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Monuments in the city park
Favorite thing: City Park is a spa, a green oasis in the middle of the city, but also, an open-air collection of precious artworks, that reminds at important celebrities of the music lives and the history of Vienna.
There, are placed monuments that were realized from famous sculptors, for famous musicians.
The monument of Franz Schubert, for example, was realized from the sculptors C. Kundmann and T. Hansen, in the year 1872, and is a donation of the M?nnergesang-Verein (male choir) of Vienna, to the city park.
The monuments of Hans Makart, Robert Stolz, Schindler, or Andreas-Zelinka are placed on the avenues of the park.
- Arts and Culture
Favorite thing: One day is not nearly enough to visit Vienna. However, for those who cannot stay more than one day, here are my suggestion to make the most of it.
First of all buy a 24-hours travelcard, then:
1) Start with a complete tour of the Ring by tram (list of the sights in my Vienna page). Start at any point of the Ring, but get off the tram at Burgtor;
2) Walk under the Burgtor, see the Heldenplatz and the "new" wing of the royal palace (Hofburg), walk across the other courtyards of the palace and under the dome of the Michaelertor;
3) Have a cup of coffee and a slice of cake at the cafe on your left-hand side when you get out of the Michaelertor in the Michaelerplatz;
4) When you get out of the cafe, take the street named Kohlmarkt up to the Graben;
5) Walk the Graben, admire the elegant shops but be careful not to miss the historic and artistic beauties of the place;
6) At the end of the Graben you will see Stephansdom, the cathedral;
7) After taking an adequate number of pictures of the Cathedral, walk southward along the Kartnerstrasse, the trendiest street in town;
8) At the end of the street you will see the Opera;
9) If you wish to have lunch, the informal Augustinerkeller is nearby (details in my Vienna page);
10) Take the D tram in front of the Opera (other side of the avenue, so use the underground crossing) and go to the Schloss Belvedere, one of the most beautiful palaces in Vienna;
11) Visit the exhibition of paintings (Klimt, Schiele etc) inside the Schloss Belvedere;
12) Take the tram D again (opposite direction) to get back, but get down at Schwarzenbergplatz;
13) A short walk will take you to the Karlskirche. Admire, take pictures and then walk to the underground station Karlsplatz;
14) Take the line U1 to Praterstern. When you get out you will see the big ferris wheel of the Prater;
15) Get into one of the wagons and have a view of Vienna from this vantage point. You will be able to see the Danube from there;
16) Give your tired feet a rest;
17) For a nice evening out, take the tram 38 from Schottentor to Grinzig and have dinner in one of the many typical Heuriger (wineries cum restaurant).
Favorite thing: Street Graben -as I have read- means "Drain" and it sounds really funny if you think about the centre of a town. :) For natives it shoudl be the place where all tourists should dissapear >:)... well, but Street Graben is the core of the old centre connecting the Stephansdom to Hofburg in general. Dominant of this street is pestiferous pole familiarly called Trinity pole. It is baroque 21 m high pole built thanks to the promise of Emperor Leopold to the Lord when black death hit Vienna in 1679. The first sillhouette of the pole appeared in the same year and it is a work of more masters such as Matthias Rauchmiller, J. B. Fischer of Erlach and finally in 1693 Lodovico Burnacini has seen it finished. The statue of kneeled Emperor created Paul Strudel (maybe also the apple strudel is named according to him :))and statue of St Trinity created Johann Kilian.
Central part of Vienna
Favorite thing: Due to a limited time, and bad weather conditions, I have explore the central part of the town only. Actually, I was in Vienna couple of times before but have never snaped any picture. What you see on this page is half a day of strolling around without visiting any of museums, the banks of Danube and the outskirts of the town.
Fondest memory: I was limited in time which have spend in Vieanna and therefore this is the best I could do.
Take the tram
Favorite thing: Take a tour of the Ring to get a general impression of the grandest face of Imperial Vienna. Circular lines 1 and 2, going clockwise and anti-clockwise respectively, enable you to see a number of monuments, buildings and parks: if you start at the the Opera, with the tram line Nr 1, you will see the Burggarten with the statues of Goethe and Mozart, Maria Theresien Platz with the twin buildings of the Kunsthistorisches and the Naturhistorisches museums, the Burgtor and the Heldenplatz, the Volksgarten, the Parliament, the Rathauspark and the Rathaus (City Hall), the Burgteater, the remains of the city walls, the University, the Stock Exchange, the Votivkirche, the Ruprechtskirche, the Postsparkasse, the Regierungsgebaude, the Academy of Applied Arts, the Stadtpark with the gilded statue of Strauss, the statue of Karl Philipp von Scharzenberg, and then you are back at the Opera.
What you get in such a tour is just a glimpse of things that you may wish to go back to, for a proper visit, and this is precisely what I hope you will do.
Forget the guidebooks
Favorite thing: A thing every visitor should do in Vienna, at least for a half day (a full day would be even better) is to put aside maps and guidebooks and wander about the streets of the old city centre (the area enclosed within the avenues of the Ring and the Donaukanal).
In this smallish area there is such a number of beautiful buildings and statues, churches, picturesque corners, elegant shops and nice cafes that you are not allowed to use the word "serendipity" when you describe your "discoveries".
