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A Weekend in Vienna

“When will you realize, Vienna waits for you…” a quote from one of the most famous Billy Joel songs referencing what has to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. This city combines the imperial traditions with modern infrastructure, famous for its cozy coffee houses, museums, the opera, and much more. Known as “The City of Music”, there’s art, culture, history, and delicious food ready for you to explore.

Disclaimer: if you are planning on going during the COVID-19 pandemic, please check the country’s travel restrictions.

1. Schönbrunn palace

One of the prominent historical landmarks that has consistently been one of the city’s main tourist attractions. This was the summer residence of the House of Habsburg, one of the most important royal families of their time. To visit the world heritage palace, you will need a fair amount of time considering its size, so save half a day to visit this place and take some pictures outside Vienna’s most iconic landmark. You can choose an audio guide to see the showrooms and the palace’s fantastic gardens that will take your breath away. This palace has a total of 1441 rooms; however, only 45 spaces are open to exploring. Within these walls, the story of Empress Maria Theresa, the only female ruler of Habsburg, takes place, and it’s a fascinating anecdote to look forward to. There’s a lot of history in the castle so take your time to take it all in.


2. The Hofburg

The Hofburg palace lies in the center of Vienna and was the main residence of the royal family.; you can easily get there quickly by public transport. This palace is most famous for having an exhibition of the renowned Empress Sissi, where you will find numerous personal items that once belonged to her. The museum tells you her story from an Austrian, anti-Hollywood point of view. Sissi has had many biographical movies and, even though she was regarded as the most beautiful queen in Europe, this showcase presents a deeper and more realistic look into her life. This palace was a political center of the monarchy until 1918. So inside, you will find the imperial apartments and a mesmerizing silver collection that helps paint a clear picture of what life was like for the Habsburg family.


3. Sacher Eck Vienna

Sacher Eck is an opulent two-floor cafeteria inside the Sacher Hotel. For the foodies out there, this cafeteria allows their guests to try different coffee varieties or indulge in the famous Sacher cake, which was invented in this very same hotel.


Vienna is also famous for being the city where many renowned figures spent their time and had their coffee. Two historical spots worth visiting are Café Landtmann, the preferred coffee house of Sigmund Freud, and Café Central, a traditional Viennese café that hosted Leon Trotsky, Freud, and even Adolf Hitler. I recommend ordering a classic Austrian dessert and accompanying it with a café au lait; you won’t regret it.


4. See the Opera

Wiener Staatsoper is one of the most important opera houses globally, which makes sense since Opera tradition in this country is vital. This establishment also offers Ballet performances. Every night you can experience world-class artists performing, and with the grand gold decorations and chandeliers, you will feel like you were transported to a different moment in time. Make sure to reserve your tickets beforehand.


5. Mozart landmarks

Finally, a big part of Austria it’s their classical music contributions to the world, and of course, the great Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart that resided in Vienna for a big part of his adult life. Many original sites have been torn down, but you can still visit the Mozart Monument in the Burggarten Park and Mozarthouse, a museum dedicated to his life located in the apartment complex that he resided in with his family for many years. If you’re a fan of musical history and his work, you can’t miss this significant landmark.


Disclaimer: if you are planning on going during the COVID-19 pandemic, please check the country’s travel restrictions.

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