I’m starting something new today: Reporter on the spot, where friends of mine from all over the world will share their hometown and/or country with us.
The first reporter is my friend Sarah from Vienna.
Reporter on the spot – Vienna by Sarah
Welcome to Vienna, the capital and biggest city, as well as the smallest of nine states of Austria.
Vienna is probably best known for hosting the New year’s Concert with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring mostly pieces of the Strauss family, known for the waltz An der schönen blauen Donau (The Blue Danube) and the Radetzky Marsch (Radetzky March) on 1 January.
The city, which, during the Habsburg monarchy, was the capital of one of the strongest empires in Europe, in some parts still dreams about its history.
During the reign of Emperor Franz Joseph I, a street, Ringstraße (Vienna Ring Road), containing important buildings like the Houses of Parliament, City Hall, the main building of the University and the Opera, was built surrounding the historic centre of Vienna.
Nowadays this street is one of the main tourist attractions and a must see for everyone. Tourist centres sell high prized tickets for hop on hop off buses which drive along the Ringstraße, however, insiders see all the important attractions by taking a ride with the tram number 1 or D.
If you get off at the Karlsplatz/Oper station and walk through the Kärntnerstraße with its high class fashion boutiques, you will arrive at the centre of the cold city, marked by the Stephansdom (St Stephens Cathedral). This gothic cathedral was built of sandstone and is considered to be the landmark of Vienna. For an entrance fee, you can climb the 343 stairs of the south tower, which stands 136.5 m tall, and be rewarded with a great view.
Close to the Stephansdom is another church which is not very imposing from the outside. But one should never judge a book by its cover. The Peterskiche (St Peter’s Church) is one of the most impressive baroque buildings I have ever seen. Since it is not so well-known the entrance is free and one might even enjoy one of the free concerts, which take place regularly and are announced on boards in front of the church. Before visiting, be sure to check out their website and make sure they are not holding a divine service during which the church is closed to tourists.
Another must see is Schloss Schönbrunn (Schönbrunn Palace), which is located further outside of the centre. The baroque palace was buçilt bases on the place of Versailles in France during the Habsburg monarchy and served as a summer residence for the imperial family. The court yard in fron of the place is used for varous event such as the Christkindlmarkt (Christmas market) or the Ostermarkt (Easter market).
The beautifully decorated gardens are open to the public and serve as venue for the Sommernachtskonzert (Summer Night Concert) of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra: an open air event with free admission.
Close by is the Tiergarten Schönbrunn (Vienna Zoo), which amongst other houses giant pandas.
On rainy days, a visit to one of the amazing Viennese is a must.
If you are interested in art or architecture I can especially advice you to pay a visit to the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History). It was built by Gottfried Semper and Carl von Hasenauer during the reign of Franz Joseph I and houses the Habsburg art collection. Furthermore, inside of the building is just takes your breath away.
Another museum which I heartily advice you to visit, is the Schloss Belvedere, which was once the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy and now houses paintings by Klimt, Schiele and Monet.
Apart from the historical attachment, Vienna also has a proud coffee and breakfast culture. Therefore, eating a big or small Viennese breakfast, which is served in all cafés from 8 am til 2 or 4 pm, is obligatory.
one of the well-known traditional cafés is Café Sperl, which houses the original spirit of the Viennese café and employs waiters with the typical Viennese attitude. Please don’t be offended by the way they treat you, it’s part of the special and traditional charm.
A very nice café is the Palmenhaus, located in the Burggarten. This café was initially built as a greenhouse for palm trees and still houses many plants. In the summer visitors can sit on the terrace, which faces the blooming Burggarten.
The last, but not at all the least, café recommendation goes to café Oben, which is located on top of the public library at the Urban-Loritz-Platz.
Thank you Sarah for being my first reporter on the spot.
The pictures are all from my own collection, except the one of Café Sperl which I found here and the one of café Oben, which I got from their website.