The Ringstraße or Ringstrass is the ring road of Vienna,
but not just a piece of road this is also a part of the
heart of the city with many of the most important buildings
and sights on it. Take a trip around the road on a
tram or even a horse drawn carriage to experience
some of the splendor that is Vienna.
Forming a circle around the city center with
Stephanplatz in the centre of a rough circle, and with
the Donau-kanal forming one side where the road
changes name to Franz-Josephs-Kai, and the Stadpark
on another, the road encompasses all you need to know for a
quick introduction to the city.
Where the road stands today was the location of a 13th
century city wall which lasted until Franz Joseph I ordered
it demolished in 1857. A grand boulevard was created
in its place in the manner of other great European cities,
but as a ring rather than a straight path. This helped to
connect all parts of the city and became a showcase of the
might and grandeur of the Empire.
majority of the buildings seen today were built soon after
the road itself and include the State Opera, the Fine Arts
Academy, Justizplast, Rathaus and of course Votivkirche, the
A few more modern buildings such as the 1950s Kärtnerhof,
the Ringturm from the same period and the Korso or Korso
from the 1990s.
The Nashmarkt is only minutes walk away from the
Ringstrass, the market itself is outside the ring hence
walking towards Stephanplatz is the direction to go. Exit
the Naschmarkt at the Karlsplatz end and walk towards the
Opera which is the first and closest major building on the
part of the ring nearby.
Take tram line No. 1 or No. 2 to explore the ring, if you
stay on the tram for the whole while it will take about 30
minutes to see all out of the window, but of course it is
best to stop and enjoy the various sights. Take the trip at
least twice, once in the day time and once at night to see
the lights of the buildings as the atmosphere is quite
different. Buy a day ticket for the best value, but take
care as these trams also go to other parts of the city so
ensure you are boarding a tram going in the correct
Of course the absolute best time to see it is during
November when the Christmas decorations and fairs make the
whole city light up like a tree ornaments. But also in the
summer the smell of the flowers in the many parks and the
green of the trees makes it one of the greenest and most
comfortable city centers in all the world.
For a trip with commentary try one of the HopOnOff
tour bus available anywhere along the route. Starting at
the State Opera the Red line bus goes around the ring
24 hours a day and costs only 14 Euros per adult, half price
for children, and includes commentary in many different
languages from English to Chinese.
Or hire a bike and see the city like a local! Much of the
route includes cycle paths and even where not the roads are
very bike friendly as using bicycles for transport is very
common in the city.
Hofburg, the former Imperial Palace, City Hall or
Rathaus , the Parliament or Hohes Haus and of
course the National Museum along with shops of all types.