VIENNA, Selçuk Korkmaz | 26.08.2014
It's not easy to write a short piece about Vienna to devour quickly. Vienna is so intense that you have to write pages and pages describing every building, every park, every statue and every street. And in order to write about them, first you have to relax, be aware of your surrounding and seize the moment when you are in Vienna.
If airlines are not an option, you should absolutely choose the train as a transportation vehicle to Vienna. Before jumping into the city, you should absorb the nature of it. You should reach this lively city after passing through the lush and endless fields of wind turbines.
I always think that to get to know a city and learn every aspect of it, strolling is necessary. On the face of the earth, traveling by buses and trams you just watch the scenery passing you by without getting a sense of it. Subway system traveling underground can't even be an option for getting to know a city. For a city full of art and history like Vienna, strolling is the only option.
MuseumsQuartier I am sure museum lovers will adore and go crazy for this place. There are 11 different buildings, institutes and museums where you can find something about every aspect of art. If you need to take a break, you can relax in their gardens and have a drink in a cafe.
Don't miss the two lovely museums facing each other like yin-yang in the garden of MuseumsQuartier. With its black, smooth surfaced mass Mumok, the biggest contemporary art museum of central Europe, and just opposite it, the completely white Leopold Museum with a huge art collection. Both of them are hiding art pieces behind their walls that could take a whole day each to see.
The city is just an open-air museum. Leaving MuseumsQuartier, you will have to not only look ahead, behind, to the left, or to the right, but also “up”, this way you won't miss at times elegant, at times solemn statues on the buildings.
As we said before, it's impossible to say everything about Vienna in just one article. That's why instead of writing I'd like to show you my Vienna with photos. I'd like to finish with two different features that nobody mentions.
Not only special buildings have a stunning stance... Even the normal buildings carry a piece of city's soul. Wandering the streets, one can't help but wonder how fascinating it would be to live in such magnificent buildings embodying history.
Just in the center of the city is the Austrian Parliament Building designed by Teophil Edvard von Hansen.
Rathaus, we can call it “the council house of Vienna.” Yeah, that's right, you can find these kind of council buildings in some parts of the world!
Graben Street is the most famous and luxury street of Vienna. The meticulously designed buildings along the street have walls beautifully ornamented by stonemasons, and are hosting dozens of worldly known brands as the street artists inspire the tourists with the spirit of Vienna.
Located on the Ring Road, the Votiv Church was built after the failed assassination attempt on Emperor Franz Joseph by Hungarian nationalist János Libényi. Its purpose was to thank God for saving the Emperor's life. That's why it was more important than St Stephan's Cathedral.
We learned that this church is one of the few Neo Gothic churches, but all I can say is “Yes, the inside of it was really amazing.”
The neighbor of this church was one of the most famous universities of the city: Vienna Technical University.
One of the symbols of Vienna, Stephansdom, was standing in all its grandeur in the middle of Graben Street. It had different nuances of beauty from day to night. That's why if possible, you should see it both at night and day. During the night it was very appealing with its shades of gray whereas in the day light its shades were more yellowish. Stephansdom, aka St Stephan's Cathedral was built in 1365 and today as a symbol of Vienna, it's flocked to by tourists.
Another place you should absolutely visit is the Belvedere Palace, the summer palace of the Empress Elisabeth (aka Sissi).
With its huge garden, pools and a botanic garden of its own, it's a must-see.
While you are at Belvedere Palace, you should drop by Heeresgeschichtliches Museum which is within walking distance. The Military History Museum features collections of Austrian military history from the 16th century to the 20th. It also has the biggest collection of Ottoman weapons, headgear and insignia in Europe.
And the parks...
Stadtpark is one of the biggest parks in Vienna. Besides in the different sized ponds, walking trails/running tracks and the beautiful grass to lie down and relax, you can also see the charming Johann Strauss statue.
Hochstrahlbrunnen with the Soviet Memorial is one of the most important parks/squares of the city. The park was built to celebrate the construction of the first water pipeline from the Styrian alps to Vienna in 1873.
And the Prater Park hosts the Wiener Riesenrad which is around 65 meters tall. One of the most popular tourist attractions, the ferris wheel gives you a magnificent view of Vienna on its peak.
At the intersection of Graben Street and Kohlmarkt, every evening there is a classical music concert. The live music takes you back in time to the past of the city.
After this feast for the ears get to the Opera Building in no time flat. You can find yourself a seat in front of the screen placed outside the building and watch the play live in the open air with fellow Viennese. After an artful night you can rest your head on your pillow happily, feeling lucky that you are in Vienna.
I told you that I love taking a stroll around the city, but in Vienna, there are two different and nice options. One of them is the Ring Tram traveling across the city and the other one is a bicycle which is very common in Vienna. Both of them are fun and show you a different aspect of the city.
And last but not least, something that bothers all the Austrians: there are no kangaroos there, they are in Australia :)
By the way...
You can't take a stroll on an empty stomach! We heard that Eis Greissler is the most famous ice cream seller of Vienna. Well, the line in front of the shop might give you an idea. Don't leave Vienna without having an ice cream for dessert after Schnitzel; the specialty of Vienna!