Vienna – the capital of Austria

Vienna is for sure one of the most various, biggest, musical and interesting cities in Austria. As the capital of Austria it has at the moment almost 1,9 mil residences, it is the biggest city of Austria and almost 1/4 of the inhabitants of Austria live in Vienna. It is the cultural, economical and political center of Austria. Apart from being the City of Music, it is also considered to be the city of dreams since the psycho analytic Freud lived and worked in this town.

Vienna is known for it’s quality of life. Since 2005 it has always been in the top 3 ranking of one of the most “alit of Life” surveys and was also ranked by the economist Intelligent Unit as the second most livable city in the world. The reason is very simple explained: You will find Vienna as one of the most “green” city, with lots of parks, lots of wood and is surrounded by the “Wienerwald”, the viennese wood that also used to be the hunting area for kings and queens. One of the most important part is the drinking water quality of Vienna. Every now and then you will find free water supplies. The water comes from the nearby “Semmering” mountain area and support’s Vienna with fresh mountain water. This is also the reason why it tastes so well. Working and recreation can be perfectly combined within the city. If you like to go for a walk, Vienna offers a big variety of parks within the city center and even more in the outskirts. If you like to run the parks give a great opportunity, otherwise next to one of the Danube arms. In vienna is more than one river. First of all you have the Wien river, where there is limited possibility to run and cycle. Then you have the danube canal, where you can find also a swimming pool on a ship, bars and lots of young people partying during the evenings, the old danube (very clean and a nature protected area where you can even search for animals that are on a protected list), the Danube and the new Danube. So if this is not enough of water, then there is even the possibility to take a hike through vineyards and nice views over the city from the viennese highroad (Höhenstrasse), next to the Hotel Kobenzl and for miles along the hills.

Vienna is also surrounded by vinyards and therefore is one of the only capital cities in the world that produces wine within the city boundaries. With this matter it is a perfect combination of nature, wine, work and freetime. You have to try one of the wines in one of the typically local places the so-called Heuriger. There you can interact with locals but can also enjoy your time with music, nice food and excellent wine.

Besides that Vienna welcomes you with the highlights of history, art and music. With most of the galleries in the city centers, it is the art capital of central Europe. Besides that also a lot of history welcomes you in Vienna and for sure not to forget the music. In vienna is every day another concert. It is just the difficulty of choice because too many choices of high quality concerts, from the Vienna boy’s choir, to the Spanish horse riding schools (with it’s Lipizaner), to the Vienna Opera house, you will find Vienna as the capital of classical music of the world. So why not stay some more days in order to feel the choice of this town. Get information about concerts prior t make sure to have a reservation.

view over the city of Vienna

Vienna is therefore a highlight of your Europe trip and to see more about this town. The history of this town is so amazing. Once in the 17th century Austria was the biggest country of the world. The Habsburg family ruled over this country for centuries. It was a mix of all different cultures, Slavic, Germans, Italians, etc. and still it worked well until the beginning of the first world war. Sure that in between there were always some rivals and problems but all in all the city was always in the center of the empire and therefore shows also it’s importance in the architectural style, in the buildings and the history that can be found at almost every street corner of the city. The St. Stephan’s cathedral and the cemetery under it’s fundaments where a lot of “ghost stories” took place, to the burial area where the Habsburg’s rulers have been buried (in the Kapuziner Kruft), through one of the most prestigious roads “the Graben”, which used to be once upon a time the middle aged city protection walls to the Hofburg, the imperial palace which was contructed over centuries and hosts nowadays the national library of Vienna, the offices of the Opec, the Sissi Museum where you can find how the emperor and his wife lived in this winter palace and ruled there. Also attached is the spanisch hors riding school, one of the greatest and finest horse training schools in the world. The Lipizaner horses are all white horses and the horse riders are training with the horses for years before preforming in the horse riding school to see what the horses can do and the combination of music. Once upon a time they were the elite of the Austrian Army and showed what the horses can do but soon it turned into a tradition and is nowadays known as the finest school and seen as an art. Also in the Homburg you will find the treasury of the Habsburg empire. The treasury not only hosts the crown of the holy roman empire but also the tooth of St. John the baptist, pieces of the cross of jesus, etc. You will have to see it in order to believe or not to believe and to judge by yourself. But next to the Homburg you will find the two most important museums of the City: The nature museum with one of the biggest collections of nature worldwide and the museum of art. It is one of the most important collection of art in the world and well-known by a lot of art lovers around the world. Do not miss to see also the “Secession”, next to it where Gustav Klimt used to have a work-room there. The pictures of Klimt can be seen nowadays in the “upper Belvedere”, a former summer residence from a nobel person and is just some few stops by streetcar from the famous opera building away. It is always a highlight to see it and to enjoy it because the art and the location is a perfect location.

