The heart of Vienna, on the Danube's west bank, is a small section known as Inner Town. In this, the oldest section of the city, are the principal hotels, banks, shops, and churches.

Inner Town is nearly enclosed by the Ringstrasse, a horseshoe-shaped boulevard that replaced Vienna's old city walls. Along this wide, tree-lined thoroughfare are many parks, monuments, and imposing buildings. The buildings include the parliament building, palace of justice, opera house, national theater, town hall, stock exchange, and former imperial palaces.

Beyond Inner Town and the Ringstrasse are the newer sections of Vienna. The northern and western districts are residential. Manufacturing plants are centered in the eastern and southern districts.