Today I would like to share my favourite photo locations with you. Vienna is actually a very photogenic city with great motives all over the place. While walking through the picturesque city center, you will find photographic highlights and memorable scenes behind every corner. No wonder, that some people feel overwhelmed by their impressions.
But don’t worry, in order to make your life easier, I have compiled this list of Vienna photo spots worth a visit.
Vienna photo location #1: Leopoldsberg
This is my all time favourite location for great panoramic views of the city. I swear, there is no better place in Vienna to take great photos of the entire city from above.
Most people actually visit neighboring Kahlenberg in order to enjoy the view over the city. Kahlenberg is more popular and also provides quite an infrastructure, like a spacious parking lot, a café and even a hotel. With the result that it’s quite crowded most of the times.
Leopoldsberg on the other hand is like the Sleeping Beauty spot of the city. There used to be a restaurant in the castle ruin on top of the hill, but since its closure some eight years ago the place has been abandoned. The lookout however, is still accessible and provides visitors with a magnificent view over the city and the danube river.
Please note, that it’s not easy to arrive at Leopoldsberg without a rental car. You can either walk up the hiking trail Nr. 1 from Nussdorfer Platz, which will take you about 3-4 hours depending on your fitness level, or take the bus 38A from the U4 underground terminal stop Heiligenstadt. The bus ride takes about 30 min. Please be aware, that not all the busses go all the way up to Leopoldsberg. Some might finish at Kahlenberg already. For further details, please consult the corresponding timetable.
Vienna photo location #2: Flakturm Mariahilf (Aqua Terra Zoo)
Wow guys I am telling you, this is one of the most underrated and unknown photo locations in the city, especially amongst tourists. Few people know, that the old Flakturm does not only house the “Haus des Meeres” (Aqua Terra Zoo), Austria’s biggest aquarium with more than 10.000 animals (fish, sharks, turtles, birds and others) but also one of the best viewpoints of the city. Two outdoor decks provide visitors with an amazing 360° view of Vienna.
The bad news? The plattforms can only be accessed if you have a ticket for the aquarium, unless you know a resident of the 6th district of Vienna. The district’s residents may gain access to the lower plattform after presenting their residential registration form at the cash point. In order to reach the plattform, you need to climb 192 stairs along the outside wall of the building- I only recommend to do this if you are free from giddiness!
The Flakturm and the aquarium can be easily reached by the underground line U3 (Neubaugasse) or the busses 13A and 14A (Haus des Meeres). Opening hours are daily from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. (9 p.m. on Thursday)
Vienna Photo Location #3: Albertina-Augustinerbastei
The Albertina is a renowned museum and holds one of the biggest and most valuable graphic collections in the world, including works from Picasso, Dürer, Klimt and Schiele. Apart from the museum, also the plattform, called Augustinerbastei, is well worth a visit.
This bastion is the last preserved part of the Vienna city wall. Today it’s a pedestrian zone and offers great views over the Burggarten and the Imperial Palace (Hofburg) as well as the State Opera House.
This place is perfect to get great shots of the State Opera House. It’s a beautiul motive, especially at night when you can capture the illuminated building and the light trails of the passing cars.
The closest metro station is Karlsplatz (U1, U2, U4). Also the tram lines 1, 2, D, 62, 71 stop close-by (Staatsoper/ Kärntner-Ring).
Vienna Photo Location #4: Schönbrunn/ Gloriette
This is another great photo spot, especially in summer. However, the picture below was actually taken on a beautiful day in December. The Schönbrunn Palace and its surrounding gardens are one of the sights I would definitely recommend you to pay a visit to during your stay in Vienna. Actually, the whole place is a beautiful photo location, but if you walk up to the Gloriette, a beautiful building and eye-catcher situated on a hill opposite to the Schönbrunn Palace, you will be rewarded with a great view of the Schönbrunn garden, the city and its surrounding hills.
There is also a café inside the Gloriette, where you can have a coffee and some Viennese pastries while enjoying the great view over the city.
Public transport: U4 Schönbrunn
Vienna Photo Location #5: Mölkerbastei
A great photo location is often associated with a great view. However, there are some places in the city which do not offer a panoramic view and still provide great photo opportunities. One of them is “Mölkerbastei”, a historical neighbourhood built upon the remains of the old city wall.
Unfortunately a lot of historical houses were torn down during the construction of the Ringstraße but the remaining buildings still preserve the spirit of past centuries. One of the houses, Pasqualatihaus (Nr. 8), was home to the famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven. Some of his most famous pieces of music like the 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th symphony, his opera “Fidelio”, as well as the well known piano piece “Für Elise” were composed there during his stay.
I really recommend you to take your time to stroll around the area. It will provide you with some unique insights and photographic scenes.
Public Transport: Schottentor/Universität (U2, tram 37, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44)
Vienna Photo Location #6: Volksgarten
The free accessible Volksgarten (People’s Garden) is one of the most beautiful parks in the city. Situated between the Imperial Palace (Hofburg) and the Imperial Court Theater (Burgtheater), this beautiful garden invites you to leave the vibrant city behind and relax on one the many benches in this green oasis. The Volksgarten is famous for its rose collection, more than 400 types of roses can be found in the garden, adding up to more than 3000 flowers in total.
But there is more than just the flowers. The bright and graceful Theseus temple in the middle of the park is a fantastic photo motive. It’s also quite popular amongst bridal couples for their wedding photography.
You will also find statues of empress Elisabeth (“Sisi”) and Austrian writer Franz Grillparzer. If you need a break from sightseeing, Café Meierei is a good option to have a coffee or a cool drink while enjoying this blooming paradise in the middle of the city.
Volksgarten can be accessed all year around, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. between April and October and between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. during the winter months. The closest metro stations is U3 Volkstheater.
Vienna Photo Location #7: Upper Belvedere
Another nice Vienna view can be enjoyed from the Upper Belvedere. From the Belvedere Garden you can overlook the whole city center, including St. Stephen’s Cathedral and even the hills of the Vienna woods in the background. In addition, the Belvedere castle itself is a very nice photo motive too and well worth a visit.
Aparts from the views and the photographic highlights, the Belvedere Castle contains the most significant collection of Austrian art, including masterpieces by Gustav Klimt (“The Kiss”). If your time allows, you should definitely consider visiting the exhibition.
The Belvedere Castle and its gardens can be reached by tram D (Schloss Belvedere). The museums open daily between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The gardens open at 6:30 a.m. from April to October and at 7 a.m. during the winter months. Closing hours depend on the seasons and vary between 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Vienna Photo Location #8: Karlskirche (St. Charles Church)
Karlskirche (St. Charles Church) is my personal highlight in summer. During the summer months, when the pond in front of the church is filled with water, you can enjoy spectacular reflections – a highlight for any photography enthusiast.
But it is not just the impressive reflection, the church itself is a masterpiece of architecture. Karlskirche is known to be one of the most famous baroque churches north of the Alps and it’s also one of Vienna’s most important landmarks.
I would recommend you to visit Karlskirche even if you were not interested in photography, the church itself is just beautiful and a true jewel of baroque architecture. If you are a photo addict you will not only enjoy the beauty of the building, but especially the great photo opportunities that this special location offers its visitors.
Karlkirche can be easily reached by public transportation. The underground station “Karlsplatz” is one of the biggest public tranport hubs in the city connecting U1, U2 and U4 with several tram lines.
This was the list of 8 photo locations I personally really like in Vienna. I hope you liked it and gained some inspiration for your next trip to Vienna! Let me know what you think by leaving a comment!