Schönbrunn Palace stands tall in the list of Europe’s opulent palaces. Reminiscent of the Baroque era, the Palace is among the classic “must-sees” for tourists coming to Vienna. So make sure you reach here early if you want to avoid long queues. We took the ‘Grand Tour’, wandering through the 40 rooms of the Palace – each evoking an awed response from both me and my husband. Each room has a distinct character and are intricately done. For instance, there is a ‘Rich Bedroom’ with its rich red velvet hangings and precious embroidery in gold and silver. Or the ‘Millions Room’ that is set apart in its decor showcasing scenes from the life of Mogul rulers in India in the 16th and 17th centuries and features panelling decorated with 60 Rococo cartouches with Indo-Persian miniatures. After the tour of the Palace, we explored the royal gardens. The central axis of the palace formed the backbone of the gardens and each section is meticulously set in accordance with the axes. The vast gardens are really an extension of the ruler’s status, but pity we didn’t get a chance to see the flowers in full bloom as we visited in early spring. What I specially loved about our visit was the Easter market, which I hadn't known about before. There was live music, delicious food stalls and glühwein! Cherry on the top? An unexpected snowfall!!
Stephansdom or the St. Stephen's Cathedral is a beautiful Gothic church in the busy centre of Vienna at Stephansplatz. The towering church is ornately patterned and invites you with its delicate and intricate artwork. I remember standing on the pavement across the Church, still and just admiring the architectural brilliance. Don't break your neck as you stretch it to take in the look of the Cathedral in its full glory, though! The Cathedral offers beautiful view of the city from the top. For the health freaks, there are stairs - 343 steps to be precise! For those who would rather take the lift, you are my friend! Just go inside the church and a lift would take you up, of course with a fee.
Day3- Vienna to Prague. (Temp 10 degrees C) We caught the RegioJet (also called Student Agency) bus from Vienna Stadion bus station to Praha Florenc station. I'd recommend using these buses as they were punctual, clean, comfortable, with on board WiFi (that not many trains have), free on board refreshments and at half the price of a train (with similar travel time).