Visiting Vienna in 3 Days – Day 1


Viena - 81Vienna… maybe one of the cities that always got my biggest interest, the Imperial city, the city of great composers, the city of elegance, luxury, imposing!

Maybe I was so curious for having associated it with Paris for so long (see), but I quickly realized that Vienna has its own identity and beauty, and what a beauty!

Besides the praise we may give it, Vienna is, above all, one of the best cities in the world to live in, and that’s not my saying, it’s the international study of Mercer, from 2015, in which the quality of life was compared with basis in 39 criteria, like politics, economy, society, environmental factors, in 230 cities of the entire world, and Vienna took the first place, for the seventh time in a row, and it is also considered one of the richest cities in the world.

Viena - 105History of the City

The archeological evidence seems to show that already in the Paleolithic there were people living in the region of Vienna, and since the Neolithic it was inhabited continuously. Being the current human presence in Vienna of Celtic origins.

Between the I and V centuries the Romans took care of the city.

During the Middle Ages, Vienna was under the domain of the Babenbergs, with its first sovereign Leopold I of Babenberg, and in 1030 was the first time the name Vienna was mentioned. In 1156 the city became a commerce center.

After the death of the last Babenberg, Vienna becomes the house of the Habsburgs, with the coronation of Rudolf I in 1273 the city becomes the center of the Holy Roman Empire, and remains the city of the Habsburgs until 1918.

Viena - 72Throughout these centuries of reign much evolved and many important personalities made of this city what it is today.

Some of the most important were Maximilian I, who developed the art and science in the country, Charles VI, who altered the laws of succession so his daughter Maria Theresa could govern, she that would bring several reforms to the Empire, Prince Eugene, who defeated the Turkish in 1717 and Francis Joseph I, the Empire maximum exponent of this family, partly due to his wife, Elisabeth of Austria (the Austrians’ eternal Sisi).

And so it was until 1916 when Francis Joseph I died and his successor, Charles I, couldn’t keep the peace and was forced to exile (at Azores!) in 1918, ending the Habsburgs Empire.

After World War I, the small Republic of Austria emerged and followed a period of Authoritarian governance, in 1934.

When in 1938, during World War II, Hitler marched into the country and annexed it to the Third Reich, Vienna was severely bombarded and lost a great part of its historical landmarks.

Ten years after the end of this war, the country was vacated by the Allies and recovered its sovereignty with the State Treaty.

Viena - 57We visited Vienna in 3 days. Was it enough? Maybe not!

But was enough to make me fall in love! Reason why I want so badly to go back!

Once we had little time and to make our trip easier, as well as the access to the different places to visit, we chose the Vienna Card for 48h (cost: 18,90€). This card has the 48h option or the 72h one (21,90€) and offers discount in musuems and touristic spots, theaters, concerts, stores, coffee shops, restaurants and free travels in public transportations. Concluding, it pays off! (For more information)

You can buy it in tourist information centers, there’s one right next to the Hofburg Palace, more precisely between the Albertina Museum and the Opera.

Viena - 107Vienna is a city where we can get lost without worrying to be found, it seems huge because it’s a monumental city, but is easy to visit, because it’s an open sky museum, even if we opted not to enter the several touristic places, we would still enjoy the city with body and soul!

Therefore I elaborated a three day guide around the city, as I said it’s not enough, if you have the chance opt for five days.

Viena - 471st Day

– The churches, the Opera and Freud!

As usual, we started the day very early, with one of those breakfasts that fill us till the afternoon (I’m not even an apologist that you should eat every three hours!)! And so, with  afull stomach, we headed to discover the city.

And why not start this visit with the most imposing and important church of Vienna?

Viena - 51Stephansdom

Right in the heart of the city stands one of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in the country, the Stephansdom.

The foundations of the original Romanesque church date back from 1147, but its oldest goods are the beautiful Giant’s Door, which name is due to a mastodon bone found in the place during its construction, and the Roman Towers.

Viena - 3Stephansdom

Already in the XIV and XV centuries, the Habsburgs wanted to embelish this worship place even more and ordered the adding of the Gothic nave and the lateral churches.

The church suffered wide damages during World War II, but it came together while its own country emerged from the conflict.

Nowadays it is, for sure, one of the greatest landmarks of the city, a place you can’t miss. Get lost inside, calmly wander and observe with time and attention.

