VIENNA: Getting Lost Looking For Palaces

December 14, 2014  •  7 Comments

Photos taken / written by JENNIFER MAHON  |  This post was read 1646 times

Belvedere PalaceBelvedere Palace, Vienna, Austria, 2014

DAY 9 ...OF 19…..From Kutna Hora, we drive the 280 km south (approx. 3 hours) to Vienna, Austria.

The drive was pretty uneventful, except about 2 hours into the drive, just after the small city of Chvalovice, we come across a set of buildings that seem to have come straight out of a fantasy film – dragons, gargolyes, sword-yielding statues of brawny men and busty women. Seems the weird complex is called Excalibur City and consists of a theme park, casinos, duty-free shops, strip bars and cheesy motels. I regret we didn’t pull over to snap a few pics, so I’ll link you guys to the location (in the middle of absolute nothingness) and the few photos that are out there (Google Images).

So we get to our hotel in Vienna, the NH Belvedere, which was quite long, consisting of many, many wrong turns trying to get to it. I blame the GPS and my husband.

We drop off our bags, park the car and set out on foot to explore the city.

Map of this insane trip


YOU'VE GOTTA SEE......


SCHWARZENBERG PALACE 
About a 5 min walk down Rennweg street, we stumble upon an iron gate that leads us into the middle of the gardens of Schwarzenberg Palace and the neighbouring Belvedere Palace. Built in the 18th century as a summer palace for the Schwarzenberg family, the palace is a masterpiece of baroque architecture, designed by Vienna’s famous architects Lucas von Hildebrandt and Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. We didn’t go in, looking from the outside was enough for us!

BELVEDERE PALACE 
A baroque palace complex built by Prince Eugene of Savoy in the 3rd district of Vienna. It’s free to walk through the expansive baroque gardens with beautiful statues, ornamental ponds and beautiful flower beds. Again, we didn’t go inside, although we hear it has an impressive art collection.

VIENNA STATE OPERA HOUSE 
A magnificent building located in the heart of Vienna, it’s hard to take your eyes off of it. We did not have the pleasure of attending a performance here (quite expensive), but viewing the splendour of the outside of the building was enough. Guided tours of the building are also available for a small fee.

ST. STEPHEN'S CATHEDRAL 
Walking up a bit more, and we come across St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom).  Honestly, for me, it was just another cathedral (probably the 20th one we’ve seen so far on this trip). Just another cathedral or not, it is a landmark in Vienna and located smack dab in the middle of a busy shopping square. It did have a beautiful tiled roof, and I hear the views from the top of the towers are amazing.

PALAIS FERSTEL, FREYUNG PASSAGE 
If you end up around Freyung Square, you should have a peek in at the Palais Ferstel and walk through the Freyung Passage. The impressive building houses Café Central, one of Vienna’s most famous restaurants. The Danube Mermaid Fountain (Donaunixenbrunnen) inside near the courtyard is quite impressive and stands about 6 metres high.

HOFBURG IMPERIAL PALACE 
The inspiration for my blog title, I was so fed up of walking in the rain trying to find the Hofburg that I was ready to give up and call it a night. After circling around many times trying to find this place (you’d think it would be easy to find in the middle of the city), we finally get there and of course, it closed. The views from outside though, especially around sunset and just after some annoying rain, takes your breath away. It was worth the visit just to see the exterior of the building.

SCHONBRUNN PALACE 
You can’t walk to Schönbrunn from the city centre, so we decided to drive to this one first thing in the morning the next day on our way to Budapest. Didn’t quite plan to go inside, but it looked so magnificent, and since you have to pay to get into the gardens as well, we opted to wait the 45 min in line to book a tour. An impressive palace, and well worth the visit. You’re able to get a good feel of the Hapsburgs and how soap-opra-ish their lives were.  The palace itself has 1441 rooms, all ultra-lavishly furnished. The gardens are huge – with a maze, tree lined walkways, beautiful fountains and, of course the Gloriette on the hill in the back (which when I saw how far the walk was, I decided I wasn’t going to do that in the rain!).

Schwarzenberg Palace

Schwarzenberg Palace, ViennaSchwarzenberg Palace Fountains and gardens, Schwarzenberg Palace

Schwarzenberg Palace, ViennaFountains and gardens, Schwarzenberg Palace Gardens, Schwarzenberg Palace

Schwarzenberg Palace, ViennaGardens, Schwarzenberg Palace Schwarzenberg Palace

Schwarzenberg Palace, ViennaSchwarzenberg Palace Gardens, Belvedere Palace

Belvedere PalaceGardens, Belvedere Palace Fountain, Belvedere Palace

Belvedere PalaceFountain, Belvedere Palace Gardens and Fountain, Belvedere Palace

Belvedere PalaceGardens and Fountain, Belvedere Palace Statue in the Gardens, Belvedere Palace

Belvedere Palace Statue in the GardensStatue in the Gardens, Belvedere Palace

Statue in the Gardens, Belvedere Palace

Belvedere PalaceStatue in the Gardens, Belvedere Palace Belvedere Palace, front of the building

