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Cost: Free

Beating Heart of Vienna

At the historical heart of Vienna is an action-packed plaza whose centerpiece is the gothic-style St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephensdom). Be sure to turn your gaze upward to the intricate masonry of the bell tower and the uniquely flamboyant rooftop, then check out the Stock im Eisen, a tree trunk containing hundreds of nails hammered into it since the Middle Ages. Opposite the Stephensdom sits the Haas-Haus, a striking and controversial piece of modern architecture that stands in large contrast to the cathedral. Few places in the city match the people-watching potential of Stephansplatz, so grab a front-row seat at a café to observe the entertaining convergence of tourists and buskers. If you’re in the mood for shopping, boutiques abound in the streets and alleyways leading away from the square.

Open in Google Maps: Stephansplatz 1, 1010

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