10 amazing spots in Vienna you should not miss

Vienna, known as the City of Music, is the capital and the largest city of Austria.

Going to Vienna, one must make a list of places to visit, so might this list of 10 amazing spots in Vienna help you out to enjoy your trip to this dramatic place (UNESCO World Heritage Site).

#10. Stephansplatz

Let´s start with one of the most well-known squares in the world: The Stephansplatz, named after its most prominent building, the Stephansdom.

This ancient building is not only the cathedral of Vienna, but also one of the tallest churches in the world. If you are interested in architecture I suggest you to have a walk around this dramatic place and to discover the magnificent of this construction. Entrance to the cathedral is free for visitors.

Stephansplatz is located in the ancient downtown of  Vienna, at the end of the Känrtner Straße, the shopping street, and the Graben*, one of the first residential streets in this area of the city.

*Graben = Ditch. This elegant shopping street began life as a ditch dug built up by the Romans to protect Vinodoba until Leopold V filled it in.

#9. Hotel Sacher

In the number 9 we can find another historical building of Vienna: The Hotel Sacher, mostly known as the house of the delicious Sacher Torte.

The hotel, built on the place where Antonio Vivaldi once lived,  was founded in 1876 by Eduard, the son of the creator of the Sacher Torte, though it is best remembered for the period when it was managed by his widow Anna. Those days the hotel reached its glory days becoming a veritable institution, as well as the Sacher Torte.

The origins of this cake are dated to 1832 when Franz Sacher, an apprentice chef, came up with this delicious dessert.

Since the beginning the hotel has been an important meeting point for the Viennese high society, where aristocrats, artists and politicians conversed while enjoying the sublime Sacher Torte. Nowadays, the hotel is still a meeting place for businessmen, artists, politicians and royals, like the Queen Elizabeth II.

#8. Schönbrunn

The imperial summer palace of Maria Theresa, built around 1712,  is one of the most impressive palaces of the world (only comparable to Versailles, I would say).

The place is composed of more than 1.000 rooms and an immense garden which offers a lot of attractions for its visitors.

In the following link “Schönbrunn.at”  you can find more information about the tickets to visit the imperial summer residence of Sisi.

#7. Belvedere

Belvedere dates from the 17th century, after the Prince Eugene purchased a plot of land on the south of Vienna and decided to build his summer residence there.

This historical part of the city consists of two baroque palaces (Lower and Upper Belvedere) and a dramatic baroque-style garden. During the French Revolution both palaces served as home to French royals who left their country, in fact, the French embassy is yet located  in a beautiful imperial building not far away from of Belvedere.

#6. Manner Store

In the number 6 of this list we come back to Stepahnsplatz (#10).

Located at one corner of the square you will find the original Manner Store.

Wait a second, do you know what Manner is? If so, maybe you want to discover now the spot number 5, although it is not so tasty as this one ;). If not, keep reading to find out more about this unique place in the world.

In 1889 Mr. Josef Manner I opened a confectionery store next to Stepahnsdom. Nine years later, in 1898, he invented, in honor of the golden jubilee of Emperor Franz Josef, the Neapolitan wafer, a composition of crispy wafers filled with hazelnut cream.

Although the Manner Neapolitans’ original receipt is still being produced, the Manner company has already introduced many other different wafer flavors as tasty and delicious as the original one. Millions of Manner wafer lovers around the world visit this store every year to find out new flavors and to buy tons of the original wafer.

To keep the tradition and the quality standards for all the products, the entire Manner production takes places in the factory in Vienna in the 17th district. Take a look at Manner´s website (manner.com) to get more insights about this unique product.

#5. MuseumsQuartier

In the middle of the list we find MuseumsQuartier, a 60.000 square meters of exhibition space, situated in the former Messpalast, or convention center, which served the Empire for the imperial stables.

Three major museums are part of MQ (MuseumsQuartier); the MUMOK (Museum der Modernen Kunst – (en) Museum of Modern Art); the Leopold Museum for Classic Modern Art (the one I liked the most); and the Kunsthalle, for changing exhibitions.

MQ is a meeting place for young people and families not only in summer, when different festivals are organized on the square, but also in winter since more than a dozen smaller institutions such as the Zoom Kinder Museum are also part of MQ.

Tip: If you are hungry do not miss the chance to enjoy a great meal at the terrace of the restaurant Glacis Beisl .

#4. Rathaus

One of my favourite buildings of the city. Rather than its official status (it is the Vienna´s Town Hall as well as the seat of the government for the State of Vienna) what really attracts me from this 1880s construction is the way its Gothic facade stands there “staring” at the city of Vienna and taking part in its most important moments, such as christmas or the Life Ball.

