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Gretl Guides: Vienna's FREE audio tour

Gretl Guides: Vienna's FREE audio tour

By Gretl Satorius
This FREE audio tour of the Austrian capital is my way of sharing the kind of content I want when I travel: a balance of local insider tips and well-researched historical infomation, presented in a low-profile, highly mobile format.
My goal is to keep this podcast cost- and ad-free, and donations from listeners like you help me do that. Contributions of any amount are greatly appreciated via buymeacoffee.com/GretlGuides or Ko-fi.com/gretlguides. Thank you for your support!
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Introduction: St. Stephen's Inside & Out
This brief introduction contains information on the Gretl Guides: St. Stephen’s Inside & Out Tour, including the duration, possible fees, nearby restrooms, and other logistical concerns. 
02:16
July 14, 2021
01 St. Stephen's Exterior (St. Stephen's Inside & Out)
The first episode of this tour takes a lap around the outside of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. You’ll witness the structure's architectural evolution, decode the enigmatic symbols embedded in and around the church's main portal, find the insignia of the Austrian Resistance Movement, see the cathedral’s scars from World War II, hear the legend of the shorter North Tower, learn how to seek asylum inside the church, get the gory details on Vienna's two Black Death epidemics, and hear how St. Stephen's dealt with the influx of bodies.
30:34
July 14, 2021
02 St. Stephen's Interior (St. Stephen's Inside & Out)
In the second half of this tour, we head inside the church. Admission to the north aisle is free; or you can pay a small fee to access the rest of the nave. Here, you’ll get a chance to touch the relic of one of the cathedral’s early patrons, come face to face with the master architect responsible for the church’s most impressive late Gothic appointments, hear how Catholic numerology is embedded in the structure, meet the emperors who founded and elevated St. Stephen to a cathedral, and learn how to decode the iconography of Catholic saints.
39:14
July 14, 2021
Introduction: Vienna's Must-Sees Tour
This brief introduction contains information on the Gretl Guides: Vienna’s Must-Sees Tour, including the length of the route, possible fees, nearby restrooms, and other logistical concerns. A map of the full route can be found at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/zxjv65n6
02:54
July 14, 2021
01 Stephansplatz (Vienna's Must-Sees Tour)
This tour begins on Stephansplatz—St. Stephen’s Square—at the center of Vienna’s first district and reachable by the U1 and U3 metro lines. In this episode you’ll get tips on navigation and orientation, discover a hidden Gothic chapel, learn about the fate of dishonest bakers, and hear the legend of the “Stock-in-Irons.” A map of the entire route can be found at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/zxjv65n6
13:19
July 14, 2021
02 Graben (Vienna's Must-Sees Tour)
We now take a stroll down the "ditch," Vienna's most majestic downtown pedestrian shopping street.  Here you'll learn how the area went from Roman moat to modern thoroughfare, encounter the stunning Pestsäule (commemorating the city's survival of the Black Death), meet Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I and discover the origins of his "Habsburg Lip," and get the opportunity to use a pretty one-of-a-kind subterranean restroom. A map of the entire route can be found at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/zxjv65n6
19:51
July 14, 2021
03 Michaelerplatz (Vienna's Must-Sees Tour)
After hanging a left onto Kohlmarkt, head toward the imposing green dome above the entrance to the Hofburg complex. The broad, circular Michaelerplatz offers a chance to see nearly two thousand years of architectural innovation, come face-to-face with Mozart’s death mask (and learn why the location of his body is a mystery to this day) and marvel at the edible window displays and immaculate kitchens of the confectioner to kings.  A map of the entire route can be found at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/zxjv65n6
23:45
July 14, 2021
04 Innerer Burghof (Vienna's Must-Sees Tour)
Enter the Hofburg imperial complex through the domed archway, and make your way onto the enclosed square.  Here you’ll meet the last ruler of the 1000-year-old Holy Roman Empire, trace the growth and expansion of the palace complex as it hosted nearly seven centuries of Habsburg rulers, see the chapel where the renowned Vienna Boys Choir performs, hear about the mysterious artifacts of the Imperial Treasury (and learn why Hitler was so keen to get his hands on them), get to know the enigmatic Empress Elisabeth, and see where the renowned Lipizzaners of the Spanish Riding School perform (as well as getting the scoop on hassle-free tickets).  A map of the entire route can be found at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/zxjv65n6
22:58
July 14, 2021
05 Heldenplatz (Vienna's Must-Sees Tour)
Continue through the Hofburg complex to the massive open Heldenplatz.  On this "Heroes' Square," you'll meet two of Austria’s most important military heroes (depicted here on horseback),  track the structural evolution of this “imperial forum,” stand before the balcony where Hitler announced the “Anschluß” in 1938, and learn about the economic conditions that led to Austria’s annexation.  A map of the entire route can be found at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/zxjv65n6
12:52
July 14, 2021
