Vienna is consistently ranked as one of, if not the best, livable city in the world. And with good reason! Green parks take up almost half of the area, the public transportation system is convenient and reliable, and the cultural aspect can’t be beat. Stately and imposing buildings line the streets, with dramatic entrances, windows, and designs. Opera houses, theaters, museums, and parks are abundant. We thoroughly enjoyed our time visiting Vienna!
Noteworthy Buildings & Museums
We took our time looking through the city, coming across a variety of noteworthy buildings, including the Hofburg Palace. The Hofburg Palace started construction in the 13th century and is the former imperial residence. Now it serves as the official residence of the President of Austria.
Vienna has more than 100 museums containing everything from very famous and historical paintings, to museums that simply show furniture. We went to the Belvedere Museum (housed in Belvedere Castle), which holds paintings and art from Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Claude Monet. We were able to see Klimt’s famous painting, “The Kiss”.
Music is one of Vienna’s legacies so we thought it would be the perfect place to see our first opera. The famous Vienna State Opera House was sold out of tickets two months prior, so we opted for the showing of the Italian opera Tosca at the Volksopera theater on Friday night.
So we didn’t hate it, but we didn’t love it either. We knew the storyline, but we were surprised it was sung in German and not in its native Italian. I know, we’re in Austria and we shouldn’t have expected anything but German, but not being able to understand the words, especially during the slower parts of the opera left us a little bored. The singing, the acting, the lavish costumes, and the story of Tosca were fabulous, but overall, we were meh. We’re glad we tried it though… how do you know something isn’t really for you unless you try it out?
Because we visited in December there were numerous Christmas markets that we could attend. This is one of my favorite things about Europe. A lot of countries have these markets, but each one has its own uniqueness and charm. Stands sell everything from from ornaments, to wooden toys, to local food. We sipped on numerous amounts of gluhwein (hot mulled wine) and browsed the different vendors. Each time you get a cup of gluhwein it comes in a decorative glass souvenir mug unique to the market that you’re visiting. We also went to Vienna’s famous year round market, Naschmarkt, which has a variety of different foods, spices, and cuisines to taste.
Visiting Vienna was an experience that we loved! We really enjoyed the different atmosphere that it provided us. We took pleasure in passing the large buildings, listening to the classical music playing in the streets, and wandering through the different areas of the city.