Waltzing my way through the Austrian capital

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May 7th 2012
Published: April 16th 2018
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For trivia junkies everywhere, let it be known that Vienna and Bratislava are officially the world's two closest in proximity capital cities, but all that means in the eyes of this traveller is that a day trip to Vienna from Bratislava is both highly affordable and super-achievable, and an absolute must, even if, like myself, this is not your first visit to the Austrian capital city. It is almost an established fact that Vienna is just about the world's grandest city, but what is it precisely that makes the Austrian capital so well-poised and stately? Well, the best answer to that question is to follow the tourist trail in Vienna, and leave no stone unturned, as there are so very many vital reference points dotted here and there that even before you're halfway through, you'll no doubt concede that this is one stately-looking city which gave rise to so much in the way of cultural offerings during the course of its development. Starting at the city's southern train station, the first port of call is the Belvedere palace, and its immaculately-looking gardens with ornate features. The grounds of this complex lead up to the very edge of the enclave of central Viennese attractions, encircled by a ring road, which contains such architectural gems such as the national opera house and the Stephansdom cathedral. Also prominent are the Hofburg palace and the national theatre, and Austria being the birthplace of such prominent composers such as Wolfgang Mozart, it is no surprise that the city's tourist trinket manufacturers are trying to make a commercial profit from souvenirs related thereto. Perhaps the biggest gripe associated with visiting Vienna is due to the fact that, on a whirlwind tour such as this, there is the ever-present temptation to focus too heavily on one masterpiece of a building, and throw a planned tourist itinerary's schedule into disarray in the process. The centrally-located Naschmarkt is essentially an enclave of food stores and restaurants, and was a prime location for sampling the Viennese speciality schnitzel in all its breadcrumbed glory. A jaunt around the Viennese back streets in search of CD shops (no giggling, it is an essential part of ANY trip for me!) revealed that even the peripheral areas contain photogenic buildings, and that it is indeed a city navigable enough, even without resorting to use of the city's fairly comprehensive subway network. Vienna is pretty much as you might expect its history to have shaped it to become, and epitomizes precisely how classical music runs directly parallel to classical building styles. For those not culturally-skewed enough to appreciate this, perhaps Vienna and its high cost of living are best avoided, but for this traveller who does not possess even one classical music CD nor indeed has seen an opera performance, Vienna will always have a level of appeal which at very least totals the sum of its uber-grand parts.

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