Vienna is the capital of Austria and has been the heart of the Habsburg Empire for centuries. It has left behind an impressive number of palaces, monuments and other landmarks.
We arrived in Vienna Haupbanhof in the mid afternoon and our pre-booked taxi driver was already there waiting for us. The drive to our hotel, Hotel Rathaus – Wein and Design took only about 30 minutes. The location of our hotel is quite convenient as it is only about a 20 minutes walk to the Austrian Parliament Building.
Thankfully, most of the city’s main sights are also located in Vienna’s compact center or at the boulevard encircling the historic center, which makes it easy to visit the city on foot.
On the advice of the hotel’s staff, we joined a group tour by coach to the Schonbrunn Palace. The tour starts at about 8.30 am and after the tour of the palace, you will be taken around the historic centre of Vienna and eventually you will be dropped at the Vienna Tourist Information Centre, where you can obtain a map showing all the important landmarks of Vienna.
Schoenbrunn Palace – was completed in 1780 during the reign of Maria-Theresa and since its completion had been the favorite residence of the Habsburg monarchs. It is only about six kilometres from the centre of Vienna and can be easily reached by the underground. It is a huge complex and the whole area (including the garden) occupies about 435 acres.
After the visit to the Schoenbrunn Palace, we visited the Vienna Tourist Information Office to get the appropriate maps of the city and this is what we use for our next two days walking all over the historic area of Vienna.
Hofburg – the whole Hofburg complex is huge. It is the bastion of the Habsburg monarchs, who ruled Austria from 1276 until the downfall of the Habsburgs in 1918, a period of more than six centuries. Due to its vast size, you may want to visit only some of the attractions, such as the royal apartments, the treasury, the winter riding school, the Albertina museum and the Neue Burg museum.
Museum of Natural History.
At the centre is the monument of Maria Theresa seated on top of a large pedestal supported on all sides by Corinthian columns.
Burgtheater – founded in 1741 is one of the most important theatre companies in Europe. It is situated opposite Vienna’a city hall.
Parliament – is situated along the boulevard around Vienna’s inner city. The monumental neoclassical building is the seat of the Austrian Parliament.
The Parliament building was constructed between 1874 and 1884 and in 1918, after the fall of the Habsburg Empire, parliamentarians declared the creation of the Republic of Austria.
Karlsplatz – the only point of interest in the western half is the Secession Building, which contains works of various artists.
Resselpark lies on the eastern half of Karlsplatz and overlooking it is the beautiful Karlskirche, a Baroque church commissioned in 1713 by Emperor Charles VI.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral – the cathedral’s Gothic south tower, dominates the skyline of Vienna.
Michaelerplatz – is one of Vienna’s most famous square and is very near to the Hofburg. Infact, the impressive neo-Baroque Michaelertor, is the entrance gate to the Hofburg.
Am Hof – is the biggest square in the inner city and its history goes back to the Roman era.
There are so many other interesting and beautiful land marks in Vienna and this is indeed one of the most beautiful city in Europe.
We spent three days in Vienna and considering the vast numbers of interesting and beautiful landmarks in the city, the amount of time we had there is barely sufficient to take in all the wonderful sights.
All images shot with Nikon D810 and Nikkor 18-35 f3.5-4.5g lens and processed in adobe camera raw and photoshop.