A walk through gorgeous Vienna, Austria
Vienna, one of the oldest and most historically valuable cities in Europe . Vienna is the capital of Austria and the most beautiful city in this country. The city consists of magnificent architecture that has made it a very popular tourist destination. Castles, galleries, manicured parks, various residences and beautiful coffee houses are all in this city. Vienna has a rich history because it has been through many different eras, all of which have left their mark on this wonderful place.
Maria Theresa Square
The place is a large square across from the Hofburg on Ringstrasse in the center of Vienna. The square takes its name from the famous Habsburg empress who ruled the Austro-Hungarian monarchy from 1740 to 1780. Two identical, monumental buildings line the square on opposite sides. The only difference is the statues on the front.
The Natural History Museum on the northwest side, built in 1889, shows figures of people from different continents. In contrast, the Museum of Art History, two years younger, shines with statues of famous European artists. While the former will please fans of minerals, stuffed animals and extensive collections of insects and butterflies, the latter hides works by artists from northern Europe as well as an extensive collection of objects from ancient Egypt.
In the middle of Maria Theresia square rises a nineteen-metre high monument to the Empress herself. The work of marble and bronze weighs forty-four tons. On its top you can see a six-meter statue of the queen sitting on the throne. With his right hand he greets his subjects, while with his left he holds a document containing the text of a so-called pragmatic sanction, issued by her father, which allows his eldest daughter to ascend the throne if the ruler has no male descendants.
Maria Theresa Square
The empress is surrounded by four equestrian statues in the form of generals Count Leopold Josef Daun, Baron Ernst von Laudon, Count Otto Ferdinand Traun and Count Ludwig Hevenhüller . Below are figures symbolizing wisdom, law and compassion. The monument was created by Caspar von Zumbusch in 1874 and was inaugurated thirteen years later on the birthday of the Empress, Queen Sisi. Maria Theresien Square is also famous for its Christmas markets, with plenty of handmade goods in wooden stalls as well as culinary delights and excellent punch.
A popular baroque square in the center of the Austrian capital. The appearance of the square began to take shape in the early 18th century. Its construction was begun by the Austrian Baroque builder and architect Johann Bernhard Fischer of Erlach, who completed the part of the square leading to the Hofburg palace complex. In 1741, however, construction work was interrupted, and the final form of this space was not completed until one hundred and fifty years later under the direction of the architect Ferdinand Kirchner .
Michaelerplatz refers to the church of St. Michael, which stood here in the late Romanesque style as early as the 13th century. Thanks to historical records it is known that in 1221 it was donated by Count Leopold VI of Babenberg. Nevertheless one of the most important church buildings in Vienna underwent several major reconstructions over the centuries, so that its current appearance is mostly Gothic and Classicist.
Michaelerplatz is bordered by several notable buildings. One of the most famous is the so-called Looshaus, built in 1909 for Goldman & Salatsch . The pioneering architecture of Adolf Loos once outraged Emperor Franz Joseph, who criticized the building for its lack of brightness and disliked the fact that the windows had no visible frames.
It is still possible to admire the austere clean lines without the previously popular embellishments of a listed building which in recent years was the seat of the bank’s headquarters. The center of the square has been occupied since 1991 by the open excavations of the original Roman camp sewers, but the fountains and the Baroque palace of Herberstein are worth a visit . One interesting factor is that gas lighting was introduced to Vienna’s first square in 1838, and almost a century later it was Vienna’s first traffic circle.
The 60,000 m2 museum complex is located near the center of Vienna. It was opened to the public in 2001 and includes several different art museums, such as the MUMOK (Museum of Modern Art). The Museum Quarter, MQ for short, is behind the baroque buildings of the imperial stables. They were built by Charles VI in front of the gates of his castle in 1725 for six hundred horses and two hundred carriages. Although the entire planned complex was never completed, it served its purpose for nearly two centuries under the name of the Spanish or court riding school.
In 1922 the Trade and Fair Palace was built there and at the beginning of the 21st century the space was transformed into a cultural complex. On an area of 60,000 square meters, behind the Baroque architecture combined with modern elements, there are a number of renowned museums. One of the most famous is for example the Leopold Museum, named after its founder, the ophthalmologist Rudolf Leopold. Works by Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt stand out in its Viennese Art Nouveau collections.
The largest local museum is the so-called Mumok , that is, the Museum of Modern Art. It boasts twentieth-century works, focusing primarily on pop art and neo-realism. Among the nine thousand exhibits are works by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Paul Klee and Yoko Ono.
The former Baroque winter manege was transformed by the Ortner Brothers’ workshop into a unique space called the Kunsthalle or Hall of Art. Lovers of modern art from all over the world will love it. Austria’s first architecture museum, opened in 1993, is one of the most important, but also worth a visit are the Q21 Gallery and the Children’s Museum Zoom.
