To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect in Vienna. I felt like a long trip through Europe wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Austria. But how could we go to Austria and not spend at least a few days in Vienna? Well, now having been there, I am so glad that we went. We spent 4 days in Vienna and loved every minute. Vienna was so grand.
Our time in Austria was a huge contrast to the time we spent in Italy. Even though they are close neighbors and have been deeply involved in one another’s history, they are very different countries. If I can say one thing that stuck out about Austria it would be the magnificent gardens. Austrians throughout their history have put a lot of effort into making unbeatable gardens. Some of them shouldn’t even be classified as gardens. They are more works of garden art.
In Italy and Greece there is a specific style to the buildings. Austria has it’s own style that was very different from what we had seen to that point. All over throughout Vienna there was gold trim on many of the buildings. The massive stone structures are close together with intricate baroque style facades. The rulers of Austria sure didn’t skip out when it came to construction. Many of them knew that those they ruled would see them as more powerful if they built large palaces and government offices. I guess it worked since the same family ruled Austria and a lot of the surrounding territory for over five hundred years!
Speaking of palaces, our two favorite attractions in Vienna were Belvedere Palace and Schönbrunn Palace. These two great palaces were only part time homes for their owners but make even the largest houses and neighborhoods in the U.S. look like trailer parks! Schonbrunn is the larger of the two palaces. Our apartment we rented in the city was literally one block from the the Belvedere so we went each evening and just took in the magnificence of it all, we LOVED the Belvedere!
Besides visiting the two palaces, we also saw Saint Peter’s Cathedral, Hofburg Palace, and more gardens than I can count – a couple of our favorites were Stadt Park & People’s Park. In interesting fact is that almost 50% of Vienna is green area. It shows. We rented bikes and biked the city, which we really enjoyed. Vienna has a great bike system where you can rent and return your bikes all over the city and they are very fairly priced. Be sure to grab an apple strudel and stroll through the gorgeous city. Megan was HEAD OVER HEELS in love with all of the flowers in the green spaces and gardens! She was giddy over all the gardens, seriously. What a magnificent city. It blew all of my expectations out of the water! Honestly, I cannot wait until we get to go back to Vienna! Oh, and did I mention that they have amazing gardens! 😀
- Joseph Lewin
PS Look forward to detailed posts on tips & costs of Belvedere Palace and Schönbrunn Palace.