Also Music can be found at all times in Vienna. The greatest classical music composers lived in this town and worked there. Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss, etc. all lived and composed in Vienna. Their pieces are played all around the world and some centuries ago it was the capital of music in the world. Still Music plays a very big role in the Austrian history and in the Vienna’s every day life. Operas and classical music concerts take place almost every day. You just have to take a choice which music pleases you most. The locations are all stunning and the quality of music is always on a very high level. But also in a Viennese every day life music plays a role. As a child it is nothing unusual to learn at least one instrument in school and even already in Kindergarten. As a teenager the “dancing school” is taking place, in which manners and classical and modern dances will be tough to teenagers. It is nothing unusually in Vienna and Austria and latest at one of the “Balls” they can perform and dance with everybody. One of the highlights of Vienna is the “Opera Ball” at which the State opera house becomes one of the biggest dance floors in the world and all the VIPS and wannabes of Vienna and Austria will show off and enjoy a great evening.

So even nowadays music, dance and art fits perfectly together in this setting of Vienna. Historical buildings are open and just wait to be explored. Even if you do not want to pay entrance fees but just seeing also some of the state offices (which are open to the public) show the old style and history of this city. High ceilings and wooden floors are almost every day. Architectures will be interested in seeing the architectural combination of centuries of different styles all together combined with modern art architecture, and also extravagant architecture, like the architecture of Hunderwasser who created several buildings and sights within the city area but also some classical architectural and Design elements, like the famous chairs of Thonet that can be still found in most of the Viennese coffee houses.

The Viennese coffee culture is a culture by it’s own. You will find all different coffees in them, offered mostly by waiters and waitresses all dressed up in black and white. They will offer you the daily newspaper to read there and you will see that when ordering a coffee, you will always get a glass of water. The reason why this water is there, is a bit open of discussions. Some say it is to alway have the taste, like the first zip of the coffee, some say that since coffee dehydrates, you need to drink water and others say that this way the coffee does not taste so strong. But it is a must to try it and you can even then sit in coffee houses where already Freud, composers, politicians and others have taken their coffee. You will be taken the orders by  waiter for the drinks and then another waiter passes with cakes to choose from.

You have not been in Austria, if you have not tried the pastries, already a famous composer mentioned. One of the most famous pastry is the apple strudel, that can be found all over Austria and the world famous Sacher Torte, which is a chocolate cake with a layer of apricot marmalade (which adds the calories in the cake, since chocolate does not have any calories.).

the austrian parliament

Vienna reflects the Austrian culture very well and shows you how old traditions can be combined and still make workable together. The heritage of the monarchy, the best collections of Art and science and also the amazing music are all combined with nice scenery, architecture and played-back culture in Vienna. No other capital city of the world seems to work well, precise and without all the big stress of capital cities. All this symphony works together. Also because throughout the history it has been always a melting pot of different cultures and ethnical backgrounds and it still works together. Over the history sure problems occurred but now it seems as all of the ethnically groups and different cultures seem to live together in peace and without any problems. Austria is a neutral country and therefore organizations like the United Nations love to be here. Furthermore also other organizations have seats in Vienna because this way they can held they discussions on a neutral ground and can work in harmony together without any politically or other influence.

the homburg of Vienna

Vienna’s heritage

Vienna is nowadays not only the heritage of it’s own history but also a mirror of how this enormous country was all combined in this city. Architecturally, naturally, art wise, music wise and all other forms of expressions. It is also nowadays a symbol of how ethnically groups and cultures can all live in one place and therefore is so much loved by a lot of people and is constantly increasing from the number of inhabitants. It is a perfect harmony of music, culture, palaces, wine, parks and nature. Visit Vienna and learn a lot of this city – history and fascinating stories of music, politics, kings and queens, bishops and vines – b(e)specialtours!

