Sunday, May 29, 2016

My 5 Favourite Royal Things to See in Vienna

How time flies! It's been a year since I visited Vienna and while it rained for almost a week straight, it still remains one of my favourite holidays ever. Vienna simply is a city of my kind, full of history, architecture and culture. There are so many things to do and see, that one week (with trips to Bratislava and west of Vienna) is in no way sufficient to see all of it. Still, here are my five favourite royal things to do and see in Vienna - in no particular order as that would just be cruel!
Gartenpalais Liechtenstein
Vienna can be full of tourists and some of its most famous attractions *cough* Schloss Schönbrunn *cough* can even be overrun by tourists. And so the Gartenpalais Liechtenstein was a breath of fresh air. The tours aren't exactly cheap but they were also some of the best I ever had! They started with a glass of bubbly, continued with amazing art and had some of the most knowledgeable guides I ever experienced. (And yes, I enjoyed this one even a little more than the Stadtpalais. Call me crazy but that's the way it is.)
Kaisergruft
This one is kind of morbid but still shouldn't be missed when visiting Vienna: The Imperial Crypt, or Kaisergruft - the final resting place of twelve emperors, 19 empresses, and dozens and dozens of other Habsburgs. The veneration of the dead and how Habsburg rulers tried to immortalise themselves by coming up with more and more elaborate sarcophaguses is quite impressive. Also not to be missed: Those who went in the opposite direction and have some of the least adorned coffins you can imagine.
Albertina
I love art but I can also be quite easily overwhelmed by art museums featuring walls with three rows of master paintings on top of each other. For me, art needs room to breath - and the Albertina offers exactly that room (as does the Upper Belvedere, another palace turned museum I enjoyed immensely). The former palatial home of Duke Albert of Saxe-Teschen, a noted art collector who started the largest and finest collection of old master prints and drawings in the world, is now a noted art museum. A special treat for me: The Batliner Collection featuring impressionist and early 20th century art, which are some of my favourites.
Hofburg
A visit to Vienna wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Hofburg. The former city residence of the Habsburg rulers houses not one but roughly about five museums. I visited the Sisi Museum, the Silver Treasury and Imperial Treasury. As I do particularly like things that sparkle, the Imperial Treasury certainly was my favourite. And while you are at the Hofburg, also stop by the nearby Café Demel for a piece of the famous Sachertorte cake.
Schloss Schönbrunn
Even though this one is horribly crowded on most days of the year and you basically get shoved through the first few rooms, Schloss Schönbrunn is still a must for every Vienna visitor who is interested in royal history. Of the 1441 rooms of the former (mostly) summer residence of Habsburg family, you can tour some fourty. If the weather is just a little less windy and rainy than it was the day I visited, I bet it is also great fun to chose walk around and enjoy all the glorious views the park offers over Vienna.

Have you visited Vienna? 
And what are your favourite royal sights that no visitor should miss?

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