A trip to Vienna is worth considering. We spent three nights in this beautiful city. All the buildings are just picture box perfect, magnificent, elegant and so clean looking. The buildings and streets in Vienna must be the cleanest I have seen in any capital city. We visited in the month of April, it rained the first day we were there, but we had lovely warm sun for the rest of our stay. Temperature was so that a jacket was all you needed.
Our first night was great, we really enjoyed the atmosphere of the few bars we went to, chatting, eating and drinking with locals and other tourists.
We walked everywhere, central Vienna is only a mile in diameter and easy to navigate. There is a lovely vintage looking tram you can use if walking is too much for you. Buses and the underground are other options.
Normally I would say the City bus tour is a good start to getting the feel of a city and then you can make up your mind what you want to see. However we only used the Hop on Hop off bus tour in order to get to Schönbrunn Palace. It cost €50 for the two of us. This is a slow way to get there and back, a waste of time, not to mention expensive. If going again, I would get either the underground or a bus. Vienna is small, the hop on hop off bus can’t even get near the sights.
Hofburg – Imperial Palace
This Palace was the home and seat of government of the Hapsburg emperors until 1918. Now it is a museum with a Spanish riding school attached to it.
This Palace is magnificent. Inside is the Sisi Museum, a museum devoted to Empress Elisabeth, (Sisi). We took the tour through the imperial apartments listening to her story, viewing her dresses and seeing how she lived. Whilst she didn’t do anything remarkable in her life, her sad story has intrigued people for many years. I enjoyed the tour and learning more about the Hapsburg Empire.
Schönbrunn Palace –
This is another magnificent baroque building just on the outskirts and is the former imperial, Summer residence of the Hapsburgs. The palace was built in the late 1600s. It was redesigned mid 1700s under Maria Theresa, Austria’s most famous Empress (and incidentally Mother to Marie-Antoinette, yes that one, who became Queen of France and lost her head during the French Revolution). Schönbrunn Palace has almost 1500 rooms, although you can only see approximately 40 of them.
The six year old Mozart played music in the mirrored hall and outside the Palace are magnificent gardens with fountains, statues, trees and flowers.
While in Vienna, we decided we had to go to a classical concert. Of all places, you’ve got to go to a concert of some sort in Vienna, it’s the law! There are many, but we decided on Sound of Vienna: Strauss & Mozart concerts at the Kursalon. This was the best decision, we had a really brilliant night and it was fun – fantastic classical music accompanied by wonderful opera singers and ballet dancers.
You do not have to be a classical music fiend to enjoy these concerts, trust me. As for the venue itself, the building is beautiful. It was built in the mid-1800s in the style of the Italian Renaissance. Our concert took place in a magnificent ballroom and there hanging from the ceiling, were the most exquisite chandeliers, that’s it! I love chandeliers, they were breath-taking, and therefore that night I had finally decided! I SHALL HAVE A CHANDELIER IN EVERY ROOM IN MY HOUSE! EVERY SINGLE ROOM! (Then I discovered the cost of this indulgence) …Yep, as soon as I win the lotto! I shall have a chandelier in every room in my house!
Just beside the Kursalon is the Stadtpark (city park) and this is where you will see the iconic gold statue of Strauss playing his violin. As we went in there at night, there were only a couple of people strolling through the park, so there wasn’t the queue of people taking photos with their phones of the statue, as there is during the day, which was great!
I’m afraid I must say the food was just okay, but the beer was very good. Vienna is a beautiful city, with gorgeous parks. The people are friendly, a definite place to put on your bucket list!