This year the Viennese Ringstraße celebrates its 150 years existence. We take this opportunity to inform you a bit about the Ringstraße itself and to give you an overview on upcoming exhibitions which are focused on the Ringstraße and its history. The 5.2 kilometer boulevard is one of the most important sights of Vienna and is seen as a great starting point for the discovery of the city centre. Due to this we would like to present you some of the great sight along a great street
The history of the Ringstraße
With the famous words „It is my will” Emperor Franz Joseph I. commissioned the demolition of the old city walls and creation of an impressive boulevard in the city centre of Vienna in 1857. In the following summer of 1858 85 projects had been submitted and the demolition was started. From the beginning on the Ringstraße was planned as a boulevard which should combine space for private transport, public transport and recreation areas. This plan was kept until today and nowadays the Viennese population can find five vast park areas which offer a huge recreation area within the city centre. Seven years after the beginning of the construction work the Ringstraße was festively inducted by Emperor Franz Joseph himself and his wife Elisabeth of Austria. Even if you could not find to many building by this time at the boulevard the boulevard was opened and the convoy moved via the new boulevard to the Prater. The final construction work was done by 1913. At this time the last representative building, the Ministery of War, was opened. Today you can countless magnificent buildings, hotels, restaurants and many sights along the boulevard. Whether you are looking for a typical Viennese coffee house, a luxury hotel or a classic Viennese dinner – the Ringstraße offers you culture, history and present at one place.
Many museums in Vienna are focused on the anniversary of the Ringstraße this year. Especially this year you will have the chance to get to know as much as possible about the Ringstraße. Thereby the topics are totally different and there is something interesting for everyone. The Jewish museum for example shows the Jewish life at the Ringstraße and the role of the Jews as builders and patrons. The Secession in contrast takes a look on its own building history. The museum was originally planned at the Ringstraße but intense protests smashed those plans and the “too modern” museum was moved to the Naschmarkt where you can find it until today.
The ring – a Jewish boulevard
Dorothergasse 11, 1010 Wien
Too modern for the first row
Friedrichstraße 12, 1010 Wien
Sightseeing at the Ringstraße
For many tourists a ride in the Vienna Ring Tram is an important part of their Viennese bucket list. Similar as the famous hop-on hop-off buses you can enjoy a ride along the Ringstraße and an informative audio guide gives you information on sights and buildings along the way. If you search for a cheaper version you can also take the public tram routes 1 and 2. With only one change you can drive round the city centre. You have to miss out the audio guide on this tour but if you have a smartphone you can use our Audio guide which will give you also great information on the sights at the Ringstraße. If you decide to take a look at the sights along the Ringstraße you probably won’t stop wonder. From the Hostel Hütteldorf you can get nonstop via the U4 to Karlsplatz. There the famous Charles Church from the 18th century is waiting to be visited by you. Famous for its distinctive columns at the main entrance it is inspired by Hagia Sofia in Istanbul. Also at the metro station Karlsplatz situated you can find the Opera really close to Charles Church. Every year it is scene of countless high quality performances and the Vienna Opera Ball. If you follow the Ringstraße clockwise you will pass by the Hofburg Palace, seat of the Austrian president and formerly emperors, within a few minutes. On the opposite side of the Ringstraße you can find the Museums of Natural and Cultural History. In a row the Ringstraße leads you to city hall and passes by the Burgtheater, Austria’s most important theatre, and the parliament. The 113 metre tall city hall is one of Vienna’s most distinctive sights and offers great events at its forecourt. Experience the life ball, the Christmas market or one of the many festivals.
All of our Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) fans can find the countdown for the event also at the forecourt of the city hall. Passing by the University of Vienna and the old stock market you then reach the Danube channel. If you need a break then we recommend you to have some ice cream at the Schwedenplatz. Especially famous with locals and tourists is the Eis Greissler. A small ice cream shop half way between the Schwedenplatz and Stephansplatz. After the break you can tackle the rest of the boulevard. Following the Danube channel you pass by the police headquarter and the Museum of Applied Arts. Especially between the Museum of Applied Arts and the Opera you can find many coffee houses, restaurants and famous hotels. There you can bring your day to a perfect end by experiencing Viennese coffee house culture and lifestyle.