In fact, the Rathaus is a nice meeting point. In christmas its square (Rathausplatz) holds one of the most magical christmas market of the city and during the months of spring and summer many exhibitions and festivals are also organized in this part of the city.

#3. Hundertwasserhaus

The concept of the Hundertwasserhaus was developed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an Austrian artist, around 1984. Each of the 53 apartments that belong to this building has a different colour, as well as the facade, which is painted in bright colorful patches.

The desire of the designer, Mr. Hundertwasser, was to bring nature closer to the city and its citizens. The accomplishment of his desire is noticeable in the use of curves and in the landscaping of the terraces with trees and ivy.

Press here to get more information about opening hours and admission

#2. Karlskirche

A dramatic baroque church located in Karlsplatz dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo. Located beside the Spitaler Gottesacker, where Carlo Vivari was buried, this beautiful construction became popular among austrians and tourits due to its unique dome and its two flanking columns.

If you are a fan of classical music do not miss the opportunity to buy some tickets and to enjoy a live concert of classical music. Press here to find out more information about this and other music concerts which take part in churches (listening “The Four Seasons” of Vivaldi at Karlskirche is an incredible mix of feelings, I highly recommend it).

#1. Anker Clock

The Anker Clock is my favourite hidden gem in Vienna.

Located at the Hoher Markt square, the Anchor Clock was built around 1917.

The clock forms a bridge between two parts of an insurance company’s building and it is adorned with mosaic ornaments. In the course of 12 hours, around twelve figures move across the bridge. Some of these figures represent renowned people such as Haydn, Empress Maria Theresa and Eugene of Savoy.

Although at the very beginning I talked about 10 amazing spots in Vienna, I have a final suggestion:

# Extra Spot – Wiener Zentralfriedhof

This extra spot is my last personal recommendation if you ever decide to visit Vienna.

Wiene Zentralfriedhof is the largest cemetery of Austria (and the second of Europe), and it is known for being the place where notable persons such as Beethoven, Strauss or Schubert were laid to rest.  If you ever decide to come to Vienna and to visit something different do not miss the chance to come to this place.

Some may find this sight a bit macabre, however, I can assure you that it is a unique place in the world.

 

 

And now what?

Regardless of the economical and financial point of view, the European Union was born to remind us that we can live in peace together. The EU is based in peace and collaboration agreements.

UK joined the EU in 1973 sharing its principles of stability, respect and prosperity. Furthermore, being part of this alliance allowed the UK citizens to work, live and travel freely all around the EU.

Until four days ago.

Four days ago UK decided to leave us, its citizens surprisingly voted for the renowned “Brexit” causing an unprecedented uncertainty on the whole EU.

There were two fact that impressed us the most regarding this decision. On the one hand, Google reported that searches for “What does it mean to leave the EU?” and “What is the EU?” peaked after the referendum. Does it mean that UK citizens did not know the consequences of their votes?    

“Many people are regretting about what they voted. They did not know the real consequences of the Brexit” – N.C Spanish expat in Oxford

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On the other hand, mostly elder people voted for the Brexit while young people voted massively to remain. Does it mean that elder people decided the future of my generation and the upcoming generations without being aware, as we previously saw, of the consequences of this decision? 

“The older generation over 50 voted mostly to leave. Most of them will be dead in time for the next generation to suffer” – G.M. Northern Irish expat in Montpellier 

And now, what’s next? What’s going to happen with Scotland and North Ireland (which massively voted to remain in the EU)?

“We will probably become independent and join our EU neighbors. We’ve just caused a recession for ourselves and upset our European neighbors” – G.W. Scotsman expat in Düsseldorf

And how will this decision affect expats? How will this vote change the way the next generations understand the freedom of movement of workers and citizens in the EU?

“No one was expecting this result in my company. They still do not know what is coming next since most of the employees are foreigners. There are trying to figure out how can they manage this situation” – N.B. Spanish expat in Manchester

One important principle of the EU is freedom of movement for workers and citizens, allowing the social and cultural enrichment of the member countries. How will this decision affect all the UK citizens living abroad? And the foreigners living in the UK? We should not forget that 1.2 million people born in UK live abroad placing the UK fifth among the EU countries for the size of their expats in other EU countries.

