Day 2- Vienna- (Temp- 8 degrees C) We took it slow and decided to acclimatize ourselves to the city. We walked our way (40mins away) from the hostel to the Schonbrunn Palace, though we had the option to take the trams/ metros we chose to walk and stop at local eateries and shops. The palace has a beautiful facade surrounded by an amazing garden. A trip to this palace is worth your time.
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.
Where do you begin to explore a city with splendour like Vienna? The first evening in Vienna and I realized all my planned itineraries were starting to fail me. We decided to take the city bus from our hotel to the city centre and go with the flow. When we alighted in front of the Opera House, we got our answer! The Ringstrasse (or the Ring Road) is a 5.3 kilometres long stretch that traces the path of the Medieval city wall surrounded Vienna until 1860. Emperor Franz Joseph ordered its construction in 1857, replacing the Medieval wall with a grand boulevard – which today boasts of some of the most important sights in Vienna. The Ringstrasse was officially opened in 1865 and celebrates its 150th jubilee this year. If you are the walking kinds, then you can explore the area on foot – pausing in between to admire the grandeur of the buildings that you find along the way. Those who prefer more comfort, the Vienna Ring Tram departs every 30 minutes from Schwedenplatz and goes around the Ringstrasse, offering an interactive system with its audio-visual system. Another way to explore it is through the Hop-on Hop off bus tour. Just perch yourself on the top deck and you would find yourself going around the Ringstrasse. If you go around the Ringstrasse, you will acquaint yourself with almost all the important attractions in the city centre such as the Opera House, the Museum Quartier (housing the Museum of Natural History, the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Modern Art Museum), Heldenplatz, the Parliament and the City Hall (Rathaus).