Vienna is a city internationally renowned for its love of music and art. It has several museums, opera houses, and concert halls showcasing famous works to the public. As the capital of Austria, Vienna is a powerhouse city, with incredible history, sights, and cuisine.
Stadt Park was one of the first places we went in Vienna. In winter you have to use your imagination as the trees are well, bare, but still, there was snow and ducks and a completely over the top gold statue of Johann Strauss.
Walking the Ringstrasse is a great way to see some of the more recognisable buildings of Vienna. A four kilometre walk, the Ringstrasse circles the inner town of the city of Vienna and is located where the old fortifications of the city used to be. It is now a pedestrian and tram loop that showcases many of the city’s most famous buildings.
The Karlskirche is located on the south edge of the inner city and is one of the most recognisable structures in Vienna. It is a beautiful Baroque style church that in winter, is home to one of the city’s many Christmas markets. Following the Ringstrasse we also came across the Vienna State Opera, a grand building that captures the high regard art and culture is given in the city.
While appreciating the intricacies of the marble and stone work showcased throughout Vienna I couldn’t help noticing how devoted the city is to remembering its musicians, particularly Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart is clearly a national icon as there are many dedications to him scattered throughout Vienna. He was apparently the most well-dressed person to ever exist because every statue I saw of him was worthy of Paris fashion week consideration.
The Hofburg Palace, the winter palace, is located in the centre of the city. It is an incredibly wide palace and therefore rather hard to capture in a photograph. It used to be the home of the Habsburg monarchy and today, serves as the residence of the President of Austria. It is free to walk around the building and surrounding gardens and I recommend doing so, if only to better understand the immense wealth of the former Habsburg empire.
The city hall of Vienna is an eye-catching building and during December, the home of a very large Christmas market. It sits on the ringstrasse and was another stopping point for us on our loop of the city. Its architectural design is more Gothic than Baroque, helping it to stand out against the other buildings surrounding.
At night Vienna comes alive. All the streets in central Vienna are well-lit with various lighting designs during the colder months but the best spot to enjoy the night life was near St Stephens Cathedral. It is one of the most visited sights in Vienna and a great spot to takes a pause in the heart of Vienna to enjoy the night atmosphere.
Vienna is a city full of architectural wonders and, in December, countless Christmas markets. It is an easily walk-able city with great cuisine and atmosphere and coffee that is always loaded with whipped cream. I’ll admit it wasn’t as lively as some of the other cities I visited but I think that is just because I was there in winter and though the streets may have been quiet, the cafes were always wonderfully full, warm, and ready to serve strudel.