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“Many people are thinking about to leave England. They feel there are not welcome here right now. I will stay until they kick me out, then I will move to other european country where I feel welcome” – A.L. Spanish expat in London 

What comes next is still a mystery for all of us. While some governments stand up for a fast and immediate exit others, like the German one, are willing to concede the UK a period of time to fix all its internal emerging problems (Scottish independence?, The establishment of borders in Ireland?).

However, it is clear that something is changing in the EU: People want to feel part of the EU, people are raising their voices, they want to be listened, they want a better Europe. Then, why instead of following arising nationalism ideas do we not stay in the EU to try to change it from the inside?. As EU citizens we have the tools to express ourselves and to generate the institutional change, then let´s do it! Leaving is just the easy way, working from the inside can be tough but it is the right way.

“We can be patriots, why not? But not nationalists. Nationalism brought us many conflicts in the past. We are facing lots of problems as europeans right now, we should stay together” – O.T. Spanish expat in Köln

 

Let´s face the nationalism that tries to destabilize what our ancestors started building 70 years ago and let´s be united in this uncertain period. There are so many challenges we have to face right now as europeans… Let´s work on them together! 

“The worst part is the not economical one, as most of the people think… it is moral! We fought to be free from nationalism, and we are now allowing it to coming back in name of…freedom!” – A.B. Italian expat in Essen

Do you feel European? What is your opinion about the EU? What do you think about the UK decision? Did you vote in the referendum?  Which is your expat point of view regarding everything what is happening right now in Europe?

Share your thoughts with us! We are happy to read your opinion!

La cerveza en Alemania

A la pregunta: Qué se bebe en Alemania? La respuesta es…

Cerveza!

Aunque dependiendo de la región donde os encontréis tendréis que pedir un tipo de cerveza u otro. Pero sabéis ya a que región pertenece cada una de ellas?

Para salir de dudas os proponemos un juego. Os vamos a hablar de 7 tipos de cerveza Alemana que os recomendamos probar. Podréis de adivinar de que cervezas y regiones estamos hablando? Para salir de dudas seguid leyendo hasta el final 😉 Empecemos!! 

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1. Nuestra primera cerveza toma su nombre de su región de origen. Con sólo un 3% de alcohol ésta es una cerveza suave que suele tomarse con jarabe de asperilla (Waldmeister) o jarabe de frambuesa (Himbeere), lo que la dota de un color verde, en el primer caso,y rojizo, en el segundo.

2. Como la primera cerveza ha sido bastante fácil vamos a seguir con otra un poco más difícil de adivinar. Esta cerveza es muy similar a la cerveza de trigo aunque con la peculiaridad de que se elabora mitad con malta de cebada y mitad con malta de trigo. Además, antiguamente se utilizaba el agua del río que lleva su nombre para su elaboración.

3. Conocida mundialmente esta cerveza, con un 4% de alcohol, se elabora con lúpulo, malta, agua de baja dureza y se fermenta con levadura a baja fermentación. Una pista: Tiene una llave como logo. 😉

4. Nuestra siguiente cerveza data de 1390 (allá por la Edad Media) y su característico color (sí, está cerveza no es rubia) se obtiene por la baja fermentación de la malta durante el proceso de tueste.

5 – 6. Estas dos cervezas son grandes rivales (al igual que las ciudades donde se producen). La primera se elabora con levadura de alta fermentación y malta oscura. La segunda es más rubia y tiene un 5% de alcohol, además de denominación de origen. Ambas suelen servirse en vasos pequeños y alargados de unos 20cl. Dato importante: A las dos les gusta el carnaval 😉

7. Por último os vamos a hablar de la cerveza por excelencia durante el Oktoberfest. Con un 5% de alcohol esta cerveza de trigo se consume principalmente en la región de la que viene y se sirve en vasos de un litro. Su color, casi transparente, se debe a la malta de trigo.

Si creéis que habéis acertado todas, quizá os habéis vuelto alemanes sin daros cuenta. Si tenéis alguna duda, lo mejor es que sigáis bajando y descubráis de que cervezas y regiones os hemos estado hablando.

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  1. Berliner Weisse -Berlin    
  2. Gose – Baja sajonia
  3. Beck´s – Bremen
  4. Köstritzer (Schwarzbier) – Turingia     
  5. Altbier – Düsseldorf
  6. Kölsch – Köln
  7. Weissbier – Baviera

Os animáis a probarlas?

