Tag - Austria

Visit the Village of Christkindl, Austria

 Christkin Credit:www.e-cesty.cz

Christkin Credit:www.e-cesty.cz

A Favorite Austrian Travel Destination During the Christmas Season

Just outside the city of Steyr is the tiny town of Christkindl, known for its church, religious artifacts, and post office, and is especially popular around the holidays. Along a winding road out of the small Upper Austrian city of Steyr, through the trees, and past rolling hills and green fields, is the village of Christkindl. Though it may not seem like much at first glance, this little community just a couple of kilometers outside of the center of Steyr is full of charm and history.

Christkindl as a Pilgrimage Destination

The artifacts within Christkindl’s church draw several visitors each year. Among the most-viewed works is the ten-centimeter wax figurine of Jesus as the Christkind. The relic is among the several religious artifacts that make Christkindl a popular pilgrimage destination.

Christkindl’s Unique Postage: A Popular Souvenir

Popular for its post office with a famous stamp, the only stamp of its kind in the world, Christkindl attracts visitors each year, particularly around Christmastime. These visitors are usually not only hoping to see the church and its artifacts, but to purchase the stamp that is only available in Christkindl, only authentic on an envelope with the post office’s seal.

Christkindl’s Church

With towers that rise above the trees, charming older buildings along sloping cobblestoned streets, and a marvelous view of the surrounding hills, Christkindl is beautiful any time of year. The center of the village is the exquisite Christkindl Church, or Christkindlkirche. Though the church’s interior has a simple design, the exterior is a wonderful example of the elaborate Rococo architecture that, along with architecture from the Baroque era, dominates many churches in the region.

Getting to Christkindl from Steyr

Follow one of the pathways out to Christkindl from the center of town, or take bus line eight to Goldbacherstrasse and walk along the dirt path for the rest of the way. There is also an old-style shuttle bus ( Postbus) to Christkindl that departs from Steyr’s Stadtplatz during the holiday season.

Other Holiday Attractions in and Around Steyr

The Christkindlmarkt in Garsten is a wonderful event not to miss if spending part of the holiday season in this lovely region of Upper Austria. Garsten is a village just outside of Steyr, accessible both by bus and by train. Steyr also hosts a Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt), and Linz, just an hour train ride away, also offers a large Weihnachtsmarkt in the city’s Hauptplatz, or main square.

To experience one of the points of pride of the Steyr region, visit the village of Christkindl, Austria. Of course, the best time to visit is around Christmastime, when visitors can pick up the unique souvenir postage stamp, see the church and its relics, and have a lovely overall holiday excursion.

Visiting Cafes in Steyr, Austria

Steyr, credit :nerdseyeview.com

Steyr, credit :nerdseyeview.com

The Many Places to Enjoy a Taste of Austrian Culture

In Austria, cafes are a popular place to spend leisure time. The small Upper Austrian city of Steyr, not far from Linz, offers a wide variety of choices. Visitors to Steyr have several options when looking for a place to sit down for a cup of Kaffee, some sort of Austrian dessert, or even a light meal. Here is just a sampling of the many cafes in this beautiful Upper Austrian town.

Cafe Werndl

Located at Zwischenbrücken (literally “between bridges”), Cafe Werndl is right in the center of Steyr. Booth seating gives Cafe Werndl a comfortable feel, and the plethora of windows provide views of the river, one of Steyr’s picturesque churches, and the cobblestone streets of the center of town. Unlike most of the other businesses in Steyr, the cafe is open on Sundays.

Franz Ferdinand

Located at the “Roter Brunnen” (“red fountain”) in the area of town known as Steyrdorf, this small cafe is open in the afternoons and evenings. With floor-to-ceiling windows and brightly colored walls, Franz Ferdinand has a somewhat more modern look. Guests have the opportunity to enjoy a meal or a drink outdoors if they choose, including in the evenings.

Cafe di Fiume

This cafe is the perfect place to go when the weather is warm, as it has a terrace overlooking the Enns River. Indoor seating is also available, though the space is somewhat limited. Cafe di Fiume offers a light lunch and a variety of desserts to its patrons.

