Five ways to discover 'secret' Vienna
Blogger Fabio Aromatici, who runs the Secret Vienna blog, shares his tips on how to discover some of the best kept secrets in the Austrian capital.
Do you enjoy Vienna? Want to make the most out of your time and appreciate the beauty you see all around you? Follow these simple rules:
Go to the same place during different hours or seasons because Vienna is ever changing, weather included, and full of little details. Make sure you do not miss any of them. See how different monuments look in day or night like the monument to Austrian composer Alban Berg in front of the city's Opera House in the picture below.
Photo: Secret Vienna
Take a walk without a camera first, maybe you can write notes, draw a sketch or snap a couple of memo-pictures with your phone. Come back later with your camera and do your best.
Do not be afraid to enter buildings or courtyards when the doors are open. Mysteries and surprises might be only few steps away! Look at how magical the well-known "Schweizer Hof" (below) becomes when it is empty. Ask for permission, be polite, and speak German if you can while asking questions. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the answers you get and discover much more information you would have otherwise missed.
Schweizerhof. Photo: Secret Vienna
Walk or use a bus or a tram. Just do not "take tram 71" as the typical Viennese joke goes. Vienna is well connected with public transportation. Slow down. Explore. Discover different areas of the city and connect them in your mental map to make sense of it all and move from one place to another in a shorter time, as a Viennese would.
Read, read, read. Brochures, leaflets, books, internet but most of all signs, plaques and architectural details. It is all out there. Available. There is plenty to read in some elements of St. Stephan's facade, for example.
Enjoy it. Savour it. Love it. Vienna waits for you...