Vienna is ranked among the most popular destinations in Europe. Someone can say that it’s too arrogant, but none can deny the charming beauty of Austrian architecture and the countless number of masterpieces in Vienna’s museums.
It’s exquisite cuisine, lots of prominent sons who brought glory to their country, spectacular events like the Viennese Ball have created the flair of something magical and exalted. If you have ever dreamt of coming in touch with the world of beauty, it’s time to live out your dreams. In this article, we’ve listed the must-visit attraction which you can’t pass by.
Visit the Schönbrunn Palace
Schönbrunn Palace is a sparkling landmark of the Austrian capital. The summer residence of the Habsburg rulers impresses visitors with its splendid Baroque architecture, numerous statues, and fountains. The residence built in 1713 is situated in the western part of Vienna, in the Hietzing district. The palace area comprises such attractions as Privy Garden, Orangery Garden, Schönnbrunn Zoo, Maze, Children’s museum, and Gloriette. Glorietta, a terrace atop a hill, deserves special attention.
lt was erected in the classicism style by order of Maria Theresa. Pavilion, garnished with columns, served as a dining room, now there is a cafe inside. Don’t miss this highlight as you are able to enjoy magnificent views from there. There are several types of tours, and the prices for tickets can vary according to the number of attractions covered by the pass, so you check the tariffs on the official website.
The current opening times are the following:
- Schönbrunn Palace 9.30 am–5.00 pm
- Schönbrunn Palace Park 6.30 am–5.30 pm
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Admire masterpieces in the Belvedere Museum
Another majestic prior residence is the Belvedere Palace. The Baroque complex embraces the Lower Belvedere built-in 1716, and the Upper Belvedere, which was erected in 1722. The palace, embellished with monuments, fountains, cascades, and lavish gardens, was the residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy. Nevertheless, after his death, Maria Theresa preferred the Schönbrunn Palace as her summer residence, so it was in desolation for a pretty long period.
Today, there is the Austrian national gallery located in the Belvedere, which opened its doors in 1903. The main exhibition is devoted to Austrian artists of the Fin de siècle and Art Nouveau era. However, its collection boasts of paintings dating from the Middle Ages to the modern days. The star attraction of the exhibition is The Kiss (in German Der Kuss), a work of the Austrian Symbolist artist Gustav Klimt, which is regarded as a masterpiece of Vienna Secession (a local variation of Art Nouveau). Lower Belvedere is currently closed for renovation, but the Upper Belvedere welcomes its visitors Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.
Be astonished at the Hundertwasser’s architecture
The buildings which stand out aside the cityscape and look like a celebration of colors and forms are the Hundertwasserhaus and Spittelau waste incineration plant. An extraordinary architect, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, was the person who added bright colors to the ceremonious Viennese architecture. It’s surprising that the plant is located in the heart of the city, but it doesn’t pollute the air at all, what is more, the heat of trash burning provides heating to the whole district.
In turn, the Hundertwasserhaus is an apartment house located in the Landstraße district. Hundertwasser himself considered this building to be the top of his oeuvre, and this is not without reason. Trees and shrubs inside some niche rooms, the lack of straight lines, the bizarre shapes of windows and rooms – the Hundertwasserhouse is fairly regarded as the iconic masterpiece of expressionist style.
Experience Viennese coffee culture
Vienna is considered the world’s capital of coffee culture that shows itself in the refined ritual of coffee drinking. If you’re going to visit a classical Viennese coffeehouse, don’t be surprised, when you are met by a waiter in a bow tie. Besides, you can find positions on the menu that differ from classical espresso or cappuccino, e.g. melange is a kind of cappuccino, whereas verlängerter is pretty strong coffee with a splash of milk. If you want to try Austrian coffee with whipped cream, you should order either einspänner or fiaker.
Note that fiaker has a pungent flavor provided by a shot of rum. Local tradition lies in the fact that you should order something sweet for your coffee. The best option is a classical apple strudel, a piece of Sachertorte, Topfentorte, Kardinalschnitte, or Esterházy torte. The most iconic cafes are Café Central, Café Sacher, and Demel, but take into account that they are packed with people, so you have to wait in a queue. However, it’s up to you to decide whether the splendid interior is worth it. You can experience the coffee culture of Vienna in many other establishments as all of them provide a special flair and lasting impressions.
Have a delicious dinner on the Naschmarkt
Like many other European cities, Vienna has its own open-air market where you can both buy fresh local products or souvenirs and have an affordable and delicious dinner. Naschmarkt originates from the 16th century when bottles of milk were sold there. From the end of the 18th century, it was the center of selling fruits and vegetables from the whole globe.
Today, the Naschmarkt boasts of countless cuisines and dishes. Here, you can try both exotic meals like seafood or eastern cuisine and traditional Austrian dishes such as Kaiserschmarrn and Palatschinken. It is situated on Wienzeile street, and its length is around 1.5 km. However, not only foodstuffs can be found here. There is a flea market on-site as well so you can find a distinctive souvenir as a keepsake of your trip. Thus, you’ll be astonished by its offer and authentic atmosphere that allows you to have a glance at the life of locals. The opening hours are:
- Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. (maximum)
- Saturday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (maximum)
Restaurants and Bars:
- Monday to Saturday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (maximum)
- Closed on Sundays and public holidays
We hope that our tips will be helpful for you to have a memorable day-trip to Vienna!