Vienna is the cultural escape that you never knew you needed. With its streets lined with buildings that are all architectural masterpieces in their own right, it’s hard not to fall in love with a city like it. Located in eastern Austria, Vienna is a city famous for not just its uniquely traditional architecture, but also all of the musical masterpieces that have been composed in this beautiful place.
If you have a day to spare, or even just a couple of hours, Vienna is worth every minute of your time. Here are some of the best things to see and do, to make sure that you make the most of your day trip there!
1. Belvedere Palace
The stunning Belvedere Palace and Museum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was constructed by Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt in the 18th century, to be used initially as a summer home for Prince Eugene of Savoy. Today, the palace is a still a sight to behold, as it captures the essence of the Baroque period with its elaborate garden and intricate architectural style. It is home to a vast collection of Austrian art dating way back to the middle ages. Fans of the painter Gustav Klimt would be thrilled to know that the Belvedere contains the largest collection of his paintings including the famous one entitled “the Kiss (Lovers)”. Aside from that, the collection includes works from artists all over the world, such as Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Max Beckmann, making it really worthwhile to visit.
The Belvedere is split into two different sections, the Upper Belvedere and the Lower Belvedere. They are all sectioned according to the time period and the painting style. For example, the upper section houses French Impressionism artwork, artwork that uses very tiny brush strokes to create a stunning piece.
Audio guides are available at a small extra cost, but they are definitely worth every penny. They provide detailed descriptions about almost every painting, allowing you to understand the story behind it and as such, make everything so much more meaningful. Even if you don’t know much about art and history, there is so much waiting to be soaked in, as aside from the paintings themselves, the architecture of the palace itself and the gardens are definitely worth a visit.
Belvedere Palace, Vienna
Price: From 12.50 EUR (14 USD) for students and seniors, 15.00 EUR (16.70 USD) for adults, free for children under 18
Address: Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Vienna
Website: Belvedere Palace
The Naschmarkt has one of the most interesting combination of things that Vienna has to offer. It can be described as a produce market meets restaurant, with so much to see. Stalls selling Turkish snacks are situated beside stalls selling sushi, and restaurants are located beside stalls that are selling handbags, clothes, and produce all at the same time. It was opened in the 16th century where the stall vendors were mostly city farmers, and people would come from far and wide by sea, to check out what was available. Today, the Naschmarkt attracts more than just locals coming to look for the freshest produce, but also people from around the world who come to see what the market has to offer.
The market is open every day of the week except on Sundays, with the restaurants and cafes open till late. They boast an array of cuisines and food such as hotdogs, sandwiches, seafood, Italian, French, German, and even Asian cuisine! The vendors are mostly friendly too, and almost always offer samples. This makes it really easy to try different types of food as well, especially if you are adventurous. With the variety of choice available, the Naschmarkt will be perfect for lunch, dinner, or snack time in between!
Opening Times: Monday to Friday: 6 am to 7:30 pm, Saturday: 6 am to 5 pm. Closed on Sundays.
Address: 1060 Vienna, Austria
Karlskirche, also known as St. Charles’s Church, is a Baroque church that was built in honour of Saint Charles Borromeo, with construction completed in 1739. The church consists of a small exhibit that contains items, such as the clothes previously worn by the Bishop of Milan, all put up on display inside it. Aside from the stunning architecture, the church is also famous for hosting concerts such as Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” and Mozart’s Requiem. If you’re thinking of attending a concert, definitely consider this church as it provides the perfect atmosphere and it will not burn a hole in your wallet!
Prices: 8.00 EUR (8.91 USD) per person
Address: Karlsplatz, 1040 Wien
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4. Café Mozart
When you’re ready for some afternoon tea, be sure to check out Café Mozart. It is the first coffeehouse and was opened in 1794, 3 years after Mozart died. During the Biedermeier period, this was very popular among creative minds, like writers, artists and actors. It was torn down in 1882 and the café was renamed to Café Mozart in 1929. A popular Viennese pastry, the apple strudel, is one of the most popular items, along with speciality coffees and a variety of chocolate drinks. Although the items on the menu can be a little pricey, the atmosphere of this café will definitely make you feel like you’ve been transported into the past!
Minimum spending: 10 EUR (11.14 USD) per person
Address: Albertinaplatz 2, 1010 Wien, Austria
Website: Café Mozart
If you still can’t get enough of Mozart, the Mozarthaus is the place to go. It is a museum dedicated to the great composer, detailing every step of his life and family. The museum is located in an apartment where Mozart once lived with his family from 1784 to 1787 and is said to be the most elegant apartment that he ever lived in, with most of the original interior still very much intact. The Mozarthaus itself is beautiful and filled with a very extensive exhibit that includes items previously owned by him. The museum showcases more than just Mozart the composer, but also Mozart the man himself. Audio guides are provided with the purchase of a ticket and it is a must see for fans of the composer.
Address: Domgasse 5, 1010 Wien, Austria
The beauty that is Vienna
As you can see, Vienna has so much to offer. There is so much more to explore, but if time is not on your side, these places will definitely encourage you to visit for a longer stay next time!
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