Vienna knows the steps to its own waltz, a dance between the past and the present. As the dance was created here, it is only fitting. A place so royal, the Habsburg family called it their compound. They ruled and inter-married to keep the bloodlines close, or just to keep the redheaded population going. And while the Habsburg traditions are still evident in Vienna, the Austrian capital doesn’t strike the visitor as uptight or stuffy. Rather Vienna is a dance, one that must be carried out with proper preparing, but also with its own flourishes.
Image: To Uncertainty And Beyond
At the crossroads between Eastern and Western Europe, travelers can take advantage of this city, along the railings between major destinations such as Prague, Budapest and Venice. If you really want to dance with Vienna, don’t miss your train stop here. You have some moves to learn, moves only Vienna can teach you.
Feel Small at Schloss Schönbrun
Anyone who boasts of having a summer home will quickly turn quiet and humble upon seeing Schloss Schönbrunn. The Habsburgs made this their summer home for in the summer, you really need 1,441 rooms. Later Maria Theresa took over the soft yellow palace, for the summer of course. The Unesco World Heritage Site was completed in 1700. Visitors are now invited to peek in to the lives of the rich, famous, royal and wealthy in Vienna’s past. You can see the apartments of Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth, along with a room where Mozart played. You can roam the Schloss Schönbrunn Gardens as well, the formal gardens of the palace, set up in a French style. Joseph II opened the gardens to the masses in 1779.
Eat Wienerschnitzel or else
While Wienerschnitzel always graces German menus the world over, the dish is actually straight from Vienna. Wiener means Viennese in German. The origins of what is usually veal, breaded and fried date back to the 7th century Byzantine Empire. Kaiser Basileios 7 liked his meat covered in sheets of gold. In order for chefs to appease him, they used breadcrumbs as a sort of spread on the meat. In Vienna the recipe and technique of Wienerschnitzel has been perfected completely. From more budget options to finer dining, it is hard not for find a good Wienerschnitzel in town.
The most recognized structure in all of Vienna, on every postcard at every souvenir shop, Stephansdom is massive. With that fact alone, you would think the Viennese would accurately portray his size. Rather they call him “Steffi”, in other words “Little Stephen”. Since the 13th century, a cathedral has stood here in some form. History has not always been kind to Steffi. The church has been the target of much destruction. You can still see the remnants of bombings of wars since pasted.
See An Equestrian Show
The Spanische Hofreitschule is the world famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna. A reminder of the imperial Habsburg era, visitors can see a show by the famous Lipizzaner Stallions. The stallions are a cross breeding of Spanish, Arab and Berber horses.
See The Real Kiss and Other Exhibits
The subject of posters in college dorm rooms across the globe, Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss only keeps its affection with Vienna. The original work of art can be see while in the city, located in the Belvedere, home to the largest collection of Klimt’s works. The Museumquartier of Vienna also boasts a number of exhibits, those spreading across an impressive 60,000 square meters. The dueling structures, identical in appearance, the National History Museum and the Kunsthistorisches Museum, shouldn’t be missed as well.
Written by: Suzy Guese