THE REASONS TO LOVE VISITING VIENNA
Let’s talk about the reasons to love visiting Vienna. It’s a city with a rich historical and cultural history, but also one that loves to have fun. Just enter one of the excellent coffee houses, experience great art, or go to one of the many and varied festivals. I have visited this historic city many times and I still find a host of things to love.
MUSIC, HISTORY, FOOD-ALL REASONS TO LOVE VISITING VIENNA
If you love classical music, you know that Vienna has been synonymous with music and was home to Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Johann Strauss. This outstanding musical heritage has been preserved right to the present day. There are many opportunities to experience the music made famous by these composers all over the city in classic venues.
Vienna is a city steeped in tradition and one of the most well-known is the Vienna Boys Choir. It is one of the oldest musical organizations and performs regularly in Vienna. If they have concerts scheduled when you are there, it’s a must see.
The history of Vienna is on display throughout the city and easily accessible. It includes historic building, statues and monuments and even the iconic coffee houses. History is alive here and waiting for you to discover it.
Lippizaners – These are the magnificent white stallions who, along with their riders perform in one of the most beautiful setting you can imagine. If you visit Vienna, you can experience this wonderful performance for yourself.
I promise you will be spellbound at the magical experience and it’s one you won’t forget. They are part of the Spanish Riding School based in Vienna. These beautiful horses have a rich history, not only of memorable performances, but how they were saved in World War II.
You can also take various tours to give you a full picture of the historic institution. The training schedules are open to the public and you can take a backstage tour which includes the stable area. Here you can see the horses up close and personal. I have done this tour several times and learn something new each time. What a fun way to spend time before a performance.
St. Stephens Cathedral – Consecrated in 1147, this church has seen many triumphs and tragedies, but continues to be a beacon for the faithful and is a beautiful testament to the resilience and perseverance of Austria and the citizens of Vienna.
Ringstrasse – This is considered the most beautiful boulevard in the world and is home not only to many of Vienna’s best-known sights, such as the Imperial Palace, the Kunst historisches Museum and the Natural History Museum, the Vienna State Opera and Parliament. Magnificent palaces, extensive parks and important monuments also line the “display window” of the former Danube monarchy.
Statues and Monuments – The people of Austria and Vienna don’t shy away from the unpleasant aspects of their history. There is one statue of particular note I was shown on a tour of the city which highlights this. It acknowledges that all history is worth noting. It relates to the Holocaust and serves as a reminder to all generations that some things must be remembered and avoided at all costs.
All that history, sightseeing and culture will most assuredly give you an appetite and this is the city for you.
Vienna is a city steeped in their own “coffee culture”. A description from the website for Cafe Central, one of the most famous and beautiful of the coffee houses in Vienna. seems to say it all:
Can you speak the language of coffee?
Any Viennese coffeehouse worth its salt, won’t serve you a pot of coffee and there certainly won’t be a frappuccino in sight. The Austrian capital has a coffee culture all of its own, with a few rather unusual creations. First things first: When a native of the city talks about “Obers” they mean cream. “Schlagobers” is fluffy whipped cream. It is served in a dollop known locally as a “Gupf”. “Schlag”, which also means a punch, is the Viennese word for whipped cream, so if the waiter asks if you want “Kaffee mit Schlag”, you don’t need to worry about getting a black eye. A “Grosser Mokka” (large mocha) is topped with a proper “Gupf” of whipped cream.
Christmas and Christmas Markets-One of the Best Reasons to Visit Vienna
As beautiful as Vienna is the rest of the year, Christmas is a magical time and one of the best reasons to love visiting Vienna. There are Christmas Markets galore and each one has a distinct character. One thing they all have in common, however, are the Gluhwein booths. Each vendor has their own “secret” recipe. Each year also features an original design for their mugs. You can keep your souvenir mug or return it and receive a refund on your purchase.
Thus fortified with a hot mug of Gluhwein, you can wander among stalls loaded with great homemade gift ideas, delicious sweets and hearty sausages. What more could you ask for. This isn’t just a tourist attraction; it’s a family tradition among the locals and you will see families and their wide-eyed children taking in the sights just as you are.
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