06 Maria-Theresien-Platz (Vienna's Must-Sees Tour)
Cross the multi-laned Ringstrasse (being careful of tram, bike, and car traffic) and head toward the imposing monument seated between the two museums.  Here, you’ll meet Empress Maria Theresa and her extensive family, hear about the extensive holdings of the Natural History Museum (including the world’s oldest-known human-carved statuettes), get the run-down on the collection at the Art History Museum (the crime scene of one of history’s biggest art heists), and grab the opportunity to see the city skyline from above with an optional free trip to a rooftop patio in the MQ.  A map of the entire route can be found at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/zxjv65n6
12:55
July 14, 2021
07 Burggarten (Vienna's Must-Sees Tour)
Cross back over the Ring and take a right (walking along it counter-clockwise) until you reach the lush Burggarten, on your left.  Here you’ll have the chance to take a selfie with Mozart, meander through a verdant landscape designed by an Austrian Emperor, learn why you’re now allowed (and encouraged!) to sit on the grass,  visit the butterflies or sip coffee in a former imperial greenhouse, and catch a showing of the iconic film The Third Man at one of the world’s oldest continually-operating cinemas.  A map of the entire route can be found at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/zxjv65n6
10:49
July 14, 2021
08 Albertinaplatz (Vienna's Must-Sees Tour)
Cutting through the park, exit at its east corner (near the Palmenhaus) and make your way up to the large terrace overlooking Albertinaplatz (the directions at the end of episode 07 include the option to take an elevator).  From this vantage point, you’ll hear about the Albertina Museum collection and its revolutionary original admission policy, see Vienna’s Monument Against War and Fascism (the city’s first memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust), learn about the political turmoil in Austria during the period leading up to the Second World War, indulge in some of Vienna’s most beloved street food (with tips on how to order a sausage and beer in Viennese dialect), and get the scoop on one of the city’s iconic deserts with the origin legend of the famous Sachertorte.  A map of the entire route can be found at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/zxjv65n6
16:39
July 14, 2021
09 Staatsoper (Vienna's Must-Sees Tour)
Visit the crown jewel of the opera world! In this episode you'll learn why locals nicknamed the State Opera a “sunken trunk” and how unfavorable opinions of this building may have led to the deaths of its architects, hear how—and why—it was bombed in World War II, marvel at the State Opera’s technological capabilities and rapidly changing repertoire, and get insider tips on standing room tickets and backstage tours.  A map of the entire route can be found at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/zxjv65n6
18:39
July 14, 2021
10 Naschmarkt (Vienna's Must-Sees Tour)
Cross the Ring, following Operngasse as it curves to the right. After a couple of blocks, you’ll see the gold laurel-leaf ball atop the Secession building and the array of market stands just beyond it.  Here you'll confront the bold and decorative aesthetic of the Vienna Secession movement, wander through the fragrant stalls of the city’s largest market, sample the variety of tastes that combine to create “Austrian” cuisine, pass the “Papageno Door” of the Theater an der Wien (and say hello to one of Mozart’s closest buddies), peruse the trash and treasures of the Saturday morning “Flohmarkt” (the largest flea market in Austria).  A map of the entire route can be found at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/zxjv65n6
14:52
July 14, 2021
11 Schloß Schönbrunn (Vienna's Must-Sees Tour)
Make your way to expansive Habsburg summer residence by taking the U4 metro line directly to the stop “Schönbrunn.” (Further information on navigating this route—by UBahn or bike—can be found at the end of episode 10 of this tour and in the “Getting Around” episode of the Welcome to Vienna! Info Pack).  Once you reach the palace complex, you can stroll through the meticulously manicured Baroque gardens (including two topiary mazes), hike up to the ornamental Gloriette to enjoy the same view of Vienna that emperors have for more than four centuries, waltz through the ballroom where the Congress of Vienna redrew the map of Europe in 1815 and Kennedy coined the phrase “Cold War” in 1961, meet Empress Elisabeth ("Sisi") and hear how court pressures led to some curious habits, and learn first-hand from trained pâtissiers how to prepare a perfect Apfelstrudel in the Court Bakery’s Strudel Shows.  At the end of this episode, you’ll also receive tips and recommendations on other points of interest in the area. A map of the entire route can be found at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/zxjv65n6
14:23
July 14, 2021
The Local Language (Welcome to Vienna! Info Pack)
Interested in just a few useful terms to get you by while you’re in town? Or maybe you plan to study German longer-term?  This episode offers vocabulary and pronunciation tips, how to differentiate between Austrian (and Viennese) from other forms of German, the nuances of my favorite Viennese curse word, and recommendations for language learning resources.  Find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter—I love to hear from listeners! This content is free because of donations from users like you. If you’d like to donate, head to https://ko-fi.com/gretlguidesor https://www.buymeacoffee.com/GretlGuides. Thank you!
