Karlplatz is one of Vienna’s largest squares and it is, definitely, a place you have to visit when you are in town. The open space is dominated by a beautiful baroque church called Karlskirche but this is not the only thing you are going to see there.
Bordering the square, you are going to find the Musikverein, the Kunstlerhaus and the Naschmarkt, Vienna’s most popular market.
We visited Vienna back in the summer and, I believe, we went through Karlplatz every day. Mostly because we were staying at the south part of the city, at the A&O Wien Hauptbahnhof, and we needed to cross it to reach the city center. Walking around the square was always so enjoyable that we decided to change paths and just go through it every time we wanted to go enjoy Vienna’s main attractions.
What to see at Karlplatz
Since Karlplatz is one of Vienna’s largest squares, we have to talk about parts of it just to make it easier for everybody. On the western side, you are going to see the Naschmarkt, Vienna’s most popular market. A must see for everybody that is visiting the city but we need a whole post to talk about it. On the eastern side of Karlplatz, you are going to find Resselpark. This leafy park is dotted with statues of famous Austrian figures and this is where you are going to find yourself if you come here through the underground subway station.
On Resselpark, you are going to find the Karlplatz pavilions where people used to enter the Stadbahn, Vienna’s old metro network. Those two pavilions were created by Otto Wagner who also designed Karlplatz back in the end of the XIX century. One of the pavilions is now a café and the other is used for exhibitions.
the beautiful Karlskirche
Overlooking Resselpark, you are going to find the magnificent baroque church known as Karlskirche. Commissioned by Emperor Charles VI in 1713, the church was opened in 1737. Designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, it is clearly influenced by Rome and its columns are a similar to the famous Column of Trajan. The pond in front of it was added in 1978 as a donation from Henry Moore and it creates a perfect place to take pictures of the church.
We didn’t go up the church but we have some friends that told us that it has a great view of the city and the Belvederegarten. So, if you manage to find the time, just do it!
Around Karlplatz, you are going to find the Musikverein and the Künstlerhaus. The Musikverein is the Wiener Philharmoniker’s home. Adjacent to it, you are going to see the Künstlerhaus, an exhibition hall that opened in 1868. The Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien is also at Karlplatz. There you can see Ottoman items from the siege of Vienna em 1683 and everything you need to know about this beautiful city.
Urban Farming at Karls Garten
Also, on Karlplatz, you are going to find Karls Garten, a research into urban agriculture that made us fall in love with the square even more. There, you are going to see lots and lots of vegetables and cereals being grown organically in the middle of Vienna. You are even going to find bees there!
Karls Garten is the perfect place to have a coffee and watch Vienna go by around you. Surrounded by a urban farm, you won’t feel like you are where you are. We loved it and we took too many pictures of it.
Just to finish this post, we have to mention something we learned but that we are not sure about it. Supposedly, Karlplatz is the easiest place to get drugs in Vienna. So easy it became the synonym for open drug scene, or something like that. If you are looking to score something, you know were to go. If you are not, pay attention where you are and things will be fine.