Belvedere PalaceBelvedere Palace, front of the building Belvedere PalaceBelvedere Palace, front of the building Streets of Vienna

Streets of Vienna Vienna State Opera House

Vienna State OperaVienna State Opera House St. Stephen's Cathedral

St. Stephen's Cathedral, ViennaSt. Stephen's Cathedral Some random shoe shop

Vienna StreetsSome random shoe shop Vienna SouvenirsVienna Souvenirs, Vienna, Austria, 2014

StephansPlatz

ViennaStephansPlatz Vienna, Austria, 2014 Votivkirche (Votive Church) 

Votivkirche (Votive Church)

Palais Ferstel, Freyung Passage Palais Ferstel, ViennaPalais Ferstel, Freyung Passage Architecture, ViennaArchitecture Hofburg Palace, Horses 

Hofburg Palace, HorsesHofburg Palace, Horses Hofburg Palace

Hofburg PalaceHofburg Palace Mozart Statue, Vienna

Mozart, ViennaMozart Statue, Vienna Vienna Streets at night

Vienna StreetsVienna Streets at night

Train Tracks we came along while walking to Schonbrunn

Train Tracks, ViennaTrain Tracks we came along while walking to Schonbrunn Schönbrunn Palace

Schonbrunn Palace, ViennaSchönbrunn Palace Schonbrunn Palace, ViennaSchönbrunn Palace Schönbrunn Palace Gardens

Schonburnn Palace Gardens, ViennaSchönbrunn Palace Gardens Gloriette, Schönbrunn Palace Gardens

Gloriette, Schonbrunn Palace Gardens, ViennaGloriette, Schönbrunn Palace Gardens Gloriette, Schonbrunn Palace Gardens, ViennaGloriette, Schonbrunn Palace Gardens, Vienna, Austria, 2014 Schönbrunn Palace Gardens 

Schonbrunn Palace Gardens, ViennaSchönbrunn Palace Gardens Feeling quite at home looking out at the Schönbrunn Palace Gardens. Perhaps I was a Hapsburg in another life. 

Schonbrunn Palace Gardens, ViennaFeeling quite at home looking out at the Schönbrunn Palace Gardens. Perhaps I was a Hapsburg in another life. Schönbrunn Palace Gardens

Schonbrunn Palace, ViennaSchönbrunn Palace Gardens Vienna, Austria, 2014 Schonburnn Palace, Horses, ViennaSchonburnn Palace, Horses, Vienna Schönbrunn Palace Gardens, funny statue of Brutus and Lucretia, which I've named "But FIRST, Let me take a selfie!"

Schönbrunn Palace Gardens, ViennaSchönbrunn Palace Gardens, funny statue of Brutus and Lucretia, which I've named "But FIRST, Let me take a selfie!" Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace Schönbrunn Palace Gardens and the Gloriette

Schönbrunn Palace Gardens and the Gloriette Vienna, Austria, 2014

 


YOU'VE GOTTA EAT AT......


ITALIAN RESTAURANT 
Honestly, can’t remember the name of this place, but it was somewhere on Bräunerstraße (many Italian restos on this street). We ended up here for dinner - food was pretty damn good.

CAFÉ SACHER
So, it is a totally touristy thing to do, but could not help myself when we ended up walking by it. Right across from the Opera House, it is a must, as it’s one of the most famous cafes/hotels in the world. Of course I ordered the Sacher Torte, which I know this is blasphemy, but I didn’t like it all that much. Don’t remember what my hubs had, but it was layered, had apricots and it was divine. Gorgeous inside, and the staff is excellent.

SCHWARZENBURG CAFÉ 
We went here for breakfast, very opulent looking place, the service however, could’ve used a little bit of friendliness. Food was ok, kind of pricey for eggs, croissants and jam, and honestly we were still hungry after we left and ended buying something at Illy down the street afterwards.

Some Italian Resto in Vienna

Some Italian Resto in Vienna, Austria, 2014 Vienna, Austria, 2014 Café Sacher, Vienna

Cafe Sacher, ViennaCafé Sacher, Vienna Hotel Sacher, ViennaHotel-Café Sacher, Vienna Sacher Torte

Sacher Torte Sacher Torte, ViennaSacher Torte, ViennaVienna, Austria, 2014 Cafe Sacher, ViennaCafe Sacher, ViennaVienna, Austria, 2014 Schwarzenberg Café

Schwarzenberg Café Café Schwarzenberg, ViennaCafé Schwarzenberg, ViennaVienna, Austria, 2014 Café Schwarzenberg, ViennaCafé Schwarzenberg, ViennaVienna, Austria, 2014 Café Schwarzenberg, ViennaCafé Schwarzenberg, ViennaVienna, Austria, 2014 Café Schwarzenberg, ViennaCafé Schwarzenberg, ViennaVienna, Austria, 2014 Café SchwarzenbergCafé SchwarzenbergVienna, Austria, 2014 Café Schwarzenberg, ViennaCafé Schwarzenberg, ViennaVienna, Austria, 2014


Comments

@viennacitytours via Twitter(non-registered)
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michaelray via Instagram(non-registered)
Love it!
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Matthew Askari(non-registered)
Very cool that sacher torte
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