Schoenbrunn palace

Vienna city tours and Vienna tour

If you want to enjoy some great time in Vienna, book a private tour to Vienna with B(e)special Tours from Salzburg, or arrive directly in Vienna, enjoy a city tour with our comfortable vans, enjoy a guided tour through the town of Vienna and continue a nice drive through Austria. So if you are planning to come to Vienna, or if you want to visit the city of Vienna and the cities along the drive coming from Salzburg then please do not miss a nice ride with b(e)special tours! It is fun for youngsters and the older ones and you can taste a lot of delicious typical Austrian dishes and of course a lot of Beer! Enjoy the fascinating city of Vienna – Vienna and history – with fresh ideas, food and a lots of fun – bespecialtours!

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

The town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg takes you back into time. Some people say that this city even seems to be the ideal cities where fairytales are alive. Once upon a time this town the rivers where the main trading routes in Europe and even if it was a small river, the river of Tauber, it helped to travel from the south to the north. Already the roman road was passing by this village. In the 16th century roads were built around the Tauber’s valley and then nobody was interested to pass by this small city and fell a very big sleep. This “sleeping beauty” slept and slept and got more and more forgotten. Only in the 19th century, during the time of romanticism some artists suddenly passed by this city and started to see the beauty of a fully-intact middle-aged city. Immediately started to write stories about it. After the first world war Germany wanted to attract more and more tourists into the country and started to create touristic routes. One of them was the “romantic road” of Germany and the other very famous one is the “fairytale road”.

With this invention of the roads, the city was waken up from it’s “sleep” by “prince tourism” and the city started to see a new industry of tourism.

Even if in the second world war by accident some parts of the city have been destroyed and no money was there to help the city building up the major of the city cam up with a very creative idea: Why not ask the allied troops to help us. Unfortunately none of them wanted to help them and so the major came up with another idea:

He asked the troops to distribute a special spot on the radio to buy a virtual “meter” of the city wall. As a reward the city of Rothenburg will put up a small mark on the wall who contributed to rebuilt the city walls. This tradition is still going on and is done specially for couples that are getting married in the town of Rothenburg.

view over Rothenburg

Rothenburg is a fascinating city. It brings you back in time. When you want to see how the life in the middle ages was. By walking through the town, besides the touristically streets, you will see courts and yards where you see history totally alive. You will see the different religions, different ideas and different classes lived in a very tiny place. You will explore half-timbered houses, crawl up the old city tower and see views over this old city with it’s towers, and castle like walls.

But also you can see and explore more about this medieval lifestyle during one of the events of the community when medieval music is going to be played, when medieval costumes are shown and the medieval crafts and traditions are going to be shown alive.

Besides that you can also explore the medieval torture museum. One of europe’s finest collection is held there about the medieval rights and what was an evil thing to do. From ways to separate and finish fights between women, to musicians that did not play nicely, to men that were drinking too much and women that did not stay faithful to their men. People at that time were very creative and did invent all kind of things to make their rules and torture others. The laws in each city differed and treated in a different way. See the tools they used and see this dark chapter in the cellars of Rothenburg.

One of the highlights will be to take a walk of the city walls. Not only it shows how people wanted and needed to defense themselves but also it is specially in autumn a highlight to see the nearby vineyards, grapes and the autumn leaves change their color and make the whole region in a colorful combination with the red-roofed houses of Rothenburg a perfect combination.

city hall at Rothenburg

Rothenburg reflects the German culture very well and brings you back in time. It also explains a lot about some of our nowadays sayings, when you realize that one of the warmest rooms in former times was under the roof, even in winter. So cats and dogs where staying up there, enjoying the heat. When it rained the tiles of the roofs became very slippery and thus came the saying from it is “raining cats and dogs”. In Rothenburg you will realize much more of those saying and you will also learn about how Christmas is going to be celebrated in Germany. Since one of the most famous shops in Germany has it’s headquarter in Rothenburg: “Käthe Wolfahrt” and inside the shop you will find the first and biggest christmas museum of Germany. After visiting it you will go  through the shop, which is a museum y itself and coming out you will realize that the atmosphere reflects what you just saw and that christmas is really alive in Rothenburg. Already many many years ago, people needed a special day in the winter time to enlighten their houses, their souls and their mind. Christmas was celebrated and therefore made this rough and dark period of the year a bit sweeter and nicer for people to go through.


