Vienna, the capital of Austria, is a beautiful city full of character, history and culture. It is a very clean and modern city and yet has so many interesting and architectural buildings; its historic city centre has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The city’s roots date back tens of thousands of years and its oldest find, the 24,000 year old Venus of Willendorf can be found in Vienna’s Natural History Museum. Vienna is one of the jewels of Europe.
THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN VIENNA
- The Hofburg Imperial Palace was at the centre of the Habsburg Dynasty during its height and now serves as the official residence of the president of Austria. There are many attractions to the palace and these include the Swiss Wing that dates back to the 13th century; the Imperial Library founded by Charles VI with its impressive ceiling frescos and statues; and the wonderful chapel museums. The Schönnbrunn Palace is a complex of historical buildings and has been a popular Viennese attraction for many years. Listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, it has over 1,400 rooms and offers one of the best examples of Baroque Art.
- If you’re looking for museums, then the Museumsquartier (Museum quarter) is a good place to look. It is one of the largest cultural areas in the world and contains both modern and Baroque buildings housing some fascinating collections. The Museum of modern Art (MUMOK) exhibits over 7,000 works by famous artists such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein and the Leopold Museum is home to one of the world’s largest collection of Austrian art. The Liechtenstein Museum is named after the princely house of Lichtenstein, one of Europe’s most famous noble families and holds one of the world’s leading private art collections.
- There are many green areas and parks in Vienna and one of the most famous is Stadtpark (Viennese City Park). The park contains the largest number of monuments and statues in Vienna including The U-Bahn Station designed by Otto Wagner; the Johann Strauss Monument; and the statue of Franz Shubert.
EATING OUT & NIGHTLIFE IN VIENNA
Eating out in Vienna is a delight and even the cafes have a long and respected history with Vienna having the claim of inventing the process of filtration. On the go snacks can be obtained from street stalls selling wieners, bratwurst and burenwurst - different types of sausages, kebabs and Käsekrainer (spicy pork with chunks of cheese). Vienna also has its own vineyards and the wine is typically sold in small wine-taverns known as Heurigers.
GETTING AROUND IN VIENNA
Discovering Vienna on foot is a great way to see the city with the centre offering many pedestrianized cobblestoned streets lined with beautiful architectural buildings. The U-Bahn contains 5 underground lines with trains every 5 or so minutes that go to most of the main attractions in Vienna, but there are also good services from the trains, buses and trams in the city. Other great options are trips in horse-drawn carriages and boat tours down the famous Danube River.
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