In the Museum Quarter you can also visit the theater, which has a dance floor and conference rooms. Local restaurants, cafés, bars and stores are popular too. Even the space between the individual buildings comes alive with original performances and where unique exhibits and enormous photographs are on display.
Natural History Museum
The Museum of Natural History, Austria’s largest museum, opened in 1889 by the architect Gottfried Semper. There is, for example, the so-called Venus Willendorf, a late Paleolithic female sculpture. The beginning of its extensive collections dates back to 1750, when Francis I Stephan, husband of Empress Maria Theresia, bought from the Florentine scholar Johann Ritter von Bayu the largest and most famous scientific collection in the world at the time, with over thirty thousand exhibits. Other rulers then expanded and added to this family treasure.
On December 20, 1857, Emperor Franz Joseph I. decided to tear down the old Viennese walls, giving enough space in the city for new buildings. And just one of these was the magnificent building of the Museum of Natural History, built according to the plans of Gottfried Semper and Carl von Hasenauer. At the time of its creation, the museum had five departments: mineralogical, geological-paleontological, zoological, botanical and anthropo-ethnological. Today the collections are divided into eleven parts, of which only zoology occupies three.
Visitors can see everything related to the history of the Earth . Minerals, gemstones, insects, bird lizards, and stuffed animals that are extinct or endangered can be seen here. One of the largest museums in the world boasts the largest collection of meteorites in the world, numbering eleven hundred exhibits . Also of interest is a 3D simulation of a large meteorite hitting the Earth’s surface.
Also unique is the digital planetarium with an interior dome, which reaches a diameter of 8.5 meters. It’s not just about astronomy, several times a day films from a variety of disciplines can be viewed, be it stars, the underwater world or human prehistory. No one can miss the hall of dinosaurs where skeletons and fossils are displayed, as well as the moving model of an Allosaurus that makes a terrifying sound, the first mobile model made in the original size of the flightless bird, Forusrakus. One of the most valuable exhibits of the museum is the Venus Willendorf, eleven inches high, created by humans in the early Stone Age.
What to see in Vienna in one day
Vienna is a city of chic castles, music, stately avenues, and parks.
It looks like the capital on the canvas of an 18th-century artist: austere and bright. If you want to see traditional Europe, come to Vienna.
The Austrian capital has many sights. Two weeks would not be enough to go around them all and explore them thoroughly. But travelers often find themselves in Vienna for a short time when they make a connection in the city. If the connection is longer than 5 hours, I suggest getting downtown and walking around the old streets.
I spent a week in Vienna and will tell you what is worth seeing in the city in one day. I suggest you walk from the Karlskirche to St. Stephen’s Cathedral. On the way you will see the Vienna Opera House, the Albertina Gallery, the Hofburg Palace complex, the Museum of Art History, the Vienna City Hall, and the Café Central.
How to get to the beginning of the route. You can take a train from the airport to the city center. Train S7 runs 25-30 minutes.
Prop the ticket on the platform, to do it in the train will not work. Get off at the station Wien Mitte Landstraße.
If you buy your ticket online on CAT train it will cost from the airport.
The Karlskirche is one of the most beautiful and photographed cathedrals in Vienna. It has a sad history: the temple was built after the plague that killed 8,000 people. The columns depict an angel with a sword, a funeral procession and people asking for an end to the suffering.
Inside the Karlskirche are colored marble, frescoes and sculptures. The cathedral is finished in Baroque style, but it is spoiled by a modern elevator and staircase surrounded by scaffolding and a line of tourists near it. The church also has a museum of St. Carlo Borromeo, where his clothes and church paraphernalia are on display.
costs an adult ticket to the Karlskirche
In the Karlskirche you can listen to classical music concerts. The most visited are Mozart’s Requiem and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Usually starts at 20:15, but check the times and schedules on the website beforehand. There you can also buy tickets.
When I walked next to the cathedral, there was a literary evening with locals and tourists reading poems in different languages. It sounds incredible – I had a lot of fun listening to the speakers
The Vienna State Opera opened in 1869 with the premiere of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. It is said that although the theater building was considered one of the best in the world for acoustics and decoration, Emperor Franz Joseph greatly disliked it. His unflattering review drove one architect to suicide and another to a heart attack.
What tourists see now is a remake. The theater building was badly damaged by bombing during World War II and was almost completely destroyed. It was restored from the old drawings.
The repertoire now includes ballet and opera by Verdi, Strauss and Puccini. In November 2019, they are giving “Eugene Onegin” and “Don Giovanni.” The playbill is on the theater’s website, and tickets are sold there as well. The performance schedule is known through June 2020.
