Like most people I have come to Vienna with a vivid image in my mind. I was expecting a fairy-tale city from past times. With monumental Habsburg palaces. Aristocratic, richly ornamented mansions. Old ladies in fur coats, crowded cafes, Gothic cathedrals, trotting white horses and high baroque churches.
All of my expectations about Vienna have been fulfilled. I was not disappointed, even more, I was amazed and totally in love with the imperial nostalgia which hides behind every corner of the Inner Stadt.
Imperial grandeur is ubiquitous here and carefully preserved by the tradition-loving Viennese.
Sigmund Freud, wiener schnitzel, Schiele, St. Stephan’s Cathedral, coffeehouses, Klimt and leafy boulevards are just a few from the countless list of people and things which Vienna is known for.
Especially its musical heritage is legendary.
Haydn, Beethoven, Mahler, Bruckner, Mozart, Brahms, Strauss and, my favourite, Schubert, all lived in the city, writing music that is played in the biggest concert halls around the world.
It is the musical tradition – the opera, symphony, philharmonic orchestras and the waltz that are the biggest legacy of this city. Strolling down the narrow streets of the First District, one can almost hear the classical compositions in the clatter of horse carriages and drops of rain.
Viennese coffeehouses, it seems like I could write a separate post about them. If you are looking for chandelier-lit splendour or wood-panelled coziness, this city is the place to be.
I think that contemplating the world over a newspaper and Brauner (espresso with milk) is an essential experience to have in this capital of classical music.
The mornings here concentrate around shopping at the local markets with pauses for tea at Demel’s rococo salon.
While a creamy cake at the Mozart Cafe makes a perfect start for any visit to the Albertina Museum.
In the late afternoon in Vienna after hours of sightseeing, rest your mind and legs at the Hawelka Cafe where you can spoil your palate with delicious plum cake.
In the evening stop at Delia’s Cafe for a glass of wine and a great chat with a friend.
Vienna is truly an outstanding city but the reason why I will be returning here over and over again is the ART and the attitude toward it.
The city map is spotted with little museum icons. During the five days of my stay in Vienna I got to visit only the biggest and most shining names, like, and Museum Quartier, which is the world’s largest art complex with the Leopold Museum and MUMOK.
The exhibition dedicated to the early work of Egon Schiele at Leopold, astonishing. The incredible art collection with superb works of Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka, staggering.
Albertina showed international modern art with the key pieces of French Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, German Expressionism, Fauvism and the Russian avant-garde as a permanent collection. And its exhibition paying tribute to contemporary art, impressive.
And last but not least, my beloved Dali was confronted with Louis Bourgeois, Glenn Brown, Markus Schinwald and Francesco Vezzoli at the ‘Le surrealisme c’est moi!’ exhibition at Kunsthalle Wien displaying paintings, film videos, sculptures, films and drawings – outstanding.