A new segment for the blog, something a little different from Sunday Spotlight which has focused on the main in smaller places, now I’m going to turn my attention to the larger cities, capital cities across the world – or large cities in general. And today I’m starting with the Austrian capital, a city that seems to warm the heart of most visitors who go there, Vienna.
Vienna is situated in the west of Austria, not all that far from borders with Poland and Slovakia, which in some ways makes it a gateway to Eastern Europe when coming from the west. However, it firmly feels like a city in Western Europe, and is truly one of the most pleasant capitals Europe has to offer.
With a population of around 1.7 million, Vienna is one of the more manageable Western European cities, and I certainly thought it was a great place to spend a few days. Probably even a few more, if you have the time. There are many highlights – if you’re looking for amazing Baroque Palaces.
The most famous of which is the Schonbrunn Palace. Its grounds are huge, and you could walk for hours in the sun in such a beautiful spot, there’s even a hedge maze which is a lot of fun to explore. The palace itself is just amazing with room after stunning room. Imagine what it was like to be a Hapsburg in their prime! The size, the grandeur, the furnishings, the carpets… remember the musicians and composers who have graced the floors and performed here, including Mr Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart! If that’s not enough, try the Hofburg Palace, or perhaps the magnificent Belvedere!
Speaking of music and composers, well, I can’t recommend enough a night at the Vienna Opera. In an amazing auditorium, you can still pick up standing room tickets for a few Euros. Yes, standing for a few hours can be tough, I can’t deny it, but the quality of the performance makes up for it. I was fortunate enough to see ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ and it remains the best night of opera I’ve ever experienced. And if you have a few more Euro in your kitty, well, there are plenty of seats if you can book in advance.
Wander the streets, see the Danube, marvel at such a wonderful city. Feel like buying a few souvenirs? Well, there’s a place called ‘Mostly Mozart’ that might have JUST what you’re looking for.
Mozart is just one of many famous names associated with Vienna. In Vienna you can visit the rooms/apartment where the most famous of the world’s psychiatrists worked and ladies lay on the couch and divulged their fears, their secrets and their desires – the apartment of Sigmund Freud. Another worthwhile place to go in Vienna.
And there’s so much more – those were my highlights. But perhaps you have others, better, different? Please do leave a comment below! And May the Journey Never End!