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  • Writer's pictureHakan Şule Efil

PLACES TO VISIT IN VIENNA.. February/2023

A journey awaits you where you will be saturated with art. We won't go into the details of transportation between them because some are as close as walking distance, and others can be easily reached by public transportation. We've compiled the places we visited for you, and this list emerged. Let's take a look together.


  1. Belvedere Palace

Located in the Landstrasse district, this palace consists of two parts and was built in the baroque style between 1668-1745 by Prince Eugene of Savoy for summer living. The baroque structures, Upper and Lower Belvedere, are connected to each other by a vast and stunning garden.


The most significant feature of this palace is that the agreement granting Austria its freedom after World War II was signed here on May 15, 1955.

You can wander in its garden without entering the palace; it has an incredibly beautiful garden, especially in spring and summer. If you insist on entering and exploring, there are three sections you can visit: Lower Belvedere, Upper Belvedere, and Belvedere 21. We estimate that exploring the entire palace will take a day. You can buy tickets separately for each of the three sections, or there are also 2 in 1 or 3 in 1 tickets available. For current ticket prices, you can visit the palace's website from here.

Today, this palace, also used as the Austrian Belvedere Gallery, houses very important historical paintings. For instance, you can see Gustav Klimt's work "The Kiss" here.

For location, click here.



2. Hofburg Imperial Palace

The Hofburg Palace, built in 1654, was preferred as the winter residence, while the Schönbrunn Palace was chosen as the summer residence. Although it was the former and main imperial palace of the Habsburg dynasty, since 1946, it has been used as the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria.

The French Queen Marie Antoinette was born in this palace.

The ticket price is 16€ per person, and it is definitely worth visiting. They don't allow you to tour inside with bags; they ask you to store your belongings in a locker and give you a number. Also, when you buy a ticket, they give you a tag. To take a closer look at the places inside, let's take you here, and for the location, let's take you here.

But the place where we left our hearts is the "Collection of Arms and Armor" section, especially the section where items seized from the Ottoman Army during the Second Siege of Vienna, armor belonging to Janissaries, and their helmets are displayed. This section excited us quite a bit.




3. Schönbrunn Palace

Let's start by saying that we didn't go here; we thought it was a bit far from where we stayed, and we also read comments that the garden is magnificent in summer, taking more than half of the day. But be sure to add it to your list; we recommend seeing it at least once since it was used as the summer palace of the Habsburg dynasty, just like Hofburg, as mentioned before. With 1,441 rooms and Baroque architecture, this palace is still used today as a crucial center for important meetings, including those of country leaders.

There's also an interesting story about this place. In 1956, Holy Roman Emperor II: Maximilian purchased a large floodplain on the Vienna River under a hill, tasted a bit of the water, liked it very much, and decided to build a fountain on this water. He named this fountain "Schönbrunn," which means beautiful fountain in German. In addition to this, he decorated the area for fencing. The palace, famous for its gardens and fountains, has one of the oldest zoos in Europe.

It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. Now, writing about it like this makes us a bit sad that we couldn't see it. We think you should go. :)

You can check the official website here for visiting hours, ticket prices, and more information. For location, click here.



4. St. Stephen's Cathedral

An impressive cathedral awaits you!

  • Built in 1147, the cathedral is the most important symbol of Vienna. Now, before exploring this place, there are a few historical facts that you must read, and we cannot pass without mentioning.

  • Vienna, which was besieged twice by the Ottoman Empire, was first besieged in 1529 by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, and the second siege took place in 1683 under the command of Merzifon Kara Mustafa Pasha.

  • In both sieges, both sides suffered significant losses, but after the heavy blow suffered by the Ottoman Empire following the second siege, its withdrawal was considered a defeat in Vienna. As a result, a statue was erected in St. Stephen's Cathedral depicting the Ottoman soldiers being trampled underfoot.


  • During the siege, the cathedral became a shelter for the people of Vienna, and the people stayed there for a long time to protect themselves from the war.

  • The metal items left behind by the retreating Ottoman Empire during the second siege were collected, melted, and the "Pummerin Bell," also known as the Turkish Bell, was made. In 1711, this bell was turned into an even larger bell.


  • The cathedral, which suffered extensive damage during World War II, had its roof burned, and the Pummerin Bell fell and shattered. A new bell, the country's largest bell, was made to replace the broken bell, and a painting was created on the bell depicting the Second Siege of Vienna, including the iron heads of the Janissaries.


The most interesting fact is this: In 1534, they appointed an officer to the bell tower of the cathedral. This officer was tasked with ringing the bell upon seeing the approach of the Ottomans to inform the people of Vienna. This duty was abolished in 1956, stating, "There is no longer an Ottoman threat."


Finally, this cathedral has four important towers. The Pummerin Bell is in the 68-meter tower on the north facade. The south tower is 136 meters long, and you can climb it with 343 steps. The entrance stairs open at 8:30 in the morning. It makes sense to climb early in the morning. The entrance is not from inside the cathedral; when you walk to the base of the tower on the right without entering the cathedral, you will see the entrance. You must climb this tower and see the city view. The entrance fee is 5.5 euros per person.


For location, click here.



5. Natural History Museum Vienna

This building, constructed in 1889, was commissioned by Emperor Franz Joseph. There are approximately 30 million items in the museum. In this museum, many minerals, meteor fragments found from different parts of the world, meteorites from Mars, fossils, and extinct animals are exhibited. The place that caught our attention the most is where dinosaur bones are displayed. Although they are replicas, the giant dinosaurs, which are animated, are quite impressive. The entrance fee is 16€ per person.

For detailed information, you can visit this link, and for the location, you can click on this link.

