This is not your ordinary ice-skating rink: Rathausplatz is transformed into two connected ice rinks in the heart of winter. It’s a bit...
Palais Auersperg dates from about 1708. In the 1720s it received a baroque makeover from Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt, of Schloss...
This stately Renaissance-style theatre sits with aplomb on the Ringstrasse. Designed by Gottfried Semper and Karl Hasenauer in 1888, it...
Freud, Mahler and Marlene Dietrich all had a soft spot for this coffee house, which opened its doors in 1873. Today, it attracts both...
Hoppers (made from baked rice) and string hoppers (steamed noodles made of rice and wheat) are terrific for mopping up the spicy Sri...
01, Rathausplatz 1 · interesting places nearby
The crowning glory of the Ringstrasse boulevard's 19th-century architectural ensemble, Vienna's neo-Gothic City Hall was completed in 1883 by Friedrich von Schmidt of Cologne Cathedral fame and modelled on Flemish city halls. From Rathauspark, where fountains dance and Josef Lanner and Johann Strauss I, fathers of the Viennese waltz, are immortalised in bronze, you get the full-on effect of its facade of lacy stonework, pointed-arch windows and spindly turrets. The main spire is 102m high if you include the pennant held by the medieval knight, or Rathausmann, guarding its tip.
For a better insight into the Rathaus' history, hook onto one of the free guided tours that lead through the Arkadenhof, one of Europe's biggest arcaded inner courtyards, and the barrel-vaulted Festsaal (Festival Hall), which hosts the Concordia Ball in June. Look for the reliefs of composers Mozart, Haydn, Gluck and Schubert in the orchestra niches. In the Stadtsitzungsaal (Council Chamber), a 3200kg-heavy, flower-shaped chandelier dangles from a coffered ceiling encrusted with gold-leaf rosettes and frescos depicting historic events such as the foundation of the university in 1365. Other tour highlights include the Stadtsenatssitzungssaal (Senate Chamber), lavishly decorated in green damask, the Wappensäle (Coat of Arms Halls) and tapestry-adorned Steinsäle (Stone Halls).