Thank you to Vienna Tourism for providing me with the Vienna City Card. As always, all opinions and recommendations are my own. This post also contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
The Austrian capital city of Vienna is an absolutely gorgeous city. Not only is it gorgeous, but it’s extremely photogenic as well. Easy on the eyes, easy on the camera. Daytime, nighttime, Christmastime, this highly engaging Austrian metropolis has it all. I created this Vienna photography guide to help you find the best locations to capture iconic photos and threw in a few tips to help along the way!
Vienna Photography Guide
I have organized these twenty photo opportunities by daytime and nighttime. Be sure to check out the tips that follow each of the photos along with the map at the end to help you find them!
1 | Hundertwasserhaus
I have honestly never seen anything like the Hundertwasser House. I love it because it’s unique, quirky and full of color! It isn’t the easiest thing to photograph and you will be among thousands of your fellow Vienna tourists. But it just isn’t something you can miss. If you’ve been to Barcelona or are a Gaudí fan you will like the Hundertwasserhaus.
SNAPSHOT When: Daytime (taken around 10 am) Where: Kegelgasse 36-38, 1030 Vienna, Austria Tips: Find an angle looking up that shows a lot of the colors (and therefore won’t show people). Underexpose so that later in editing you can bring up the shadows as you wish and add more saturation to the colors.
2 | Schönbrunn Palace
No trip to Vienna is complete without a visit to Schönbrunn Palace. There are so many opportunities for great photos at Schönbrunn that I will point out throughout this post. However, let’s start with this basic shot from the back.
Also, don’t miss this shot in the front courtyard area. If you are looking at the palace it’s to your right.
SNAPSHOT When: Daytime (taken around 12:30 pm) Where: Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Vienna, Austria Tips: Walk around to the back (it’s free) and out a ways for this shot. If you are there in the spring, don’t miss the gardens and the flowered arch walkways!
3 | Views Atop Schönbrunn Palace
After you get the first photos close to the palace, walk up behind it for these amazing views from the top!
SNAPSHOT When: Daytime (taken around 1 pm) Where: Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Vienna, Austria Tips: This is another one you want to underexpose, especially if there’s a gray or bright sky. Then your sky won’t look like a bottle of Wite-Out took it over. Next, bring up the shadows and turn up the saturation a bit on all the colorful buildings to bring them out.
4 | Gloriette
While you’re up there admiring the amazing views over Schönbrunn, go a little further up and back to make sure you catch Gloriette in all its glory! 😉
SNAPSHOT When: Daytime (taken around 1 pm) Where: Schlosspark, 1130 Vienna, Austria Tips: Take the photo from across the pond to see if you can get the reflection in the water. As you can see, even if it’s winter you can possibly get an ice reflection!
5 | Ferstel Passage
The Ferstel Passage (also known as the Freyung Passage) is a beautiful arcade in Vienna. It can be easy to miss if you aren’t paying attention. The passage leads to a courtyard with a hexagonal-shaped dome.
SNAPSHOT When: Daytime (taken around 12:15 pm) Where: Strauchgasse 2, 1010 Vienna, Austria Tips: Walk through to explore the courtyard and take photos of the dome.
6 | Justizpalast
View from the grand staircase
Perhaps one of the top visuals in all of Vienna is inside the Palace of Justice. Its skylights cast the perfect lighting down onto the grand staircase. The distinguished columns with their striped patterns collide with the intricate design on the floor. It is a sight to see, a photographer’s dream, and does really well on Instagram!
SNAPSHOT When: Daytime (taken at 1:45 pm) Where: Schmerlingplatz 10-11, 1010 Vienna, Austria Tips: Take photos on the ground floor looking up. Then walk up the staircase and around to the opposite side to get the iconic shot. Go later in the day when it’s quieter. You will have to go through security and tripods aren’t allowed. If found, you will have to check them (even smaller tabletop ones).
The interior of the Vienna Opera House is another stunning place to capture photos. My favorite places besides the auditorium itself were looking up at the different chandeliers outside the auditorium.
SNAPSHOT When: Daytime Where: Opernring 2, 1010 Vienna, Austria Tips: Visits are via guided tours only. Try to compose the shot so that you are getting it on an arc to draw the visual.
8 | Spanische Hofreitschule
The Spanish Riding School is tricky because photos can ONLY be taken before the start of the show. But the dark arena with the purple lighting and crystal chandeliers is absolutely gorgeous!
SNAPSHOT When: Pre-performance (usually nighttime) Where: Michaelerplatz 1, 1010 Vienna, Austria Tips: Tripods and photos during the performance are not allowed. Try to sit in the end sections to get this view. If you are on the sides, it’s standing room and you must get there early to get the “front row”.
9 | Hotel Imperial Vienna
The Hotel Imperial Vienna is stunning and definitely included as a photo-worthy location. The stunning marble columns, beautiful chandeliers, and red carpet accents make this a red carpet photo opportunity!
SNAPSHOT When: Anytime (taken around 3:30 pm) Where: Kärntner Ring 16, 1015 Vienna, Austria Tips: The hotel isn’t a public building, but if you are staying there, eating at the cafe, or dropping in for drinks at the bar you will have plenty of chances to capture the stunning decor.
10 | Café Central
The prettiest cafe in Vienna isn’t just for eating. It’s great for photography too. All one has to do is walk inside Café Central for this view!
