Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrVienna, rich with culture and history, is a city that charm. The city was, for centuries, the main stomping grounds for the Habsburg rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire . The empire is long gone, but many reminders of the city's imperial era remain. As a capital city of such an empire, it had to show this to the whole world, therefore building the most marvelous palaces you have ever seen.
The capital city of Austria lives with its legacy. The little country was the birthplace of Mozart, Freud, Hitler, and the Wiener schnitzel. Culturally and musically one of the richest cities in the world, it has a good, lively mix of cosy cafés and bars, galleries, shops and street markets. The city is overwhelming with its eclectic feast of architectural styles, from High Baroque through the monumental imperial projects of the late 19th-century, to the decorative Art Nouveau style. The most important sights are concentrated in Central Vienna which is surprisingly compact and along the Ringstraße .
However, for all the amazing palaces and museums, a trip to Vienna that’s only sightseeing, would miss out on café culture at its very finest. Savor the true flavor of Vienna at some of its great café landmarks. Every afternoon, around 4 PM the coffee-and-pastry ritual of Kaffeejause takes place from one end of the city to the other. Viennese nightlife has something for everyone. You can dance the night away, hear a concert, attend an opera or festival, go to the theater or simply sit and talk over a drink at a local bar.
Belvedere PalaceThe two magnificent palaces on the Belvedere Palace grounds lie in the middle of a splendid park. Built between 1714 and 1723, is a masterpiece and one of the most splendid pieces of baroque architecture in the world. The complex originally served as the summer palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy and much later, it became the home of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Today, both palaces house museums featuring Austrian painting. In the lower palace, the Austrian Museum of Baroque Art displays Austrian Art of the 18th-century. In the upper palace, you can visit the Austrian gallery with a collection of 19th and 20th-century Austrian paintings.
St. Stephen's CathedralThe St. Stephen's Cathedral is one of the most famous Viennese sights and is almost 900 years old. For a long time it was uncontested as the highest building in Europe, measuring almost 449 feet The cathedral has got two very impressive features: the gigantic roof, and the tall, lean tower. The climb up the 343 steps is rewarded with impressive vistas.
Schloss SchönbrunnSchloss Schönbrunn was built to rival the French Versailles in Baroque beauty and importance. Don't miss out on a tour of the residence itself and a chance to admire the magnificent apartments of Maria Theresia as well as the parlous and apartments of Imperial couple, Franz Joseph and Sisi. The Habsburgs' summer palace is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Of the palace's 1,441 rooms, 40 are open to the public.
HofburgHofburg was the Imperial Palace until 1918. Nowadays, this enormous complex is home to the National Library and Imperial Treasury. It also houses a collection of musical instruments, collection of weapons, Museum of Ethnography and famous Spanish Riding School.
Mozarthaus ViennaAt his apartment, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived from 1784 to 1787 composing "The Impesario" and "The Marriage of Figaro" and other major works. The exhibits comprise of Mozart's documents, pictures and memorabilia. You will also have a chance to listen to various Mozart melodies and to get to know his musical Oeuvre.
Vienna Opera HouseThe world-famous Vienna State Opera is a must see, whether you participate in a guided tour or attend one of the breathtaking performances. Wiener Staatsoper, built from 1861 to 1869, has a world-wide reputation for its first-class opera performances and is also known because of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The Vienna Opera House's repertoire comprises around 50 operas and 20 ballets per season, which lasts from 1st September to 30th June. For many decades, the opera house has been the venue of the Vienna Opera Ball, an internationally renowned event, which takes place annually on the Thursday preceding Ash Wednesday - a religious holiday.
Kunsthistorisches MuseumThe Museum of Fine Arts, Kunsthistorisches Museum, was built from 1872 to 1891 and houses paintings by Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Dürer, Raphael, Titian and Velazquez, as well as the most comprehensive collection of Bruegel's paintings in the world. The twin building directly opposite houses the old-fashioned but superb Museum of Natural History.
Anchor ClockThe Anchor Clock was built between 1911 and 1917, after the plans of the painter, Franz von Matsch. It is situated on the oldest square of Vienna's 'Hoher Markt' and represents a typical Art Nouveau design. In the course of 12 hours, 12 historical figures or pairs of figures move across the bridge, among them, Joseph Haydn, medieval lyricist Walther von der Vogelweide, Empress Maria Theresa and Prince Eugen of Savoya. Every day at noon, all figures parade accompanied by music from the various eras.
ShoppingThe main shopping streets are in the city center. Here you'll find Kärntnerstrasse, the Graben, Kohlmarkt and Rotenturmstrasse. They are full of high style boutiques, big label shops and shops with a long tradition, dating back to the Habsburg era. One of the best shopping streets of Vienna is also Mariahilferstraße. The major brands like H&M, Zara, etc. can be found there.
Food & DrinkThe biggest concentration of restaurants and bars is a short walk north of Stephansplatz. Besides Austrian and French cuisine, you'll find restaurants serving Serbian, Slovenian, Slovakian, Hungarian, and Czech food, along with Turkish, Asian, Italian, and Russian.
Of course, everyone knows Wiener schnitzel, the breaded veal cutlet that has achieved popularity worldwide.
Viennese pastry is probably the best in the world, both rich and varied.
You mustn't miss the Viennese Sachertorte, a rich chocolate cake with a layer of apricot jam.
Vienna is also home to some of the finest beer in the region, Schwechater. If you don't have time for a leisurely lunch, or you'd rather save your money for a splurge at dinner, stroll through the beautiful markets and try one of the local sandwiches. On street corners throughout Vienna, you'll find one of the city's most popular snack spots, the Würstelstand. These small stands sell beer and soda, plus frankfurters, bratwurst, curry wurst, and other Austrian sausages, usually served on a roll with mustard. Unlike those in other European capitals, many of Vienna's restaurants observe Sunday closings.
Getting aroundVienna's public transport network comprises five underground train lines (U-Bahn), several suburban trains (S-Bahn) and numerous tram and bus services. Trams are the best way to get around the inner city sights, running every 5-15 minutes between 05:00 am and 00:30 am. All tickets must be stamped at the start of your journey in the blue machines located at the entrance of the underground stations or on trams and buses. Viennese taxis are easy to find, especially outside train stations, hotels and major sights.
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Author: Ayda. Last updated: Apr 03, 2015