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Austria - Vienna - 2010



Journey dates: 28th Jun - 30th Jun
Travelers: Shwetha Shrivatsa, Karthik Raja, Jayanthi Bala, Parasuram Bala
Tour: Trafalgar Tours - highly recommended
Guide: Gerhard, http://thirdmanmuseum.com/

The entire city center of Vienna is a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE site. Schönbrunn Palace is also separately included in the list.

Day 1: First Opera: We crossed over from the Czech Republic by land and the countryside in the Czech Republic and Austria was beautiful. We arrived in Vienna around 2 pm and checked into the Hilton Vienna hotel. Great hotel, even better location. We spent the afternoon walking around the Stadtpark, a cozy city park in the middle of Vienna. Besides the flora, there are various monuments to the great musicians from Vienna including a golden statue for Johann Strauss.

Our grand evening began with dinner at the Kursalon, where maestro Johann Strauss II gave his first concert. The 4 course meal, accompanied by strong wine was an excellent prelude to the 1.5 hour concert of Strauss and Mozart gems. The orchestra and performers were excellent and Trafalgar organized great seats. All in all it was a great evening, not to forget the champagne at interval.

Day 2: City Tour: We started the day early to beat the crowds at Schönbrunn Palace, the former imperial summer residence of the Habsburg monarchs. The palace and surrounding gardens are one of the most visited tourist spots in Austria and showcase the grandeur and artistic tastes of the Habsburgs. Guided tours are allowed before the palace actually “opens” to the general public, so we got a chance to explore the complex in leisure. The gardens are modelled along the Versailles Palace in France.

Next thing on the agenda was a guided tour of the city. Again this is a fairly small city and is best seen on foot. Most of the historic monuments, buildings, squares and statues are within the “Ringstrasse” or ring boulevard, a 4 km ring round. These include the State Opera House, Parliament building, Museum of Applied Arts, Museum of Natural History, Stadtpark and in the center, the imposing St. Stephen's Cathedral. We ended our guided tour after viewing the Imperial Crypt or Kapuzinergruft that is the resting place for most of the Hasburgs.

We then had a leisurely lunch at Naschmarkt, Vienna's most popular market. It is about 1.5 km long and is dotted with small restaurants with cuisines from all over the world, fruit, vegetable and meat shops. The evening was spent exploring Vienna on foot and a few hours back at the hotel for some well deserved rest.

Dinner was organized by Trafalgar at a family run alehouse. We got to sample traditional Viennese cuisine which included a vegetable strudel (for our family) and Apfelstrudel (hot apple strudel). Dinner was accompanied by some local music, which translates to songs from Sound of Music.

Day 3: Museums: We started the day leisurely by visiting Hundertwasserhaus, a building designed by the famous Austrian architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser and KunstHausWien, a museum housing his famous works. It was really unusual and a visit is highly recommended. This was followed by a refreshing meal at the Rosenburg across the other end of town. After lunch we went to St. Stephen's Cathedral and saw the sights of the city atop the bell tower. One of our must do things in any city is to try to see it from a higher vantage point. It opens up a whole new perspective. We also got to witness the graduation of the Police academy right outside the square adjoining the cathedral, presided by the Austrian Interior Minister.

Then we went to the Albertina museum and got another glimpse into the lives of the Habsburgs. There was also a permanent exhibition of the works of the Impressionists artists and and a temporary exhibition showcasing works from Monet to Baselitz. One of the best exhibits was the Alex Katz's works. All this culture and history left us parched and we decided to relax with a cup of traditional coffee at Sacher house, a very famous Viennese Coffee House. The Sacher Torte is a must eat.

Our next stop was the Prater, the amusement park that houses The Giant Ferris Wheel (Riesenrad). This was an easy metro ride from Sacher house. The Riesenrad was one of the earliest Ferris wheels, erected in 1897 to celebrate Emperor Franz Josef I's golden Jubilee and has featured in many Hollywood movies. The ride takes 10 minutes and offers a different view of the city. We ended our Vienna trip with another delicious meal at Naschmarkt.

