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The summer palace of the Hapsburgs at Schonbrunn is stunning even during the fall season when all the colors and fall foliage make this a wonderful place to visit outside of Vienna. Below are some photo highlights and details to the visit, enjoy.
Some of the talented handiwork by the Demel bakers. I don't believe it will be eaten, but displayed in the window. This view is given to visitors to Demel as they enter the stairway to go upstairs for seating. It's amazing seeing their artists work.
The Naschmarkt is absolutely one of the things you have to experience during your stay in Vienna! Locals call Vienna’s largest inner-city market the “city’s stomach." The market is a unique place for strolling, admiring, discovering, and sampling. You can buy everything to do with food: fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, bread and cheese. There are a great number of Austrian delicacies on offer, such as flavored vinegar, champagne sauerkraut, and much more. And if you are hungry there is a great choice of restaurants. If you happen to be here on a Saturday, don't forget to stroll through the flea market, which is right next door.
The most famous and oldest christmas market of Vienna locates in the city hall, Rathaus. Must try Glühwein (hot wine) and Punsch (tea with alcohol).
The whole city of Vienna moves in three-four time it seems. If you want to learn how to get into step and waltz along, you should consider a lesson at Austria’s most reputable dancing school. Elmayer dance school was established in Austria’s imperial days and has since made it its mission to preserve some of the era’s etiquette and style. A class here will thus not only show you how to elegantly swoop across the dance floor, but also how to be that graceful in day-to-day life. This really is the best way to get a feeling for Viennese culture and society, as most locals complete a ballroom class at 16, preparing them for the many glamorous balls of the capital.
On an exciting city trip to Vienna, you will want nothing more than a comfortable, peaceful place to retreat to after a day of exploring. The Luxury Boutique Hotel Sans Souci is a perfect choice, as it pairs prime location with the kind of simple elegance modern travelers yearn for. It is just minutes from Vienna’s largest museum complexes and the main shopping mile Mariahilferstrasse. The rooms are spacious and offer all the amenities you expect from contemporary luxury accommodation. It really is the perfect hideaway for savvy visitors who are looking to combine the new and unique with a long tradition of excellence.
This photo taken from the North Tower of St. Stephen's Cathedral was done with shaky knees. You actually have to step out of the tower onto a metal grid staircase that runs around it. You are totally exposed to the elements, very scary. The views of the old town and best, of the colourful tiled roof of St. Stephen's, are stunning, though. A place for travellers with strong nerves.
I was in Austria for 8 hours between Bangkok and Tirana and there was only one thing I wanted to eat - the famous Torte. Despite me looking like a drowned rat when I ran out of the rain, I was treated with as much courtesy and respect as the delicacy on the plate in front of me. With creme, simply brilliant. You can even order online!
In the heart of Vienna sits St. Stephen's Cathedral. Built in the late 12th century, it's a grand piece of beauty borrowing both from the Romanesque and Gothic styles of architecture. Unlike St. Vitus in Prague, St. Stephen's shimmers with light and beauty, giving a spiritual joy to whoever shall enter. It makes God and Jesus into grand figures, but yet doesn't make the worshipper feel inferior.
Rounding out your visit to Hofburg Palace is the last of the great expansions to the palace by the Habsurgs. The building was done in true neoclassical style, obviously to make the royal family appear as mighty as Greek gods. A statue of Archduke Charles II stands outside.
Entering the Austrian National Library is a momentous moment in one's life. This place looks like something out of Harry Potter. I wasn't allowed to use my tripod inside for this triple exposure 4 shot panorama but it obviously didn't matter. A Wagner exhibit on at the time showed some of his original music. The pages looked almost fresh, they were preserved so well. Some of the books in the Palais Mollard-Clary date back to the 14th century. You can see feel and breath the history in here.
The identity of a Viennese intellectual was ultimately defined by the coffeehouse they would frequent. Sigmund Freud, Arthur Schnitzler and Hugo von Hoffmannsthal would all brood over their work and agitatedly exchange ideas with fellow thinkers at the Café Central or Café Sperl. Soak up the atmosphere of history and deep contemplation over a delicious Café Mélange, a Viennese specialty. Maybe treat yourself to a slice of cake or Strudl and watch the day go by. It is perfectly common for guests to sit and read for hours, maybe ordering only a cup of coffee and enjoying the dulled sound of stimulating conversation. Austria doesn’t actively try to continue its tradition of coffeehouses, young and old will always seek out these unique institutions, and so should you.
This place is almost too cool for Vienna (based on their website anyways) but based on the reviews it is a much needed breath of fresh air in this fairly stuffy imperial capital that is finally channeling it's "inner" Berlin. I like it.
“I came to the Kunsthistorisches in my teens, but it wasn’t until five years ago that I rediscovered the museum. Generally, I’m more of a modern art guy, but the KM has increased my appreciation for historical works by artists such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder.” - Hatmaker Klaus Mühlbauer on Leopoldstadt, Vienna. Read more about his local's take on Vienna here. Maria-Theresien-Platz, 43/(0) 1-525-24 Photo by Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek. This appeared in the October 2014 issue.
