In the city of balance and culture - Vienna
January 1, 1970
by Marija Altman
City of culture, dreams, music and balance! The capital city of Austria will tuck you in the sweet melody of classical music. It can alter your dreams, and revise your travel stories. 🙂 Vienna deserves its title “The City of Music”, and not just because of Mozart, Strauss, Schubert, and many others who gave mark and such an influence on the world music, but also for all those steps in Vienna that are filled with music, even though you haven’t brought your mp3 with you. Vienna was also named “The City of Dreams” because it was a work home of Sigmund Freud. But also, if I may add, for all the people who dream about living in this capital. It’s on the list of world’s most desirable places to live for many years now.
But since I felt so refreshed after visiting Vienna, a fresh nickname for it was “a must”. So I called it “The City of Balance”. The main reason for that is the perfect coexistence and cooperation between – traditional and modern, nature and humans, rules and freedoms, car and bicycle drivers.
Museums and palaces
More than 100 art museums are in Vienna, but to me, it felt like there were a thousand of them. I had a chance to see a couple of expositions, and the one I enjoyed the most was in Leopold museum. Since I love paintings, and I love to paint, this was a real treat for me. But if you’re like Ross from “Friends”, the exposition with Dinosaurs theme in another museum, which was five minutes walk from there – the Natural History Museum, will probably be more interesting for you. 🙂
You can get to the right conclusion that there is something for everyone. So a list of the most popular museums will be helpful. And the most admired are – Albertina, Belvedere, Museums Quartier – in that entire complex, Leopold Museum is the most trendy, and the Museum of Art History and the Natural History Museum aren’t far away, so check up on them too. 🙂
In the yard of Quartier Museums, they have a very efficient way of stopping you from jumping into a fountain or throwing trash in it. “Don’t feed the crocodile!” is written as a warning sign by the fountain. Well, I wouldn’t risk it. 🙂
A special place in my memory is reserved for the imperial palaces Holfburg and Schönbrunn. Note for Schönbrunn that you must see the magnificent Neptun’s fountain and Gloriette there! Neptun’s fountain could be a portal to the world of legends. I think that any artist can easily get inspiration there.
Please pay attention to Austrian Parliament Building! It’s not a museum but by beauty, it may as well be!
Opera on the street sidewalk
This was a bit of a culture shock for me, although it was a positive one. Vienna state Opera is not just another opera house. It has a giant screen on the side of the house, so it’s possible to see the show from the outside. Why? They wanted to attract a new audience. And now they have a bunch of young people sitting on the sidewalk and watching most known operas from the street perspective. 🙂 It’s very cool!
City parks romantic
When you are tired from all the fuzz you can look for a rest in city parks. My strong suggestion is Stadtpark, where the monument of Johann Strauss is. It’s the place where you can take romantic photos with all those lakes, trees, birds, and sunset motives. May be, just may be, you can do your yoga meditation there because you haven’t done it for two days now since you are in Vienna. 🙂
Prater amusement park
It’s a place where you will spend all of your money on your children. And some of it on you, of course, if there is something left. Since it’s on all those postcards it’s only right to take a circle ride on Vienna Giant Wheel, while you are here.
All different kinds of religious objects can be found here however, the main touristic attractions are St. Stephen’s Cathedral – Gothic style, St. Charles’s Church – Baroque, The Votive Church – Neo gothic style, St. Michael’s Church – Romanesque. Even if you are more into art than into religion you could get goosebumps.
For me St. Charles’s Church is a real masterpiece with a little lake in front of it. It looks like… Well, it’s pointless to try describing it. In this case, you have to see it. I take a deep breath whenever I think of it. I hope that picture will help you imagine. 🙂
Food tips and notice
- Ice cream must be eaten if it’s Tuchlauben! Try not to spend everything on ice cream, because you have to eat something else besides it. I know it will be tough! 🙂
- Pizza in Vapiano with self-service is tasty and cheaper than in restaurants.
- When you decide to treat yourself with a fancy dinner, know that for a good meal in a restaurant in Vienna you need at least 30 euros for two persons. They have a good wine.
People are polite
If you get lost in Vienna people will help you even if they do not know English, or where you should go. For example, we asked a girl for a direction that she didn’t know about, and she didn’t know how to help us, so she pulled out a phone from her pocket, and then showed us on Google maps where we are and where we should go.
Also if someone throws a trash on a street (usually those are tourists), there will probably be someone, passing by, who will pick it up and throw it in the trashcan. They just love their city, so you have to love it too!
Practical tips and things to know
- Buy a bus/tram card for seven days – it’s the best way to see a lot in a short time, costs around 15 euros, and takes you everywhere!
- They don’t have “Ness coffee” in restaurants! If you tried to order a “Ness coffee” in Vienna, a waiter would probably turn into a big question mark. I tried several times in several places, but it looks like it’s the most popular drink only in Belgrade coffee shops.
- If you are considering a penthouse for accommodation, check if it has a real roof. If it has a glass on the ceiling then pass it! You don’t want to sleep in a greenhouse, especially in June.
- Learn at least ten words of German language – because you can!
- If you’re trying to piss off someone, just walk on the bicycle track, that’s enough! 🙂 They really pay attention when it comes to everyday rules. That makes life easier and everything is well organized. After a while, you will ask yourself how have you ever been living the other way.
- Consider five days long vacation to really enjoy in Vienna.
It wasn’t in the top five of my bucket list for travel, but boy was I wrong! Now, it’s the city where I would, not only be a visitor but a citizen. I realized that a bucket list shouldn’t be made at all. You should just use any opportunity to travel wherever you can. And the more you see, the richer you will be.