Tips:
Tap water is potable. The coffee houses serve unlimited water.
Best places for restrooms are in Starbucks and the Swarovski stores.
The EU has a great way to get back your tax on exit so ensure you get the store to give you the required forms for big purchases.


Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
Vienna - Schönbrunn Palace; front facade - painted by Canaletto in 1758
Vienna - Schönbrunn Palace; front facade - painted by Canaletto in 1758
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
View of the Gloriette, Schönbrunn Palace
View of the Gloriette, Schönbrunn Palace
Schönbrunn Palace, Neptune well
Schönbrunn Palace, Neptune well
St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna
St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna
St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna
St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna
St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna
St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna
St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna
St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna
St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna
St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna
Interior, St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna
Interior, St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna
Interior, St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna
Interior, St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna
St. Charles's Church, Vienna
St. Charles's Church, Vienna
St. Peter's Church, Vienna
St. Peter's Church, Vienna
St. Peter's Church. Vienna
St. Peter's Church. Vienna
St. Peter's Church, Vienna
St. Peter's Church, Vienna
Vienna, rooftops
Vienna, rooftops
Church of the Jesuits (Universitatskirche), Vienna
Church of the Jesuits (Universitatskirche), Vienna
Harry Seidler Hochhaus, IZD Tower and Galaxy Tower, Vienna
Harry Seidler Hochhaus, IZD Tower and Galaxy Tower, Vienna
Vienna - the old and the new
Vienna - the old and the new
ICH FERGEBE DIR (I forgive you), Vienna
ICH FERGEBE DIR (I forgive you), Vienna
The Danube, Vienna
The Danube, Vienna
The Wien River, Vienna
The Wien River, Vienna
Stadtpark, Vienna
Stadtpark, Vienna
Stadtpark, Vienna
Stadtpark, Vienna
J.E.Schindler, Stadtpark, Vienna
J.E.Schindler, Stadtpark, Vienna
Office of the director of the parks, Vienna
Office of the director of the parks, Vienna
Heroes Square, Vienna
Heroes Square, Vienna
Museum of Natural History, Vienna
Museum of Natural History, Vienna
Hofburg Imperial Palace - The Michael Wing, Vienna
Hofburg Imperial Palace - The Michael Wing, Vienna
Hofburg Imperial Palace and Archduke Charles Statue in the Heldenplatz, Vienna
Hofburg Imperial Palace and Archduke Charles Statue in the Heldenplatz, Vienna
Emperor Franz I of Austria, Innerer Burghof, Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna
Emperor Franz I of Austria, Innerer Burghof, Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna
Tasks of Hercules, Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna
Tasks of Hercules, Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna
Prince Eugene of Savoy statue, Vienna
Prince Eugene of Savoy statue, Vienna
Lipizzan stallion, Imperial Stables (Stallburg), Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna
Lipizzan stallion, Imperial Stables (Stallburg), Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna
The Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper)
The Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper)
The Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper)
The Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper)
The Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper)
The Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper)
State Opera House, Vienna
State Opera House, Vienna
The Kursalon, Stadtpark, Vienna
The Kursalon, Stadtpark, Vienna
Performance at the Kursalon, Vienna
Performance at the Kursalon, Vienna
Opera at the Kursalon, Vienna
Opera at the Kursalon, Vienna
Dancer, Kursalon, Vienna
Dancer, Kursalon, Vienna
Albertina Museum, Vienna
Albertina Museum, Vienna
Albrecht (or Danubius) Fountain, Albertina, Vienna
