Anyone who is a regular reader of my blog will know I’m one of those people that strays away from the traditional tourist attractions, choosing the less well-trodden path to find my own hidden gems. I truly believe that this is the only way that you can really experience a new city and its culture, and in today’s post, I thought I’d talk about one city that I can’t wait to visit.
I love travelling around exotic destinations like Asia, but Europe has a distinctly romantic quality like nowhere else in the world. Of course, there are so many countries to choose from that I’ll probably have to take many trips there to get a feel for it, but I’m starting with one of the most beautiful: the capital of Austria, Vienna. As a little preliminary research, I’ve been looking at some of the places that are tucked away from the main streets that I can go and explore – here are my top three…
The Hundertwasser House
You won’t be able to find this straight away, but it’s the perfect shot for any budding photographers out there, and a dream come true for anyone who loves quirky architecture. Tucked away from the main streets, this set of apartments will make you do a double-take at first glance, as it appears to be a building straight out of a dream world. Designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an Austrian painter who was famous for his love of swirling patterns and bold colours, this patchwork-like design even includes natural features such as trees which grow into the apartments and a grass-covered roof.
Vienna State Opera House
I know what you’re thinking, tonnes of visitors go to see the Vienna Opera House, right? But just like anywhere else, there’s always something new to be discovered. When I visit Vienna, I’ll be booking my tickets to see Carmen or Madame Butterfly (you can do this really easily by visiting www.viennaoperatickets.com if you’d like to do the same), and then heading up into the rafters. Most tourists will stick to the bottom of the theatre, but to get a true impression of how grand and extravagant this building is, go to the very top tier for one of the best photographs you will ever take.
The Tiergarten Schönbrunn
Most people will visit the grand halls and walkways of Schönbrunn Palace while in Vienna, but if you stray further out into the grounds, you’ll find one of the most incredible attractions in Europe, as they’re actually home to the world’s oldest zoo. Originally conceived as an imperial menagerie in 1752, it is now a conservation centre. For those who love architecture, you’ll be pleased to know that many original features have been preserved from the baroque era. For animal lovers though, its star attractions include giant pandas and a rainforest house, where visitors are led through a simulation of the Amazon rainforest, which is even accurate down to the weather conditions.
Do you know of any hidden gems in Vienna?