Vienna, Austria is the capital city of the central European country and its largest city. Vienna became the capital of the Austrian Empire in 1804 during the Napoleonic Wars and has played a major role in European and world politics ever since. Vienna is known for it’s astoundingly beautiful architecture and it’s also known as the “City of Music” because many great musicians of history were born or lived and worked here like Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Johann Strauss and more. Vienna is also called the “City of Dreams” because it was also the hometown of the world’s first and most famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. Explore the beautiful culture and history that Vienna has to offer through stunning buildings, museums, churches and restaurants.
Vienna is definitely one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. This can be seen easily in the middle of the city in the Historic Centre of Vienna, which has exquisite architecture, baroque castles and great parks with gardens that are fun to explore. Be sure to visit the Schonbrunn Palace, which is one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture in the city and in the world. It’s a 1,441-room Baroque palace that has a history of over 300 years and has been a very popular tourist destination since the mid-1900s. Take a tour of the gorgeous palace and its gardens and you won’t be disappointed. The best museum in Vienna is the Kunsthistorisches Museum, or Museum of Fine Arts. Here there are great collections from ancient Egyptian and Greek objects as well as masterpieces from famous European artists like Titian, Velasquez, Van Dyke and Rubens.
Another great place to visit is St. Stephen’s Cathedral, which has been a huge part of Austrian and European history. It’s the centerpiece of Vienna and has been sitting in the same spot since the 12th century. It survived the Turkish siege of 1683 as well as attacks from Germany and Russia during World War II. Napoleon also posted his famous farewell edict here in 1805. The cathedral remains an active house of worship, a cultural icon and a top tourist attraction today. Be sure to visit Tiergarten, the oldest zoo in the world that started in 1752. The zoo is home to over 750 animals today from tigers to lemurs and it’s a great place to visit. Visit the Hofburg Imperial Palace in the center of Vienna as well, which still partially serves as the official residence of the President of Austria. Other great places to visit include the House of Music, the beautiful State Opera House, the Belvedere Palace Museum and the Natural History Museum.
There are tons of great day trips visitors of Vienna can take to get out of the city and explore more that Austria has to offer, especially their beautiful landscapes and countryside. One fun idea is to take an hours-drive day trip to Melk Abbey and discover the Wachau Valley area along the Danube River. You can be led by local guides through the valley and explore the vineyards, abbeys and castles located in the beautiful Austrian countryside and even take a 1.5-hour boat ride along the Danube River to Melk. An interesting out of country trip could be to take a two-hour drive to Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Budapest is another beautiful European city that shouldn’t be missed where you can explore beautiful buildings and palaces and museums, and during your trip there, you can discover the stunning Hungarian countryside.
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Luckily for visitors, Vienna has a great public transportation system that includes commuter rails, underground subways, trolleys and buses. You can find plenty of maps and information on the rails and subway systems in Vienna to make it easy to decide how you want to get around. The U-Bahn lines (underground subway) that Vienna offers are the most common way for visitors to get around. They are quick, coming every 2-7 minutes and they get you to the most popular places throughout Vienna.
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