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Vienna, Austria

July 12th, 2011

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Vienna parks index:

Belvedere Palace Gardens

Schonbrunn Palace Park

 

Vienna is a big city with grand designs, wide streets, glitzy palaces, and many parks. This was the seat of the once-great-and-powerful Habsburg imperial Austrian-Hungarian Empire that ruled a third of Europe for more than 300 years. Today Vienna is a cosmopolis. The food is varied and delicious, on the sausage & schnitzel w/potatoes side of cuisine, with loads of good white wines and beers.

This European and former imperial capital has numerous parks for resting, half-day relaxation, evening walks, and places for the kids to break loose for a run and romp on green lawns. In the city center choose from Belvedere Garden (on the grounds of Belvedere Castle, near the south railway station), Stadtpark, Maria-Theresa Platz (Museum Quarter), Resselpark (at Karlsplatz), or the Volksgarden (connected to Hofburg Palace). Outside the city center, at Schonbrunn Palace, the palace grounds are the largest park in the city.

Vienna is also one of the prime destinations for tourists and travelers making their Grand Tours of European. Here is Vienna’s Top Ten sites no tourist wants to miss:

  1. Stephansdom – This Gothic cathedral is a prominent landmark that dominates the city center. You can climb up to the spire for a spectacular view of the city.
  2. Hofburg Palace – The halls and rooms of the former imperial palace reflects Austria’s glorious past.
  3. Kunsthistorisches Museum – This remarkable museum has a huge collection of the Old Masters, set in one of the Habsburg’s palaces.
  4. The Belvedere – This is the former summer residence of the 17th-century war hero Prince Eugen. A beautiful Baroque palace with vast French gardens, it now houses the Austrian National Gallery. You can walk through all of this beauty and also view the best art of Austrian-born artists, including a large collection of Art Nouveau master Gustav Klimt (“The Kiss”).
  5. Karlskirche – The massive Baroque church from the 18th century has two distinguished, twisting, columns and a large dome overhead. The Karlskirche dominates Karlsplatz, which is also a nice park that offers a bit of rest and shade on a long walking tour.
  6. Museumquartier – The former imperial horse stables have been converted into a huge museum complex, where you’ll find contemporary and modern art.
  7. Staatsoper – The Vienna State Opera is a grand palace design itself, with a stunning entrance hall and grand staircase the start of any magical night at the opera.
  8. Secession Building – Art Nouveau is well represented in Vienna, and this small, white building reflects the ideals of the Secessionist movement of the time.
  9. Hundertwasserhaus – Designed by the Austrian artist of the same name, this colorful building is characterized by uneven floors.
  10. Schloss Schonbrunn – The Habsburg family’s former summer palace is now a grand museum of Vienna’s imperial history, set on castle grounds that is today a huge “people’s park.” Here you’ll also find the world’s oldest zoo.

(read more about Vienna, Austria highlights here)

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