Below are the top 5 tips for Vienna which is one of Europe’s best loved destinations. These pieces are written by our staff who have personally visited and want you to have the best trip possible this year, enjoy!
As a part of its summer campaign Direct Travel Insurance is giving away these tips and more, stay tuned for more in the not too distant future..
- Walk around!
Just walking around in this beautiful city is not only free, but one of the best ways to see Vienna and take in its sights. There are lots of free walking tours which can be found around the city, or just ask in your hotel or youth hostel where to join one. Look out for Stephansdom (Vienna’s Gothic Cathedral), Hofborg Palace, The Belvedere (Summer residence of the royals), Karlskirche (Baroque church), Staatosper (Opera House), Hunderwasserhous (more modern architecture) and the Museamsquartier.
Stepansdom is one of Vienna’s most famous Cathedrals and is also one of the finest examples of gothic architecture. It dates right back to the 13th Century, although some parts of it are newer due to it being damaged during the second world war. However, its rebuilt parts add to its character and history. There are amazing views across the city from the top if you can climb the 343 steps to see it! It’s main features to see inside are its West front, the giants door, the tiled roof (as Summit Point Roofing explains is covered with almost 250,000 tiles!) the North tower, high alter, organ, stained glass windows (which tell biblical stories) and the impressive pillars.
- Hofburg Palace
This was the former imperial palace which is situated in the city centre. You can’t miss it! It was home to various emperors but now houses the offices of the Austrian president. Additionally it contains the Winter Riding School, is an international convention centre and even has some private apartments. There are some room which are open to the public which were the private apartments of Emperor Franz Joseph. It’s worth a look to see its lavish decorations and to learn about the interesting lives of its former residents.
This is the Vienna State Opera House which attracts opera and music lovers from all over the world. The building itself dates back to 1861 and contains many bronze statues, fountains, an impressive grand stairway, tapestries (showing scenes from Mozarts opera The Magic Flute) along with many fine paintings. Simply being in the opera house itself is definitely an impressive sight without even going to see a production. In 1945 the opera house was also damaged severely during the Second World War but it was re-opened again in 1955. You can buy opera tickets to see a show and prices vary from €3.50-€178. You can buy standing tickets which of course are the cheapest ones! You will have to que on the day that you want to buy them, often up to 2 hours before the show. You then have to stand throughout the duration of the show, but you get a good view of the stage. However, this is not to be recommended for anyone with claustrophobia, you are really packed in with others who are also standing.
This is a more modern example of architecture opened in March 1986. It is a very unusual looking house with a multi-coloured façade, and is now one of the city’s most famous landmarks. It was originally supposed to be dull council housing but its designer Friedensreich Hundertwasser wanted to demonstrate how something practical could also be beautiful. It is still home to nearly 200 people and has a wonderful roof garden which contains over 250 large trees and a grass lawn!