Karlsplatz
Karlsplatz

Karlsplatz

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Karlsplatz, Vienna, Vienna, 1040

The basics

A mainstay of Vienna sightseeing tours, Karlsplatz is home to a number of the city’s top architectural masterpieces. The most famous (and most striking) is the 18th-century baroque Karlskirche, built by Roman Emperor Charles VI but named for Saint Charles Borromeo of Milan. The square is also known for Otto Wagner’s twin rail station pavilions; Joseph Maria Olbrich’s landmark Secession Building, which houses the Beethoven Frieze by Gustav Klimt; and the sprawling Tilgner-Brunnen Fountain, built in 1902.

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Things to know before you go

  • With architectural gems, art museums, a lively food market, and a family-friendly park, Karlsplatz offers something for everyone.
  • The shaded benches and smattering of buskers make this square an ideal spot for a break from sightseeing.
  • The square is flat and paved, easy to navigate with a wheelchair or stroller.
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How to get there

Karlsplatz straddles Vienna’s first and fourth districts and is one of the main transport hubs in the city. The Karlsplatz U-Bahn station is towards the park’s western end, with the U1, U2, and U4 metro lines stopping here. Alternatively, you can reach Karlslatz via tram or bus. It’s also a short walk from the Hofburg complex and its many imperial palaces and museums.

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When to get there

By day, the square bustles with visitors strolling through or stopping to relax at the fountain. In the evening, groups of students strum guitars and socialize beneath the church’s illuminated facade. The prettiest time of year to visit is during the winter holidays when the annual Christmas market and ice skating rink take over the square.

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Museums to explore around Karlsplatz

The Secession Building isn’t the only important museum ringing Karlsplatz. On the opposite side of the square, the Albertina Modern houses a world-class collection of 19th- and 20th-century art. Other important cultural institutions near the square include the Musikverein, a concert hall that is home to the Vienna Philharmonic, and the Künstlerhaus, an art gallery and exposition hall. The Vienna Museum Karlsplatz is located on the eastern side of the square as well.

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