A walking tour in Vienna – exploring the city as you walk from Wien Westbahnhof to the Stephansdom.

Walking from Wien Westbahnhof to Stephansdom is a fantastic way to explore Vienna. The distance between the two places is around 3.5 kilometers, and the walk takes about 35-40 minutes (if you only walk). Of course, the same distance can easily take several hours if you stop to take photos, do some shopping, and explore the sights and attractions you meet along the way.

This article will give you a suggestion for a walking route between Wien Westbahnhof and the Stephansdom, and it will tell you more about the different sights and attractions you can expect to see while walking.

1) Wien Westbhanhof

Wien Westbahnhof, or Vienna West Train Station, has a history that goes back to the 19th century. It was officially opened in 1858, making it one of the oldest train stations in Vienna. Back then, trains were a new and exciting way to travel, and the Westbahnhof played a crucial role in connecting Vienna to other parts of Austria and Europe.

Over the years, the station has seen many changes and renovations to keep up with the growing number of travelers. It has expanded and modernized to become the busy transportation hub it is today. The architecture of Wien Westbahnhof has also evolved, blending historic elements with more contemporary styles.

Throughout its history, the station has witnessed significant moments, including the heyday of steam locomotives, the electrification of train lines, and the rise of high-speed rail travel. Today, Wien Westbahnhof stands as a testament to the city’s rich railway heritage and its ongoing role in facilitating journeys for people from near and far.

2) Mariahilfer Straße:

As you leave the railway station and cross the road, you will find yourself in the extremely popular and busy street Mariahilfer Straße. This is a famous shopping street. There are many shops, cafes, and restaurants. It’s a good place to see how people in Vienna spend their time. You can do some window shopping or grab a quick snack if you’re hungry.

mariahilfer strasse

There are lots of buildings worth looking at as you walk towards the city center. Here are some of the most interesting places.

  • Haus des Meeres (House of the Sea): This is a cool building that is like a big aquarium. You can see lots of fish and sea animals inside. It’s fun to visit and learn about the underwater world.
  • Raimund Theater: This is a big place where people go to watch shows and plays. The building looks grand and has a history of entertaining people with different performances.
  • Gerngross Shopping Center: It’s a large shopping place with many shops inside. You can find all sorts of things here, from clothes to gadgets. It’s a good spot if you enjoy shopping.
  • Mariahilfer Church (Mariahilferkirche): This church is a peaceful place along the street. It’s not as big as some other churches, but it has a unique charm. You can go inside and take a moment for yourself.

As you get to the end of the street, you will find yourself at one of the most beautiful squares in Vienna.

3. Maria-Theresien Platz:

Maria Theresien Platz is a big square in Vienna where you can find two grand museums on each side. Let’s talk about it in simple words!

The big, impressive buildings on either side of the square are home to two important museums: the Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum) and the Art History Museum (Kunsthistorisches Museum). These museums were built because of a special lady named Maria Theresa, who was a queen a long time ago. She was a powerful queen who lived many years ago. She liked art and science, so she decided to build these museums to share cool things with everyone. The museums were built in the late 1800s, and they are like big treasure chests filled with interesting stuff.

maria-theresien platz

In the middle of Maria Theresien Platz, there’s a big statue of Maria Theresa sitting on a chair. People often sit around the statue, and there’s a nice garden area too. The square is a good place to take a break, enjoy the surroundings, and maybe have a snack.

If you have time, both museums are worth a visit. Below you can read a short summary of what to expect if you visit either of the museums.

  1. Natural History Museum: Imagine a place where you can see huge dinosaur skeletons, shiny gemstones, and all kinds of animals. That’s what you find inside the Natural History Museum. It’s like a journey through time and nature.
  2. Art History Museum: On the other side, the Art History Museum is like a giant art gallery. You can see beautiful paintings, sculptures, and even ancient Egyptian mummies. It’s like stepping into a world of creativity and history.

So, Maria Theresien Platz is not just a big open space; it’s a place with two amazing museums that hold the wonders of nature and art. It’s a bit like a journey through time and creativity, and you can enjoy it all in this beautiful square in the heart of Vienna.

4) Hofburg Palace:

Continue walking east, and you’ll reach Hofburg Palace. The palace stands as a majestic symbol of Austria’s rich history and imperial grandeur. Built over the centuries, this grand palace has witnessed the reigns of powerful rulers and hosted significant events.

