Jewish History in Vienna: Culture, Cosmopolitanism, and Crisis

3-Hour Tour

Learn of Vienna’s Vibrant Jewish Community

Reflect on the Victims of Nazi Genocide in Austria

From the Middle Ages until 1938, the Jewish community in Vienna was one of the largest in Europe – reaching 185,000 individuals at its peak. Our 3-hour Jewish Vienna walking tour explores the tumultuous experiences of Vienna’s Jewish citizens, through settlement, expulsion, genocide, and revival. Your expert historian guide will shed light on the influential contributions of Jewish intellectual and cultural icons such as psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and Vienna Opera director Gustav Mahler, and the fragile revitalization of Vienna’s Jewish community taking place today.

Gain insight into Vienna's Jewish history at key sites including the Jewish City Temple and the memorial site of the destroyed Leopoldstädter Temple.

Admire the Nestroyhof Theater's stunning Art Nouveau exterior as your guide, an expert local historian, sheds light on its role in Vienna's Jewish community.

Learn of brilliant Jewish leaders from Vienna's intellectual, political, and economic spheres, including Sigmund Freud, Theodor Herzl, Karl Krauss, Franz Werfel, and Gustav Mahler.

Hear the stories of victims and survivors of antisemitism and Nazi genocide in Europe, at the destroyed synagogues of both Ashkenazi and Sephardic congregations.

Explore the many exciting ways in which Vienna's Jewish community is enjoying renewal and revitalization in the present day.

Tour Details


Private tour – $390 USD (1-10 persons)
*your guide all to yourself

Small groups – $125 USD per person
*still intimate with 8 persons or less

Departure time

Private tours daily at 9:30 AM and 2 PM

Small groups

  • Monday 2 PM
  • Tuesday 9:30 AM
  • Thursday 9:30 AM
  • Sunday 2 PM

Meeting point

Private tours include a pick-up at your central hotel or flat

Small groups: Jewish City Temple (Stadttempel)
Seitenstettengasse 4, 1010 Wien, Austria




3 hours

Group size

Private tours: 1-10 persons
Groups of over 10 should contact us at in order to get a special rate for their party.

Small groups: 2-8 persons

Participation requirements

As this is a walking tour, please contact us if you have any mobility issues or concerns


Metro fare: You will need to use public transport a few times since the distances between some key sites are too far to walk. If you do not have a multi-day visitor’s transit pass to Vienna already, we suggest that you purchase the day metro pass. If you cannot purchase it in advance, your guide will help you purchase it at the first metro station on the tour.

What to bring

Comfortable walking shoes

About your guide

Read about our Vienna guides

Cancellation policy

For cancellations 48 hours prior to your scheduled tour, Insight Cities offers a full refund. We cannot refund cancellations within 48 hours of a scheduled tour as we need to pay our guide.

Overview of Your Tour

Entrance to a jewish building in Vienna with wood door

The Jewish City Temple, and an introduction to Judaism in Vienna

Our 3-hour Jewish Vienna walking tour begins outside the Jewish City Temple the city‘s main synagogue and the heart of the Jewish community in Vienna. Few European cities have been so closely intertwined with Jewish history as Vienna, and even as far back as the Middle Ages, the Viennese Jewish community here was relatively large.

Despite two dramatic expulsions, Jews continued to settle by the banks of the Danube River, and in the years up to 1938, the Jewish community had become one of the largest in Europe. Some 185,000 Jewish people called Vienna home, including many brilliant leaders of the city’s intellectual, political, and economic spheres. The arrival of Nazism in Vienna caused a devastating rupture in the evolution of the Jewish community.

View down a street in Vienna

The Destroyed Leopoldstädter Temple and the Nestroyhof Theater

Continuing on, we wind through the second district to visit the memorial site of the destroyed Leopoldstädter Temple – today symbolized by four imposing white columns reaching up into the sky. We’ll also stop to admire the impressive Art Nouveau exterior of the Nestroyhof Theater, once home to Yiddish-speaking ensembles.

Taking in the sites of destroyed synagogues of both the Ashkenazi and Sephardic communities, we consider the forces of fascism and antisemitism in Europe and share stories of both victims and survivors of Nazi genocide in Austria.

A square topped building in Vienna against a blue sky

Jewish Cultural Contributions to Vienna

As we stroll through the elegant Viennese streets, your guide shares insight into the considerable cultural contributions of Jewish men and women over the years, including figures such as Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis, Theodor Herzl, father of Zionism, men of letters such as Karl Krauss and Franz Werfel, and Gustav Mahler – once director of the Vienna Opera – along with other charismatic Jewish members of Viennese society.

Revitalization of the Viennese Jewish community

During our tour, w
e also explore the fragile revitalization of the Viennese Jewish community taking place today. After 1945, a small but active Jewish community again reestablished itself in Vienna, and in reflection of this, Vienna has stepped up efforts over the past two decades to confront the history of its Jewish population. In addition to the Jewish institutions that have sprung up in recent years, the memorial on Albertinaplatz and the Shoah Memorial on Judenplatz bear witness to the genocide of Vienna’s Jewish citizens.

City Temple Tour
Building in Vienna with interesting architectual features

We do not visit the interior of the City Temple on this tour but we recommend that you contact the synagogue to arrange a tour with their own guides, open April to October, Monday to Thursday. If you take the 11:30 AM Monday synagogue tour and then enjoy your lunch, you are in the perfect place to begin our 2:00 PM tour of Jewish Vienna. If you take the 2:00 PM synagogue tour on Tuesday and Thursdays, it will fit well after our 9:30 AM Tuesday and Thursday tour with a lunch break.

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