7 signs you are becoming German

Are you getting used to the German way of life? Are you including potatoes and sausages in your diet? Do you also think that the christmas markets are the place to be during winter time? If you answered yes to all these questions it is a sign of your “germanization”. Are you becoming German? Here you can find definitive 7 signs you are becoming German

1. When you
move you bring your old furniture to your new flat

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In Germany it is quite usual to do not leave a single nail in your old apartment when you move to a new one. Germans
take all their furniture when they move: the kitchen, the freezer, the wash
machine… also the bulbs!

If the furniture does not fit in the new apartment they leave it in the street, so that other people can re-use it. Recycling the old-fashioned way! 🙂

2. When you
see a ray of light sun and you run outside your flat

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It does not matter if it is winter or summer. Germans are crazy about the sun. If there is
a sunny day they will be on the street enjoying it. Everytime the sun shine the
streets are crowded of people having a walk or drinking a coffee in the terraces.
No one will stay at home during a sunny day.

3. When you split the bill

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Zusammen oder getrennt? That is the question. If you come from the south of Europe there
is a high probability that your answer “zusammen (together)”. In some countries
it is common to invite friends for a coffee or to pay a meal.

However, a good german would have answered “getrennt (separate)”. In Germany they split everything, also the coffee bill! So, if you want to invite a friend do not be
surprised if he looks weird at you.

4. When you
remove your shoes in the entrance of your flat

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It is a non-written rule. When you enter in a flat you have to remove your shoes, to
leave them at the entrance and to walk barefoot.

The main goal of this non-written rule is to avoid scattering the snow and the water of the rain around the whole flat. It is a good idea, taking into account that the average of rainy days in Germany is around 128 days per year.

Do not forget it when you visit a german friend!

5. When you like to spend a day at IKEA

Spending the day at IKEA is a german common hobby. No matter which day of the week, if
you go to IKEA it will be totally crowded. We do not know the reason why
germans love to spend their time there, but it is quite normal for them.

Did you know one of the biggest IKEA of the world is located in Germany?? Concretely in
Düsseldorf.

http://www.rp-online.de/nrw/staedte/duesseldorf/duesseldorfer-ikea-ist-jetzt-der-groesste-der-welt-aid-1.1144216

6. When you cannot wait to get off the public transport

Germans tend to be ready to get off the public transport before it stops. Usually they
start to queue up at the previous stop. In the subway they queue up during 2
minutes, however, it can take longer when you travel by train.

It looks like if they were always on a hurry! Can it be due to the punctuality of the Deutsche Bahn? We would like to apologize before sharing the following with you: German public transports come hardly on time! Maybe that is the reason why germans are always in a hurry?

7. When your idea of a perfect summer plan is to organize a BBQ in a park

When summer comes organizing a BBQ in the park is THE PLAN. Nothing else can make germans
happier than a good BBQ, beers and friends.

In fact, it is easy to organize one. You just need to buy some beers, food and to find a place in some random park around the city or in front of the river. Sincerely, we do not why they
love BBQ so much, is it maybe not because of the food itself but due to the weather (as we said before)?

We are almost “germanized” 🙂 After some years living here we like their way of life. An what about you, are you becoming German?

Luxembourg!!

The first time I visited Luxembourg I was surprised, since I was expecting a city, in fact a whole country, full of mansions and expensive cars. However, Luxembourg is not that at all. It is a small international country full of history, which you can feel in each single street. Do you want to know more? just keep reading!

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A bit of history…

Luxembourg is the 7th smallest country in Europe. It is bordered by Belgium, France and Germany and it has three official languages, although during our time there we only listened french. We all know it as a “tax heaven” country. But Luxembourg has more to show us.

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Grund

This historical area is the perfect place to get lost. Walking across its streets the visitor can enjoy a nice view and discover cute restaurants, where it is possible to enjoy a nice meal in front of the river.

Furthermore, the Neumünster Abbey and the National Museum are located in this charming area.

Downtown

In the city centre, surrounded by stores and restaurants the visitor can find the Place d´Armes, Nôtre           Dame Cathedral and the Grand Ducal Palace. Do not leave without trying the cakes of the patisserie               located in front of the palace, amazing!!

Luxemburg DowntownLuxemburg Downtwon

Clausen

It is the place for the night life, as well as for Microsoft, Amazon and some other well known companies. It is easy to access to this part of the city through Grund or walking across the old bridges which set up the city.

What to eat?

And finally… I want to show you a pair of cute restaurants that we discovered and which I would                     recommend you.

 

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9, Avenue Monterey L-2163 Luxembourg

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Place d’Armes, 1136 Luxembourg

Have you ever been in Luxembourg? Did you like it? Did you also have different expectations before arriving to Luxembourg? Share your experience! 🙂

Luxemburgo Centro