It was constructed in the 13th century, and it served as the primary residence for the Habsburg dynasty, one of Europe’s most influential royal families. Over time, it expanded into a sprawling complex, showcasing various architectural styles from different periods.


It is possible to walk through the area and just look at the buildings from the outside, but if you want to explore the inside, you can take a closer look at interesting things such as:

  • The Sisi Museum.
  • Imperial Apartments.
  • A beautiful silver collection.
  • The Hofburg Chapel.
  • The Spanish riding school.
  • The National Library.

Are you ready to keep walking? You are getting closer to the Stephansdom, but there are still some things worth exploring before you arrive.

5) St. Michael’s Church (Michaelerkirche) at the Michaelerplatz

As you leave the Hofburg area you will find yourself at the Michaelerplatz. This is a great option to drink a cup of coffee, but if you want to focus on what you see instead, these are some of the things you should take a closer look at.

Dating back to the 13th century, St. Michael’s Church has witnessed the ebb and flow of Vienna’s rich history. Its foundations echo with stories of medieval times, making it one of the city’s oldest and most revered landmarks.

As you take a closer look at the church, it is easy to be stunned by the architectural details. The facade is adorned with intricate carvings and decorative elements that showcase the craftsmanship of the artists who brought this structure to life. The church’s towers reach skyward, creating an imposing yet graceful silhouette against the Vienna skyline.


On the inside, the high ceilings create a feeling of openness, and sunlight streams through vibrant stained glass windows, casting a warm glow on the interior. The church is a peaceful sanctuary, inviting worshippers and admirers alike to reflect and find solace.

Today, St. Michael’s Church continues to play a role in the lives of Vienna’s residents and visitors. Its regular services, cultural events, and timeless beauty make it a destination that transcends time, inviting all to appreciate the intertwining of history, spirituality, and art.

6. Graben and Kohlmarkt:

Now that you have left Hofburg and the Michaelerplatz, it is time to walk along Kohlmarkt, and then turn onto Graben. After this, you will find yourself by the Stephansdom. But, don’t run. In the start of Kohlmarkt, you can find the famous Cafe Demel.

Cafe Demel in Vienna is a historic and renowned coffeehouse that has been enchanting locals and visitors alike for centuries. Established in 1786, it holds the distinction of being one of the oldest pastry shops in the city, and its rich tradition is palpable from the moment you step inside.

Would you rather spend some money on shopping? There are quite a lot of luxury stores in this area, including Michael Kors, Karl Lagerfeld, and many other brands. If you want even more of luxury brands, you should walk straight ahead and to the right along Bognergasse, instead of turning right towards Graben. You will then find even more similar stores such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, and more.

As you reach Graben, you will first meet the Wiener Pestsäule, also known as the Vienna Plague Column. It was built a long time ago, in the 17th century, to remember and honor the people who faced a deadly sickness called the plague. The monument is tall and has lots of intricate details. At the top, there’s a statue of the Virgin Mary, who is seen as a symbol of hope and protection. Around her, you can see sculptures and carvings that tell the story of the plague and the city’s resilience.

Vienna Plague Column

As you walk, you will then see the Leopold Fountain. The fountain has a tall column with water flowing down. It’s not just for decoration – the water is clean and safe to drink. Locals and tourists often stop by to quench their thirst with the fresh water. At the top of the fountain, there’s a statue of Leopold I, an emperor from the past. He’s the guy who ordered the construction of the fountain, and his statue adds a historical touch to the lively Graben street.

7) St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom):

Finally, you’ll arrive at St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The church was built in the 12th century! That’s more than 800 years ago. Back then, people came together to build this big church, and it became a symbol of Vienna. Since it was built, St. Stephen’s Cathedral has seen a lot. It survived wars, changes, and even some fires. Each time something happened, people worked hard to fix it up and make it even more beautiful.


For the people in Vienna, St. Stephen’s Cathedral is like a big, stone storyteller. It holds the history of the city, and when you look at its towers and colorful roof, you can feel the spirit of the past. It’s also a place where important events, like weddings and ceremonies, happen even today.

Take your time to explore the cathedral. You can go inside and see how it looks. Don’t forget to look up – the ceilings are amazing. If you’re up for it, you can climb to the top of the tower. From there, you get a super cool view of the whole city.

We hope you have enjoyed walking with us from Wien Westbahnhof to the Stephansdomn in Vienna. If you have comments or questions or want to us to describe other routes of interest, write a comment below.