Another one of my favorite cities, Vienna is the capital of Austria and has a rich history dating all the way back to 500BC. Often known as the City of Music due to it’s musical heritage, Vienna is also known for it’s quality of life and is ranked amongst the top most livable cities in the world.
We visited Vienna in 1999, travelling by train from Salzburg. Going from one city rich in musical history to another, it’s easy to get lost in all that wonder. After checking into our hotel, it was off for sight-seeing. It was autumn when I visited and the changing color of the trees from green to yellow, orange and red made this visit even more enjoyable.
Vienna was the capital city of the Holy Roman Empire from 1483 to 1806 and became the capital of the Austrian Empire in the 1800’s. Because of this illustrious past, you can see many grand imperial buildings and palaces here.
Many of the palaces, museums and churches in Vienna are within walking distance, but if you don’t want to walk, there is also the subway that makes getting to most of these places very quick and convenient. As we explored further, we found ourselves at Stephanplatz, where the main cathedral of St Stephen is. This is the mother church and seat of the Archbishop of Vienna.
Stephanplatz is where most of the tourists gather and there are many shops and restaurants here to choose from. We also took a tour inside St Stephen’s where we got to enter the crypts below the church and were shown the skeletons of victims of the plague in 1679. Kinda eerie but interesting.
Vienna has produced some of the best musicians like Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss and in recent history, Falco of Rock Me Amadeus fame. Besides it’s musical heritage, Vienna is also famous for Sigmund Freud, father of psycho-analysis. Besides, there are a couple of buildings built in the design and concept of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. If you are into modern art, they are worth taking a look.
No visit to Vienna would be complete without a visit to Schönbrunn Palace, once the palace of the Habsburg monarchy. This beautiful Baroque style palace can be easily reached by subway. You can get a nice view of Vienna city from the Gloriette that is built on a small hill in the palace gardens.
Besides, Schönbrunn Palace, we also visited Belvedere Palace, another Baroque style palace.
There are also numerous parks where visitors can sit and relax, enjoying the autumn scenery and cool weather.
With all these attractions, a rich history, lively arts and cultural scene, low crime and open spaces, it’s no wonder that Vienna is consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world. I wouldn’t mind living here at all, and definitely would visit it again.