Indeed they are! For this tip isn't so much 'off the beaten path' as 'totally above it'. In a city like Vienna where you are overwhelmed by the beauty of so many of the buildings, it's obvious that during the course of your sightseeing you're bound to be miss something...and I don't mean the final sitting for breakfast or the last tram home! There's nothing wrong in missing out some of the sights. After all it's nice not to rush your visit and turn it into a mad race to complete a touristy checklist...and it's always good to leave something special to look forward to on return trips. So I have plenty of museums and palaces that I have yet to prance around and, yes, one day I really will take a spin in a fiaker. However, it's amazing how much you miss even in the places you have visited. My advice is this...
1. Remove your solartopi or similarly wide-brimmed headgear.
2. Tilt head upwards approximately 10-20 degrees.
3. Examine your surroundings ABOVE street level.
...and there you have it! Twice the fun at no extra charge!!
The two fountains on each side of the opera house were created by Josef Gasser (1817-1868).
They represent two worlds: music, dance and joy on the left, and the siren Lorelei supported by sorrow, love, and vengeance on the right.
In case that you happen to come to Palais Kinski on any workingday between Monday and Friday from 10.00am till 05.00pm: Don't hesitate to step up to the 2nd floor (USA: 3rd floor) of Palais Kinski, because THERE you will find the most beautiful and the most precious part of the building : The top of the stairs made by Lukas von Hildebrandt with the beautiful fresco that you may see on my pictures.
Most probably you will be there on your own, because most tourists don't know of this hidden gem, and also your guide-books will hardly tell you about it.
On my main picture you will see the big entrance-hall of the Palais Kinski, where in the old times the carriages stopped, so the noble people could get out and enter the palais. You may do so as well, when you are lucky enough to be there, while the great gallery & auction-house "Im Kinski" is open.
Get inside and you will first see the great sculptures and the staircase built by L. von Hildebrand, it looks already great from below, but believe me, the best part of it you will find when you dare to step up to the 2nd floor (USA:3rd floor !)
Take a look at "Vienna's smallest house" in Wien 7, Burggasse 3.
It is just a bit more than 1,45 meters wide and fills a tiny spot between 2 houses and the street and it was built in 1872.
Inside the building is a famous shops for old and new clocks by Friedrich Schmollgruber, a specialist also for repairs of old clock-works of all ages.
Friedrich Schmollgruber also has a shop and a clock-museum in Steyr.
In my last 2 pictures: another quite small house at Spittelberg, in a distance of about 300 meters from Schmollgruberhaus.
Palais Trautson dates back to the year 1710 and was built by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach (1656-1723, he was also the architect of Karlskirche ).
He built the Palais for "Obersthofmeister" Fuerst von Trautson.
Oberst-Hofmeister was one of the highest ranks at the court of the emperor.
Today the Palais is not open for the public, but used by the ministery of Justice and police-officers are guarding there the whole day, so you better behave well !!
You may see it of course from OUTside, like I did, from a small park in front of it.
The Palais is in the 7th district, close to Neubaugasse and Bellaria-Kino.
A-1070 Wien, Museumstrasse 7
The Mocca Club is Vienna´s Speciality Coffee House & Bar, featuring the biggest selection of single origin coffees. The Mocca Club offer over 45 freshly roasted single origin coffees and blends from all over the world. The Coffee can be Jamaica Blue Mountain, Kopi Luwak, or coffee beans from Hawaii, Kenya, Colombia, China, Costa Rica, Yemen, or Australia.
Besides the speciality coffee, they have a selection of creamy, hot-chocolates, whole leaf teas, pastries, international chocolates, breakfast and small snacks day and night, cocktails for the evening hours and world music all day round. Happy hour is from 6 -8 pm; 50% off the cocktail prices.
Another nice thing about this Club is the colonial hardwood furnitures that decorate the interiors. You can sit in these furnitures, enjoy your coffee or chocolate or cocktails, and/or relax, read a book, etc.
Mocca Club is located at Vienna´s Naschmarkt, on Linke Wienzeile 4, 1060 Vienna (6th district); next to the Wine & Co. Wine bar.
