• Austria's news in English

Five Viennese 'twin attractions'

The Local · 21 Apr 2015, 09:53

Published: 21 Apr 2015 09:53 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Schönbrunn / Hermesvilla

Tourist magnet Schönbrunn has been outshining a quiet hideaway just a few kilometres away - something locals and insiders are quite happy about. The romantic 19th century villa surrounded by the lush parkland of the Lainzer Tiergarten wildlife preserve was designed as a romantic bolt hole for Empress Sisi (although she much preferred to travel through Europe). Almost untrodden by tourists, Hermesvilla showcases the private lifestyle of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth (Sisi) of Austria-Hungary. Expect delicate frescoes, splendid beds and furniture, lavish fabrics and home accessories, and even Gustav Klimt artwork.

Location: Lainzer Tiergarten, 1130 Wien

Belvedere / Winter Palace

Photo: Vienna Unwrapped

Even if you have already seen Prince Eugene of Savoy’s baroque Belvedere Palace, don’t miss his smaller winter residence, which is just off Kärntner Strasse in Vienna’s 1st district. The winter residence’s ten state rooms deliver a boutique experience of a princely town palace. Highlights are the Yellow, Blue and Red Salons with their blue and gold-coloured silk tapestries, gold-plated chandeliers, patterned parquet floors, and mythological figures. The Gold Cabinet and the floor-to-ceiling painting covering three walls, showing Eugene’s battle to save the Empire from the Ottomans, is also well worth seeing.

Location: Himmelpfortgasse 8, 1010 Wien

Stephansdom / Minoritenkirche

Photo: Vienna Unwrapped

Like Stephansdom, Minoritenkirche dates from the (late) Middle Ages. Even though this church is around 140 years younger, it looks older. Whilst Stephansdom’s gothic interiors were updated with baroque elements, Minoritenkirche was widely left in its original style. The church’s highlight is the large mosaic copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. Enjoy its mystic ambience on your own or during one of the small concerts which take place there occasionally.

Location: Minoritenplatz, 1010 Vienna

Wiener Prater / Böhmischer Prater

Despite its historic big wheel, the so-called ‘Wurstel Prater’ has lost much of the nostalgic charm it became famous for and its loud brashness is not to everyone’s taste. But if you like organ grinders, Punch and Judy shows, and traditional merry-go-rounds, visit Prater’s little brother, the Bohemian Prater (Böhmischer Prater). Located on the southern fringe of Vienna, it received its name from the Bohemian immigrants who worked in the nearby brick yards. In recent years, the Bohemian Prater has added some modern attractions, but tradition still feels strong here. The park is located in the Laaer Wald, a popular recreational area.

Location: Laaer Wald 216, 1010 Wien

Story continues below…

Staatsoper / Volksoper

Few people are aware that Vienna actually has four opera houses. The Volksoper is probably the most popular among locals. It was originally designed as an opera house for ‘the people’ whereas the State Opera was reserved for Vienna’s aristocracy. Today, some performances at the Volksoper get better reviews than those at the Staatsoper. It specialises in popular operas like Mozart’s Magic Flute and Verdi’s Il Trovatore. Volksoper is the best place in Vienna to watch operettas such as Franz Léhar’s The Merry Widow.

Location: Währinger Strasse 78, 1180 Wien

Viennese native Barbara Cação has her own blog, Vienna Unwrapped, which highlights popular attractions such as the Vienna State Opera, as well as real insider tips.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Verdict on swimming pool rape case overturned
The Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna. Photo: Wikimedia

An Iraqi refugee who was jailed after claiming it was a sexual emergency when he raped a boy in a swimming pool has had the sentence overturned.

Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available