Vienna, a city where, over 100 years ago, a revolution took place. Philosophy, physics, music and a culture of art were born here. It was done with the help of notables such as Schlick, Einstein, Mozart and Egon Schiele. This UNESCO world-heritage city centre was also the home to the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud.
Dubbed the city of music, it is here that we kicked off our epic European train trip. It set the bar very high for what was to come on our journey through the beautiful old continent that is Europe. Strolling down the historic streets of Austria’s capital, how could we not fall in love with Vienna?
Home to almost 2 million people, Vienna has been voted as one of the top cities to live in year after year. It boasts some of the most epic castles, museums galore, historic sites, concerts, churches, and the famous Viennese dessert, sachertorte! Whatever you’re into, you will find it here.
The best way to take in this European gem, is by taking a leisurely stroll through the city. You will be drawn in by the wonderful sights scattered throughout. Make sure that your camera is handy, as it’s one of the most photogenic cities we’ve been to.
Getting lost in the maze of streets is a pleasure, to say the least. Around every corner, there is architectural beauty ready to greet you. The State Opera House will fill your ears with enchanting music. Monet’s French impressionist paintings and Picasso’s surrealism will take you back a century at the Albertina museum. The Riesenrad, a 200-foot plus ferris wheel, will give you a view of the city like no other.
Then, treat yourself to the opulent beauty of the many Viennese churches. You will be excused while you pick your jaw up off the floor, as the sheer beauty and design will leave you awe-struck. Being no strangers to churches, temples and mosques, we were still taken by the sheer beauty we witnessed. St Stephan’s, St Charles, St Peter’s, the Votive church, the list goes on and on! These imposing structures are designed with such an overwhelming sense of luxuriousness, that you would think yourself at the Vatican itself. They are scattered all over the city, making it easy to turn a street corner and come upon one ready to be discovered.
If grand palaces are more your thing, head to the outskirts of the city, where you will discover the sweet serenity that comes from walking the grounds of the Schönbrunn Palace. In yesteryears, it was the summer residence of the Habsburg house (who’s family sigil may remind you of a certain golden-haired ruling family in one of our favourite HBO shows, Game of Thrones). Today, it can serve as a portal to another time, where you can almost imagine the elite of the past vying for control of the Austrian empire.
As you walk the peaceful grounds you can daydream of the long history of royalty who called this their home. The fall colours come to life in the rows of trees that lined the grounds. You can catch perfect reflections on the many fountains, making the setting even more magical. The crowning piece of the gardens is the Gloriette, where you will gaze out at the view of the city and the castle.
The few days that we spent in the capital of Austria were grey and gloomy, but this wouldn’t stop us from marvelling in its beauty and its history. Visiting this gem, it’s easy to imagine how all of these historical figures made names for themselves, given the inspiring nature that Vienna offers.
Have you ever been to Vienna? Did you also fall under its charm?
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