The Streets of Vienna…

on April 8, 2016

…are paved with culture, or so says Karl Kraus, an Austrian writer who won the Nobel Prize. So I think we can safely trust what he has to say.

Hi all, Julia again! I visited Vienna almost two years ago but it was such an enjoyable trip that I remember it very clearly. For my spring break at Exeter I wanted nothing more than to visit Prague (which I happily did!) and then my parents suggested a train ride over to Vienna. I am so glad we did just that. I can say will full sincerity that it was one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to. And yes, bursting with culture and things to do! Here are just a few of the things I’d recommend:

What to See:

Kunsthistorisches Museum / Museumsplatz 1, Burgring 5, 1010 Vienna

In my opinion, museums are a must when traveling to any new city. I swear it’s not because I’m a biased art history buff. But this rings particularly true in Vienna, which has its own Museumsplatz, or museum square.  You have a variety of ones to choose from, including an architecture museum, a natural history museum, a children’s museum, and of course a classic art museum, the Kunsthistorisches Museumar. Some of the most amazing pieces from around the world are housed in this gorgeous, palatial building – including ancient Egyptian and Greek treasures, rare books, armory, and pieces by Raphael, Brueghel, Caravaggio, and more. Plus the interior is just breathtaking!

If you’re interested in more modern artworks, head on over to the Leopold Musuem, which is also in the Museumsplatz. I particularly loved this one as Egon Schiele is my favorite painter and this musuem has the world’s largest collection of his works. They also have a lot of Klimt works as well as other pieces from the Expressionist and Art Nouveau movements.

Or, if museums aren’t really your thing, get to know Vienna in the very best way by talking a horse and carriage tour! Called fiakers, these tours are famous in Vienna and an effective and interesting way to see the city’s sights. There are usually some fiakers outside of the famous St. Stephen’s Cathedral (which is also a must-see!). We hopped on our carriage at Graben 22, 1010 Vienna. 

Finally, if you’re just looking for some plain old fashioned fun, might I suggest the Prater Amusement Park which features the infamous Weiner Riesenrad, or ferris wheel! If you’re a film buff, it’s the same ferris wheel that appears in The Third Man. But it’s also just a fun little amusement park located right in the city!

What to Eat:

Vienna boasts many quaint cafes and restaurants, but two of the city’s most famous are Cafe Landtmann and Cafe Central. Cafe Landtmann was built in 1873 and was the favorite spot of Sigmund Freud. It was definitely a highlight of our trip as well – the interior is gorgeous and it’s a perfect spot for sipping on your coffee, eating your chocolate sachertorte, and people-watching. Find Cafe Landtmann at Universitastring 4, A-1010.

(If Viennese cuisine isn’t your thing – although who can go wrong with schnitzel and pastries?- check out La Cantinetta which is a fabulous Italian restaurant just a few doors down from Cafe Landtmann!)

Cafe Central is a traditional Viennese restaurant, founded in 1876. Some of its regulars included Freud, Leon Trotsky, and Vladimir Lenin. Cafe Central is a bit more up-scale than Cafe Landtmann, with high ceilings and sculptures and paintings inside. Find Cafe Central and get some homemade cakes at Herrengasse 14, 1010.

And there is my mini-guide to Vienna! If you’ve never considered it before as a travel destination, be sure to put it on your list next time!

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