Close your eyes and tell me whats the first thing you think of when you hear the word Vienna. Is it Mozart? Old cobble stone streets? Perhaps it’s the Viennese coffee houses found scattered around the city? Or is it all of the above ?
Walking around this city there is an air of romance and majesty that seeps out of every corner you turn. From old houses, historic buildings to the gothic architecture of St Stephens Cathedral you’ll be captivated at every turn.
A short walk from the cathedral, statues and fountains adorned in gold can be found all around The Stephansplatz (a square at the geographical centre of Vienna), standing side by side with fashion chains such as Mango, H&M and Steffl (Vienna’s oldest department store).
There’s plenty to do in this city. Every side alley has something interesting to go see and there are so many museums and palaces scattered throughout.
The city caters to all types of people and their holiday needs. Personally I’m more of a history buff so for me there was just so much to take in. My top must do’s (yes, they’re historically focused) are:
Kaisergruft (Imperial Crypt): Also known as the Capuchin Crypt is not for the feint hearted. After descending down a set of stairs you make your way through chambers that house the coffins and remains of Emperors and Empresses of the Habsburg Dynasty. You may think how morbid! But this is really fascinating stuff.
St Stephens Cathedral: This is stunning architecture dating back to its construction in the 12th Century! You need to walk around the cathedral to get a feel of its enormity and then go inside to marvel at the stunning architecture, relics decorated in gold and precious stones and liturgical texts and books that reside there. Once you’ve done that there’s a tour you can do (again not for the faint hearted) that will take you deep into the catacombs of the cathedral. You’ll see skulls and bones and a coffin from a Roman soldier dating back over 1000 years as well as being the resting place of Vienna’s cardinals and archbishops.
Belvedere Palace: Take a walk through the lush gardens of this beautiful building. This can take a few hours out of your day, so be prepared. Today the building houses Austrian art from the Middle Ages to the present day, as well as the world’s largest Gustav Klimt collection, featuring the golden paintings “The Kiss” and “Judith” as it’s highlights.
Schönbrunn Palace: Ok! This has to be one of the nicest palaces I’ve come across (with the exception of Versailles in France). You can’t go past its garden maze, the Gloriette (with amazing views of Vienna from the top) and its room of Millions. You’ll need at the very least half a day here.
Whilst I can keep going on and on about where you should go lets not forget about the music. Known for it’s music the city boasts many concert halls that cater to all music lovers. If you’re a lover of classical music, then definitely attend a concert featuring Vienna’s finest orchestras and solo artists at either one of the palaces of Schönbrunn or the Imperial Palace ( it’ll make you feel like a princess or prince).
Then there’s the food, well don’t even get me stated on that! There are little carts scattered around the place that sell hot dogs and pretzels. Trust me you’ll befriend them after all the walking you’ll be doing (oh and the hot dogs are delicious). With a various selection of cuisines ranging from traditional Austrian, Greek and Italian plus many more you’ll be spoilt for choice.
The best way to see the city is to either walk or cycle. The fun starts when you get lost and wonder into unexpected streets and lose yourself marvelling at the beauty around you. I had blisters on my feet from walking so much, so remember to take proper walking shoes with you because you’ll need them.
If you do get a chance and you’re not completely out of time jump on the train and get out of Vienna and go visit the little towns that surround the city.
Without doubt a visit to Vienna will leave you with a new found love for a city that oozes a charm and sophistication that can’t be found anywhere else.
For more information on all the sights: https://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing/sights