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Beautiful buildings wherever you look. Palaces and mansions and theaters and more palaces. Art nouveau facades, statutes, big parks, old trams, openness. Welcome to Vienna.

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It’s windy and cold, so wrap up, we are going for a walk.

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It’s not the big sites, the most famous monuments, the most hip bars that make a city what it is. It is the small details that reveal the mentality and the temperament of people. Like the traffic lights. Beautiful, playful, full of care.

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Like the Christmas decorations. Shuttle lights wrapped around the naked trees, glittering in the dusk.

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And the small alleys. So close to the city center, but so calm and despised by the masses of tourists that were drowning Vienna during the holidays. Let your map down. Let your lists at the hotel, let your articles on what to do and things to see. Just for a day.

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Get lost in the city. Take the bus, go to neighbourhoods outside the centre. Mix with locals. Pass by the University, go in the super market, hang out at an everyday cafĂ©. Take pictures for the pleasure of it. Don’t pose. Don’t try to find the best beer in town, the most famous patisserie, the must-have schnitzel. Just walk around and go eat at the places that seem nice and don’t have a menu in 8 languages.

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Yes, you will visit the main squares and the markets and the most beautiful town hall you’ve ever seen.

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You’ll go to the museums too, along with hudrends of others that seem more anxious to get in the building than to see the exhibitions.

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The palaces will be there tomorrow for you to see, no rush. We are on holidays after all.

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You can ride the carriage if you need to, I’ll just photograph them all.

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Take a stroll with me at Belvedere in the afternoon sun. Let’s find a corner and sit down to feel some warmth after all these days of clouds and snow.

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And then I’ll take you to the parliament, and to the Opera,

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cause these are must-sees and you would never forgive me if we’d miss them.

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Would you?