As soon as you arrive in Vienna, a journey through time starts, where the past and the present combine right in front of your eyes. The architecture is absolutely stunning, and the sound of the horses making their way through the city center, opens a gateway to a different time. A place which screams history!
Some of the world’s biggest musicians (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schuber, Johann Strauss and many others) called Vienna their home, and after a few hours spent in the gorgeous city, I could see why.
Combining a walk through the center, with a visit at Empress Sisi’s palace, and a day of shopping at the famous Christmas Market, this city has something which always makes me want to come back.
The Schönbrunn Palace, meaning “beautiful spring“, is Empress Sisi’s former imperial summer residence. Built in the 1740’s, the Palace is currently one of the most important historical monuments in Austria. Starting 1996, it’s part of the UNESCO World Heritage together with its beautiful gardens.
I’m not sure if the picture gives you a correct feeling about how big this place really is, but believe me, a few hours are not enough to see everything the Palace has to offer.
The carriage museum, the roman ruins, the palm house and the desert houses are only a few of the main attractions. Even more, during winter, Schönbrunn garden is also home of a Christmas Market, which is guaranteed to get you into the spirit of the season.
Surrounded by an enormous garden (over a square kilometer), which hosts the oldest Zoo in the world, this place is absolutely fascinating, and definitely worth a visit.
The Christmas Market
Considering that the first Viennese Christmas Market took place in 1298, we can say Vienna has a long tradition of bringing the seasonal joy into our homes. The most famous Christmas Market takes place during November and December, in front of the City Hall (Rathaus) located on the Rathausplatz. There are a few more markets scattered around Vienna, though, competing with the latter, in Schönbrunn and on Spittelberg. The aromas of the Christmas delights, combined with the seasonal decorations and wood toys displayed in the small wooden market stalls, have their own magical power.
If you love Christmas, there’s no better place to be during winter, than in Vienna. In case you decide to visit, don’t forget to try the famous Wiener Schnitzel, the hot baked potatoes, roasted chestnuts, and a glass of wine, for which the city is so famous for.