The entrance in the church is free, but the climb to the towers is paid.

  Viena - 52       Viena - 1       Viena - 2

Viena - 42
From here we went to a special place (to me), the Sigmund Freud Museum, founder of psychoanalysis. Special, because in my field of work (heath care area), psychiatry/psychology is one of the most attractive areas for me, and Freud and his theories have their fair share of guilt in my passion!

This museum is the house where Freud lived and consulted between 1891 and 1938, when he fled to London with his family because of World War II.

Viena - 46
From the original design of the house few was left, because it was used by the Nazis during Vienna’s occupation. The entrance hall of the clinic is the closest to the original. The rest of it is filled with some original furniture, documents, pictures, work excerpts, letters and journalistic articles about the life and work of Freud.

The entrance costs 9€, with the Vienna Card you have 17% discount.

But, psychoanalysis apart, we continue our visit to the city.

Viena - 104Vienna’s Opera 

The goal was to head to the Opera. We walked while absorbing all the elegance of the Vienna around us, each historical mark more Imperial and astonishing than the other, until we got to a complex of three imposing buildings, we just admired them without entering any of them, the Burgtheater, ahead, the City Hall (Neues Rathaus) and right next to it, the Parliament.

Viena - 58 Parliament

For me, the most memorable was for sure the City Hall, of Neo-Gothic style that with its grandiosity overwhelms us in a mili second.

Viena - 57mCity Hall

If you have the chance, visit this building at night, the lighting is astonishing. If you visit Vienna during Christmas time you also have the luck to enjoy the market held in the square in front of the City Hall. As to the Parliament it also deserves its highlight, with a majestic Greek facade.

Viena - 56Burgtheater

But on with our long walk to the Opera – Staatsoper.

Viena - 33

Viena - 14Opera of Vienna

This place is one of Vienna’s spotlights, and no one should miss it, like we didn’t bought any ticket to see a show, first because we didn’t look into it with some advance (therefore many were sold out) and because we weren’t very interested in any of the operas in display during the days we were staying in the city, hereupon, we chose to do a visit to the building (there are guided tours in some days of the week). But for my sins, the Opera was closed  for visits, it would just open at night for the shows, that day and the next.

I was very sorry because it was one of the places I most wanted to visit, however, I would drown my tears a few days later in Budapest’s Opera!

And then we ended our first day in Vienna the same way we started, in a Church!

Viena - 31Karlskirche

Karlskirche is a beautiful example of art from the Baroque period, with inspiration in classical architecture with some oriental details, by the hands of some of the most important Viennese architects from the XVIII century, Johann Fischer von Erlach.

Viena - 17

Viena - 22Karlskirche 

It was orderd to be built by Charles VI to thank God for saving Vienna from the epidemic plague of 1713. This church doesn’t have the impact of the Stephansdom but it has its enchantment, its dome is angelically painted with frescoes representing Virgin Mary asking Holy Trinity to free people from the plague.

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The entrance is paid, and the elevator climb to the dome is also paid, it costs 8€, with the Vienna Card it has 50% discount.

Already tired we decided to head back to our Hotel, to relax a bit before preparing to an amazing gastronomic experience in Vienna, the dinner at the starred Konstantin Filippou. But João will talk about that later.

Where to stay
InterContinental Wien
Park Hyatt Vienna

Versão Portuguesa

Text: Cíntia Oliveira | Photos: Flavors & Senses with Sony A7S

– In Vienna we had the support of the Vienna Tourism Board in the organization and visit to some of the places. 
– The pictures don’t always represent our first passage in some of the places or even the same day of the travel.

This article is the 1st of 2 articles for our Vienna Guide. 


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  • By Visitar Viena em 3 Dias – Dia 1 on November 23, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    […]  English Version […]

  • By Visiting Viena in 3 Days – Day 2 & Day 3 on November 27, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    […] « Visiting Vienna in 3 Days – Day 1 […]

  • By Visiting Budapest in 3 Days – Day 1 on January 8, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    […] Already in the XVI century, the Turkish invaded the city and there stayed for 150 years, until 1686 when the city met freedom by the hands of an European army ally. The Habsburgs then started to control Hungary (remember them from the history of Vienna, right?! See). […]

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