Apart from London and Paris, Vienna is one of the most famous European capitals, a favorite tourist attraction, as well as a business center. The thing is that the Austrian capital offers an exceptionally pleasant atmosphere stemming from a combination of old-fashioned strait-lacedness and architectonic grandeur. Everything looks polished up, clean, opulent and decent. Despite this, you will never find the Viennese atmosphere tedious. I guess it’s because this is the only city in the world where you won’t feel cheated if you dish out 5 euros for a common Apple strudel and where you will seemingly admire the most desultory, yet famous cake in the world – the Sacher cake. When you’re in Vienna, you simply must act like the Viennese. That’s the Vienna etiquette.
If you go to Vienna, everyone will tell you that you have to visit the famous Schonbrunn Palace, the imperial Rococo residence which is the essence of all the above: strait-lacedness, grandeur, opulence, as well as – boredom. You will admire it, but only because you’ll it to be the decent thing to do. One of the world’s biggest ZOOs is located within the Schonbrunn Palace. It is huge. So huge that you will admire it too because you’ll find it to be the decent thing to do, but you’ll be wondering on the inside – where does it end?
This may sound like blasphemy, but – skip the boring Schonbrunn if you find yourself in Vienna. Skip the Sacher cake as well – you don’t need the overly dry and expensive calorie bomb, as even the McDonald’s brownie tastes better. Instead, spend some time at Vienna’s hidden gem, the aquarium in the very city center which is 10 stories high. It’s called the Haus des Meeres (meaning The Sea House) and even though it is smaller than the spectacular tanks in Lisbon and Copenhagen, let’s be honest, you will remember it as the most beautiful experience you had in the very run-down Vienna.