1800s.

17. Schwarzenberg Square:

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Schwarzenberg Square WW2 Memorial Fountain
Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Schwarzenberg Square Statue

About Schwarzenberg Square: Schwarzenberg Square (Schwarzenbergplatz) is best known for having a couple of interesting statues.  The first statue is a green equestrian one of Prince Charles Schwarzenberg who fought against Napoleon, typically this statue is covered in pigeons and bird poop.  The second statute, at the end of the square, is a columned fountain in honor of the Soviets who died freeing Austria from the Nazis in WW2.  Don’t feel discouraged if you are underwhelmed by this stop as it is the best place to hop off the Ringstrasse Tram Tour to visit either nearby Belvedre Palace or our next stop St Charles Church.  Check out our additional attractions section for details on Belvedere Palace which is connected to Schwarzenberg Square by Tram Line D.

18. Saint Charles Church (Karlskirche):

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Saint Charles Church Karlskirche Karlsplatz
Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Saint Charles Church Karlskirche Karlsplatz

About Karlskirche: The giant white Saint Charles Church dates back to the early 1700’s and is a favorite of photographers with its large green dome and huge reflecting pool.  The Church was commissioned by the Emperor after Vienna’s last bout of Plague as he felt that his prayers were the reason why the Plague stopped.  That train of thought is a common theme throughout Vienna’s history as after each tragedy the ruling Emperor would use it as a reason to build an even bigger and more extravagant Church.  Cost: 4€.  Hours: Daily 9am-7pm.  WebsiteHERE.

19. Naschmarkt:

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Naschmarkt Market
Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Naschmarkt Market

About Naschmarkt: The 6 block long Naschmarkt is Vienna’s most popular produce market.  An active market has been operating here since 1780 and today has 100 vintage stalls.  Cost: Free.  Hours: Stalls open Monday-Friday 6am-7:30pm; Saturday 6am-6pm; food & drink Monday-Saturday until 11pm.  WebsiteHERE.

20. State Opera House (Staatsoper):

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - State Opera House
Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - State Opera House

About The Opera House: In a city known for music, the 1,200 person State Opera House takes the cake.  The hall has housed some of Austria’s best musicians over the years and still has 70 different works with over 300 performance a year.  The Opera House is also a great place to start our City Center Walking TourOpera House Tours: 6.50€ also includes the Opera Museum, 1-4 tours daily, varies by day but is updated monthly on their website, tour is great and brings you to a lot of backstage areas.  Performances: If you are not that into three hours of opera, they also sell 567 standing room only tickets per show, 160 of which can be right below the emperors box.  Standing room tickets are cheap, 2€ upstairs and 3.50€ downstairs, and allow you to easily leave when you’ve had your fill.  Standing room only tickets go on sale 60 minutes before each show at the front door and 80 minutes before the show inside the side door at the Stehplatze booth.  WebsiteHERE.

21. Castle Park (Burggarten):

Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Castle Park Burggarten
Vienna Ringstrasse Tram Tour Map - Castle Park Burggarten Mozart Statue

About BurggartenBurggarten, or Castle Park, was revamped in the early 1800s and has been a favorite of visitors ever since.  The park has a awesome back drops from the enormous Neue Burg Wing of Hofburg Palace to a number of circle Mozart chairs perfect for taking very unique pictures. Through the large green space park are elegant statues and even a relaxing pond.  Our favorite place to reflect on the day is in the Northwest corner of Burggarten where there is a small open area with an excellent white-wash Mozart statue.

As part of the front end of a large makeover to the Hofburg Palace the Emperor had a gigantic green house over 22,000 square feet built, dubbed the Palmen House.  The green house was a huge luxury and housed a tons of tropical plants and palm trees.  The green house has since been turned into of our favorite restaurants in Vienna where you can eat under the palms no matter how cold it is outside. Consider stopping at the tropical Butterfly House which is attached to the North side of the restaurant.

Sights Near The Ringstrasse:

22. Vienna City Center Walking Tour:

Free Old Town Vienna Walking Tour Map - City Center
Free Old Town Vienna Walking Tour Map - City Center

About Old Town: If you are looking to further explore the rest of the amazing sights in Old Town Vienna then the area around Burggarten is the perfect place to pick up our Free Old Town Vienna Walking Tour which starts from the Opera House.  The tour covers the real heart of Vienna from the Medieval shopping streets, Imperial crypts, the might Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, and even the modern sights.

Read MoreFree Old Town Vienna Walking Tour.

23. Upper Belvedere Palace:

Free Old Town Vienna Walking Tour Map - Upper Belvedere Palace
Free Old Town Vienna Walking Tour Map - Upper Belvedere Palace

About Belvedere Palace: Completed in 1723, the Upper Belvedere Palace was built by Prince Eugene after successful held off attacks on Vienna by Ottoman forces.  The full grounds of Belvedere, meaning beautiful views in German, are quite expansive with the beautiful Upper Palace (Eugene’s party house) and the Lower Palace (his garden villa) separated by a vast garden.   This is fitting as part of the grounds the palace was built were once used as a botanical garden in Roman times and ruins of it have been found at Oberzellergasse.  Both the exterior and interior of the Upper Belvedere are impressive  although they pale in compassion to the amazing Schonbronn Palace (website) in Vienna which is among the top 2 in all of Europe.  We suggest visiting the Upper Palace if you have time and skip the Lower section.  Hours: Daily 10am-6pm.

Read MoreBelvedere Palace Tours.