1. Vienna Opera House Address :Opernring 2, Vienna Hours :Guided tours given on most days, before or after performances Admition : Tickets range from € 2 - € 192 ATTRACTION KEYWORDS: Cultural Experience, Live Music Staatsopera, the Vienna Opera, began in the early 18th century. Since then it has continuously produced performances every year. The building was opened in 1869, part of Franz Joseph's expansion of Vienna which has left such a magnificent legacy of grand buildings in the city. There are guided tours, or, better still, attend one of the 300 performances held every year in an every changing program. A visit to the new Viennese State Opera Museum can be combined with a guided tour of the Opera House. The museum has photos, costumes, playbills, models of stage sets and information on every performance of the last fifty years 2. Belvedere Palace (Schloss belvedere) Addres :Fasangasse 18, Vienna Hours :Open daily 10am - 6pm
Hours :Guided tours given on most days, before or after performances
Admition : Tickets range from € 2 - € 192
ATTRACTION KEYWORDS: Cultural Experience, Live Music
Staatsopera, the Vienna Opera, began in the early 18th century. Since then it has continuously produced performances every year. The building was opened in 1869, part of Franz Joseph's expansion of Vienna which has left such a magnificent legacy of grand buildings in the city. There are guided tours, or, better still, attend one of the 300 performances held every year in an every changing program.
A visit to the new Viennese State Opera Museum can be combined with a guided tour of the Opera House. The museum has photos, costumes, playbills, models of stage sets and information on every performance of the last fifty years
2. Belvedere Palace (Schloss belvedere)
Addres :Fasangasse 18, Vienna
Hours :Open daily 10am - 6pm
ATTRACTION KEYWORDS:Cultural Experience, Museum
The two Baroque palaces were built in the 18th century as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy. They are known as the Upper Belvedere - full of huge rooms for entertaining - and the Lower Belvedere - the former living quarters - and are set in huge and magnificent gardens. They are considered to be the best Baroque palace in the world.
The Upper Belvedere is now a gallery showing Austrian art from the Middle Ages to the present day, including the world's best collection of Gustav Klimt. Klimt's famous golden The Kiss is here. In The Orangery next to the Lower Belvedere houses changing exhibitions, and in the Lower Belvedere you can see the prince's living quarters and staterooms, plus the stables.
The classical Belvedere Palace building with fountains in Vienna, Austria
Belvedere Palace front in Vienna
3. Tiergarten Schonbrunn
ADDRESS:Maxingstrasse 13b, Vienna
HOURS:Open Apr - Sept 9am - 6:30pm, Mar & Oct 9am - 5:30pm, Feb 9am - 5pm, Nov - Jan 9am - 4:30pm
Good for Families, Good for Kids, Nature & Wildlife,Zoo
Founded in 1752 as a menagerie by Franz Stephan, Tiergarten Schönbrunn, or Vienna Zoo, is the oldest zoo in the world. It houses some 750 animals of all shapes and sizes; the most recent arrivals to excite crowds were giant pandas in 2003 although lemurs, armadillos and baby Serbian tigers spurred plenty of interest in 2006. Thankfully most of the original cramped cages have been updated and improved, but the odd one still remains.
The zoo's layout is reminiscent of a bicycle wheel, with pathways as spokes and an octagonal pavilion at its center. The pavilion dates from 1759 and was used as the imperial breakfast room; it now houses a fine restaurant (so you can feel regal, too). Feeding times are staggered throughout the day - maps on display tell you who's dining when.
Adult female and young male elephants, Tiergarten Schonbrunn Zoo, Vienna
Great Panda chilling, Tiergarten Schonbrunn Zoo, Vienna
Cultural Experience, Must-Do Experience,UNESCO Heritage Site, Palace
Schoenbrunn Palace, or Schloss Schoenbrunn, means 'beautiful spring' and was a royal hunting park when plans were made to build a sumptuous palace to rival Versailles. Queen Maria Theresa's architect, Nicholas Pacassi, is responsible for the eventual design of a long, symmetrical palace full of gilding and crimson displays drawing on Japanese, Italian, Persian and Indian works of art. There are ceiling frescoes celebrating the Habsburgs and 18th century furnishings. It was finally finished in 1749.
The gardens are huge and beautiful. There is a spectacular iron and glass palm house, a maze and labyrinth, and a viewing terrace. Since the end of the monarchy the Viennese people have flocked to these gardens for recreation. The palace is on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.
Vienna - Strauss Concert at Schonbrunn by Roger Wollstadt via Flickr ~ used under CC-BY-SA license
Beautiful Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna
5. Mirabell Palace and Gardens(Mirabellschloss garten)
HOURS:Open daily 8am - 6pm. Sometimes closed for special events
Cultural Experience, Good Place to Relax, Palace,Park / Garden
Mirabell Palace is a fine example of high Baroque architecture, surrounded by formal gardens, statues, flower beds and grand walkways.
The palace was built and remodeled in the 18th and early 19th centuries, and today it houses the city’s administrative offices. Decorated with marble angels, frescoes and gilt, the palace’s Marble Hall makes a pretty grand backdrop for civic meetings and regular evening concerts of Mozart.
The beautifully landscaped gardens appeared in The Sound of Music as the location for the Von Trapp children’s rendition of 'Do-Re-Mi.'
This is the famous garden where Maria von Trapp and the kids from movie 'Sound of Music' were singing (Mirabell Gardens)
Mirabell Garden - a view to the gates and the pegasus fountain.
