Central Europe – Highlights Part 3

Vienna, Austria

Vienna is one of the most stunning cities in Europe due to its picturesque architecture and long-lasting tradition as a city of music! Mozart, Schubert, Strauss, Brahms are a few of the famous composers that have resided in Vienna in the past.

Visiting the State Opera House was one of the most unforgettable experiences as you are not only able to see the historic building but you can enjoy one of their world famous operas. While I was there, we were able to obtain last minute standing tickets to see Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, Macbeth. Standing tickets to any opera can be purchased for € 3-4 which is a bargain considering that seats on average are in excess of € 30. I think I might go for a seat next time though because standing around for 2-3 hours straight… can get a little tiring. The dress code is smart casual for the standing area, so there’s no need to dress up too much but definitely no shorts or sandals!

In the evening after, we chose  to visit the Wiener Musikverein. The concert hall is highly regarded for its acoustics and is the home of the world class Vienna Philharmonic orchestra. Vienna’s famous New Year concert is held here annually with these tickets in such high demand that you need to pre-register one year in advance for the drawing of tickets. We were lucky enough to secure backstage passes to the Vienna Symphony concert for € 19. We literally went through the same entrance as the performers onto the stage and sat a few meters behind them. It was nothing short of an incredible experience 🙂

The Schoenbrunn Palace and Schonbrunner Gardens are main attractions to visit while in Vienna. A former imperial residence, the palace has 1441 rooms which are uniquely decorated in Baroque style. For the price of €13-19, you are able to enter it or otherwise you can just take a very beautiful stroll around the magnificent palace and gardens. Walking up the hill and down takes around thirty minutes but once you get up there, it offers a breathtaking view as you look down at the palace and gardens.

Salzburg, Austria

From a historical perspective, the Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus) is a Third-Reich era edifice which was presented to Adolf Hitler on his 50th birthday as a retreat and place to entertain friends. Not the most suitable present though, as the Fuhrer reportedly had a fear of heights and claustrophobia so he didn’t spend much time here. Nonetheless, this is a great place to visit with fantastic views of the surrounding Bavarian alpine scenery. Travelling up to the nest is amazing in itself as you need to embark on specially designed buses whose purpose is to navigate the tight cliff corners as you ascend up the mountain. Once there, you travel through a long tunnel to take an elevator to reach the nest.


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