Vienna: one of the most romantic cities in Europe
It is hard not to give in to the charm of Vienna! Its architecture, art and history turn this city in one of the most prominent culture center in Europe. Add to all of this a very trendy and modern neighborhood, a theme park set all year round in a huge green park, docks that are even more lively than those of Paris and you get a city with multiple assets that is easily discovered in a weekend .
A design and arty hotel: Daniel Urban Stay
Huge crush for this atypical hotel located close to the Belvedere Museum : le Daniel. A sunken boat has settled on its roof, an art work by the artist Erwin Wurm. And it sets the tone to the whole hotel ! The hotel in itself is a piece of art. The Daniel also houses hives and you can buy the honey they make from them. If you wish, you can sleep in an authentic aluminum motorhome located in the garden of the hotel. Or, if you prefer the comfort of a room, you will find in each one a hammock and a panoramic view on Vienna thanks to the huge windows. Breakfast is a great time when the buffet is largely filled with hot and cold food. Prices are very reasonable for such a standard. Many trams stop nearby and the hotel is very easy to reach from the airport with public transports.
Following the footsteps of Gustav Klimt
City of art and culture, Vienna saw the birth and emergence of one of the greatest European painters of the twentieth century: Gustav Klimt. It is easy to follow in his footsteps and to marvel at his paintings that seem to be set with enamels and precious stones. Start first with the Belvedere Museum where you’ll be able to see the famous painting « The kiss » which is huge and to which no photo does justice – they are forbidden in the museum anyway. Inquire as there are often Klimt exhibitions at the Winter Palace, at the bottom of the Belvedere Museum gardens.
Continue your walk in the Art Deco Vienna by admiring the multiple facades and stylized doors in the city. Klimt is everywhere through multiple products of more or less good taste.
Extend your walk to the Secession building where you will discover Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze but also interesting contemporary art exhibitions. This building was built in 1897 to house the works of the Viennese Secession, rebel artists in « secession » who had their own conception of art.
The buildings of the Minerlgasse near the Secession building are absolutely superb, with their Art Deco patterns completely restored. You just have to look up!
Egon Schiele, genius artist
Egon Schiele is an essential Viennese artist. Friend of Klimt, the two men were devoted to mutual admiration. But their styles differ, Schiele explores a darker but also more erotic facet of the representation of his peers. He has produced many self-portraits whose colors and often tortuous features provoke and challenge the viewer. We do not come out unscathed from the art of Egon Schiele because it instills a real reflection on human nature and the purpose of existence.
A magnificent museum is devoted entirely to him, the Leopold Museum, located in a very pleasant and very modern district, the Museums Quartier. You can also see some of his works at the Belvedere.
Where to eat near the Museums Quartier: Amerling Beisl
A superb discovery on our way to visit the Leopold Museum was this charming cafe Amerling Beisl which houses a courtyard where it is very pleasant to have lunch in summer. The place is quiet and calm, out of the hordes of tourists and we didn’t want to leave it. Exotic umbrellas protect from the sun and Austrian dishes are good and inexpensive. The neighborhood is surrounded by very interesting art galleries.
The Hundertwasserhaus, a strong model of Viennese architecture
This block of buildings and shops dates from the 80’s. Designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, artist and architect for whom « a painter dreams of houses and a beautiful architecture through which the Man is free and this dream becomes reality », this colorful work is inspired by Gaudi and the Facteur Cheval. It is one of the most visited monuments of Vienna.
The Prater: a permanent funfair
His Giant Ferris Wheel is one of the emblems of the city of Vienna! It dates from 1897 and was erected for the Emperor Francis Joseph’s 50th anniversary of reign. It offers a breathtaking view of Vienna and you can rent a cabin just for the two of you for a romantic dinner or breakfast !
The rest of the Prater is really worth a look. Located in a park of 6 million square meters, this former hunting area of the Habsburgs is now a permanent funfair that offers 250 attractions, many restaurants and a huge nightclub, the Praterdome. We tested the Prater Tower, flying chairs that go up to 117m high and move at 60km / h!
Some attractions are reserved for the youngest and some others are really for the grownup adventure seekers like free fall simulation or bungee jumping. It is a fantastic time for the whole family !
The Danube Canal (Donau Kanal): from street art to coffee-concerts
The area of the Danube quays or Danube Canal is absolutely not to be missed. There are cozy cafes, an open-air swimming pool on a boat and street art that brighten up the walls with their vivid colors. It’s a magical place where you can have a beer while listening to a concert or stroll along the Danube with family and friends. We found a small restaurant which was really nice and unpretentious: Slow Tacos. Those quay restaurants are only open in summer unfortunately.