Rothenburg‘s heritage

Rothenburg is nowadays not only the heritage of it’s own history but also a mirror of how medieval history can be brought alive. You will see also throughout the church history where you will find one of the best examples of wood made altars with the blood ofJesus inside and you can see that faith, strength, joy and sadness was close by each other in such a small place. But do not miss out to try one of the local vine and take the time to see also the surrounding city walls and Tauber valley, where you can explore how well this city is set in it’s surrounding. Visit Rothenburg and learn a lot of this city – history and fascinating stories of medieval time, christmas and vines – bespecialtours!

Rothenburg city tours and Rothenburg tour

If you want to enjoy some great time in Rothenburg, book a private tour to Rothenburg with Bespecial Tours from Salzburg, or arrive directly in Munich, enjoy a city tour with our comfortable vans, enjoy a guided tour through the town of Rothenburg ob der Taube and continue a nice drive either through Germany, or Austria. So if you are planning to come to Rothenburg, or if you want to Visit the city of Rothenburg and the romantic road coming from Salzburg then please do not miss a nice ride with bespecial tours! It is fun for youngsters and the older ones and you can taste a lot of delicious typical Austrian dishes and of course a lot of Beer! Enjoy the fascinating city of Rothenburg – Rothenburg and history – with fresh ideas, food and a lots of fun – bespecialtours!

Saltmines Hallstatt

Saltmines Hallstatt

Hallstatt Saltmines – with the oldest staircase of the world

About 90 minutes away from the city of Salzburg you’ll find something very special in this area: In the lake district area you can find the village of Hallstatt, an old celtic city, where it is possible to visit the oldest operative salt mine of the world. The village is settled right on the side of the Hallstatt lake and the mountain of Salzberg. Already over 7.000 years ago salt has been mined there. Still nowadays it is an active salt mine and visible. So go back in time where the mountain still holds many secrets.

Salzwelten – salt mine Hallstatt

Already before getting to the salt mines of Hallstatt you will enjoy a great ride with the funicular to the “Rodolfsturm” where you can enjoy a great view over the lake and village of Hallstatt. Visit the platform and be 900ft. over the mountain and village of Hallstatt. Then enjoy a nice walk to the entrance of the Hallstatt salt mines.

Here in Hallstatt you enter the mine over the Cristina tunnel one which was opened the 18th century. But there has been already another entrance over 7000 years ago. At the beginning you will walk over 600feet into the mountain and over 250ft. under the earth where the mine opens up and you get over the first slide to a lower level of the mine. The mine has all together over 21 floors of which only 3 are visible through the tour.  Then the history surrounds you. Enter into a world that has been established already over 200 Mio. years ago. But not only this.

visitor's platform of Hallstatt

You will discover different types of Salt stones. In this mine we have one of the highest concentration of salt in the stones. The salt stones contain up to 90% of salt. With a normal bulb it is possible to see all different colors of stone.

salt stones in the saltmines

One of the most impressive thing to see is the slat lake. This helps to get the salt out of the stone and creates a salt brine, containing over 28% of salt – more any sea water – and enjoy the experience to see the celtic figures and structures. Go away from rain or fog outside and relax in a very well air conditioned and salty area.

And then come to the most impressive station in this mine: See the oldest staircase of the world, very well preserved by the salt and see the real staircase that dates back already to 1400bc.

world's oldest staircase

Of course, they have some more surprises for you, which I will not mention here. Be sure, the guides are personal and individual and in english language you can enjoy the tour with funny correspondence without an audio guide. Best regards and a nice trip with B(e)specialtours! See you in the mine!

