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The Secret Charm of Vienna

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Written by Tanya

 

Have you already visited the capital city of Austria or are you planning to visit it? Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Austria, and if you happen to be on your way near this country, it is a must to see, for one or more days! If you want to discover its charm, you should follow our path on the way of unveiling the secret beauties of this charming city.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

Our path starts here, at Stephansplatz, the square which houses the magnificent St. Stephen’s Cathedral. This cathedral is considered to be one of the Vienna’s symbols, with its length of 107,2 meters and its width of 34,2 meters, easily recognizable thanks to the south tower with its 136,44 meters of height. No way you are going to miss it while walking in the centre between modern shops and beautiful historical buildings. If you are asking yourself about its age, you should know that it was built a long time ago, in the 12th century and still preserves all its beauty. Today, it is one of the most important Gothic structures in Austria. What will surely make you happy, is the fact that it is free of charge to visit.

Graben

Near Stephansplatz you can have the pleasure to walk along the Graben. It is the first pedestrian street in the centre of Vienna. There will wait for a nice surprise for you worth taking some photos. In addition to the numerous shops and cafes that embellish this street, there in the middle is to be seen the Baroque column of the Trinity,”Pestsäule”. It was built between 1681 and 1693 in memory of the plague of 1679. Nearby are to be found also the fountains of St. Joseph and St. Leopold.

Kohlmarkt

At the very end of the Graben, on its left side starts the famous Kohlmarkt, one of the oldest streets in Vienna and the area where the market for wood and coal once took place.  Kohlmarkt links Graben with the Hofburg (imperial palace) and is the right place for the luxury lovers who are looking for some fine objects. Here, in fact, are located international luxury boutiques (Cartier, Chopard, Tiffany, and Wellendorff), and some of the most famous brands of Vienna such as Thonet, Schullin jewelry and Wagner jewellery which is, with its 700 square meters, the largest store of luxury jewellery in Austria. Entering Kohlmarkt, you can admire the wonderful view of the green copper dome of the Michaelertor, the main entrance of the Hofburg from the inner city.

Imperial Palace Hofburg

After having walked all the way through Kohlmarkt, you will find yourself in front of the Hofburg entrance. This was once the epicentre of the Habsburg Empire, the heart of the emperors’ life. If you are curious to know more about the court life, here you can also visit three museums. Waiting for you to immerse into their history, are the Imperial Apartments with their original furnishings, the Sissi Museum, and the Museum of the Silver Collection. Here you can see how imperial life in the nineteenth century looked like.

Maria Theresien Platz

Continuing on our path, by crossing the imperial gardens you will easily reach Maria Theresien Platz. It is a nice square-garden, which was dedicated to Empress Maria Theresa. This square-garden is bordered by two twin buildings, both of them housing important museums respectively called Museum of Natural History and Museum of Art of History. A bit of history tells us that the classical buildings with a central dome were built towards the end of the nineteenth century. We highly recommend visiting the Natural History Museum, as it is one of the largest natural science museum in the world, and also the largest museum in Austria. Be prepared to spend a couple of hours there wandering through its numerous chambers rich of historic treasures.

Ringstrasse

Back on our itinerary, in front of Maria Theresien Platz, you will find Ringstrasse, a ring of avenues about 5km long, which surrounds the centre of Vienna. If you are passionate about opera, just head south to the Staatsoper, one of the most famous opera houses in the world. If you want to see the place where the famous New Year Vienna’s concert is held every year for the first of January, you should look for the building called Musik Verein. Otherwise, by heading north instead, you will have the chance to see the parliament, the city hall of Vienna and its park, and among them also the Burgtheater and the University building. In front of the city hall are often held the New Year concerts and magical Christmas markets take place, welcoming Christmas and both local and tourists who want to drink some mulled wine or eat some sweets.

The summer residences, Schönbrunn and Belvedere

If you want to extend your exploring around outside the centre, you should consider visiting two beautiful palaces, which have been inspired by the Versailles model, the Imperial Palace of Schönbrunn and the Belvedere Palace. Both palaces will take your breath away, with their magnificent architectural style and enormous well-cured gardens, with artistic fountains and amazing nature. Schönbrunn Palace is the spectacular one, and apart from a satisfying walk in its garden, you will be impressed also by its interior. While visiting Vienna, you simply cannot miss these two places to make some photos. We recommend visiting them in the springtime when their gardens give their best with colourful flowers, green peaceful nature and warm sunshine.

A taste of Vienna’s cuisine

Should you get tired from walking around the whole city, you can refresh yourself with some food. Surely, you have heard of the famous Wiener Schnitzel or Goulash? So, here is the chance to try them and see why they are so famous for. As a dessert, you can order a chocolate Sacher cake, which tastes deliciously. If you like to drink some beer, there are numerous pubs with excellent choices.

Have you fallen in love with Vienna? Well, we surely have. It is an amazing city and you won’t regret visiting it. We hope that its secret charm will enchant you too! Another charm of Vienna is to take a nice cruise on the Danube river. Have fun with exploring the city and if you come from outside the EU, don’t forget to buy a Travel insurance for Schengen visa should you need it.

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