With roots that date back to ancient history, Vienna is looked upon as the world's most favourable destination when it comes to conducting international conferences and congresses, and in excess of 5 million tourists visit the city each year. Austria's capital, as well as its largest city, Vienna is home to some fantastic architectural marvels and museums, and its cultural legacy continues to hold steady. Music, theatre, and opera form an intrinsic part of Viennese culture, and when in this part of the world, tourists can expect to find attractions ranging from palaces to chapels to parks and gardens to sporting venues to some truly out-of-this-world restaurants, bars, clubs, and Viennese cafes.
Knowing just what to look forward to when travelling to Vienna is definitely suggested, and while relying on local travel and tour operators is an option, turning to a website like eBay can help travellers take care of requirements like accommodation, flights, trains, and bus tickets, car rentals, as well as package holidays, well in advance, and all in one place. With scores of places to search through and a plethora of activities to do, making a short list of attractions to cover in Vienna ahead of time ought to help, such as the Schonbrunn Palace, the Staatsoper, the Hofburg Palace, the Imperial Butterfly House, and the Imperial Crypt.
The Schonbrunn Palace, since the 1960s, is regarded as one of Austria's most culturally rich assets, and makes for a very popular tourist attraction. This baroque-styled palace was the imperial family's summer residence, and boasts of having housed Empress Sisi and Emperor Franz Joseph. The Habsburgs came to possess this land in the late 1560s, and in 1642, a summer residence named "Schonbrunn" was built for the wife of Emperor Ferdinand II. The complex, including the garden and the palace, saw significant redesigning just after 1743, and these changes were carried out on account of Maria Theresia.
After the fall of the Habsburg monarchy, this area has been looked upon by the Viennese as more of a recreational area, and visitors now have the ability to visit the palace, the park, the zoo, and more. While the palace alone attracts in excess of 1.5 million visitors every year, it is said that more than 6.5 million people visit the Schonbrunn estate every year. It was included in UNESCO's list of world heritage sites in 1996.
When visiting the Schonbrunn Palace, tourists have the option to attend concerts held at the Schonbrunn Palace Orangery. This is where the music of famous former Vienna residents Mozart and Strauss is recreated by the Schonbrunn Palace Orchestra every evening, and these two-hour concerts are well worth their while for people who like their share of classical music. Visitors also have the option of clubbing this experience with some wining and dining, in which they can opt for packages that comprise of a three-course dinner before the concert, followed by champagne during the concert intermission.
Wiener Staatsoper, or Vienna State Opera, not only refers to Vienna's opera company, but also its opera house, and it dates back to sometime in the mid-19th century. This horseshoe-shaped auditorium covered with highlights of gold and red makes for the perfect setting to enjoy an opera and some ballet, and the Vienna Philharmonic provides the much celebrated score. Known to be among the busiest opera houses the world over, the Vienna State Opera boasts of producing more than 50 operas and 10 ballet productions each year, leading to around 300 performances. As a result, visitors can expect to find a different opera every day during their brief holiday in Vienna.
In order to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the National Theatre's reopening, the 2013-2014 season is set to focus on "how one becomes what one is", and just like in 1963, this season is to open with "Die Frau ohne Schatten" by Richard Strauss.
Given that the Hofburg Palace, or the Imperial Palace, has been around since the 13th century, it has much to offer to the casual tourist as well as anyone interested in history. Since 1279, it has been a documented seat of governance that has served different empires and republics, which includes the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as well as the Habsburg Dynasty. The Habsburgs regarded the Schonbrunn Palace as their summer residence, while the Hofburg Palace was where they spent their winters.
The Hofburg Palace is now the official home of the Austrian President, and also houses the Congress Centre as well as various art museums. This palace has seen various changes and additions made to it since it was first built, and it is currently home to a chapel, a number of residences, various museums, the national theatre, the riding school, horse stables, as well as the Imperial Library. In addition, the Vienna Boys ' Choir performs at the Gothic Imperial Chapel during High Mass every Sunday. The Sisi Museum, the Imperial Apartments, and the Silver Collection feature highly on most tourist itineraries, accounting for about 6 million visitors every year.
Schmetterlinghaus, or the Imperial Butterfly House, is a must-see for those who like nature. Not far from the Opera House, and part of the Hofburg Palace, visitors at the Schmetterlinghaus are witness to a large number and variety of tropical butterflies that live freely in a specially created rainforest type of setting, replete with hollow trees and waterfalls. This Jugendstil greenhouse that was once frequented by Sisi and Kaiser Franz Josef is now open to the public and features on a number of Vienna package holidays. In addition to watching the butterflies, visitors also have the option to sit through a short film that offers scientific insight into the living of these wonderful creatures, and the in-house shop stocks an assortment of butterfly-related paraphernalia.
Visitors on short breaks in Vienna who don't mind a little out of the ordinary should definitely consider visiting the Imperial Crypt, also referred to as the Capuchin Crypt, which is another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Vienna. This crypt is actually a burial chamber used to bury bodies of those belonging to the Habsburg dynasty since 1633. This is where 145 bodies, including 12 emperors and 19 empresses and queens are entombed; 107 metal sarcophagi are visible as are five heart urns, and the double sarcophagus of Emperor Franz I and Maria Theresia is one of the most magnificent sarcophagi visitors can expect to see.
Burials continue to take place at the Imperial Crypt even in modern times. While Zita, the last Austrian Empress, was laid to rest here in 1989, Otto Habsburg, former Crown Prince and her grandson, was also buried here alongside Regina, his wife, in 2011. The Imperial Crypt is home to a dozen or so Capuchin friars who carry on with their customary role of guarding and taking care of the crypts until this date.
The crypt has seen considerable changes in the recent past, most notable of which are tin decoration restorations and the incorporation of climate control technology.
More and more people across the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe are turning to eBay when it comes to looking for holidays and travel alternatives, and this is not without reason. After all, eBay users are given the option to browse through accommodation options that include bed and breakfasts, caravans, apartments, hotels, villas, and more. In addition, eBay users can also use the site to look for package holidays, flight tickets, train tickets, bus tickets, as well as car rental alternatives.
Looking for anything in particular on eBay is quite simple; users are required to type just what they are looking for into the search box that can be found on every eBay page. For example, when looking for a map for Vienna, simply keying " Vienna map" into the search box and hitting enter should present users with suitable results.
Given that not all eBay sellers price their products in the same manner, and taking into account that similar holiday packages could be priced differently by different providers, carrying out extensive searches is highly recommended.
Different people like to visit Vienna during different times of the year, and while some like Vienna's typically warm summers, some others prefer to visit when it is covered in snow during the winter months. The connectivity that the Vienna International Airport offers is something that is appreciated by many travellers, and has a possible role to play in the large number of people who visit this city year after year.
Shopping, coffee shops, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, sporting venues, and a host of other leisure activities grace this quintessentially European city, adding a modern touch to that much sought after old world charm filled with cultural heritage that boasts of music, theatre, architecture, and literature. With no dearth of sights and sounds in which to indulge, Vienna does offer something for everyone, making it a great place for people who wish to travel alone, with their partners, or their entire families. Effective and affordable public transport makes exploring this city a breeze, and tourists also have the option to partake in various guided walking tours to learn more about the city.