When people talk about visiting European cities they usually mention London, Paris or Rome. One city that may not be on everybody’s radar is Vienna, but for me, it is one of my favourite cities in Europe.
Vienna has frequently been listed as one of the most liveable cities in the world in regard to its environment, crime rate, culture and cost of living. After spending several days there, I agree with that assessment.
Vienna seethes with culture and history. It has beautiful parks and historical buildings ranging from classical and baroque, to art nouveau and contemporary modern architecture. There are many museums and world class art galleries. Every night of the week there are concerts and balls in various locations.
One of the most impressive buildings is the vast Schloss Schonbrunn Palace with over 1400 rooms. It was the sight of a famous meeting in the 60’s between John Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev. In the evening there are concerts playing Mozart and Strauss at the Orangerie—a separate building on the grounds. Musical greats such as Mozart played here.
Another venue not to be missed is the Museum of Fine Arts which has a huge art collection by the masters such as Raphael, Van Dyke, Bordone and Rembrandt. We spent four hours there and only managed to cover one floor.
One of the famous residents of Vienna was Sigmund Freud. His former apartment and office is now a museum. Interestingly, we have a friend who went to kindergarden on the floor above Freud’s office; she also knew his daughter. One thing we learned at the museum was that Freud used cocaine to treat morphine withdrawal and even used cocaine himself.
There is one must-see location on any visit to Vienna. The city was a centre of intrigue in the past, frequented by the likes of Hitler, Freud, Lenin and Trotsky. The place is Cafe Central and is located in a beautiful old building. It has the most glorious dessert display and of course, no visit to Vienna could be without apple strudel. The taste of it was absolutely amazing and we went back there a second day to indulge ourselves.
Like all European cities, Vienna is rich in history. It’s not every day you get to eat in a 700-year-old restaurant like the Griechenbeisl. The building which houses it is almost 1000 years old. The schnitzel was excellent, the staff was friendly and we were serenaded to Viennese music.
Go to Vienna and you will find it thoroughly enjoyable and memorable.
Have you visited Vienna? What would you recommend people do while they’re there? Share your travel advice in the comments below…