Vienna: Europe’s Old Cultural Capital

A straightforward three hour train journey brings you from Salzburg to the countries’ capital: Vienna. Vienna is world renowned for its opera, but the city definitely has more to offer: countless architectural masterpieces, museums, palaces, and lush green gardens show that Vienna once was the culture capital of Europe.

We visited Vienna during the European Championship 2016 and therefore, with football among the most popular sports in Austria, various parks and squares were turned into Fanzones. During the day, giant screens showed match highlights from the previous day while at night, thousands of football fans gathered to watch live games. The most popular fanzone was at the Rathaus, with a capacity of 13,000.

• The Rathaus turned into a fanzone during EURO 2016.

The Rathaus is located at the northern edge of the Vienna Ring Road, encapsulating the city center. When walking along the ring, you can see various architectural highlights of Vienna, like the Parliament and MuseumQuartier.

• Parliament.

The MuseumQuartier is a gigantic square in Vienna hosting various museums and monuments. It is the eighth largest cultural area in the world. We took some quick pictures of the Maria Theresa Monument and Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna before leaving the ring behind us and heading further into the city.

• Maria Theresa Monument in the center of the MuseumsQuartier.
• MuseumsQuartier.

From the ring you can reach the inner city through a series of parks. We paused at the colorful Volksgarten, before exiting at the Hofburg Palace. The palace nowadays is the workplace and residence of the President of Austria.

• Volksgarten.
• Hofburg Palace.

The inner city of Vienna consists of various lively shopping streets, with the St. Peter’s Church located in the very center.

• Busy city center.
• St. Peter’s Church in the center of Vienna.

We briefly explored the city center, before moving on to the quiet and relaxed Stadtpark. From there, we took a subway to the Schönbrunn Palace, located about 20 minutes outside the city center.

• Stadtpark.

Schönbrunn Palace is a former summer residence and nowadays is one of the most historical monuments in Austria. The palace itself contains 1,441 rooms, but the gardens outside are equally impressive, with the Great Parterre on top of the hill.

• Schönbrunn Palace.
• Gardens of Schönbrunn Palace.
• Rose garden of Schönbrunn Palace.

After a long day of exploring Vienna, it was time to sit back and enjoy a performance at the Vienna State Opera. We watched an impressive three-hour performance of “Alceste”, finishing of our visit to Vienna in style.

• Vienna State Opera.
• “Alceste” at the Vienna State Opera.

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We, Mark & Herta, are currently backpacking through Europe, and eventually planning to settle in London. Beyond that? The possibilities are endless.

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