Walking about 4 miles throughout the day; periods of standing; city streets, cobblestones, some stairs. Use of public transportation; about 3.5 hours total throughout the day.
At the hotel, we’ll have a typical European-style buffet breakfast featuring a variety of breads, cheeses, cold cuts, yogurt, fruit, and cereals, plus juice, milk, coffee, tea, and water.
A morning lecture at the hotel by an expert will provide us with an introduction to Austria. Until the fall of the Habsburg dynasty after the WWI, Austria was a major power in Central Europe in various state guises. Although many Austrians did not consider the remaining small remnants of the former empire viable, contemporary Austria has become one of the most prosperous and stable member states of the European Union. In the global-political arena, Austria is increasingly becoming an international meeting point. Through this presentation, we’ll learn about the development of Austria into a highly industrialized country. We’ll then set out with a local expert to explore the Old Town on foot including the Hofburg palace area, the elegant streets of Kohlmarkt and Graben, and the area of St. Stephen's Cathedral.
At a restaurant in the Old Town, we’ll have a 2-course plated meal with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Travelling via the underground rail system, we’ll arrive at Schönbrunn Palace, the glamorous summer residence of the Habsburg family. Schönbrunn Palace, together with its ancillary buildings and extensive park, is by virtue of its long and colorful history one of the most important cultural monuments in Austria. Scheduled as a listed monument, the whole ensemble including the palace, the park with its numerous architectural features, fountains and statues, and not least the zoo – the oldest of its kind in the world – was placed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. We’ll explore the grounds and interiors with a local expert as we enjoy illuminating historical commentary.
At a local restaurant, we’ll have a 3-course plated dinner with an alcoholic beverage, coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.
We’ll then return to the hotel by streetcar. The remainder of the evening will be at leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.