Start your trip at the 18th-century baroque (1) Belvedere palace—actually two palaces—Upper and Lower Belvedere, built as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy. Today, Belvedere boasts the most extensive collection of Austrian art from the Middle Ages to the present, including the world’s largest collection of Gustav Klimt works. From (2) Upper Belvedere, walk down the beautiful French-style (3) baroque gardens, built by Dominique Girard, pupil of André Le Nôtre, who designed the gardens of the French Palace of Versailles. Visit the (4) Lower Belvedere for a glimpse into Prince Eugene’s opulent baroque living quarters. Come out at Rennweg and continue to (5) Schwarzenbergplatz, with its 19th-century (6) Hochstrahlbrunnen and the (7) Red Army Monument behind it, erected in 1945 in commemoration of the Soviet soldiers who lost their lives in the battles around Vienna.
Walk around the (8) French Embassy, at one end of Schwarzenbergplatz head for the baroque (9) St. Charles’s Church (Karlskirche) (www.karlskirche.at), whose two pillars at the entrance resemble Trajan’s Column in Rome. Next to the church is the (10) Vienna University of Technology (www.tuwien.ac.at), which was founded in 1815 as an Imperial Polytechnic Institute. Across from the park of St. Charles’s Church is (11) Musikverein (www.musikverein.at)—one of the best music halls in the world and home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Next to Musikverein is (12) Künstlerhaus (www.k-haus.at) with exhibition halls of the Association of Austrian Artists. Farther down on Friedrichstrasse is the white cube and golden roof detail of the (13) Secession (www.secession.at), built to host Secession (art nouveau) exhibitions and is still a popular location for shows. Next to it starts one of Vienna’s most popular markets, (14) Naschmarkt (www.wienernaschmarkt.eu), where you can buy fresh exotic fruit, vegetables, herbs, and local products. There are also plenty of dining options, from typical Austrian to Asian cuisine, in the area’s many eateries.
Two architectural highlights in the Naschmarkt area are (15) Otto Wagner’s Majolikahaus on Linke Wienzeile 40 and the (16) Haus mit Goldverzierungen (house with golden ornaments) on Linke Wienzeile 38, the latter with decorative ornaments by Kolomann Moser. If you walk up Getreidemarkt on the side of the Secession building, you will reach (17) MuseumsQuartier, another hot spot for art and great food. It is a mixture of baroque architecture and modern design and home to a number of museums, bars, and restaurants.
Across from MuseumsQuartier’s main entrance is (18) Maria-Theresien-Platz with Vienna’s Museum of Art History on the right and Museum of Natural History on the left. For a walk in the small streets of the (19) Spittelberg area (www.spittelberg.at) head back through MuseumQuartier’s inner yard and up the stairs by the (20) Modern Art Museum building (www.mumok.at). Follow the tram line along Breite Gasse to Siebensterngasse; the small picturesque streets and squares of Spittelberg will be to your right. The area is home to many nice restaurants, art galleries, and, in winter, one of Vienna’s prettiest Christmas markets.
2014 Traveler Photo Contest
See all the winning images from the 2014 Traveler Photo Contest.