Vienna Pictures, Austria

Schloss Schonbrunn buttock view, Vienna pictures, Austria, Europe

Schloss Schoenbrunn, Vienna pictures.

Things to Do in Vienna

Vienna (Wien in German, the Austrian language), the relaxed capital of Austria is easy to get around using public transport but best seen by walking the streets of spectacular buildings in all possible styles, fantastic museums and muscular, troubled, homoerotic figures. Most of them inanimate.

These over-stressed musclemen are fighting for their lives outside the Hofburg Palace in Michaelerplatz, central Vienna. So this is where Arnie The Governator Schwartznegger got his beefy ideals from!

Makes you wonder what the Hapsburgs liked to do of an evening after a few glasses of wine. It’s not surprising that Vienna is the home of the father of modern psychology, Sigmund Freud. The Habsburgs clearly needed psychoanalysis but sadly Ziggie arrived too late to help them so.
However, the Viennese these days are well-balanced, the city’s safe, efficient, not too expensive and only a few hours drive from other great European cities in and around Austria.

Hofburg Palace

Taxi-horses waiting for custom outside the Hofburg Palace, central Vienna, Austria

Outside the Hofburg Palace main entrance, Michaeler Gate in Michaelerplatz, horse cabs wait for custom.

The Hofburg was home to the Habsburg royal family (aka Hapsburgs) from 1273 to 1918. The palace is now home to the Austrian president’s offices, state apartments, the national library and a couple of museums.

Some of the things to do in the Hofburg environs include

• Seeing/hearing the Vienna Boys Choir.
• Watching the Spanish Riding School in action (either horseman working out with the white Lipizzaner horses in the morning or watching a music/jumping show in the afternoon). The Lipizzaner horses and riders give no performances in July and limited shows in June and August, so book asap if interested.
• Visiting the Sisi museum (the life story and relics of Empress Elisabeth).
• Visiting the Silberkammer museum (porcelain, table settings and the legendary Emperor Napkin).
• Visiting the authentic Imperial Apartments (where Emperor Franz Joseph and Sisi lived).

A combination ticket for the Silberkammer, the Sisi museum and the Imperial Apartments with audio guide is the best value.

Hofburg museums open from 9: 00 to 18: 00 in summertime.

Get there: Metro U3 station Herrengasse

Pleasant, rambling walks cover many of the key tourist sights.

For example: Walks inside and outside Vienna’s Ringstrasse (Ring Road)

Part of Vienna’s ring road, the Kartner Ringstrasse, (on the left of the cycle lane) that circles the primary tourist area of old Wien.

Kartner Strasse pedestian street leading into the centre of Vienna, Austria, Europe

Kartner Strasse pedestrian street leading into the very centre of Vienna.

Kartner Strasse runs from the Opera House/Ringstrasse junction down to the spectacular St Stephen’s cathedral (Stephansdom) and offers many diversions en route. This is an area that demands random walks of discovery.

Stephansdom cathedral, at the heart of Vienna.

Vienna’s Gothic cathedral was mostly completed in the 12th century and sports a brilliantly chevron-tiled roof (Habsburg choice) while inside there is unique and artistic detailing such as the Gothic stone pulpit with a hand railing embellished with salamanders and toads fighting an battle of good versus evil.
The baroque altar shows the stoning of St Stephen while the chancel has a winged Wiener Neustadt altarpiece dating from 1447 and the right has a Renaissance red marble tomb of Friedrich III.
An elevator gets you up the tower for great city views, at a modest price.

Karlskirche

Karlskirche pool, Vienna, Austria, Europe

Karlskirche pool photo by LMih. Completed in 1737.

Romanesque columns illustrate the glorious life of St Karl Borromeo, patron saint of plague-prevention and treatment. Karlskirche was built to give thanks for the end of Vienna’s 1713 plague. The twisted baroquery of this masterpiece is superb, but inside is a marvel too. The baroque altar depicts St Karl being escorted to heaven by angels, as do the ceiling frescoes.

Secession art gallery

The Art Nouveau Secession art gallery, Vienna, Austria, Europe

The Art Nouveau Secession art gallery built in 1897. The Secession cube, known locally as ‘The Golden Cabbage‘, was a very unpopular design at the time.

The Vienna Secession was formed in 1897 by a group of Austrian artists who withdrew from the conservative Association of Austrian Artists. The movement included painters, sculptors and architects. The first president of the Secession was Gustav Klimt and the association magazine was called Ver Sacrum.

MuseumsQuartier

The MuseumsQuartier is a huge and impressive collection of stylish museums, galleries, restaurants, cafes and bars set inside the old imperial stables.
The best way to deal with this zone properly is to get a reasonably priced MQ Kombi Ticket which includes entry into all museums and galleries and a discount on some shows.

The Upper Belvedere Palace

The Upper Belvedere Palace

 Yes, one is just not enough for some people. The two palaces were built for a successful Hapsburg general 1714-1723 and visiting them both should satiate any desire to see more gilt, frescoes, formal gardens, marbled body builders and baroque art.

Vienna Weather

Rainfall is moderate year round with June and July getting most precipitation but that’s balanced by perfect summer temperatures, with average lows of 15C and highs of 25C.
Winters are drier, with snow, and not too cold, normally just above or below freezing.
So. . . very best: May, September and pretty good though busy in summer months, but Wien tourism is possible all year.
n. b. The Lipizzaner Horses (Spanish Riding School) and the State Opera House are both out of action during July/August, tho’ there’s plenty of other music around.