The Anker Clock is a piece of Art Nouveau in the centre of the city. You will find it on Hoher Markt.
It is a clock from 1914 year projected by Franz Matsch. It was on the building which owner was an Insurance Firm called Der Anker. There are figurines which you can see at each hour and at noon listening to the music you can see all figurines, their parade.
There are three such a small shops, one after another, offering classical look cloks made by the local craftsmen. I cannot say much of its location, but it is definetely in the centre of the town and in a walking distance from the cathedral. Clocks like this one might be a nice memory from Vienna.
Look out for the ornaments in Palmenhaus im Hofgarten - they were recently totally restored.The Palmenhaus also offers a great restaurant with a terrace to have coffee in the atmosphere, the emperor and his noblemen used to enjoy . Opposite of palmenhaus you will find one of the few places in the centre of Vienna, where you may spend the day, sitting on the grass of the park called Hofgarten.
Palmenhaus is behind of Albertina and in the backside of Hofburg - it is best to enter it from Ringstrasse.
Next to Palmenhaus you will see the "Schmetterlingshaus" - a building full of exotic butterflies - NOT dead like in Naturhistorisches Museum, BUT alive and flying around !
If you are a student or just fascinated by architecture, then Vienna is a great place to see many different styles. The Roman influence can be found on Hoher Markt, Baroque is found in many palaces and the Belvedere, Biedermeier can be seen in examples such as the Dreimäderlhaus, Art Nouveau is dotted all over the city such as the Sezession and finally more modern architecture can be seen at the Hundertwasserhaus or Haas Haus.
Palais Ferstl reminds me a bit of a palace in Venice - from inside and from outside as well. You can enter it from Freyung and will walk through a great gallery of exclusive shops and beautifully decorated arcades. At the end of the gallery you will come to a fountain inside of the building, and from there you may go as well to Cafe Central - well known for its beautiful arcades and architecture and celebrities like Peter Altenberg, a famous Viennese poet, who used to spend almost the whole day in the Cafe, meeting friends and writing his books...
Palais Ferstl and also Cafe Central have also an entrance from Herrengasse.
While Cafe Central will be open untill 10.00p.m.,the shopping-arcade of Palais Ferstl will be locked at around 09.00p.m.
There is a tenement house quite near Stephansdom where Mozart used to live during his residence in Vienna . He wrote "Le noze de Figaro" at this house.
As today there is the 250th Anniversary of Mozart's Birthday (he was born on 27th January, 1756) I thought I would add this part.
Vienna (although Mozart was born in Salzburg) is often called as Mozart City. You can get a lot of stuffs connected with him from the chockolates called Mozart-Kugeln till the mugs with the design of his face and other ones.
The city is full of history, visiting the emperiors' palaces you can follow Mozart's ...
Day 2 : Spittelberg area
To end my second day of Vienna sightseeing, I took the underground (U-Bahn) from the Rathaus-station towards the Volkstheater-station.
Like this I arrived at the corner of Museumstrasse and Burggasse, opposite the street was the Volkstheater (Neustiftgasse 1).
Of course there are many theatres in Vienna, and it is said that most of these theatres are among the best in Europe.
The plays can vary from classical drama till Avant Garde.
The Volkstheater is an old theatre, but mostly they are playing modern performances, but now and then they are also programming a classical play and even sometimes a light opera.
I continued my journey along the Burggasse.
By day, the Uniqa Tower is a very impressive, 20-storey, modern office building but after dark, it becomes a wonderful work of art.
In 2006, 180,000 LED lights were installed from top to bottom and they 'perform' sequences of different patterns and different colours each evening. I wasn't able to take any good photographs of it at night but there are plenty on the Internet and you can see a video of it on the link I've pasted below. However, none of them does it justice. The many sequences are truly stunning and you have to see it for real to appreciate the full impact. Our hotel was right next door to it and every night when we came home, it was doing something different.
You'll find it on the edge of the Ringstrasse, on Aspernbrückengasse.