Explore Vienna in half a day

Posted by on September 10, 2012

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August is not really the best time to visit and enjoy the capital of Austria, especially if you have the misfortune of catching one of the days that the Viennese define as the hottest in the recent decades. Weather in Vienna deserves a few days of your time or at least a few good hours. No capital in the wolrd can be explored too fast and Vienna is no exception as its size and the large amount of attractions, museums, squares and events need adequate time. But the truth is that usually there is not as much time as you would like and then you need to make painful synthesis of what to see starting from the historical center of the city. In the vicinity of Schönbrunn can be found the former summer residence of Empress Sissi wich is a masterpiece of Baroque art in an enchanting park. The palace and its gardens require some time to be enjoyed properly, but we have to run to see everything so let the great avenues leading from the Gloriette central building.

The Schönbrunn

The Schönbrunn

A closer look to the Schonbrunn

A closer look to the Schonbrunn

While crossing the gates of the imperial seal you can take public transportation to get to the center as a private car is not recommended due to heavy traffic and private parking is a little expensive. Between buses and trams you can get off near the Ringstrasse, the nineteenth-century boulevard that serves as a ring road around large buildings in the center. It is a nice ride but if you try it on foot it would take too long. It is better to take the tourist tram that runs every day of the year from 10 to 18. LCD screens provide information on major attractions that are located along the route and the headphones are available in different languages.

Trams in Ringstrasse

Trams in Ringstrasse

Tram passing by Burgtheater

Tram passing by Burgtheater

To stretch your legs a little you can go in the gardens that lead to the Palm House (one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau greenhouses in the world) and then the Hofburg which now is the residence of the President Federal but until 1918 it was a symbol of the great Habsburg Empire.

The Palm House

The Palm House

The Hofburg

The Hofburg

Only buildings and exhibition to Hofburg require a full day, but we choose to discover what lies behind the great iron security door of the Treasury House. In fact, there is a treasure, the Hapsburgs, who between crowns, diamond, precious stones, gold and relics take us back a few centuries. As we have said time was short now have to leave Vienna. If you love the baroque and liberty then it will be very hard for you to leave this city which seems to be made entirely of stucco, gilding and imposing statues. But if you succumb to its charm and decide to stay, equip one of the tourist cards (such as the Vienna Card) that allow access to museums and attractions with a big discount.

Hapsburg Treasures

Hapsburg Treasures

Ps: a good period for a city break in Vienna is the Christmas season when the Wiener Christkindlmarkt glitters and gleams  including gifts, goodies and mulled wine.

Vienna photo 1: Erelster, Vienna photo 2: TobiasAC, Vienna photo 3: caribdis, Vienna photo 4: Chronovial, Vienna photo 5: Afflicter, Vienna photo 6: hironaph, Vienna photo 7: Dan Taylor,

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