Vienna was once the capital of one of the world’s biggest and most powerful empires. Today, the city still dazzles with magnificent architecture and lush gardens.
Here are five places no visitor to Vienna should miss.
Address: Michaelerkuppel, 1010 Wien, Austria
The imposing Hofburg once served as the imperial palace in the Habsburg dynasty and is today the President of Austria’s official residence. It is an enormous palace complex that comprises the Imperial Apartments and Imperial Treasury, as well as several smaller museums containing anything from historic musical instruments and ancient Egyptian papyrus. One must-see is the Sisi Museum, dedicated to the life and interests of the enigmatic Empress Elisabeth.
Address: Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Wien, Austria
The Schönbrunn Palace served as the principal summer residence during the Habsburg Dynasty and is full of sumptuous rooms and manicured gardens that offer insight into how one of the most powerful ruling families in the world spent their free time. Witness the apartments of the imperial family as well as the grandiose staterooms. There is also a Children’s Museum which offers a glimpse into the lives of the royal children, including the infamous Marie Antoinette.
Spanish Riding School
Address: Michaelerplatz 1, 1010 Wien, Austria
The Spanish Riding School is Austria’s foremost classical horse riding academy, and one of the world’s most prestigious. You can watch morning training sessions several times a week and, with some advance planning, it is possible to plan your trip to coincide with one of their sumptuous gala performances. Tickets usually sell out months in advance. It is also possible to take a tour of the riding school and stables.
Address: Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Wien, Austria
Yet another historic building complex, this time dedicated to art. The Belvedere Palace is composed of two palaces, the Orangery, and the Palace Stables, both stunning examples of baroque architecture. The Belvedere Palace is home to one of the world’s most important collections of Austrian art, including the biggest collection of Gustav Klimt paintings on earth. The Medieval Treasury contains the Belvedere’s medieval art collection, while the Lower Belvedere and Orangery are dedicated to temporary exhibitions.
Vienna State Opera House
Address: Opernring 2, 1010 Wien, Austria
Austria is one of the world’s most important classical music destinations, having been the birthplace of heavyweights such as Mozart and Schubert. While there are many classical music venues in Vienna, the grandest of them all is without a doubt the Vienna State Opera House. Each year, the opera house stage about 350 performances, including operas and ballets, and the resident Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the world’s most celebrated. It is well worth watching a performance at the opera house, not least because the interior of the theatre itself is dazzling.
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