Cafe Postmann

In an atrium off of the Stadtplatz (main town square) is Cafe Postmann. The cafe boasts a delicious assortment of cakes, including several Austrian specialties. Bright orange booths, wood floors, and large windows create a cheerful, sunny atmosphere. Postmann is also open in the evenings.

Tabor Restaurant

This cafe and restaurant has the best views in town. Sweeping views of Steyr’s skyline and the hills beyond make this a wonderful place to go for coffee or a meal. To get to the Tabor tower cafe, it is a bit of a hike uphill, but very much worth the extra effort to get there.

Cafe Rahofer

Located through a quaint courtyard just off of the Stadtplatz, Rahofer is slightly pricier (especially for meals) than some of the other cafes around Steyr, but the cozy atmosphere and quality of the food and drink make up for it.

Cafe Options for the Evening

While Steyr’s night life certainly does not compare to that of cities like Vienna, Salzburg, or even Linz, there are still several options for those looking for something to do.

Luxor, located in the Stadtplatz, and Segafredo, also in the Stadtplatz, are popular places to go, and are popular with Steyr’s student population. Other places open in the evenings are Franz Ferdinand, Cafe Postmann, Rahofer, and two Irish pubs located in the same neighborhood as Franz Ferdinand.

Steyr has a surprisingly extensive assortment of cafes for a city of just 40,000. Each offers a different atmosphere, providing something for everyone, including the opportunity to sample Austrian dessert specialties. Article ori published with suite101.com

Rust: Paradise in Austria

Rust-Austria

Rust-Austria

Uniquely Charming Town on Burgenland’s Neusiedler See

The east Austrian village of Rust, just under two hours south of Vienna, is a don’t-miss spot on the western shore of Burgenland’s Lake Neusiedl.

Most visitors to the southeast Austrian state of Burgenland will describe the area as different from everywhere else in the country. The terrain, relatively flat but for the occasional hill, is covered with vineyards and dotted with low trees, with the occasional village or small town popping up along the road. The area’s prime tourist destination, the Neusiedler See, is a shallow lake that sits on the border between Austria and Hungary. The village of Rust is just north of the Hungarian border, on the western side of the lake.

Remember to Look Up

Reachable by bus or by car, the lakeside town of Rust will win visitors over instantly with its charm. Colorful buildings and cobblestone streets make up the town center, and perched atop nearly every chimney is a stork’s nest. It is not uncommon to hear the loud flap of storks’ wings overhead, or hear the low clicking sound they make from their perches above.

Then Be Sure to Drink Up

As Burgenland is Austria’s star producer of wine, it is no surprise that wineries dominate Rust’s town center. Guests can sit down to taste a fine selection of wine, most often supplemented with cheese, meat, and bread. Some wineries offer a full warm dinner, but it is more likely that a cold buffet will accompany the wine.

Ideally Situated

In addition to the fine gastronomical selection and the picturesque town center, Rust’s prime location on the lake enables visitors to bike a short distance to the village of Mörbisch, where a ferry is available to Illmitz, on the eastern shore. From there tourists can reach other small towns, such as St. Andrä on the lovely Zicksee, or Podersdorf, which boasts a beach and has a ferry directly back to the harbor in Rust. This town of wineries and storks’ nests is, therefore, the ideal place to stay on the lake.

Enjoying the Lake

Paths surrounded by water, tall grass, and charming little wooden holiday cabins wind along Rust’s shoreline, making the lake itself an attraction. Hiring a boat is also an option, and it is possible to paddle or row around the area. Views of the town from the water are particularly beautiful at sunset.

Peaceful Holiday Spot

Though the wine, the storks, and the lake serve as the tangible charms of this little town, the magic really comes from the sense of calm Rust can cast over its guests. It is the perfect place for a slow-paced summer holiday, where no deadlines, no rushing, no sense of the everyday chaos seem to exist. The town has managed, somehow, to stop time and put visitors at ease, making it ideal for de-stressing and relaxing. If traveling anywhere near eastern Austria, Rust and the Neusiedler See are worth a visit.

