Visiting Vienna

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A view of the Palmenhaus in Burggarten with the Albertina in the background.

by Russ Ellis, ITN

In October ’02, I was a guest on a 4-night tour of Vienna jointly hosted by Austrian Airlines and the Vienna Tourist Board.

Baroque angels decorate a park in Vienna.

Our whirlwind tour included visits to the Austrian Gallery Belvedere, housed in the Belvedere Palace; the MuseumsQuartier Wien, the world’s ninth-largest arts complex; the Albertina, once a Habsburg residence and now home to a comprehensive collection of over a million drawings and prints, and the Kunsthistorische Museum.

And what would a trip to Vienna be without visits to some of the city’s charming coffeehouses, where variations of apple strudel are worth considerable study?!

Local wines: There is a local pride about having real live wineries inside Vienna’s boundaries. They were a scenic break from the urban view, and the hillsides were still green, even in late October. Grinzing is one of the city’s best-known districts for heuriger, or wine taverns. The taverns take their name from the young wine made from the most recent harvest, samples of which we were able to taste in the underground aging rooms.

Street near the MuseumsQuartier Wien.

Belvedere Palace: Instead of a pool house in your backyard, imagine having a palace to live in and a second palace for parties just across the lawn. (The lawn is about six city blocks across, so your party noise will not disturb your family sleeping in palace number one.) The “party palace” is now a museum of international fame.

Jewish memorial museum: In the center of a quiet square stands the Jewish Museum Vienna, a one-story, square, concrete building that is a very somber remembrance of the Austrian Jews killed by the Nazis. At the edge of the square is a building housing an underground exhibit of Jewish historical artifacts.

An old Viennese patrician house.

The Palmenhaus: We enjoyed lunch at the Palmenhaus in Burggarten, previously an indoor palm conservatory. Its tall-windowed wall now looks out to a parklike lawn and a very impressive palace nearby. The food and atmosphere were excellent.

The Ring: The protective inner wall of Old Vienna was demolished and replaced with a boulevard. The streetcar stops on this circular route provide a wonderful self-guided tour, with historic buildings at nearly every stop.

Accommodations: We stayed at the boutique hotel Das Triest (Wiedner Hauptstrasse 12; phone 43 1 589 18 0 or visit www.dastriest.at), used as a coach station on the route from Vienna to Trieste in the days of horse-powered travel. My third-story room had three windows with a view of a courtyard garden patio.

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.
A view of the Palmenhaus in Burggarten with the Albertina in the background.

by Russ Ellis, ITN

In October ’02, I was a guest on a 4-night tour of Vienna jointly hosted by Austrian Airlines and the Vienna Tourist Board.

Baroque angels decorate a park in Vienna.

Our whirlwind tour included visits to the Austrian Gallery Belvedere, housed in the Belvedere Palace; the MuseumsQuartier Wien, the world’s ninth-largest arts complex; the Albertina, once a Habsburg residence and now home to a comprehensive collection of over a million drawings and prints, and the Kunsthistorische Museum.

And what would a trip to Vienna be without visits to some of the city’s charming coffeehouses, where variations of apple strudel are worth considerable study?!

Local wines: There is a local pride about having real live wineries inside Vienna’s boundaries. They were a scenic break from the urban view, and the hillsides were still green, even in late October. Grinzing is one of the city’s best-known districts for heuriger, or wine taverns. The taverns take their name from the young wine made from the most recent harvest, samples of which we were able to taste in the underground aging rooms.

Street near the MuseumsQuartier Wien.

Belvedere Palace: Instead of a pool house in your backyard, imagine having a palace to live in and a second palace for parties just across the lawn. (The lawn is about six city blocks across, so your party noise will not disturb your family sleeping in palace number one.) The “party palace” is now a museum of international fame.

Jewish memorial museum: In the center of a quiet square stands the Jewish Museum Vienna, a one-story, square, concrete building that is a very somber remembrance of the Austrian Jews killed by the Nazis. At the edge of the square is a building housing an underground exhibit of Jewish historical artifacts.

An old Viennese patrician house.

The Palmenhaus: We enjoyed lunch at the Palmenhaus in Burggarten, previously an indoor palm conservatory. Its tall-windowed wall now looks out to a parklike lawn and a very impressive palace nearby. The food and atmosphere were excellent.

The Ring: The protective inner wall of Old Vienna was demolished and replaced with a boulevard. The streetcar stops on this circular route provide a wonderful self-guided tour, with historic buildings at nearly every stop.

Accommodations: We stayed at the boutique hotel Das Triest (Wiedner Hauptstrasse 12; phone 43 1 589 18 0 or visit www.dastriest.at), used as a coach station on the route from Vienna to Trieste in the days of horse-powered travel. My third-story room had three windows with a view of a courtyard garden patio.