Albrecht (or Danubius) Fountain, Albertina, Vienna
The Staterooms, Albertina, Vienna
The Staterooms, Albertina, Vienna
The Staterooms - the Rococo Room, Albertina, Vienna
The Staterooms - the Rococo Room, Albertina, Vienna
Maria Theresa - Hofburg Queen and mother of Marie Antoinette, Vienna
Maria Theresa - Hofburg Queen and mother of Marie Antoinette, Vienna
Early Michelangelo drawing, Albertina, Vienna
Early Michelangelo drawing, Albertina, Vienna
Embroidery, Albertina, Vienna
Embroidery, Albertina, Vienna
Vienna University of Technology
Vienna University of Technology
Secession building, Vienna
Secession building, Vienna
Church Heiliger Franz von Assisi at Danube, Vienna
Church Heiliger Franz von Assisi at Danube, Vienna
District Heating Plant by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Vienna
District Heating Plant by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Vienna
Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna
Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna
Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna
Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna
Hundertwasser Museum, Vienna
Hundertwasser Museum, Vienna
Hudertwasser designs, Vienna
Hudertwasser designs, Vienna
Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Vienna
Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Vienna
Hundertwasser Museum, Kunsthaus, Vienna
Hundertwasser Museum, Kunsthaus, Vienna
Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna
Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna
Imperial Crypt -Kaisergruft, Vienna
Imperial Crypt -Kaisergruft, Vienna
Kaisergruft - Imperial Crypt, Vienna
Kaisergruft - Imperial Crypt, Vienna
Sarcophagus of Emperor Charles VI, Imperial Crypt, Vienna
Sarcophagus of Emperor Charles VI, Imperial Crypt, Vienna
Statue Pestsaule, Vienna
Statue Pestsaule, Vienna
Statue Pestsaule with coat of arms of Hungary, Vienna
Statue Pestsaule with coat of arms of Hungary, Vienna
The Admiral Tegetthoff Monument, Praterstern, Vienna
The Admiral Tegetthoff Monument, Praterstern, Vienna
Archangel Michael, Michaelerkirche, Vienna
Archangel Michael, Michaelerkirche, Vienna
Hotel Sacher - Vivaldi lived here, Vienna
Hotel Sacher - Vivaldi lived here, Vienna
Interior, Sacher Cafe, Vienna
Interior, Sacher Cafe, Vienna
Naschmarkt, Vienna
Naschmarkt, Vienna
Spices, Naschmarkt, Vienna
Spices, Naschmarkt, Vienna
Viennese Passauerhof, Grinzing, Austria
Viennese Passauerhof, Grinzing, Austria
Viennese Passauerhof, Grinzing, Austria
Viennese Passauerhof, Grinzing, Austria
Music at the Viennese Passauerhof, Grinzing, Austria
Music at the Viennese Passauerhof, Grinzing, Austria
Door, Grinzing, Austria
Door, Grinzing, Austria
Grinzing, Austria
Grinzing, Austria
Maria Theresia Fekter, Austrian Interior Minister
Maria Theresia Fekter, Austrian Interior Minister
Austrian Police Force
Austrian Police Force
Viennese Giant Wheel, Wiener Riesenrad, - Oldest in the world, Vienna
Viennese Giant Wheel, Wiener Riesenrad, - Oldest in the world, Vienna
Viennese Giant Wheel, Wiener Riesenrad, - dining car, Vienna
Viennese Giant Wheel, Wiener Riesenrad, - dining car, Vienna
Wurstelprater, Prater amusement Park, Vienna
Wurstelprater, Prater amusement Park, Vienna
Wurstelprater, Prater amusement Park, Vienna
Wurstelprater, Prater amusement Park, Vienna
Wurstelprater, Prater amusement Park, Vienna
Wurstelprater, Prater amusement Park, Vienna
Clock, Vienna
Clock, Vienna
‘Tagedieb’ (Engl.: idler) by the German-African artist Cosima von Bonin, Vienna
‘Tagedieb’ (Engl.: idler) by the German-African artist Cosima von Bonin, Vienna
Building by Stadtpark, Vienna
Building by Stadtpark, Vienna
Stadtpark corner, Vienna
Stadtpark corner, Vienna
Windows, Vienna
Windows, Vienna
Münze Österreich - Rei Monetariae, Vienna
Münze Österreich - Rei Monetariae, Vienna
Vienna in Black and White
Vienna in Black and White
Demel dessert, Vienna
Demel dessert, Vienna
Vegetable Strudel, Vienna
Vegetable Strudel, Vienna
Apple Strudel, Vienna
Apple Strudel, Vienna
Johann Strauss dessert, Vienna
Johann Strauss dessert, Vienna
Sacher torte, Vienna
Sacher torte, Vienna
Einspänner, Hotel Sacher, Vienna
Einspänner, Hotel Sacher, Vienna