Discovering Lesser-Known Vienna

Vienna has its imperial family history, its legendary coffeehouses, and its opulent palaces, none of which one should miss. For first-time visitors, it’s easy to get lost in the grandeur of places like the State Opera and Hofburg Palace, and overlook the more obscure attractions and activities. To help you mix it up a bit, I’ve chosen five options for discovering lesser-known Vienna as part of the #HipmunkCityLove project.

Globenmuseum / Globe Museum

Located in the Palais Mollard and part of the Austrian National Library, this is the only globe museum in the world. The public exhibit consists of 240 different spherical representations, not only of Earth, but also of the sky, the moon, and Mars. The three-dimensional displays will captivate anyone interested in cartography, astronomy, geography, or travel. The globes range in size from miniature to mammoth.

Minoritenkirche / Minorities Church

Named for the “Minoriten”, or Franciscan monks assigned to Vienna from Italy in 1224, the church is formally known as Italienische Nationalkirche Maria Schnee (Italian National Church of Mary of the Snows). It is an unpretentious church, tucked away on the quiet Minoritenplatz in Vienna’s First District. What makes Minoritenkirche worth visiting is the life-sized copy of da Vinci’s masterpiece, “The Last Supper”. The mosaic, made by Giacomo Raffaelli, weighs approximately 20 tons, and hangs on the north wall of the church.

The Last Supper mosaic | Minoritenkirche | Vienna, Austria

The Last Supper mosaic | Minoritenkirche

Vienna Capitals

For those who need to offset Vienna’s art and culture with something a bit more unrefined, the Vienna Capitals hockey team has you covered. The Capitals are part of the Erste Bank Hockey League, and play against teams from Slovenia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Italy, and other parts of Austria. Their home ice is at Albert Schultz Eishalle in Donaustadt, the 22nd District of Vienna.

ROMERMUSEUM / Roman Museum

In the year 97 A.D., a Roman military camp was founded to protect the Empire’s northern border at a town known as Vindobona. Today, modern-day, 3D recreations at the Roman Museum at Hoher Markt supplement more than 300 artifacts on display. The Roman presence lasted approximately 350 years, long enough for Vindobona’s population to exceed 30,000. If visitors would like to experience more ancient Roman history, consider a visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, 40 minutes outside Vienna.

Anker Clock in Hoher Markt | Vienna, Austria

Anker Clock in Hoher Markt | credit

Anker Clock

Also in Hoher Markt is the art nouveau Anker Clock, which forms a bridge between the two parts of the Anker Insurance Company‘s building. What makes this clock even more unusual is that once an hour for twelve hours, one of twelve historical figures (or pairs of figures) crosses the bridge to musical accompaniment. Each day at noon, all twelve figures march across the bridge together. The parade symbolizes moving from the old to the new, and demonstrates how quickly time can pass by.

It is possible to find affordable hotels in Vienna, even in the city center, where most of these lesser-known attractions are located. Boutique Hotel Alma is one such option, located less than a half-mile from Hoher Markt and many of Vienna’s better-known sites. Stay in the city center, save a few bucks, and mix it up a bit.


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15 Responses to Discovering Lesser-Known Vienna

  1. Susan December 17, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    I so want to go to Vienna!! I can’t believe I have never been. Thanks for this. I will add them to the places I have to see.
    Susan recently posted…A Bit of Paris – The Ascent to Sacré-CoeurMy Profile

  2. Paula Folinazzo December 17, 2014 at 11:47 am #

    Thanks Working Mom, I love reading about your travels! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!

  3. Leah December 19, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

    I’ve been to Vienna several times, but have yet to see these spots. Thanks for turning me on to them. I know I’ll be back to Vienna in 2015, so I’ll add these to my list of things to see.
    Leah recently posted…Extraordinary Experiences & Giveaway from Four SeasonsMy Profile

  4. Paul (the Travelling Boomer) December 20, 2014 at 11:21 am #

    These are great finds, WM. Vienna has so many museums you could spend a year seeing them all, but the globe museum is one I’d put near the top of the list. And I really knew nothing about the Roman camp that became Vienna. One out-of-the-way attraction I did find was Freud’s house, which is a short walk from the historic centre and full of interesting artifacts and pictures. You can stand in the room where his famous couch stood and where psychoanalysis was born. I also like Mozart’s house, but ask directions — it’s hard to find!
    Paul (the Travelling Boomer) recently posted…Visit Cuba now: things are going to changeMy Profile

  5. Reginia Cordell December 22, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    I had a short stay via a bus tour through Vienna this summer. I enjoyed the city for the bit of time that I was there. Good to know about places that are there because I will visit again within a few years.

  6. Kieu December 22, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

    I’m with Leah, have been to Vienna before but have not visited these spots. LOL.. All the more reason to come back. 😉
    Kieu recently posted…Getting high in CuzcoMy Profile

  7. Traveling Ted December 22, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

    It is amazing the reach the Roman Empire had. This post offers a nice mix of activities with sports, history, shapes, time, and art. This would make for an interesting 1 or 2 day tour.
    Traveling Ted recently posted…Monteverde Cloud Forest rainy season photo essayMy Profile

  8. Lucy December 24, 2014 at 7:16 am #

    I wish I’d have known about the Globe Museum when I was in Vienna this summer, sounds great! I did come across the Anker Clock as I was wandering around through. Interesting to read about the more unusual places to see in the city.

  9. craig zabransky (@StayAdventurous) December 28, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

    I love how hockey made the list….i just love it.
    Stay true, Craig
    craig zabransky (@StayAdventurous) recently posted…The Bucket List Sunset Sunday, Santorini, GreeceMy Profile

    • Francesca December 28, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

      But of course! #stayhockey

  10. Cathy Sweeney December 29, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    These are great suggestions. Don’t know how I missed Minoritenkirche, since I visited lots of churches there. I love Vienna and will definitely go back sometime — now with your recommendations in mind.

  11. Hannah December 31, 2014 at 8:45 am #

    Ooh great ideas! I was in Vienna in 2011 but mainly just explored the (seemingly endless) Christmas markets. I went back last March but only for 1/2 a day as a stopover. Will have to keep these in mind for next time 🙂
    Hannah recently posted…Travel Memories: The Best and Worst of 2014My Profile

  12. Vlad January 2, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

    The Anker Clock is gorgeous, next time I’m in Vienna, I’ll visit it for sure! I have only been once and of course, I haven’t seen anything from this list.
    Vlad recently posted…14 Favorite Travel Moments in 2014My Profile

  13. Pola (Jetting Around) January 4, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    Ha! Leave it to you to find a hockey team in Vienna. 😉 Next time I’m there, it’s all coffee, but I would like to see that gorgeous clock too.
    Pola (Jetting Around) recently posted…Interview with travel photographer and writer Lola Akinmade Åkerström: ‘Expats are keen observers’My Profile

  14. Jolanta aka Casual Traveler January 25, 2015 at 7:15 am #

    Oooh, I know my son would love the globe museum! We might want to do the Roman museum too, if we rent a car. Thanks for all the tips! On to your next post about Vienna.
    Jolanta aka Casual Traveler recently posted…Harvard University’s Old YardMy Profile

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