Hipmunk City Love: A Cultural Guide to Vienna

Blog Post Type: Planning a Trip to a City

Lying on the banks of the Danube River and surrounded by the scenic beauty of Wachau region, Vienna is one of the world’s top cities for quality of life. This noble quality is not strictly attributed to the locals, but it also extends to tourists who visit this highly diverse and agreeable city.

The Alps and their associated outdoor activities may rule the region, but Vienna is also famous for its music, arts, and architecture. To understand Vienna’s unique culture, read on for some of the most famous places.

Vienna

Photo by Maria via Trover.com

Musical Arts

Vienna is known as the City of Music. Prodigies such as Mozart, Beethoven, Franz Schubert, and Johannes Brahms all worked in Vienna. Their music still influences classical students and teachers today, and you can hear the legacy of that music in popular venues throughout the city. The Musikverein houses five concert halls, a conservatory,a library of musical archives, and several musical instruments. It’s also home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Over 500 concert performances inside the walls of this long-standing institution attract music lovers from all over the world each year.

Wiener Konzerthaus performance hall is another popular venue providing music to Vienna’s vast cultural scene. Classical music was the main focus of performance here until the end of World War I, when modern dance became part of the program. During World War II, Konzerthaus artistic reputation suffered but regained notable status by focusing on contemporary classical music. Today, it hosts musical numerous festivals including Wien Modern and Hörgänge. In addition to the concert halls, the Vienna State Opera and the Volksoper opera house are also major contributors to Vienna’s musical arts scene.

Mozart Vienna

Photo by Severin Stefan Kittl via Trover.com

Architecture

Vienna has embraced several distinctive eras of architectural design since the days of Empress Maria Theresa in the 18th century. During her reign, architects planned and designed the buildings that gave Vienna its early look. The Karlskirche, designed by famed architect Josef Emanuel Fischer von Erlach, is a great example of this period.

The 19th century saw two dramatic periods in Austrian architecture, one of which turned Vienna into one of Europe’s most exciting cities. During this time Gottfried Semper and Karl von Hasenauer collaborated on the State Opera House and Museum of Fine Arts.

The turn of the 19th century brought Jugendstil and Art Nouveau, followed by the secessionists led by famed architect Otto Wagner. The secessionists aimed to build a gesamtkunstwerk, or a structure that unified sculpture, architecture, painting, and music as a comprehensive work of art. The Vienna Secession building, planned and built by Joseph Maria Olbricht, still stands as a great example of this style in the center of Vienna.

Vienna is rich in history, and its cultural heritage has many stories to tell. Instead of rushing through the city, travelers should slow down the pace and fully appreciate everything this city has to offer. Vienna hotels will offer visitors the same quality of life service that the locals experience. This alone is reason to visit the City of Music today.

About the Writer

Tony is a freelance travel writer and photographer, roller coaster enthusiast and self-proclaimed Sudoku master. He is based in the Midwest U.S. and blogs at The Walking Traveler. He is working with Hipmunk on their #HipmunkCityLove Project.

Feature photo by Wiener Pestsaule via Trover.com

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