Train out of the saltmines of Hallstatt

The castle of Neuschwanstein

The castle of Neuschwanstein

The royal King Ludwig’s castle of Neuschwanstein

The royal castle of Neuschwanstein was for King Ludwig II already as a child an important station. During his childhood he often came here because his father was the owner of the castle of Hohenschwangau. The medieval castle of Vorder- and Hinterschwanstein dates already back to the 11th century. Since the 15th century the castle of Hohenschwangau became more and more important. The old castles were only ruins. King Ludwig II went often to this castle to enjoy th view and to play there. Many hikers used the ruins as a destination and visitor’s platform over the area. After becoming the king of Bavaria, King Ludwig II decided to reconstruct what was left of the ruins and to make it to a medieval castle and into the ideal of a Knight’s castle. Together with the Linderhof palace in the style of rococo and the palace of Herrenchiemsee in the baroque style, it is reflects the Bavarian historism. After a visit to the Warburg in Germany and the visit of palace of Pierrefonds in France. The castle of Warburg became also the main architectural example to construct the castle of Neuschwanstein.

In the year 1869 the start of the construction of Neuschwanstein started. The original plan was changed several times and not everything was realized since King Ludwig wanted to change always the plans. The idea was it for King Ludwig that it should be a livable theater ambiente. It was done as a temple to Richard Wagner, even if Wagner never visited the castle. Even if the size is enormous it would have never been enough for a King’s palace. It has only place for the King’s apartments and for the servants. So the main use was only as living and decorative purposes.

Even if the costs were more than doubled until the death of King Ludwig, he finances most of the castles by his own money and credits which he took from different banks (also the state bank of Bavaria). Already 1885 the first execution was threatening King Ludwig. With another credit he avoided that. In the year 1872 King Ludwig lived for 172 days the castle of Neuschwanstein until he was sent to the castle Berg where he dies 1 day later, after he received the order to not be king of Bavaria any more. Some people say that his spirit still lives in the castle even if King Ludwig was very shy and did not want anybody seeing the interior.

thrown room at Neuschwasnstein

The palace of Neuschwanstein was opened already 6 weeks after his death to the public in order to refinance and pay-off his credits. It took the state until 1899 to pay off the credits that King Ludwig II took at different banks to be paid back. with his construction to give jobs to people there and also nowadays as a tourist attraction but on the other hand also brought the state very close to bankruptcy.

Nowadays more than 1,5 Mio. tourist visit the castle each year. It became also the most famous castle in Germany due to the movies and due to Disney: The castle in Anaheim and Disneyland Paris have a certain similarity to the castle of Neuschwanstein. All over the world it is mostly known as the cindarella castle of the Disney. Also the Hotel Excalibur Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas has a small similarity. In some movies about this Bavarian King and some other movies it functioned in the background. Newly also on stamps and on some German 2€ coins the castle of Neuschwanstein can be found. So it became a very big industry for the region and the villages nearby.

Neuschwanstein palace

The royal King ludwig’s castle of Neuschwanstein nearby Füssen and opposite site of the castle of Hohenschwangau (his parent’s castle) shows in the most eccentric and best way of King Ludwig’s fantasy and reflects best his idea of a medieval castle but still not forgetting about the standard of the 19th century. In his last wish King Ludwig wanted that each palace and castle should be destroyed after his death. Luckily the Bavarian state decided differently and gives us now days the possibility to visit all of his dream castles and brings us closer to his ideas and lifestyle. The palace of Neuschwanstein is the most visited castle in Germany with over 1,5 Mio. visitors over year. So please book ahead before waiting in a very long line. Enjoy the castle of Neuschwanstein the whole year around and see the spectacular landscape around the palace. See, feel and enter the dreamworld of this eccentric king and learn why he chose place and what it brought to the area. Enjoy also the ride to the nearby church of Wies, Oberammergau, etc. it is a fascinating and great opportunity and see all the prejudices of Bavarian landscape there.

Enjoy a trip to the castle of Neuschwanstein and the nearby area with Be special Tours. Have fun in Salzburg with Be Special Tours!


