Vienna, the capital of Austria, is a beautiful city full of history and considered one of the most important European cultural centers. It also had a great influence on the world of classical music, opera and art. As the former capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Vienna hosts innumerable imperial monuments and palaces, countless museums, churches and beautifully decorated cathedrals.
With a mild continental climate, the capital of Austria is one of the most recommended European cities to visit at any time of the year. In the summertime, the city is full of delight with its charmingly decorated gardens. During the winter, the city offers exhibitions and exceptional events throughout the year, especially during the Christmas season.
However, here’s what to keep in mind during your next trip to Vienna:
For classical music enthusiasts:
Vienna is famous for its classical music heritage. Here emerged the most important musicians of the classical period in Europe, such as Bach, Gluk, Mozart, Beethoven and Salieri. At the same time, Vienna was the favorite place of many romantic composers, one of them being Schubert.
With this rich musical history, the city still hosts a lot of attractions that tell us more about those who shaped classical music. Some of the most important of these places include Mozarthaus, the former residence of Mozart, as well as the Mozart statue at the Hofburg Palace, a place you should not miss, especially if you are love the works of this amazing composer. In the city you will also find a lot of cafes, restaurants and shops named after him, and a lot of concerts where his works are played.
Schubert, Strauss and Beethoven also have their own dedicated museums frequented by classical music enthusiasts from all over the world. Wiener Staatsoper, the Vienna Opera House, offers tours for visitors for less than 5 euros. It is a great place that hosts some of the best classical music and ballet performances in the world. The Haus der Musik is also nearby, a place where the halls are equipped with all kinds of modern technology, which fascinates all visitors from adults to children.
For lovers of history, art and architecture:
If you go to Vienna and want to know more about its history and culture, you should probably start with the Hofburg Palace. With its magnificent Gothic architecture, the palace was occupied by the imperial family until 1918. Here you can visit the imperial apartments and the treasury that houses imperial jewelry from the Habsburg dynasty. You can also visit the Austrian National Library and the four museums as well as the Spanish Horse Riding School.
Then go on a stroll on Ringstrasse to visit the twin museums built at the request of the Emperor, where there is a huge artistic collection of the Habsburg dynasty. The Museum of Art History is one of the richest and most important art museums in the world. It hosts many 18th century paintings, Renaissance art collections, Baroque art and exquisite collections of Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities. Another important landmark is the Museum of Natural History in Vienna, one of the largest and finest museums of its kind in Europe. The museum area in Vienna also houses the Museum of Modern Art, the Leopold Museum (Austrian Art) and the Vienna Museum of Architecture and Urban Design. The Museum of Applied Arts offers free access on Tuesdays.
If you want to take a break from visiting the museums, head over to Buggarten and Volksgarten, two extremely beautiful parks, which offer have ideal places to relax.
The famous Schonbrunn Palace is close to the city center. Often compared with the Versailles Palace in Paris, this palace is enormous, with magnificent gardens stretching beyond the building, and is one of the most beautiful Baroque buildings in Europe. It was used in the past as an imperial summer residence. If you do not want to stay away from the city center, we suggest you visit the Belvedere Palace, built in Baroque style, which also features a magnificent garden, designed by the famous architect J. L. von Hildebrandt for Prince Eugene of Savoy.
You cannot leave Vienna without visiting the most important churches in the city, Stephansdom (St Stephan’s Cathedral) built in Gothic and Roman style, and Karlskirche, dominated by Baroque architecture. Both have towers you can climb up to, in order to see the panoramic landscape of the city.
Vienna has its own cuisine style, considered a unique one, although sometimes it is said to be an alternative to German cuisine. However, we consider that the gastronomy in Vienna is truly unique in many ways which you’ll surely enjoy!
Among the dishes that we recommend to try while you are in Vienna are Rindsuppe (beef soup), Wiener Schnitzel, Gulasch, Tafelspitz (beef with apple sauce and radish), and Selchfleisch.