If you are looking to take a break from routine, there is a place for soul-searching and brainstorming. Vienna waits for you! A city of reflection in cafes, comfort food, and exquisite works of art, Vienna is the perfect choice for anyone passioned by architecture, the fine arts, psychology, good music, and even the macabre. Quite a broad array of interests if you ask me.
Let’s take a walk around the capital of Austria and find its many secrets.
It does not matter where you are in Vienna. If you look up, and around you will find diverse architectural wonders. From the gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral to the unusual Wotruba Church and the modern Neubau district, Vienna offers an outstanding variety of structural styles. Just take a walk down the Ringstrasse and marvel at the facades of the buildings.
If you are looking for baroque architecture, you are in luck, Vienna is full of it. Visit the Dominican Church with its lovely ornate frescoes and the Schönbrunn Palace, where the memory of Empress Sisi is kept through countless works of art, personal belongings, and a bust depicting her famous locks of hair.
However, if you prefer the gothic architecture, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, with its intimidating stature and colourful stained glass, is one church you must visit. Or better yet, the Augustinian Church, located next to the winter palace (Hofburg palace), is the gothic place to be.
Lastly, if you want to breathe in the spirit of the city, go to the Danube Tower (Donauturm), where the whole city of Vienna will lay at your feet. Alternatively, you can take Vienna for a spin at the Prater amusement park.
One word – aesthetic
Are you looking for that perfect place to take Instagram-worthy pictures? Here are a few suggestions.
Go to the Rustensteg bridge for a great landscape of the city or a modern urban selfie. The symmetry of the structure will do the work for you.
For a nice candid with a cup of something or an Instagrammable plate, take a chance on going to Motto am Fluss. Full disclosure: I have not been here, but it sure looks great for some IG shots!
The Belvedere Palace is one more reason to have one more reason to fill your camera roll. There you can stare at the masterful Klimt painting – The Kiss – his most well-known work.
Visit the Schmetterlinghaus for a magical atmosphere and unique subjects for photography.
Experience something new
If visiting museums seems to be the same all around Europe, try these unusual exhibitions.
Do you know Esperanto? You might learn it by going to the Esperanto Museum, which is entirely devoted to the history of this universal language.
If you are impressed by a good fake and tired of fake people, the Museum of Art Fakes is the place for you.
For a completely unique and synesthetic experience, visit Supersense and allow yourself to feel it all.
If you feel like life is meaningless, and you want to reinforce that feeling. Or if you are looking for an excuse to quote Hamlet’s monologue, drop by the Habsburg Imperial Crypt or the Stephansdom Crypt. But beware, desolation comes at a steep price unless you are under 6 years old and have never felt it.
Has this all been just too much? Reward yourself with a well-deserved coffee and some comfort food. Between you and me, all Austrian food is comfort food.
Try out the traditional chocolate delight – Sachertorte – at one of the rival bakeries, Demel or the bakery of Hotel Sacher. They both claim the recipe for the cake, maybe you can settle which one is the best.
To be above all law, have a coffee in the Justiz cafe placed at the top floor of the Justice Palace in Vienna, and enjoy the view and the feeling of superiority.
If you want to feel like the world revolves around, or at least that the Austrian capital revolves around you, go to Café Central, the real centre of Vienna.
The great outdoors
Although winter and early spring is not the best time for an outdoor picnic, Vienna offers the perfect mix of nature and urban construction, giving refuge for anyone overwhelmed by the rush of the city.
Take some time to breathe and relax in one of the many public parks, or see the beautiful geometry of the Schönbrunn Gardens.
If you still are having doubts about visiting Vienna, I leave you with a song covered by Ben Platt to help you decide.
“When will you realise, Vienna waits for you?”
If you would like to see the wonders Vienna has to offer for the best price available, Mercurius is selling its last tickets for the Vienna weekend-trip! The trip is 165€ including flights and accommodation. The trip will be taking place from the 27th to the 30th of March. You can gather up a group of friends, go solo, or bond with some of the Mercurius board members while exploring a city like no other.
Cover: Jacek Dylag