Ticket prices do not change over time, and the most popular performances sell out quickly. If you are planning a trip, buy your tickets as far in advance as possible. There is no strict dress code for visitors to the opera – tourists come in casual wear.
It is worth a tour of the Vienna State Opera.
Albertina Gallery – art museum with one of the largest collections of graphics in the world. Paintings by Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Klimt and other famous artists are on display there.
It also houses an important collection of modernist art – “Munch Chagall Picasso. The Butliner Collection.” Sometimes there are specialized exhibitions, such as the recent importation of items from the fashion house Guerlain from the Pompidou Center in Paris. Expositions in the museum change, so it is better to clarify the current exhibitions on the website of the gallery.
costs an adult ticket to the Albertina
If you’re not a fan of painting, go up to the Albertina’s roof for a great view of the city. It has its own entrance, and you can get there without going through the museum. Admission to the observation deck is free.
View of the Albertina. In Vienna, at every turn you can see a new palace, a fabulous house, or a baroque church.
The Hofburg is the imperial residence. There are 19 palaces, built in different periods and architectural styles. The oldest building, the Alte Burg, was erected in the 16th century, the newest in the 20th century.
The Hofburg reminded me of Peterhof: rich interiors, portraits of crowned heads and gold vases on marble tables. There is also a museum of Elisabeth of Bavaria, or Sissi, one of the most famous empresses of Austria. Her life was full of romantic stories, and Sissi became a favorite of all Germans and Austrians. In the museum, you can look into the imperial chambers and walk through Elisabeth’s rooms.
I preferred to just walk around the residence and admire the beauty of the opulent palaces, chapels, and fountains. You can see the architecture of the Hofburg for free.
Next to the Hofburg are two parks – the Burggarten and the Volksgarten. In the latter from mid-spring to mid-autumn exhibition of roses: hundreds of varieties are planted in alleys and flower beds. And in winter, there’s a rose market.
You can find information about all of Vienna’s events at wien.info.
The Kunsthistorisches Museum is located opposite the Hofburg. Sculptures, paintings, and objects of luxury from ancient times to the present day are exhibited there. The building itself is no less admirable than the paintings and sculptures in it: the interiors are decorated with magnificent stucco, frescoes and marble. However, there are no plaques with information under paintings – you have to rely on your own memory and the Internet.
Vienna City Hall is a symbol of the city – it is one of the most visited places in Vienna after the Hofburg. The building is crowned with a 105-meter tower, which can be seen from all parts of the city. Usually you can climb it with a guided tour, but it was closed for renovation in the summer of 2019.
Town Hall staff give free tours on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1 p.m. . They talk about the history of the town hall and the progress of the construction, but only in German. Even if you don’t know the language, it’s a good idea to go: The guide will take you to the most interesting places, which are difficult to find on your own. Sign up in advance is not necessary: just come 10-15 minutes before the start.
Every day at the town hall dozens of activities. For example, in the evening, tourists and locals watch movies outdoors here. There I watched a TV show in English: I liked the atmosphere and the staging.
Outside, the central part of the town hall is covered with scaffolding. Lunch is played to the classical music that plays in the square
Café Centrale was opened in 1876. It is a pompous Venetian-style place with chic architecture, dressed waiters and a grand piano. Austrian intellectuals, like Sigmund Freud, loved to relax there. Adolf Hitler, who liked to draw in the café, also used to visit the Central.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is located in the center of Vienna’s historic part. At night it looks majestic and formidable, while during the day it looks bright and direct. The towers of the cathedral have the most gorgeous view of the city, in my opinion. I recommend climbing the South Tower: it’s the tallest and has the best view.
A ticket with access to all parts of the cathedral
The cathedral often hosts concerts. You can find out about them on the website.
Elisabeth of Bavaria’s favorite delicacy. You can eat them as candy or pour them into the champagne: the bubbles cause the violets to open and the champagne to take on a blue color and violet scent
Belvedere. If you have an extra three or four hours, go to the Belvedere. This is a palace complex, which was converted into an art gallery in 1903.
The complex consists of three buildings: the Upper Belvedere, Lower Belvedere, and Belvedere 21. Around – a huge park, which in some way resembles the Peterhof.
Ticket to all three Belvedere buildings
The main composition is in the Upper Belvedere. There you can see sculptures and paintings by famous artists, but the main attraction is Klimt’s “The Kiss”. In the other two buildings, modern art is on display. Personally, I didn’t find these exhibitions very impressive. If I went to Vienna a second time, I would limit myself to the Upper Belvedere.
