Vienna is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe…in the world, even. I recently visited Vienna on a Viking River Cruise, stopping to visit some of the most famed Christmas markets in the world. And they didn’t disappoint. Vienna knows how to do Christmas in style and anyone who goes will be immersed in the traditions of the holiday, the beauty of the city and the magic of the season.
But besides the Christmas markets, Vienna is also home to centuries worth of history and culture. In fact, the world-renowned Ringstrasse, which opened in 1865, is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2015 and there are lots of celebrations planned to mark the occasion.
150th anniversary of the Ringstrasse: Kick-off in New York City
If you live in New York City or are planning to visit, you can join in on the festivities. To kick things off, Vienna Tourism is hosting a come-one-come-all celebration in the Vanderbilt Hall in the historic Grand Central Terminal on October 14, 2014 from 12pm to 7pm and on October 15, 2014 from 7am to 7pm. Locals and visitors alike are invited to stop by for a “Coffeehouse Conversation,” which is a live webcam event, where guests will be able to chat with locals at the legendary Café Central in Vienna and explore the historic and beautiful architecture and evolution of the Ringstrasse through a multi-media exhibit that showcases some of the grandest buildings, palaces, parks, monuments and gardens in the city.
No celebration is complete without a feast and guests are also invited to sample an authentic taste of classic Vienna with coffee from Julius Meinl and manner shnitten, delicious hazelnut-cream filled wafers that are local to the region. Plus, attendees can enter to win a trip to Vienna to visit the Ringstrasse and all of Vienna’s other incredible sites in person, by taking an iPad personality test … Sigmund Freud, anyone?
The Ringstrasse: A brief history
Vienna’s Ringstrasse is one of the most iconic boulevards in the world. At 5.3 kilometers (3.2 miles) in length, the Ringstrasse boasts some of the city’s most stunning architecture and is home to cultural landmarks like the State Opera, the Parliament, City Hall, the local university, the Vienna Stock Exchange and so much more. The boulevard was officially opened on May 1, 1865 by Emperor Franz Joseph and today, is the most fashionable street in the city. It’s home to grand hotels and luxury residences. Well-preserved and maintained (the manicured parks and gardens are gorgeous), the Ringstrasse is a must-visit landmark for visitors and an urban escape for many residents of the city. No trip to Vienna would be complete without a visit!
I’m always ready to hit the road and explore the world and the Ringstrasse’s upcoming anniversary really gets me in the mood to visit this world-class city again. Not only is it a great walking city, it’s great for riding a bike around, which I’ve done before. From the historic architecture and the rich cultural scene of art and music to the café culture, I’m ready to jump on a plane, hit a streetside coffee shop, order a coffee and pastry and take in the surrounding wonders of Vienna. Until then, there are always the New York City celebrations to get you in the spirit of things.
- More information
New York City celebrations
Remember the Ringstrasse
More about Vienna on JohnnyJet.com
Off-season week: Vienna, Austria
Viking European Christmas market cruise: Vienna, Austria
This is a sponsored post on behalf of the Vienna Tourism Board. I received compensation for this post, however all opinions stated are my own. Photography: (c) WienTourismus Christian Stemper