The Grandeur of Graz, Austria

Luegghäuser, Graz

Luegghäuser, Graz

From Baroque to Renaissance, Graz is a medley of timeless architectural marvels. The city boasts a myriad of pastel-colored buildings, charming inner courtyards and narrow alleyways, which lead from one enchanting corner to another. It’s no wonder that this Austrian city has carried the title as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999.

Discovering Graz

To begin touring Graz’s nooks and crannies, it’s best to begin at the central location where the city’s trams and buses converge: Jakominiplatz. From here, it’s a quick walk to Am Eisernen Tor, where a 19th century fountain and a golden statue of Mary atop a towering column dominate the square.

From Am Eisernen Tor, the pedestrian shopping promenade of Herrengasse leads to the structural splendor of the City Hall in the Main Square. This picturesque street showcases a sequence of stately edifices that exemplify masterpieces in art. Highlights include the Baroque City Parish Church, the Renaissance architecture of the provincial seat of parliament and the ornate and intricate stucco work on the 17th-century façades of the Luegghäuser. The 18th-century Gemaltes Haus, with frescoes of Greco-Roman mythological gods upon its exterior, is where regional Hapsburg princes implemented their official duties.

While strolling down Herrengasse, step back in time to the days of knights in shining armor at the Landeszeughaus. It houses the world’s largest display of weaponry and armory with Graz, Austria32,000 pieces from the late 15th century to the early 19th century. Even today, the collection could equip an army of 5,000 men.

Amid a fairy-tale picture-book spirit, the alleyways nestled between Herrengasse, Sporgasse and Bürgergasse lure visitors from one treasure trove of city delights to another. If well timed, catch a glimpse of the two wooden figurines in traditional dress appear when the early 20th-century Glockenspiel chimes at 11 am, 3 pm and 6 pm at Glockenspiel.

From the Main Square, it’s a quick walk down Murgasse to the banks of the Mur River. It won’t be difficult to spot the avante garde construction of the Kunsthaus, which stands juxtaposed among church steeples and historical buildings. Designed by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier, the city’s modern art museum is among the special features from 2003, at which time the city held the honor of Cultural Capital of Europe.

Stroll up Lendkai, which runs parallel to the Mur, and another work of modern art comes into view: the Murinsel. Conceptualized by New York artist Vito Acconci, the half-opened, shell-shaped steel island contains a small amphitheater for performances and a café above the fast-flowing river. Cross the footbridge over the Mur and head to Schlossbergplatz. The square’s backdrop of 260 steps is a gateway to the rising mountain above the city.

The Schlossberg

The Schlossberg’s prime location offers breathtaking views of the waves of terracotta rooftops amid a lush landscape of green fields and rolling hills. Whether by the funicular railway or

Glockenturm (Clock Tower), Graz

Glockenturm (Clock Tower), Graz

by the elevator, which runs through the very core of the mountain, visitors can reach Graz’s highest point and the origin of it’s namesake: Gradec, Slavic for “little castle.“

Although Napolean’s army destroyed most of the almighty fortress that once stood aloft here, Graz’s beloved Clock Tower, which dates back to 1712, continues to chime on the hour and reminds one and all that time hasn’t stood still here for centuries. Farther up the incline is the Bell Tower from 1588 and its five-ton bell, which blacksmiths formed out of 101 Turkish cannon balls.

Schloss Eggenberg

It’s just a 15-minute tram ride from the old city center to Schloss Eggenberg. Set among manicured garden—strutting peacocks included—Prince Johann Ulrich von Eggenberg commissioned the construction of this extravagant palace in the 17th century. His envisioned creation of symbolism features four towers for the seasons, twelve gates for the months and 365 windows for the days of the year. Yet it is the Planetary Room that is the palace’s primary attraction. The palace exudes opulence in every detail, framed paintings portray the blending of terrestrial and heavenly scenes, which reflect the astrological signs and the seven planets known at that time.

Other noteworthy highlights at the Schloss Eggenberg include: Austria’s largest coin collection, Renaissance artwork and religious relics in the Altes Museum, and an exhibition of the region’s history at the Archaeological Museum.

