|Oct. 20th, 2010|
Travel to Vienna: Luxury in the Heart of Austria
Steeped in history and tradition, Vienna
is a land of both extravagance and unsurpassed beauty, offering the perfect blend of modern-day charm and old-world opulence. As the largest city located within the Republic of Austria, Vienna has proven to be a favorite among those luxury jetsetters who appreciate the finer things in life.
Uniquely rich in culture, and spotted with local landmarks, this vibrant city takes luxury living to a completely new level. With such a wide array of arts and culture, activities and shopping, we thought we'd highlight some of our favorite things to see and do when traveling to Vienna.
Any trip to Vienna just wouldn't be complete without strolling along the famous Ring Boulevard; whirling around the Giant Ferris Wheel at Prater; or walking in the footsteps of the Habsburgs by paying a visit to the Imperial Palace, the baroque Schönbrunn and Belvedere Palaces, or the imposing St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
While at the Imperial Palace — the former Habsburg Empire — be sure to check out the world famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna and experience first-hand the elegance and grace of the legendary Lipizzan ballet. The riding school prevails as the last remaining institution in the world where the classic equestrian skills (haute école) is preserved, and still practiced in its original form.
The Imperial Palace is just one of the stops you'll want to make when roaming the streets of Vienna's grand boulevard, The Ring. Encircling the streets of the city, the thoroughfare, which dates back to the late 17th century, contains a typical cross-section of government buildings, private mansions, spacious squares and parks, historical monuments and charming cafes. A day in the Old City can be spent perusing the halls of the Museum of Applied Arts or the Museums of Fine Arts and Natural History; enjoying a leisurely day at Vienna's City Park; meandering past Otto Wagner's Post Office Building, Parliament, the Burgtheater, the University, the Stock Exchange; or catching an unforgettable show at the Vienna State Opera.
Each Sunday during High Mass, an angelic song bellows from the Imperial Chapel. Having earned a worldwide following, the Vienna Boys' Choir, comprised of 100 boys aged 10-14, can also be heard at the Vienna State Opera, the Salzburg Festival, as well as at one of 300 concerts held annually.
In addition to the wide offering of arts and culture, the city is also a Mecca for luxury shopping. Located in the historic city center, the Viennese Palaces, which once served as residences for noble families, have over time transformed into a modern-day shopping haven. The Ferstel Palace, designed by architect Heinrich Ferstel (who also designed the city's Ringstrasse boulevard) is home to many quaint boutiques, chocolatiers, galleries, interior design studios, as well as antique and fine jewelry dealers.
While the Viennese Palaces definitely warrant a visit, it is the Kohlmarkt, the former site of numerous court-appointed jewelers, which boasts the highest caliber of luxury jewelry. Along the expansive streets of downtown — or what the locals like to call the "Golden U" — you will find some of the world's most influential luxury brands, including Cartier, Chopard and Tiffany, as well as local luxury favorites such as Haban, Shullin, and perhaps most notably, the Dorotheum, a venerable auction house, offering exquisite jewelry and rare antiquities.
Both rich in history and charming in nature, Vienna is truly a land of regal proportions, exuding a profound sense of lasting luxury that is sure to please even the most discriminating world travelers.