Palace Linderhof

Palace Linderhof

The royal King Ludwig’s palace Linderhof

The royal palace of Linderhof is the smallest of the three King Ludwig II’s palaces. It is the only finished palace during King Ludwig’s lifetime. It is the palace where King Ludwig had spent most of his time and is therefore seen as his most beloved castle. In 1869 King Ludwig decided first to make out of a farmer’s building an addition in wood as a small mountain retreat. It was constructed in five phases. The first phase was a wooden chalet ad an extension of the farmer’s building that was owned by King Ludwig’s grandfather Maximilian II. The second phase was the addition and extension of the small chalet to the farmer’s building and in the third phase the two buildings were connected by a huge bedroom. In the year 1873 King Ludwig decided to surround the wooden buildings by a stone wall to guarantee more stability and in the year 1874 it was extended to the nowadays extension including also a new staircase and hallway. In the year 1876 the interior was finished to the nowadays extensions. In the year 1885/86 the master’s bedroom was extended and this had as a consequence a last big change to the size and rooming to the nowadays form.

In the year 1874 King Ludwig approved the construction and extension of the park. He desired to make a copy of the park of Versailles during the time of King Ludwig 14th (the sun king). In the year 1873, after becoming the owner of the Island in the Chiemsee the plans have been changed to not make a copy of Versailles any more and due to the valley space it was also not possible to make it to the extension of Versailles. Therefore a fountain that can raise up to 75ft. was made here and a cascade with over 30 marble steps due to the mountain location and leading into the neptune fountain with the so-called music pavilion. In the park King Ludwig also wanted to realize his dream of 1001 nights and made a small retreat hut in the style of Marocco with beautiful colors from the middle east and created a great new technology grotta, the so-called venus grotta. The grotta will be explained further down. Kind Ludwig forced the architectures for a very fast finish of work and therefore in the park more than 180 workers worked to finish the park as soon as possible.

The palace of Linderhof includes also elements of the bavarian rococo and includes also actual art from the 19th century. In the total construction it does not have any kind of example and can be defined as a new creation. A very important factor is that King Ludwig decided to use the wood and wood workers from nearby. It does not seem as it would have been made out of wood and then was covered then. Furthermore he invented already for the workers that they receive money, even if they would be sick at home, a very unusual thing for that time. In the year 1886 the palace and the gardens were finished and some people say that also king Ludwig finished his life idea of creating a wonderful world for himself and for the area.


Linderhof Palace

The park is one of the most important part of the palace of Linderhof. It shows in the best way how King Ludwig lived and created his world. Especially the walk in the extended park is a must at this palace where the hilly area of the park was used perfectly to create on the upper part the Venus grotta, an artificial dripstone grotta with a lake and a waterfall. It was created to the first act of the famous Wagner’s opera “Tannhäuser” (King Ludwig’s favorite composer). Besides the “king’s seat”, also a lordly rock and a venus shell in the middle of an artificial lake.

In order to strengthen his reality it was shown with floor lightning. It took them 12 dynamos in order to create the electricity for it. That was created in the electricity’s building in about 300ft. distance, Bavaria’s first electricity building. Below was a music pavilion, the cascades and the neptune fountain, before getting to the palace and the fountain in front. In the park can be also found the Moroccan building, a historical pavilion, the forbidden gate, the Hunding’s hut and the Gurnemanz Hermitage, another creation of the King’s ludwig’s fantasy world.

Linderhof palace garden

The royal King ludwig’s palace of Linderhof nearby Oberammergau and bedded in the middle of the mountains shows the only finished King Ludwig’s palace and shows his idea of of a small retreat, similar to the retreat of Versailles, called Marly and was brought to the standard of the 19th century. The highlights is the park and the small grotta. In his last will King Ludwig wanted that each palace and castle should be destroyed after his death. Luckily the Bavarian state decided differently and gives us now days the possibility to visit all of his retreat castle and his dreamworld. The palace of Linderhof was the most loved one by this king and finished during his lifetime. With almost 450.000 visitors it is the less seen palace of the three and is open almost the whole year around. Enjoy the palace of Linderhof and see the spectacular landscape around the palace. See, feel and enter the dreamworld of this eccentric king and learn why he chose place and what it brought to the area. Enjoy also the ride to the nearby village of Oberammergau, etc. it is a fascinating and great opportunity and see all the prejudices of Bavarian landscape there.

Enjoy a trip to the palace of Linderhof and the nearby area with Be special tours. Have the best of Salzburg and surrounding with B(e)specialtours!