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Austria - Vienna Highlights

Austria - Vienna Highlights

story by: Inspire Central & Eastern Europe, & Scandinavia

    For a good chunk of the twentieth century, Vienna was an ideal way to experience the romance, history and beauty of Eastern Europe, with all of the grand architecture, rich culture and compelling history but without the political complications of its neighbours. Today, all of Eastern Europe is wide open to visitors, but Vienna remains a special jewel in its crown. However don’t go expecting another line-up of glorious relics of the past – there are plenty on offer and they are not to be missed, but what makes Vienna a really exciting destination is how it combines the best of past and present. Choose to spend a morning watching the graceful manoeuvres of the Lippizaners at the Spanish Riding School, then let the latest exhibition at MUMOK challenge your sense of art in the afternoon.
  • Schönbrunn Palace – Visit Empress Sisi’s former summer residence. This baroque complex contains an enchanting park, the Palm House, the Gloriette and a zoo! It is also the venue for classical concerts in the evenings.
  • Vienna State Opera – One of the top opera addresses in the world where you can enjoy the very best in first-class productions. This famous stage offers a different programme every day, with over 50 operas and ballet works on around 300 days per season.
  • Hundertwasser – This artist is well known to kiwis as he lived his later years in New Zealand (creating the cool public loos in Kawakawa). Check out Kunst Haus Wien a great gallery with a permanent collection of his works and the nearby Hundertwasser-Haus Vienna’s most original public housing complex created by the man himself.
  • The Spanish Riding School – The oldest, founded in 1572, and last Riding School in the world where classic dressage is still practised in its purest form. It is closed in July and most of August and you need to pre-book.
  • Imperial Palace – Up until 1918, the Imperial Palace was the centre of the vast empire of the Hapsburg dynasty. Today there are top museum collections, cafés, restaurants, squares and parks.
  • Leopold Museum – Hundreds of works of Austrian modern art collected by the passionate art lover Dr. Rudolf Leopold are here, including some works by Gustav Klim.
  • Sacher Torte – Try this delicious dessert at the Sacher Café in the historical Sacher Hotel, opposite the Opera House – expensive but famous for being the home to this tasty treat.
  • Mozarthaus – Visit the house located behind the Stefansdom (St Stephens Cathedral) were Mozart lived and wrote the Marriage of Figaro. There are some interesting displays which show case Mozart and his time in this house.
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