Discover Vienna: First Impressions of the host city

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 304 views

ESCToday in collaboration with Vienna Tourist Board ( will be bringing you a series of articles leading up to the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in order to showcase and introduce the 2015 Eurovision host city Vienna to our readers. Esctoday’s Head of Press Sergio (Sanjay) Jiandani travelled to Vienna recently on a research trip to find out how the host city is preparing for the upcoming contest. Today we bring you his first impressions from Vienna!

Vienna’s Parliament

My First Impressions on Vienna…

Yes ESCToday was in Vienna recently on a research trip in order to discover the 2015 Eurovision host city and check out how preparations are going on in the Eurovision host city.

Since last May everyone has been talking about the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Austria and then on 7 August 2014 the Austrian national broadcaster, ORF revealed that the majestic city of Vienna would play host to the 2015 ESC much to everyone’s delight and pleasure. This has geared up much anticipation and excitement among Eurovision fans worldwide, taking into account that Vienna has direct flight to more than 170 cities wordwide, hence making travel to the Eurovision host city easy!

Hofburg Palace and Haaldenplatz in Vienna

When I landed in the airport the first thing that impressed me was the way everything was so well organized, precise and modern. Austrian people are very warm and friendly and you feel the good vibes when you arrive in Vienna!

Once you drive into the city you will come across a myriad of monuments and extraordinary architectural marvels. You feel you have arrived in an imperial city with impessive architecture! The city retains its majestic and regal splendour from the Austrian Hungarian Imperial era. You get a serene and peaceful feeling in Vienna, when you walk and stroll through its green parks, large avenues and historical centre.

The Impressive Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna.

Vienna is a melting pot of various cultures, you can hear Turkish, Hungarian, Slovak, Czech, Croatian, Italian, Spanish and Serb all around the city. There are many people from the Balkans, Turkey, Hungary and neighbouring countries living in the Austrian capital.

There are lots of young people in the city due to the fact that Vienna has many universities. Vienna can be defined as majestic, cultural, Imperial, musical, young, vibrant, regal and multi cultural and welcoming. The city blends in the old with the new, the modern with the ancient and is the perfect place for #BuildingBridges between cities, countries, cultures and continents.

The Eurovision Countdown Tower at Vienna’s Rathausplatz

The Viennese are very friendly and warm and are looking forward to welcome the Eurovision bandwagon along with its delegations, fans, artists come May. The Eurovision trams can be seen throughout the city, whilst the Eurovision Countdown Tower stands firm at Vienna’s Rathausplatz. Billboards and rolling boards advertising the Eurovision Song Contest can already been seen around the city. Vienna plans to dress up for the occasion in May when Eurovision comes to town!

Vienna’s Ringstrasse

Eurovision fans will be happy to know that food and prices are very affordable in Vienna and are not as expensive as in Scandinavian cities. There are  plenty of excellent cafes, restaurants and clubs in the city. Food in Vienna is delicious and the Melange Vienesse Cafe is mindblowing! Don’t forget to order your Sachertorte (Sacher cake)!

The famous Sachertorte and Viennese Melange coffee at Vienna’s Cafe Sacher.

I guess one of the best things about Vienna is the transport system, it has one of the world’s most efficient and organized transport systems. The Vienna Metro – U-Bahn connects the whole city and is very easy to commute throughout the city. We must also add the efficient Tram and Bus System the city has to offer. It will be very comfortable to travel around the city during the Eurovision Song Contest, commuting to and fro- from the hotels to the Stadhalle, Euroclub, Eurovillage and around the city.

ORF and the City of Vienna are planning to make the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest a GREEN EVENT. Accredited journalists and fans will be able to commute and travel throughout the city for free using the train, bus and U-Bahn metro.

The 2015 Eurovision venue- the Wiener Stadthalle is right BANG IN THE CITY! Yes it will be very easy to reach the venue via U-Bahn, bus or tram and is right in the centre of downton, with many cafes, restaurants and hotels in the vincinity. The best thing is that the Ottarkringer Brewery- the Euroclub is just a short ride away from the venue!

Sergio outside Wiener Stadhalle

I got to check the main landmarks, monuments, palaces, museums and hot spots of the city during my stay in Vienna, including the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest venue: the Wiener Stadhalle, the 2015 Euroclub – the Ottakringer Brewery, the Rathausplatz (Eurovillage venue),  the Wiener Rathaus (ESC 2015 Opening Ceremony venue and Life Ball 2015 venue), I attended the ViennaSphere Press Conference and presentation,and got to visit ORF’s headquarters at the ORF Zentrum and attend the 2015 Austrian national final. Of course one of the highlights of my trip was meeting up with the Queen of Austria aka Conchita Wurst at the Austrian Eueovision 2015 national final!

Sergio meets up with Conchita during the 2015 Austrian national final

ESCToday will be publishing a series of articles leading up to the contest in May introducing you to the main hot spots of  Vienna, including snippets from my research trip with video and photographic coverage.

The Ottarkringer Brewery- The Euroclub

A must when you are Vienna are the following places that you must not miss out on your TO DO LIST:  the Spanish Riding School, the Hofburg Palace, The Sissi Museum and the State Apartments at the Hofburg Palace, Prater Amusement Park, Stadpark, The State Opera, the Natural History Museum, The Albertina Museum, The Schonbrunn Palace and gardens, The Schonbrunn Zoo, The Kunst History Museum, The Belvedere Palace and Klimt Museum, The Rathaus (Vienna City Hall), The National Library, the Treaury at Hofburg Palace, Haaldenplatz, Rathausplaz, Sacher Hotel, the Danube cruise, the State Theatre,  the famous Ringstrasse and the Museums Quarter.

Eurovision fans, accredited media and delegations will be mesmerised when they land in Vienna next May as the city is all geared up to bring out its best. ORF, the City of Vienna and the Vienna Tourist Board are working round the clock in order to welcome everyone to the host city.

A large number of social events and sightseeing tours have been planned for delegations, accredited media, Eurovision fans and visitors.

The Eurovision tram on the Ringstrasse

Vienna is a multi facetted city and offers something for every person and every taste! Vienna is both a versatile and growing city with much to offer to its visitors.

So if you haven’t decided to come to Vienna yet, then what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and book your tickets coz the Eurovision party is gonna rock in Wien!

You can follow our forthcoming series of Discover Vienna articles with photographs and videos on and on our official Esctoday Instagram and ESCToday Facebook pages.

The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to be held on 19, 21 and 23 May at the Wiener Stadhalle in Vienna, Austria!

Stay tuned to ESCToday for the latest on Vienna, Austria and the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.


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