A long time ago people had to spend days or even months to get to another city or country. Thanks to cars, trains, planes and other kinds of transport nowadays the process became much easier. Moreover, spending money on traveling gives new emotions, meetings, discoveries.
Speaking of traveling it is a common fact that one of the best places to go is Europe. The next question is more interesting – where exactly? Discussions about the destination may last forever as each EU country has its peculiarities and treasures. Nevertheless, Austria is considered to be the best place for living and every year its capital Vienna attracts millions of tourists.
Three thousand years old history, concert halls, galleries, and architecture have made Vienna the cultural center of Europe. It is located in the eastern part of Austria at the foot of the Alps, on the banks of the Danube. Vienna (or Wien in German) is one of the most beautiful capitals with a romantic atmosphere. It has a rich history, heard the charm of Mozart and Strauss music, and displays the magnificence of ancient palaces and cathedrals.
Why should you visit Vienna?
The first thing to mention about Vienna is its rich history. People come here to see the famous Vienna Opera, the St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Am Hof square. The last is full of interesting historical sites such as the Church of Am Hof, the Column of Mary, the Civic Arsenal, the Palais Collalto and many others.
One of the well-liked activities for tourists is a walk through the historic center of Vienna – the streets of Kohlmarkt, Graben, and Kentnerstraße. From there tourists reach the legendary Hofburg Palace, one of the main attractions of the city.
Vienna presents a wide range of performances, festivals, and concerts. Besides, not only the center can be fascinating to visit.
There are the legendary Schönbrunn and Belvedere palaces with the impressive interior and exterior. The first one is the former summer residence of the Habsburgs. The second palace houses a National Museum where many eminent Austrian artists are exhibited.
The Viennese Ball is a traditional and world-known event held in Vienna during the ball season. Vienna balls are listed by UNESCO in the list of intangible cultural heritage.
For many centuries Vienna represented the music. Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss, and Schubert wrote their masterpieces there. Moreover, they have left the heritage which is still very important for the whole world. There is the Wiener Philharmoniker which places one of the best orchestras in the whole world. Besides, only in Vienna, you can see a live performing orchestra in a square.
The Museum of Fine Arts represents the biggest and renowned museums in the world. Due to the Vienna rulers’ love for art, it still has an excellent collection of paintings, sculptures and other priceless treasures. All of them are displayed in local exhibitions.
What places to visit in Vienna
The Ringstraße surrounds the road in the inner city. Alongside there are lots of beautiful buildings, such as the Opera House, Hofburg Palace, Parliament and City Hall. Nearby there is a Burggarten to have a rest and enjoy the fantastic atmosphere.
2. Schloss Schünbrunn
Besides being famous tourists’ attraction it is also an Australian most important cultural monument. The part behind the palace is free of charge all around the year. On its territory majestic statues, monuments and fountains are placed. In the garden park, there are trees and flowers. Schloss Schönbrunn complex includes other entertainment attractions, such as Orangery Garden, Maze, Zoo, The Imperial Carriage Museum, Palm House.
It is the oldest existing zoo in the city which is acknowledged as among the best in Europe. Can you imagine that it has been operating since 1750-s? At the beginning of the XX century, it appeared to be the first place in the world where a conceived African elephant was born. In 2007 the place became a home for a new-born panda baby. Tourists of all ages come here to see more than 690 kinds of animals, including rare species.
Many people call it as the symbol of the city. Its history has begun in XII century and continues up to our time, making it extremely important Gothic Cathedral in Austria.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral impresses with sizes: the highest tower of the building is 136 meters, the width is 35 meters and the length is 108 meters. Moreover, it offers one more interesting activity – observation tower. 345 steps to the top of one tower and the deck opens a truly breathtaking view over Vienna.
Imperial Palace – Hofburg
It is located in the Old Town and until 1920 there lived the imperial family. The origin of the building dates back to the XIII century. The castle later was extended to a residence, which to date remains very significant part of the Vienna’s architecture sights.
Vienna State Opera
The musical roots of Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss have affected the development of this particular field. Vienna State Opera confirms it in full. Their tourists enjoy the top world performances of ballet and opera.
Noteworthy, in December, April, and June more than 80 performances are screened on the building. Of course, this is the event to attend.
The place opens a completely new world of past and future technologies. The total space of the building is 20 000 square meters. All exhibits excite small and adult visitors so this is definitely the place to include into a “to-do” list. It is also a home for a prominent “singing Tesla coin” and the 100 years old steam locomotive.
8. Madam Tussaud Vienna
One of the locations you should visit is the world of Madam Tussaud (Im Wiener Prater, Riesenradplatz 5, 1022 Wien, Austria )and her wax figures. The figures look so real that you actually have the feeling they are real people. Since there can be quite a line on the entrance, buying ticket online is the best solution. https://www.madametussauds.com/wien/
9. Wiener Riesenrad
212 ft tall Ferris wheel at the entrance of the Prater. It was the worlds highest ferris wheel till 1985. When inside, the view is mesmerising. Also a good idea buying the tickets online. https://www.wienerriesenrad.com/
Where to stay in Vienna
Depending on the budget the most common options are hotels and hostels. There is a new Park Hyatt with the perfect location in the Golden Quarter. The price for a room varies, but in general, it is about 400-500€.
Another great place to stay is DO and CO. There are 43 designed rooms; some of them even have hot tubs inside. The hotel is situated on the city’s central square, not far from the Stephansdom Cathedral. The price varies from 500 to 900€. Hollmann Beletage is a cheaper option. The price is about 200 – 300€ with free Wi-Fi, included breakfast, snacks, and a theater.
Some tourists prefer to rent an affordable flat or apartment. In this case, it is necessary to take into account the districts of Vienna. There are 23 of them with unique numbers and names.
If the prices in the 1st district of Vienna do not match your budget, and you are not ready to live in the hostel, then you can stay in the areas nearest to the center with a price equal to 60-75€ per night.
Districts closest to the center:
- 2 Leopoldstadt
- 3 Landstraße
- 4 Wieden
- 5 Margareten
- 6 Mariahilf
- 7 Neubau
- 8 Josefstadt
- 9 Alsergrun
Where to eat in Vienna
Vienna is the city that can boast of its own cuisine. Viennese schnitzel, Viennese sausages, apple strudel, Viennese coffee and “Sacher” cake are familiar to all the tourists. Ordering a Viennese schnitzel, you will be served a potato or cabbage salad too. A good alternative to schnitzel could be a dish of cooked beef- Tafelspitz – that is prepared according to the favorite recipe of Emperor Franz Joseph I. If you want a light snack, try Viennese soup with meatballs and herbs, potato cream soup with bacon or cucumber salad with sour cream.
You can start acquainting with the Viennese cuisine at the pompous Imperial Restaurant (Karntner Ring, 16). Make the next stop for tasting Viennese schnitzel at home restaurant Dom Beisl (Schulerstrasse, 4) or Figlmüller (Wollzeile, 5). The best place to buy Viennese sausages is street stalls.
The city is also a paradise for the sweet tooth and coffee lovers. Visiting coffee shop is a must.