Monday, 23 January 2012

At the heart of Europe

Parliament Building (Reichstag)
There are some cities which leave an impression if you visit them just once. One such city is Vienna. Located in the heart of Europe in the eastern corner of Austria, near the borders of Slovakia and Czech Republic, it is a delightful place to visit, especially for a music or history connoisseur.

Rathaus Square
I have visited the city twice, once a planned visit with my parents and another alone. There s enough architecture and history in this city to stay here for at least 3-4 days. Most of the main city sights are around the Inner Stadt, a wide tree-lined road. The parliament building stands out as one of the grandest buildings on this avenue, commanding absolute respect. A flight of curved staircases leads to the main entrance of the building, while beautiful sculptures adorn beneath it.

The St Stephens Cathedral is another important landmark in the centre of the inner city. The spire of the cathedral is so tall that you have to crane your neck to see it. Being at the centre of power for the Hogsburg royal empire for decades, a visit to the city would nt be complete without the Schronnbrun Palace. The palace is not very grand architecturally, but there s enough history inside to keep you engaged, especially if you eavesdrop on the guided tours :).

I feel visiting a city, has more to do with the culture rather than going on hop-on hop-offs and peering at the buildings from the cosy comforts of a travel bus. Attending a concert at the Vienna Opera should also figure in your travel itinerary. Western classical music may not be everyone s cup of tea, but the experience is what really matters.

St Stephens Sqaure
Getting around the city is not a problem, thanks to Vienna s amazing public transport system, with trams, metro lines, and buses. There are two direct train connections to the airport too. Accommodation could be a problem in the summer months, but if you are willing to stay at youth hostels, you could get a good deal. I had stayed at Red Carpet Hostels. Located conveniently near the West Bahnof railway station and not far from InnerStadt, the rooms were pretty neat and quite affordable.

Flying over the Danube
Thanks to time and space constraints, I havent done much justice to the city's innumerable sights in this blog. There s much more than what meets the eye :)

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