From Austria With Love
To celebrate the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia, the Vienna Tourist Board invites one Australian same-sex couple to win a fabulous Viennese honeymoon! To win the prize, be the first couple to send in your Australian marriage certificate to firstname.lastname@example.org. For details, click here!
Modern Love In A Grand Old City
Vienna is an old city that embraces the new. Opera on one side of the street, cutting-edge contemporary art on the other. It’s an exhilarating dichotomy, writes Bev Malzard, and at the end of the day the coffee and cakes a brilliant, too!
Landlocked and lovely; that’s Austria. A country of modest proportions, neatly wrapped in a package that offers something for almost every visitor: music, Mozart, mountains, strudel, lakes, cakes, castles and fine museums, both traditional and contemporary. Vienna is the cherry atop the delicious Austrian cake. The capital, the Grand Dame of the country, is big, bold, hip and a work of exquisite art herself.
Despite its impeccable cultural history, Vienna is a city that has not rested on its laurels. She regularly reinvents herself and this extends to becoming an extremely welcoming city for the LGBTI traveller. Perennially gay and lesbian friendly, with parties and weekend festivals, being out and proud is de rigueur. Vienna is one of the most popular LGBTI honeymoon destinations.
The best way to discover Vienna is by walking. The city reveals treasures around every corner. The Ringstrasse, for example, is the street that leads to all things cultural and historic, with grand architecture from the Baroque to Art Deco to modernist ’70s houses of glass. Switch between the magnificent Vienna State Opera House and a row of hip, old-school cafés.
“Perennially gay and lesbian friendly, with parties and weekend festivals, being out and proud is de rigueur.”
The city encourages all cultural pursuits, particularly reflected in its galleries, which are constantly changing and bringing new works by young artists to the fore.
Then there’s the mind-boggling scale of the museums on offer. You’ll find museums dedicated schnapps, textiles, undertaking, the graphic arts and even torture, among many.
For music aficionados there’s the unmissable museum of Kunsthistoriches, Leopold, the Liechtenstein Palace and, for equine magnificence, the Lipizzaner Museum.
Top 10 Vienna Must-Dos!
1. Go to a performance at the Vienna State Opera House. If you’ve never seen an opera before, this is certainly the city to experience this high art form.
2. Sample the culinary delight of tafelspitz, slow boiled beef served with horseradish and chive sauce. Also on the menu, of course, is Vienna Schnitzel. You think you’ve had Vienna Schnitzel before? Not until you’ve had it in Vienna! Do some research online or ask your hotel concierge for suggestions and create a restaurant must-visit list to work through. The Viennese love fusions of old and new so start your food adventure at Zum Schwarzen Kameel (The Black Camel), a great place to sample the city’s signature tiny sandwiches.
3. Cakes and pastries are in a category of their own in this city! The sweet patisserie temples of Demel and Schokov, and many bakeries and coffee houses displaying cream-puffed delicacies will bring a little tear of happiness to all dessert lovers. Sachertorte, of course, reigns supreme in all its glossy, chocolaty gorgeousness, and you can order Sachertorte anywhere around town but why not go straight to the source, the Hotel Sacher where the famous torte was first created?
4. Take an evening stroll through the Naschmarkt, the city’s fresh food, open market selling olives, chesses, oils, meats and sauerkraut from huge vats.
5. Visit a Christmas market.
6. No trip to Vienna is complete without a visit to a coffee house. Café culture is in the very DNA of the Viennese. Walk through the doors into an aromatic and elegant world of flavours. Try a Kleiner Schwarzer; well before the Italians originated the concept of espresso, the Viennese were knocking back these little invigorating shots of black coffee. If you prefer your coffee with milk go for a Melange, a mix that is quintessentially Viennese: coffee, milk and textured milk foam, accompanied by an apfelstrudel, of course. Recommended cafés include the vintage Cafe Central, Kleines Cafe, Cafe Korb, Cafe Diglas and Demel.
6. See the famous performing white horses at Lipizzaner, the Spanish Riding School.
7. Love a palace? Take a tour through the lavish rococo rooms of 18th Century Schonbrunn Palace. Think gold, gold and more gold.
8. Vienna is a green city with many beautiful and serene parks. Walk through Volksgarten, Stadtpark and Burggarten for fragrant roses and old trees.
9. Shopping – there’s lots. The main hub for shopping is Vienna city centre for fashion. There are numerous small boutiques specialising in the work of young designers. You’ll find unique watches, leather goods and homewares from diverse origins.
10. For some action adventure, take a trip to the ski fields.
Vienna is an old city that treasures its historic legacy but boldly embraces the new, unknown and adventurous. It is a vibrant city that has refined the art of enjoying one’s self!
Vienna has been shortlisted in the Destination category of the Australian LGBTI Awards, 2018.