As soon as we touch down at the airport in Vienna my husbands asks when he'll have his "small Gulasch and small beer". This is his way of being part of a city that has been titled the most liveable city worldwide three years in a row. His choice of restaurant is way off the beaten path: The Cafe Alt Wien. The cafe seems to be a relict from former times, with yellowed, postercovered walls and makeshift tables. Once you enter you immediately feel transformed into a different era, time seems to be at an almost stillstand. And off course the Gulasch is excellent and for my husband the only thinkable way to arrive in Vienna.
After climbing all 246 feet (75 meters) of the bell tower, St. Stephen's Cathedral offers a historic glimpse of Vienna. As the city's most recognizable symbols, the tower jettisons toward blue skies. The view from above also provides a contrasting observation between modern day luxury and gothic architecture. On this particular day, the horses below seemed aligned with the shops across the street to bring about a feeling of soaring like a crow above the city. The tour of the tombs below felt so ironic after experiencing this unforgettable sight.
Stephansdom is the most beautiful leftover of the mighty Austro-Hungarian Empire of the Hapsburg family that I've ever seen. It stands in the middle of the luxurious Viennese historic district. An architectural marvel, the church also holds the remains of thousands beneath it. We were in awe of the classic, yet trippy, style of the huge building and the power of its long-gone ruling elite. We toured the awe-inspiring church, and ventured into the crypt below, viewing tombs and caskets, the urns holding ancient organs of the nobility (!), and the dark and cavernous rooms (and skeletons within) that were used to bury plague victims en-masse. It was an eerie combination of morbidity and beauty---sort of the story of the past, itself.
Explore the world’s oldest zoo, which is alive with activity day and night, rain or shine. Learn about an impressive variety of rare and local animals in historical settings. Indoor and outdoor exhibits make it a year-round destination to be enjoyed by the entire family.
No matter if you are looking for a memorable experience for your family or if you are an enthusiast yourself, the House of Music in Vienna will not disappoint. The museum, which explores all things connected to music and sound, is very interactive and allows its visitors to engage with the subject on many levels. Whether it is to follow Vienna’s rich history of classical music, or to play around with some of the many multi-media installations, you will get your fill somewhere on the six floors of the museum. Make the trip and you might get the chance to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra…
Before Starbucks, there was the Coffee House. This isn't a cafe or a chain of stores, instead it is the more general coffee culture that exists in Vienna Austria. This coffee house culture has survived through the changing times of Starbucks, cup sleeves, and ‘to-go’ coffee cups. I decided to go on a coffee house tasting tour around Vienna to attempt to try all of the various coffee drinks the coffee houses serve. Each cup was brought out on a silver tray, with glass of water, a spoon (normally placed on top of the glass), and a little chocolate. The coffees were small and strong, and there were no American style refills. But even more exciting than the coffee itself were the coffee houses that oozed sophistication and high brow culture. From the elegant surroundings from days gone by to the proper way each coffee is delivered to your table, the coffee houses suspended me and held me in this caffeinated world of a time that seems to be disappearing. From the moment I opened the door, I felt like all of the hectic noise in my head slowed down to ‘waltz time’ and I could relax. This was the perfect kind of slow travel. Sit, relax, drink coffee, eat some sausage, listen to music, read, and repeat the next day – that’s how to visit Vienna. Coffee Houses to try: Café Pruckel – I stopped here twice…definitely my favorite! Café Central Café Demel Café Drechsler Café Ritter – amazing strudel! Café Frauenhuber
One summer day I decided to finally visit Bratislava. (it's one of those places you don't go to because they are too close...) The mini Danube cruise by high-speed catamaran was a real highlight. It's super fast while really comfortable, and it gives you enough time to enjoy the views of the Danube with its little stilted fisher huts and weekend homes on the shores. Bratislava is a jewel of a town, especially the pedestrian historic centre. It was really interesting to see some old shops, cafes and a pharmacy labelled in three languages (Slovakian, Hungarian, German) - testimony of the Habsburg Empire.
The renowned cafes Mozart and Sacher - famous for their cakes. Both these cafes are part of the luxury Sacher Hotel.
The calm of winter may be the best time to visit some of Austria's most treasured castles and palaces, such as Belvedere Palace in Vienna. With fewer tourists you can enjoy the royal splendor with a little more space and a lot less noise. Photo: Flickr/Franz Jachim
Located in the Hofburg Palace, Sisi’s exhibit features this fashionista’s clothes and personal articles including her beauty recipes. On display is the evening dress she wore in 1854 when she left Munich, a mere 16 years old and packed up to live the rest of her life as Empress of the Austrian Empire. This tour will delight little girls and is a worthy addition to the other tours on offer in the Hofburg.
A constant delight in Vienna is the discovery (especially in Summer) at just how green this city is. Even a few hundred meters from the city center you can find green oases, where sunlight filters through the trees. In the background of this picture we can catch a glimpse of the amazing architecture of the Albertina Museum.
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