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by Sophie Schmidt
 
 
When foreigners visit Vienna, they usually start by the Hofburg. It is over 600 years old and belonged to the famous Austrian King family, the Habsburger. They were also the ones that created the spectacular Stephansdom, a cathedral in gothic style, 219 feet tall and the emblem of Vienna.

A little further outside, Vienna has two of the most beautiful buildings Europe has to offer: the Castle Schönbrunn and the Palace of Belvedere. Emperor Franz Joseph I had a street built in order to connect the city (Stephansdom, Hofburg) with the castles (Schönbrunn and Belvedere) lying further in the country side. That famous street is called Ringstrasse and on its side are the most important and impressive buildings of Vienna: the Opera, museums, the Parliament, the City Hall, the Burgtheater, and also the University.

Music everywhere
Vienna is called the world capital of music and it deserves it. Famous composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, and the king of valse, Johann Strauss, lived in Vienna and found their last peace at the Central Cemetery. Their symphonies are played everyday in the state opera and the “Volksoper” (public opera), in churches, at balls, in Hofburg, the coffee houses, and the streets.

For those who want to see Vienna without walking, there is a special attraction. The Fiakers, old-fashioned sleighs carried by two horses. The drivers are charming old Austrian men and the sight-seeing tour develops into a show.

For those who are not so familiar with horses, there is the possibility to travel on the public transportation system. Vienna has one of the best transportation systems in Europe. The subways and trams run until 12.30 p.m., and there are also buses, called The Nightline, that come every 20 minutes. They go the same direction as the subways and trams until 5.30 a.m., and then subways and trams run again.

Coffee time
The coffee houses are cultural attractions. Some of them, like the Café in Schönbrunn, Café Weimar by Volksoper, or Café Central have the same flair they did 300 years ago. These coffee houses are famous for their Sachertorte, the Austrian chocolate cake. The coffee houses of Vienna are traditional; musicians, architects, and artists sat there for hours and chatted. That is what the Viennese still do today.

Shopping
Vienna has a lot of great shopping streets. There are no malls or big shopping centers, but there are a lot of big and small shops alongside Mariahilfer Street or Kärnter Street next to Stephansdom. There are hundreds of different stores, everybody can find what they want, need, or desire. The difference between Mariahilfer Street and Kärnter Street is that Kärnter Street is more sophisticated. The cafés are a little more expensive and Mariahilfer Street has a bigger range of products, also there are a lot of little side streets that have special product shops.

Dining
The best and cheapest place to have dinner in Vienna is called Centimeter, with five restaurants. This traditional Viennese restaurant offers huge meals like “Wiener Schnitzel,” four-foot-long sausages, or a special chili con carne. For those who go in a group, it’s best to have the five-foot butt beer and the wheelbarrow full of food, including steak, schnitzel, pasta, fries, salad, and much more. Reservations are recommended though, because Centimeter is always full, which contributes to a great atmosphere.

Night life
The night life is vast in Vienna. Apart from the cultural attractions like opera, cabaret, theatre, and ballet, young people will find Vienna exciting. Traditional bars, student bars, Irish pubs, and sophisticated bars should be just the beginning of the evening. The most famous place in Vienna is in the center, the Bermuda Triangle. The name describes the location perfectly. It is located at Sweden Place, and consists of about 30 clubs and bars, one next to the other. It is said, that once someone submerges in the Bermuda triangle, they disappear, and when they emerge, that person usually does not remember anything. Apart from that, there are a lot of other clubs one should try out when visiting Vienna. Flex is famous for its drum’n bass concerts, Soho is a famous student club, B72 for its international artist concerts and Volksgarten, U4, and Passage are the most famous clubs in Vienna. There are also various karaoke bars that are a lot of fun.

All in all, Vienna is an exciting city day and night. It includes historic art, architecture, and music from centuries ago, has an original flair and can satisfy everybody’s desires. No matter what season, Vienna is always an unforgettable adventure.

 

 

Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.

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