Bored to have the same banal holiday? Why don’t you try to visit an interesting cultural center and discover new things? If it is what you like then, then Vienna is the destination for you!
Vienna is one of the most breathtaking city in Europe. It is the capital of Austria and the Danube river runs through it. It is part of the district of Vienna and includes different centres like the economic, the political and the cultural ones.
In 2001, UNESCO declared Vienna’s downtown area as world heritage site.
Art and Architecture
Vienna’s history dates back to around about the first century AD, when the Romans established the military camp Vindobona. Today’s cityscape is characterised by the abundance of baroque buildings created mostly under the rule of Empress Maria Theresia and Emperor Franz Joseph, who was largely responsible for the monumental architecture round the Ringstraße.
Vienna has more museums and galleries of international reputation than you can shake a stick at. Take, for example, the Museum Moderner Kunst (Museum of Modern Art), Architekturzentrum (Architectural Center) and the Kunsthalle.
Schönbrunn Palace, the former imperial summer residence, is one of Vienna’s most popular sights. The sumptuous palace with its beautifully tended formal gardens, the Gloriette monument, Palm House and zoo attracts hordes of visitors each year. Then there is the huge Hofburg (Imperial Palace), which was the base of the Habsburgs for over six centuries.
The splendid baroque Belvedere Palace today houses the Österreichische Galerie (Austrian Gallery), displaying the largest collection of works by Klimt and Kokoschka, as well as famous paintings by Schiele. Vienna’s prime landmarks are the gothic Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral), the giant big wheel in the Prater (Vienna’s old recreational park), and the Spanish Riding School with its famous Lipizzaner horses. In the heart of Vienna, 200m from the State Opera, you’ll find a unique, tropical oasis – the Imperial Butterfly House. In one of the world’s most beautiful Art Noveau palm houses you can admire around 400 live, free flying butterflies all year round. Absorb the colours and grace with which they float through the air, past waterfalls and exotic plants, in an environment as true to nature as possible.
Another aspect that strikes visitors when they see Vienna for the first time is its buildings. As a matter of fact, its city centre was rebuilt during the 20th century and the architects were inspired to the “Jungenstil”, an artistic movement that sought the innovetion in art by relying on the past styles. That is why Vienna has a younger aspect than other cities like Rome. The most famous architects and artists of tha period were Otto Wagner and Gustav Klimt. Otto Wagner has planned all the main monuments in Vienna while Klimt innovated the way of drawing, because he put dream theories by Sigmund Freud in his pictures.
Vienna is also famous in the history of music. In fact, many musicians studied and performed in the royal court. One of the most important musician who lived in Vienna is Mozart. His house is near the city centre and now is a museum.
A mouthwatering cuisine
Although Vienna is known to be an important cultural centre, the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking about Vienna is its cuisine. In fact, Vienna is famous for its mouthwatering desserts like the “Apfelstrudel”, a strudel pasty filled with apples. The “Sachertorte” is a cake of two layers of chocolate cake with apricot jam in the middle. Moreover they have many savoury dishes which are also delicious, think of the “Wienerschnitzel” also known as Viennese cutlet.
Then, thanks to the Hungarian footprint, when you go to the typical restaurant in Vienna, you can also ask for a delicious “Goulash”, a meat dish served with vegetables and crunchy bread.
In Vienna, the old coffee house culture and rustic wine taverns stand alongside top restaurants and shops, and time-honored events alternate with internationally-acclaimed extravaganzas such as the Life Ball to create a unique and very special ambiance. All of this, plus plenty of greenspace and recreational areas including the Wienerwald, the Prater and the Danube Island make Vienna a very special city to visit.
There is so much to experience in this young and dynamic city so let this Vienna travel guide help you make the most of your visit in Vienna.