Mozart lived in the Tanzmeisterhaus with his family from 1773 to 1780. The eight-room apartment was a big step up for the family from the crowded lodgings on medieval Getreidegasse.
The house was built in 1617, and has been totally rebuilt and renovated to return its appearance to that of Mozart’s era.
Mozart composed many of his masterpieces in this house, and a visit to his home provides a glimpse into the life of the musical genius. Entertaining and informative displays trace Mozart’s many journeys and his links to Salzburg.
Mozart's House (Wohnhaus) by Edwin Lee via Flickr ~ used under CC-BY license
Fun fountains and Baroque style are the attraction at Hellbrunn Castle, or Schloss Hellbrun, on Salzburg’s doorstep.
The palace was built in 1619 as a summer residence for Salzburg’s Archbishop, and the gardens are filled with ingenious landscaping, featuring trick waterworks. Visit on a warm day when you don’t mind getting wet!
Highlights of the water park include the outdoor dining table with jets of water shooting from diners’ seats, a water-operated theater, Gothic grottoes, splendid statues and colonnaded promenades.
Hellbrunn Castle fountain by DianaChristina7 via Flickr ~ used under CC-BY license
8. Imperial Palace(Hofburg)
ADDRESS:Michaelerplatz 1, Vienna
HOURS:Open daily Sept - June 9am - 5:30pm, July - Aug 9am - 6pm
Cultural Experience, Palace
The House of Habsburg was one of the most important royal dynasties in Europe and ruled Austria for six centuries. Through prudent marriages they managed to also gain Spain, Hungary, parts of France and many other lands. They built many fine churches and residences and rarely finished any of them. The Hofburg was the Imperial Palace until 1918, although strictly the Habsburg dynasty had died out and been succeeded by another by then. The palace remains the center of government for Austria but these days the occupier is a democratic republic rather than kings and queens.
The palace is an amalgam of eras and styles, much of it rich 17th and 18th century Baroque. Don't miss the Renaissance wing Stallburg where the famous dancing horse, the Lipizzaners, are stabled.
Rear view of Hofsburg Imperial Palace in Vienna, with horse-drawn carriages
Lech is one of the most fashionable ski resorts in Austria, and when you consider that it is linked to nearbyresorts such as Zurs via lifts and shuttles, it becomes evident that this is a fine place to escape to during the winter season. Found in the western Austria state of Vorarlberg, which is often referred to as Little Switzerland, Lech is set high in the Austrian Alps. In fact, the Lech Zurs Ski Area is among the highest in Europe. Lech itself tops out at around 9,100 feet above sea level. This translates to some very long runs, and if you want variety, the expansive terrain is full of trails that cater to all levels and desires.
The Mauthausen Concentration Camp is a testament to Nazi Austria history and a sobering reminder of what Adolf Hitler’s terrifying regime was capable of. Found about fifteen miles southeast of Linz, thisconcentration camp Austria does not try to hide. Instead, it is very much an open subject, often a destination for school children who come to learn about the atrocities associated with the Third Reich. The town of Mauthausen itself is rather pretty, boasting some attractive and interesting medieval architecture. In addition to learning about Nazi Austria at the concentration camp, visitors are encouraged to give the town a look too.
The Mauthausen Concentration Camp Austria site first underwent construction in 1938, and prisoners from the German Dachau concentration camp were enlisted to build it. The Dachau
camp was the first Naziconcentration camp to be built in Germany, and new camps were needed to house the growing amount of Nazi prisoners. As the story goes, funds from Nazi prisoners themselves were used to build the Holocaust Mauthausen complex. Upon their arrest, the prisoners’ assets, whatever they might be, were assumed by the Third Reich.
Stealing from prisoners was just one way of raising money for the prison camp, however. The EscompteBank, which was based in Prague, awarded commercial loans to the camp’s private builders, as did Dresdner Bank, which is based in Frankfurt, Germany. Originally, Mauthausen was reserved for commoncriminals, and was more of a prison camp. This changed in 1939, when it became a concentration and labor camp. Thousands of Austrian Jews were killed at Mauthausen, and also included among thecondemned were Gypsies and homosexuals, whom the Third Reich also saw as undesirable.
11. Lake Constance
Bordered by three countries, Lake Constance occupies an extremely beautiful corner of Central Europe - and is an ideal destination for a relaxing short break or longer family holiday. The 270km shoreline is shared between Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The lake is essentially a bulge in the Rhine - mirroring Lake Geneva, an expansion of the Rhône, at the other end of Switzerland.
The Rhine descends from the Swiss Alps to the area where the three countries converge, and spreads out to create a wide delta. For a distance of 46km it broadens out to a maximum width of 14km, then recovers its fluvial identity at the border of Germany and Switzerland for the long journey to the North Sea.
More than half of the shoreline of Lake Constance is in Germany. There are three distinct areas. The German stretch on the north shore, between Bregenz in Austria and the town of Konstanz and the Swiss border, is known as Obersee; Uberlingen, the north-western arm; and Untersee, the "lower lake" in the south-west. The views from the German shore across to the Swiss Alps are stunning.
The lake is a centre for water sports, while its shores are home to swathes of vineyards and intriguing towns. The area is rich in castles, baroque churches, exquisite town squares and curious museums, while the hinterland is dotted with pretty villages and child friendly attractions.