Vienna is one of the world’s great capitals—not only the seat of government, but a culture capital par excellence. The city offers the opportunity to enjoy high-quality musical performances alongside Austria’s fascinating, complex history and troves of art treasures. Perhaps you've spent a day here on a river cruise, visiting the palace--but there's more to see.
Some of my favorite Vienna cultural tips:
Belvedere Palace: This palatial (literally) museum complex houses an important collection of international art in an idyllic setting among gardens and a reflecting pool. The Belvedere's Austrian masterpieces are many, including multiple works by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Oskar Kokoschka.
The M.A.K (Museum für angewandte Kunst): This museum is devoted to decorative/applied arts and design, with extensive collections from the art nouveau and art deco periods, during which Vienna was dominant in those fields. The MAK has the world's largest collection of Wiener Werkstätte objects. If you love the Neue Galerie in New York, the M.A.K. is a must-see.
The Musikverein: Home to some of Europe's finest music performances, this traditional "shoebox" hall has acoustics considered to be among the best in the world. A bit to the west on the Ringstrasse you will also find the imposing and grand Staatsoper Wien. Even if you don't attend an opera, do take a tour of the historic main theater. Ask Mon Voyage about available recitals and concerts at the Konzerthaus and Schönbrunn Palace, too.
At intermission, you may have enjoyed a bit of bubbly, quite likely a glass of Sekt (maybe with a splash of aromatic elderflower liqueur). Why not also visit Schlumberger Cellar World? These labyrinthine tunnels under the city streets store several million bottles of Sekt. Schlumberger uses the same traditional method as Champagne to create Austria's favorite wine. You'll end your tour with a tasting, of course.
Favorite walking tours would include one with a focus on Sigmund Freud, Mozart, Beethoven, Klimt, or perhaps an exploration of Vienna's place in Art Deco history. You will find "Vienna 1900" to be a strong cultural touchstone throughout this magnificent city, in addition to its prominent displays of Hapsburg imperial history and architecture along the Ringstrasse and elsewhere.
The Christmas markets of Vienna are duly celebrated, but the Easter markets are also a delightful diversion in the spring. The markets in both seasons feature crafts, music, food and beverages, and a healthy helping of cuteness. As Napoleon Bonaparte said, when you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna!
Mon Voyage is French for "My Trip"--and your trip is all about you: your travel style, your interests, your budget.
I plan customized travel itineraries for history, arts, and culture enthusiasts to destinations in Europe and beyond. I also offer escorted Small Group Trips, where you will engage with other curious travelers as we explore the world together.
Let's fill your dance card and make that dream trip to Vienna come to life. Contact me today if I can help you with Austria or any other travel planning, domestic or international.
Last but not least: never forget that looking forward to travel has been scientifically proven to be good for your mental health!