Favorite thing: Stephansdom is cathedral situated in the very city centre at Stephansplatz. It is beautiful and huge church, the biggest I have been to. Otherwise there are many beautiful churches in Vienna which makes this city great place for me since i love to visit churches and religious objects.
Stephansdom is open every day until 21 and it is certainly worth seeing. There are tombs of Habsburgs in the basement and stairs to church tower (both for admission). Sometimes there are organ concerts held around 19 or 20 in the church which I recommend.
Fondest memory: I was amazed by its beauty and size when I reached Vienna centre by U-bahn (subway train) for the first time. Stairs from Stephanplatz bring you directly in front of Stephansdom and when you look up you are shocked. At least I was.
- Religious Travel
- Historical Travel
Favorite thing: City centre of Vienna is area surrounded with so called Ring, circle of roads around the very heart of the city. For me it is a beautiful place with many roads, squares, churches and special places. Main pedestrian zone in this area consists of Kaertner strasse, Stephansplatz and Graben, but there are many other places worth visiting. It is also interesting to take tram 1 or 2 that are riding around the ring.
Fondest memory: Waliking around the city centre is something I like to do. Some places are special during the day while others are great during the night.
I only don't like how it looks on Saturday night.
- Historical Travel
Favorite thing: There are some quite interesting places located near Ringstrasse, street that encircles old city of Vienna. Most interesting of them are Hofburg (Habsburg imperial palace), Maria Theresia Platz and museums around it, Austrian parliament, Votivkirsche and Rathaus. Not less interesting is the area of Karlsplatz and Schwartzenberg Platz and Belvedere castle just around the corner.
- Historical Travel
- Castles and Palaces
Favorite thing: The building of Parliament is from 1873-1883 built by Theophil Hansen. His aim was to evocate respect of Antic art and democracy what are the basic ideas in every parliament (wow, how ironic it sounds :)) Well, the building of Parliament is typical Greek style with tympanion and corinthian pillars, excellently decorated. In front of the building is a big fountain of Palas Athena and three lying persons representing rivers Danube, Morava, Labe and Inn. Vienna could be thankful for this fountain to sculptor Kundmann.
Michaelerplatz - Neptune Fountain
Favorite thing: Flanking either side of the Hofburg wing at Michaelerplatz are fountains celebrating Habsburg military glory. Facing "In Der Burg" on your right in the fountain honoring Austria's navies: Neptune cavorts with a host of other divinities and mortals. Considering that now Austria is a landlocked nation, you may be surprised at the numerous Neptune fountains to be found in Vienna (the most famous is at Schonbrunn). Of course, at one time Austria did have a presence on the Adriatic coast: Venice and Trieste were its ports. And Neptune is just naturally an excellent subject for a fountain.
- Historical Travel
- Castles and Palaces
Favorite thing: Altes Rathaus (The Old City Hall), situated in Wipplingerstrasse 6 - 8, stands opposite to the Bohemian Chancery. It was the first City Hall of Vienna, dating from the year 1316, and was built by the order of Herzog Friedrich dem Shonen. Its present appearance, however, displays the 18th century Baroque motifs on the front facade after the renovation works executed by the great Austrian architect Johann Bernhard Fisher von Erlach.
The building of Altes Rathaus is somehow hidden in between the other houses in Wilppingerstrasse and I have noticed it only by chance, approaching from the street which is overlooking it.
Graben mit Pestsäule
Fondest memory: "Graben" is one of the most exclusive shopping streets of Vienna.
When you click on the pic you will see the former artelier of Friedensreich Hunderwasser on top of a house on the left (it is green and looks a bit like a glass-house with 2 columns)
The monument in the middle is to commemorate the end of the plague of about 17th century
Graben is situated between St.Stephens Chatedral and Kohlmarkt / Hofburg
- Family Travel
The Pestsaule (Plague Pillar)
Favorite thing: This is the center of Graben, an elegant pedestrianized shopping street. Emperor Leopold I commissioned plague Pillar in 1679 in thanksgiving for the end of particularly virulent plague epidemic. It is dedicated to the Holy Trinity and Nine Choirs of Angels.
According to inscription, the monument is “a reminder of the divine chastisement of plagues richly deserved by this city”.
- Family Travel
To Tip/Not to Tip? How much? Tough questions!!
Favorite thing: When I first came to Vienna, I was told that Austrians tend to be quite strict on "trinkgeld" (tips). This is because the workers get low basic salaries and they depend on tips for their survival.
Most Austrians would round up the amount. Hence, Euro 2.25 would become Euro 2.50; or Euro 64.50 will become Euro 70. One will not offend if one simply "rounds-up." I do think that excessive tipping seems rather frowned upon. I doubt the receiver of the tips will complain but I think it is seen as a bit showy if you give a big fat tip. So, you will just have to play it by ear.
I would usually give @10% tips, unless the service was horrible.
Fondest memory: In restaurants and bars, the service fee is not included in the total bill. The waiters/waitress will expect around 10% tips.
For others - in general - you can give 10% - 15% to taxi drivers and hair-dressers. Porters may expect about Euro 1 or Euro 2.
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
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