6. Hundertwasser House

"A painter dreams of houses and architectures in which he wants to be free and realizes them." says Austrian painter and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Just as he imagined, he created an apartment building that stands out from other houses with its crookedness and colorful exterior surfaces. You can't enter and explore inside the apartment, but there are a few souvenir shops, places where you can get coffee, and a post office underneath. Besides these, don't forget to take plenty of photos. Click here for the location.


7. Museumsquartier Spread across an area of 90,000 square meters, Museumsquartier is home to baroque buildings, modern architecture, and large art museums such as Leopold and MUMOK. It hosts contemporary exhibition spaces and festivals like Wiener Festwochen, an annual summer event. It's a place you can explore according to your interests. We chose to visit the Leopold Museum because we wanted to see Gustav Klimt's works. It is open every day except Tuesday, from 10:00 to 18:00. The entrance fee is 15€ per person. Outside, you can also take a souvenir photo with instant cameras for 3€.

If you want to check ticket availability and the current program, you can use this link, and for the location, you can click here.


8. Karl Church

In 1713, Emperor Charles VI wanted to build this church in honor of Charles Borromeo, who was a healer for those afflicted with leprosy between 1576 and 1578. The construction of the church began in 1716 and was completed in 1737. The church, with its Baroque architecture, served as the protective church of the empire until 1918.

The relief columns displaying excerpts from the life of Charles Borromeo in a spiral relief can be seen more closely from the attic. Additionally, the cityscape from the attic is also worth seeing.

This church hosts a regular Vivaldi concert every year, the reason being that after the composer Antonio Vivaldi died in Vienna on July 28, 1741, he was buried here, and his grave gradually disappeared.

You should definitely visit this church with its quite interesting architecture. Let's get the location from here. The entrance fee is 5€ per person.


9. Austrian National Library

Get ready for a library that looks like it's straight out of the movies! This publicly accessible and centrally academic library was the world's most comprehensive universal library from 1867 until the end of World War I, known as the Vienna Court Library. One of the main tasks of this library was to collect and archive all publications published in Austria, including electronic publications. The library houses over 12 million works, including 4 million books, with more than 200,000 historical books on wooden shelves.

The central dome of the library, with its interior design that will captivate your attention, depicts the deification of Emperor Charles VI in a fresco. In the center of the hall, there is a statue of Emperor Charles VI, and inside the hall, there are four Venetian baroque globes, two representing the earth and two representing the sky.

You must not miss this library with its captivating exterior architecture as well. The entrance fee is 10€ per person. We've left the link for the location here.


10. Spanish Riding School


Originally, it served as an equestrian institution for the imperial family's equestrian training. Since 2010, it has been declared as classical horsemanship and the Spanish Riding School, recognized as part of UNESCO's cultural heritage. You can purchase tickets to watch performances, also known as the ballet of the white horses. The horses start their training for the performances at the age of 4, and their training lasts for 6 years. Riders, on the other hand, undergo a 5-year training, while the horses receive the first year of training without riders. Instead of saying "next time," create the time and be sure to visit.


The location is here.


11. Flea Market at Naschmarkt


Naschmarkt, hosting a variety of world cuisines, features numerous market stands offering regional products, fruits and vegetables, meats, and seafood, among various other foods you can imagine. On Saturdays, Naschmarkt hosts a traditional flea market, spanning a length of 1.5 km. Additionally, there are markets where you can eat, drink, and spend time. It seemed a bit touristy for us, as we prefer more local places, so we contented ourselves with just seeing it. Nevertheless, we recommend checking it out while you're there. It's open on weekdays from 06:00 to 21:00, on Saturdays from 06:00 to 18:00. The market is closed on Sundays, and admission is free.

We've left the location here for you.



12. Judenplatz


In the Middle Ages, Judenplatz was the town square of the Jewish community in Vienna. The Jews began to settle here around 1150. The Holocaust Memorial on the square represents the 65,000 Austrian Jewish victims. If you wish to visit, there is also a Jewish Museum on the square. Click here for the location.


13. Rathaus


The municipal building, boasting neo-gothic architecture and employing over 2000 people actively, is situated in front of RathausPark. During January to March, a ice skating rink is set up in this park, allowing visitors to enjoy ice skating. Additionally, a Christmas market is set up in front of it. We happened to be there during the ice skating period, but it was quite crowded. There are fast-food places around where you can grab a bite. After all our tours, we had set aside some time to visit here. You can do the same, perhaps sit in the park for a while, grab a snack, and relax.


The location is here.



14. Votiv Kilisesi


This church, located right near the Rathaus, was funded by collecting money from the public. How? Let me tell you. :)


So, Emperor Joseph I's brother, Ferdinand Maximilian, made an appeal to the public, expressing gratitude to God because his brother survived an armed attack. He initiated the construction of the church by collecting funds from approximately 300,000 willing individuals.


Let's not forget to mention that with its twin towers reaching a height of 99 meters, it is the second tallest church in Vienna.


Click here for the location.



BONUS!



Before our travels, we usually book tickets for a nice event at the destination. In Vienna, since we wanted to listen to classical music in a church, we purchased concert tickets online for the dates we planned to visit. You can find Vienna Classical Music concerts here.


The concert we attended, named "Classic Ensemble Vienna," took place in St. Peter’s Church from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM. Unfortunately, due to restrictions on video and photography during the concert, we could only take pictures of the venue and our tickets before it started. Such events are definitely worth experiencing; they create beautiful memories.


We're leaving the location where the event took place here.


As for other places to visit in Vienna, you can explore the Vienna Opera House (we only saw it from the outside) and the Prater area, which we didn't get to visit.


For transportation and accommodation in Vienna, you can check here, and for dining options, you can explore here. :)


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