Extra Tip: Purchase either the 24- or 48-hour Universalmuseum Joanneum ticket. For one price, visitors receive admission to Graz’s wonderful cultural museums, including the palacial rooms at Schloss Eggenberg. Extra charges may apply for any additional services.Whether it is visiting the city’s impressive cultural treasures or appreciating its European charm, a trip to Graz is a absolute highlight when traveling through beautiful Austria.

Info for Dining & Lodging in Vienna- Austria

Dining & Lodging -cr- Hotels.expedia

Dining & Lodging -cr- Hotels.expedia

Understanding Austrian Cuisine and Computers

A trip to Vienna can be a vacation of a lifetime. But before leaving home, understand the basic differences in restaurants, computers and other aspects of Austria.

Anyone who has an appreciation for not only history, but also classical music should take advantage of a tour of the eastern European country of Austria. However, knowing a few details about what to expect in Austria’s hotels and restaurants will make your trip more enjoyable.

Austrian Currency

Austria uses the Euro for currency. Because rates change constantly you need to check on them daily to get the best deal. Although you can exchange your dollars for Euros at your local bank, it’s best to do it when you arrive. Usually, there are nearby banks in walking distance of most hotels.

Communicating in Austria

Before leaving check out a website such as “Austrian Phrases where you can learn a few local words and sayings in German, the language of the country. For example, “Danka” means “thank you. German is the official language and English is spoken especially in the tourist areas. Some speaks Slavic and Hungarian.

Austrian Food and Restaurants

Since its early beginnings traditional Austrian cuisine has been influenced by different neighboring cultures including German, Hungarian, Italian and German foods. Popular foods – The foods that Austria is most known for are wiener schnitzels and apple streusels. Baskets of restaurant rolls – Austrian food is excellent, however there are a few differences in restaurant policy. Whereas in America, rolls are usually included in a entre, in Austria bread and rolls are extra. However, they don’t tell you the price, but just bring out a basketful. When it’s time to pay, they count how many you ate and include it on your bill.   Plate sizes – In some restaurants, such as the Rosenberger in Albertina Square in Vienna, food in a salad bar is measured by plate size, rather than by the pound. In other words, choose a small plate over a large one to pile on the food. Coffee – Usually, refills of tea and coffee are not free, as in most American restaurants. Also, coffee is served in tiny cups and is strong compared to American brews. Tipping — A service charge of 10% to 15% is added on to your  hotel and restaurant bills, but it’s a good  to leave something  for waiters and your  maid per day. Smoking — Many Austrians are  smokers, and unlike in the United States, smoking is not prohibited in restaurants. If you’re sensitive, ask the waiter to sit you in a nonsmoking section, if possible.

Austrian Internet Access and Computers

Internet access – Many hotels offer internet in rooms for guests who bring their laptops. However, most hotels charge a fee for internet excess in their lobbies. At Vienna’s Hotel Savoyen internet is free. However, before leaving home make sure your internet provider lets you go online because assess can be denied if certain controls aren’t adjusted back home in the states. You can check with the www.cybercaptive.com or www.cybercafe.com to locate the closest Internet cafes. Computer differences – Don’t expect an Austrian computer to be like the one you use at home. For example, several keys are located in different spots, such as the “y” key. Also, you have to use the control key to make the “@” mark, when typing in your email address. However, most hotel personnel are very helpful and willing to show you the differences.

Restroom Charges in Austria

Restroom facilities usually aren’t free in Austria, as in many other European countries. Therefore, find out from your tour director which ones are free of charge, as well as always have plenty of local Euros in case of an emergency. Restroom facilities are free at the Rosenberger.

Doing Laundry on a Eastern European Tour

Who has time to find a laundry mat or pay for laundering services when on a tour? Therefore, it’s a good idea to bring along a container of laundry detergent. On those days when you have two to three nights at the same hotel, you can wash out your dirty clothes in the bathroom sink and then let them dry on closet hangers. Most of all don’t be afraid to use sign language when it’s obvious someone doesn’t understand English. This is especially helpful when ordering from a menu that’s entirely written in German.