Upper Belvedere. If you just want to walk around the park, wander the labyrinths and sit by the fountain, be warned that it will take quite a while: the area is huge. Photo: canadastock / Shutterstock
In the lobby is a reproduction of The Kiss. Many tourists mistake it for the original and take pictures with it. It’s funny: the reproduction is twice the size of the painting and printed on thin plywood. The original hangs in the wing to the right of the entrance to the second floor
Music can be heard on every corner in Vienna. Both professional ensembles and street musicians perform in the squares in front of the Town Hall, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Hofburg and in the parks. Even if you don’t go to a concert, you can still hear some of the classics.
Occasionally churches hold free mini-concerts of 20-25 minutes each. It may be an organ concert, string quartet, or even an a cappella choir. The schedule is hard to find online, but is usually posted on the information board outside each cathedral. I stopped by the Mariahilf church, near where I rented an apartment, and attended an organ concert – it was delightful.
Schönbrunn is a palace complex with a huge park, in the far corner of which is Vienna’s zoo. It is famous for its gardens, orangeries and fountains. A trip to Schönbrunn is worthwhile if you have an extra couple of hours: you can not get around the castle and the park quickly.
The complex has a greenhouse, which resembles a rose garden in Moscow Botanical Garden. Near the palace is a hill with a triumphal arch, which offers a magnificent view over the entire complex and the alleys. However, it is boring to walk on it after 20-25 minutes.
costs the most expensive ticket to Schoenbrunn Palace
What to bring from Vienna. In the city are very expensive souvenirs. If you move away from the center, the prices are lower, but only by a couple of euros.
Most souvenir stores and shops with handmade products are around St. Stephen’s Cathedral. In the big stores are jammed and salesmen are clingy – then you want to get away quickly.
A mug with a Klimt painting costs a pretty penny.
At Vienna International Airport the duty-free zone extends as far as the baggage inspection area. There are no stores or cafes further on, only one water dispenser. At the inspection, the customs officers make you throw out all the water for which there are no duty-free receipts, so keep them.
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Thank you for the article! Even though I have been to Vienna twice, I discovered a couple of new places.
I would also recommend: – to try sausage or hot dog in Bitzinger near Albertina; – to get some strudels or croissants in Anker; – to visit the memorial to the Soviet soldiers who died during the liberation of Austria, near Belvedere; – to go to the zoo (definitely one of the best in Europe).
Alexander, you should not promote zoos and circuses, they should have been banned long ago for cruel and inhumane treatment of animals. Look on Yandex, the information is in the public domain for a substantive understanding of what is being done behind the scenes. For example, Slovakia has completely banned circuses; Russia has banned contact zoos in shopping malls. At least they started to do something. Good evening to you all:)
The author – well done, not a bad recommendation. I’d also recommend to try a Zaher cake at the cafe with the same name, to have a walk in the Körthnerstrasse and to go to the Sisi Museum in the Hofburg. I loved it there. For lovers of military history, there’s a wonderful armory with knightly halls, too. And yes, there are horse lines at the Café Central. IMHO.
( for meat-eaters. a little gastronomy) And also near Belvedere ( and in Prater) there is a great stylistic restaurant Salm Braeu, where they serve not to pass words Delightful knuckle.
And in the evening enjoy a glass of Grüner. In places like WEIN & CO Wien, not so expensive.
Rss, thanks for the reasoned response.
If you have a valid metro ticket around the city (e.g. you bought a pass for a day/two/triple), when buying a train ticket to the airport you need to tick the box at the top, like “only area outside Vienna” and the ticket to the airport is 1.4 euros (or 1.6, I do not remember exactly) Karlskirche is beautifully lit in the evening, I recommend. In front of the town hall there is no gastromarkt anymore, it was a temporary event, every year some festival in summer, always Christmas market in winter. About food, orient on the price of schnitzel, normal price is 9-10 euros, 12- it should be very tasty, still acceptable price, all that above – most likely a tourist place. And a lot of small places, where it’s not so expensive, wurstel stand near the opera – the most delicious Keizerkrainer (sausages with cheese inside), try dumplings! sweet or with meat and cabbage, very nourishing and tasty, price, 3-5 euro per dumpling (it’s big), in winter it’s good to eat baked chestnuts! If you want beautiful views, go up to the hills (there’s a cafe and a bus) – the view over the whole vein, from hill to hill you can walk along the trail, in winter there is even snow. Passed the museum quarter, it’s across the street from Kunsthistorischen Museum, a lot of interesting things there too, mostly art nouveau. From cafes I recommend Oberlaa near the Staatpark, there’s a nice ice cream and a nice park nearby, if you go in summer, you can go to cafes on the Donau canal, it’s not so hot and sandy.