Vienna – Elegant and Traditional
Vienna is a beautiful historical city with much versatility. With it’s exciting architecture and sights, along with a lively atmosphere, this city is a great European destination. The capital of Austria, has great palaces, museums, theaters and churches to visit but that’s not where it ends and digging deeper you will find a city that keeps your entertained in every way.
Although most sites are located in the Inner Stadt, there is much to see outside of this area as well. Most notably, Schönbrunn Palace. This important cultural monument is one of the most visited sites in Vienna. The large baroque complex includes the imperial palace, parks, fountains, statues, architectural features and the world’s oldest zoo. Take the tour of the palace visiting the show rooms mostly decorated in Rococo style. This tour also includes the Mirror Room, site of Mozart’s first concert at 6 years old. No visit to Vienna is complete until you visit this magnificent palace. Make sure you walk all the way up to the Gloriette for a view of the palace and surrounding area.
Another palace to visit is Belvedere. Here you will find two palaces upper and lower. In the lower part, many of the rooms are open to visitors, which hold a collection of Baroque paintings and sculptures. It is home to the world’s largest collection of Gustav Klimt paintings, including “The Kiss” and “Judith I”. The upper contains reception halls and banquet halls with an impressive exterior. The two buildings are separated and surrounded by a formal 17th-century French garden with fountains, statues and cascades.
The centre of Vienna is surrounded by an outer ring road called Ringstrasse, which is 5.3 kilometers long. Numerous monumental buildings, which were built during the period of 1860s to 1890s are among the most important sights in the city of Vienna. Along this road you will see the State Opera House. Staatsoper opened in 1869 and it was the city’s premier venue for the performing arts and one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world.
Next you can see the impressive Hofburg Palace. Some of the most powerful people in European and Austrian history, including the Habsburg dynasty resided here. Once you visit, you can see the royal apartments, chapel, church, library and the many museums located within. This vast complex consists of eighteen wings with more than 2000 rooms with Gothic, Baroque and Neo-classical styles.
The Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum) was built in 1891 to house the important collections of the imperial family. It is one of the oldest museums of arts in the world. It has a vast array of works and the largest Bruegel picture collection in the world. The architectural mirror image of the Kunsthistorisches Museum is the Museum of Natural History on the opposite side, which was also built according to designs by Gottfried Semper and Karl von Hasenauer.
Towering above the streets and dominating the skyline, you can see the massive St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The first church built at this site dates back to the fourth century, but the oldest parts which are the towers of the front facade, go back to the thirteenth century. This important religious building is the centerpiece of Vienna with Romanesque and Gothic form. The exterior is striking, especially with it’s glorious roof and inside is dazzling and you will find great amount of art treasures. You are also able to climb the 343 steps to the tower-keeper’s room to enjoy a breathtaking view.
For a break from architecture and history, visit Vienna’s Prater with the giant ferris wheel, Riesenrad. The ferris wheel is open year round and offers sweeping panoramas of Vienna through the glass windows of 15 spacious red cabins. Along with many other attractions such as games, arcade, rides, cafes and restaurants, the amusement park offers a fun alternative to the rest of the city’s attractions.
Another option is visiting a Heuriger, which is a typical Austrian wine tavern. Pick one of the many locations where great wine and a variety of food are available for your enjoyment. It is a nice traditional way to relax and experience another side of Austria. The 19th and 23rd district, as well as Perchtholdsdorf are the classical areas. Naschmarkt is a popular market and definitely shouldn’t be missed. You will find fresh fruits and vegetables as well as bread, cheese, baked goods etc.. For a cheap and quick meal or cocktails head down here and relax with the locals. On Saturdays there is a flea market allowing you to purchase some gifts if interested.
Other significant buildings to visit here include but are not limited to Parliament, Rathaus, Burgtheater and the University Building. Vienna, a must-see destination, has a great history which can be appreciated in your visit. This capital has always stood out as a center of art and music, as well as architecture but don’t forget to enjoy the trendy parts of the city as well, with great cafes, restaurants and nightlife. The sights and attractions here will keep you busy for days or even weeks.