I snagged this photo of the generous lanes for biking and walking alongside the big street! The Viennese love their bikes; they have not one but two competing bike rental companies in the city.
First stop was a delicious breakfast at Café Central, a grande dame of a Viennese coffee shop that evokes art nouveau and intellectualism. Hitler and Trotsky were regulars here, as well as Sigmund Freud, Tito, and many other great European minds. (We just came here for breakfast though.)
We enjoyed a roll, croissant, tea, coffee, and apple strudel right in front of huge portraits of Franz Joseph and Sisi. Of course.
Next stop was the Upper and Lower Belvedere museums, which house a wide variety of European art, including a spectacular collection of one of Vienna's favorite sons, Gustav Klimt. The last time I was here, the "Lady in Gold," Adele Bloch-Bauer, was still here. Awkward!
|Everyone's favorite Klimt, made into a selfie station|
The museums themselves are gorgeous architectural specimens. This is the great hall of the Upper Belvedere at left.
I also thought that the Upper Belvedere had a fascinating modern art installation, specifically a few pieces that played at the interior of the museum well.
The Lower Belvedere had an exhibit on Klimt's incorporation of Egyptian antiquities into his artwork, specifically his friezes, which I had never really thought about before but totally made sense when you see them next to each other.
Here's us in a fancy gilded room at the Lower Belvedere:
After the Belvedere, we took a street tram to a highly recommended gastropub, Amerlingbeisl, where I had a falafel wrap with fries and beer and Dave had spinach spätzle, also with beer. We tried a few of the local Viennese macrobrews and heartily enjoyed a red Zwickl.
After we finished lunch, we were ready for more artwork at the Kunsthistorisches Museum ("Art History Museum"), another Habsburg gift to the city of Vienna. I would compare it to the Louvre or the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Even though it was partially closed for renovations, we spent three hours wandering the hallways looking at antiquities, sculptures, and artwork.
The museum is known for its large collection of works by Bruegel and Rubens. The Egyptian antiquities were fascinating, too. The museum itself also contains some Klimt friezes, I think for the Vienna world's fair. They were hard to see, but we found them in the main staircase area.
For dinner, we visited Wiebels Wirsthaus for Austrian wine and classic fare. I was kind of getting tired of schnitzel and sausages, so I got salmon and rice with a Hollandaise sauce, and Dave got lamb and potatoes gratin.
After dinner, we headed to the Deutschordenshaus with tickets to a tiny concert in the tiny Sala Terrena:
Mozart practiced here when he was a boy, and the room has been restored for public concerts. A quartet of musicians dressed in period costume played Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven for a crowd of only fifty. Not a bad seat in the house, and a captivating experience. Get your tickets before you go!!