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Vienna City - Austria

Museum Quarter, Vienna Belvedere Palace, ViennaMuseum Quarter, Vienna

A magical city, Vienna effortlessly combines modern efficiency with historical beauty. The transport system is fast and well connected, while the wealth of fabulous Baroque architecture in the centre has to be seen to be believed.

Every street is lined by imposing buildings, all with elegant detailing around the windows and doors. Even more impressive are the many palaces scattered throughout the city, surprising you around corners and testament to the power and wealth of the former Habsburg empire. The Hofburg royal palace is particularly impressive as are the pair of buildings that form part of the museum quarter. The parliament building is also particularly notable with a massive columned front and a marble statue of Athena in front. There are also a large number of theatres and concert halls. The state opera building is really opulent sitting on a whole block of its own and hosting daily performances of opera and plays.

Many of the city's palaces house art galleries and museums. The Belvedere palaces, sitting at either end of a formal garden house a Baroque museum and a collection of late 19th century Vienesse art. The building is fantastic and the collection of 'Neukunst' equally impressive with paintings by Klimt and Schiele.

In contrast the Hundertwasser gallery is a unique building for the Baroque city. The building is very organic with curvy walls and a rolling floor. Hundertwasser built it specifically to host his artwork and it complements this extremely well. The theories behind much of his art and architecture are really nice and concerned with living in a comfortable and natural environment. The model of his plan of a housing project is incredible, all set within hills with the grass curving up and over the building roofs. He's also modified several buildings around the city to give them a more organic feel. The giant incinerator plant to the north of the city is fantastic with all the harsh lines broken up with curves and bright colours.

Vienna has a fantastic amount of museums. One of the more interesting and unique is the 'House of Music'. Open until late in the evening (the best time to go as it's less busy) this fantastic museum showcases Vienna's musical heritage along with some bizarre interactive activities. There's lots about how we perceive music and how sounds can appear that don't really exist. The top floor is full of interactive 'future music' machines where you can create music just by moving your arms through space. It's a bit bizarre in places, but the museum is informative and really fun.

You can spend hours walking the streets of Vienna and admiring the fabulous buildings. There's no shortage of things to do in the city with more museums, galleries and musical events than you could possibly cover in a month. Vienna really is an amazingly beautiful city and truly awe inspiring at every turn.

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