Vienna – by far not the largest, nor the most important capital in Europe. Nonetheless, the capital of Austria is an amusing, fascinating and engaging place to visit.
It’s challenging to write something about Vienna without using clichés and overdoing it with the adjectives. Notwithstanding, the city is simply a marvellous travel destination. Austria’s capital is fascinating for anyone who loves history, architecture, culinary delights, music, art or simply people. With this in mind, the first that strikes you when you arrive in Vienna is the grandeur architecture. It never ends. Wherever your look the past has put its lavishly elegant stamp on Vienna. Nonetheless, Austria’s largest city is not only a collection of relics from past greatness, but also very modern home to 1,9 million people.
It all started as a Celtic outpost, which over the centuries grew into the Roman Vindabona. Remains of the Romans can still be seen at the Michaelerplatz and under Hoher Markt. Vindabona flourished under the Romans and at its peak had 15-20.000 inhabitants. With the fall of the Roman Empire Vindabona also dwindled into oblivion. Not until the German king Otto I won a battle against the Magyars in 955 AD, Vienna started to rise out of its political indifference again. In 1145 the Babenberg family who ruled parts of what today is Austria, moved their capital to Vienna. At any rate, the city started its way to fame and glory, when the Habsburg dynasty came to town. They ruled their ever-growing empire from Vienna for more than 600 years.
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Major tourist destination
Then again, it took a while to grow its population. In 1754 Vienna had a population of “only” 175.000. At its peak, the city was home to 2 million people in 1910. At the height of the Austrian Empire, Vienna was the capital city for 50 million people. The 1,9 million people who live there today, must share their city with 6,5 million visitors per year. Austria’s capital is a popular tourist destination for many reasons. Grand architecture, historical and contemporary, just to mention a few. Equally important is the abundance of cultural events. Last but not least, an enormous choice of eateries that reflect not only the Austrian culinary culture, but also the multicultural environment that always has been Vienna’s trademark.
The before mentioned highlights are just a few things that you can fill your days with in Vienna. Big city holidays can often be stressful. You’ve got a lot to choose from and want to experience it all. Especially if you are staying only for a few days. Inasmuch as Vienna is not exempted from the big city hustle and bustle, there are a few quite oasis to be found. In addition to some of the city’s parks, there are of course districts that are rarely visited by the main stream tourists. It’s also one of the safest cities in the world. Accordingly, you can safely venture out and see the city on your own. Crime rates are very low compared to other tourist destinations around the world.
Vienna always was and still is, a multinational melting pot. The city has attracted people from different cultures throughout its history. During the Habsburg Empire, its 50 million inhabitants came from a huge myriad of different ethnic groups. Which all put their stamp on the city in one way or another. Out of today’s 1,9 million inhabitants, 460.000 are foreign citizens. Not only because Vienna has been named “World’s top city for quality of life”, but also because it houses numerous large international institutions. Consequently, many cultural aspects of the Austrian capital are markedly influenced by its multicultural people. Notwithstanding, the genuine Austrian culture ads a strong flavour to this great city.
Vienna is perfect for streetcar sightseeing. I discovered that I could experience many of the city’s different facets within 2-3 hours, with the D-line. You can experience the imperial Vienna, busy shopping streets, workers housing estates, and the Nussberg wine district just to name a few. Taking you from the city’s main railway station (Hauptbahnhof) […]
A list of suggestions on what to do in a weekend in Vienna could easily have been almost endless. Notwithstanding, we have collected a few places and sights in Vienna to show you the variety available. Moreover, our recommendations should be suitable for most people, not matter age. Our suggestions are not mere tourist traps, […]
Much of what you’ll find at the Wiener Naschmarkt are products not often found in regular supermarkets. The around 170 sales stalls and shops at Naschmarkt work under the motto “What you cannot find on Naschmarkt, you do not need”! Hence, the selection of products is therefore huge. International foods Japanese buffets, Italian grilled specialties, […]
Innere Stadt, the Vienna historic city centre within Ringstrasse is a delightful place to discover on foot. Here you find everything from narrow alleys, picturesque houses and small idyllic squares to majestic palaces, sumptuous cathedrals and beautiful parks. The first of our Vienna city walks take us from Schwedenplatz to Stadtpark. We start at the […]
The view of Vienna from above is something you simply must experience when visiting Austria’s capital. The mixture of historic and modern buildings gives the city a unique skyline. There are several opportunities to enjoy panoramic views of Vienna. We have visited some of Vienna’s best viewing points and are going to add more as […]
One of the attractions that we really enjoyed was the Rainforest House, where you literarily are taken through a hot and humid rain forest. Sure, you are on walkways and wooden bridges, but this is as near the real thing as it gets, without travelling to the jungle. Hot and humid Hot and humid and […]
Since I grew up in the Meidling district where you find Schönbrunn Palace, I spent a lot of time as a child in the vast gardens of the imperial palace. As a four year old I was relatively unaffected by the fact that I was playing in the garden of the mighty Habsburg dynasty, who […]
Austria and Vienna has over the last decades deservedly gained a good reputation among music lovers. Mostly through the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year Concerts or its opera house. And lately for its vibrant contemporary music scene. The soul of the Viennese Music interested people, no matter what genre or type of music one likes, will […]