SNAPSHOT When: Daytime (taken around 3:30 pm) Where: Herrengasse 14, 1010 Vienna, Austria Tips: Only tips here are to eat and enjoy. The photos are easy to get!
11 | Views from Stephanskirche
Get the best views of Vienna from atop the South Tower of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. You can almost get 360-degree views of the Austrian capital.
SNAPSHOT When: Sunset (only in winter) or Daytime (taken around 4:50 pm) Where: Stephansplatz 3, 1010 Vienna, Austria Tips: If you are visiting in the winter, go up in the late afternoon to see the views during the day and watch the sunset. There are about 300 steps to climb.
12 | Viennese Street Scenes
Walking along the streets of Vienna
Don’t forget to look up while walking
You never know what you might find
Some of the coolest photos are random Vienna street scenes found while walking around and keeping your eyes open.
SNAPSHOT When: Daytime (but nighttime has it moments too) Where: Various places around Vienna Tips: If you see something and can’t figure out what it is, take the photo anyway. You can research it later or it might be a temporary structure. This seems to be the case with my globe on a tree trunk piece here!
13 | Michaelerplatz for Fiakers
Looking out at the fiakers in Michaelerplatz from the Hofburg
Fiakers are the double horse-drawn carriages you will see ALL over Vienna. However, I feel the most photogenic location for them is in Michaelerplatz.
SNAPSHOT When: Daytime Where: Michaelerplatz 4, 1010 Vienna, Austria Tips: Right outside the Hofburg looking at the Michaelerplatz, you will find several of them lining the cobblestone streets. Go out into the middle of the street to pick up all the different white patterns of the cobblestone streets and the surrounding buildings.
1 | Schönbrunn Palace
Come back and visit Schönbrunn Palace at night when it comes alive. A shot of the entire building itself is nice but pretty standard. Walk up to the back of the palace and focus on the staircase and other closeups.
SNAPSHOT When: Early evening (best during Christmas) Where: Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Vienna, Austria Tips: Use the ground as a contrasting pattern for your foreground with the gold building and its ornate, black detailing as the backdrop.
2 | Wiener Staatsoper-Exterior
For the best exterior photos of the Vienna Opera House wait for nightfall. The building’s subtle lighting accents paired with light trails from the traffic makes for the perfect night shot!
SNAPSHOT When: Early evening Where: Opernring 2, 1010 Vienna, Austria Tips: Early evening is best to ensure there is enough traffic for light trails. Stand near the corner of the Openring and Kärntner Strabe to obtain my similar angle.
3 | Peterskirche
I love how St. Peter’s Church looms before you, peeking through city buildings. Its green dome lights up establishing its identity and offering the perfect material and backdrop for a great photo.
SNAPSHOT When: Nighttime (earlier for light trails, later for no traffic or people) Where: Petersplatz 1, 1010 Vienna, Austria Tips: This is another good location to see fiakers or double horse-drawn carriages.
4 | Belvedere Palace
Belvedere Palace is beautiful at night especially if it’s during the Christmas season. It’s pretty during the day too with the ornate gardens but at night it just makes a statement I think!
SNAPSHOT When: Nighttime Where: Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Vienna, Austria Tips: Nighttime is best at Christmas and daytime is best during the spring when all of the flowers are in bloom. If going at night, shoot from behind the pond to pick up reflections in the water. Sometimes you can get closer than this and other times you can’t.
5 | Karlskirche
To me, St. Charles’ Church looks a lot like St. Peter’s Church in terms of the green dome. However, St. Charles’ Church isn’t located in such tight city quarters. They both have that baroque architecture I love so much!
SNAPSHOT When: Nighttime (my favorite) or Daytime Where: Kreuzherrengasse 1, 1040 Vienna, Austria Tips: If you go during the day include the water fountain in front for reflection shots. If you are there at night go across the road from the fountain and zoom in.
6 | Rathaus
The Rathaus or City Hall is great during the day. It is iconic in Vienna and definitely makes a statement. But again, this is a favorite of mine at night when it’s all lit up.
SNAPSHOT When: Nighttime Where: Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz 1, 1010 Vienna, Austria Tips: There’s really no bad angle of Rathaus. The building as a whole is cool (especially at Christmas) and close up shots like this one of the clock tower are really cool too.
7 | Kohlmarkt
Walking the Kohlmarkt is fantastic during the day for shopping and a romantic stroll at night when it lights up. These lights may only be up for Christmas but it’s still nice at night!
SNAPSHOT When: Nighttime (at Christmas) Where: 1010 Vienna, Austria Tips: If it has been raining, definitely go down at night. The shiny cobblestone street and the colors of the shops are your nighttime friends for photography!
Vienna Travel Info
WHERE TO STAY:Hotel Sacher Vienna is my top choice. It’s absolutely stunning, very centrally located and is home to the Original Sacher-Torte. Hotel Imperial is another great choice. It’s only located a few blocks further out, has a gorgeous exterior to go along with its impressive interior and has its own Imperial Torte. Here are more options if these don’t fit your budget, needs or style.
FOR DISCOUNTS: The Vienna City Card is the must-get card for the best discounts and transportation.
TRIP INSURANCE: Please do NOT travel anywhere without travel insurance. I personally use and recommend World Nomads. Hopefully, you will never need it, but it can save you literally and financially if you find yourself in an unfortunate situation.
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