21:11
July 11, 2021
Restaurants & Tipping (Welcome to Vienna! Info Pack)
Dine out with the ease and confidence of a local! This episode covers navigating the menu for vegans, vegetarians, and people with allergies or dietary restrictions; seating, ordering, finding the restroom, toasting, and asking for the bill in German; how (and when) to order tap water; bill-paying etiquette (for cash and card); and tipping customs.  Find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter—I love to hear from listeners! This content is free because of donations from users like you. If you’d like to donate, head to https://ko-fi.com/gretlguides or https://www.buymeacoffee.com/GretlGuides. Thank you!
09:38
July 11, 2021
Meet the Locals (Welcome to Vienna! Info Pack)
Get to know your hosts in the Austrian capital! After 15+ years of living in Vienna, I’ve got two theories on what has shaped the local character. Plus, my tips on how you can better understand the Viennese while you’re here. Find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter—I love to hear from listeners! This content is free because of donations from users like you. If you’d like to donate, head to https://ko-fi.com/gretlguidesor https://www.buymeacoffee.com/GretlGuides. Thank you!
14:29
July 11, 2021
Money (Welcome to Vienna! Info Pack)
Everything you’ll need to know to manage your finances while you travel in Austria. Topics include how to spot a good cash machine, answering that “accept conversion?” question, why your card might not work here, and  recommended resources for handling multiple currencies. Find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter—I love to hear from listeners! This content is free because of donations from users like you. If you’d like to donate, head to https://ko-fi.com/gretlguidesor https://www.buymeacoffee.com/GretlGuides. Thank you!
08:10
July 11, 2021
Health & Safety (Welcome to Vienna! Info Pack)
Tips on staying safe and healthy while in Austria, including outsmarting pickpockets; a run-down of Austrian resources and phone numbers for the fire department (122), police (133), and ambulance (144); dealing with medical, sexual health, and/or pharmaceutical issues while you’re here; and hazards of the outdoors, like high altitudes and ticks.  Find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter—I love to hear from listeners! This content is free because of donations from users like you. If you’d like to donate, head to https://ko-fi.com/gretlguidesor https://www.buymeacoffee.com/GretlGuides. Thank you!
14:02
July 11, 2021
Getting Around (Welcome to Vienna! Info Pack)
All the ins and outs of transit in Austria, including the best ways to get to and from the airport, taking public transportation, getting around on a bike or scooter, and the rules of the road: renting, driving, and parking for car traffic. Find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter—I love to hear from listeners! This content is free because of donations from users like you. If you’d like to donate, head to https://ko-fi.com/gretlguidesor https://www.buymeacoffee.com/GretlGuides. Thank you!
18:50
July 11, 2021
Austrian History in Under 10 Minutes (Welcome to Vienna! Info Pack)
40,000 years of Austrian history in less time than it takes to eat a Schnitzel. Find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter—I love to hear from listeners! This content is free because of donations from users like you. If you’d like to donate, head to https://ko-fi.com/gretlguides or https://www.buymeacoffee.com/GretlGuides. Thank you!
09:36
July 11, 2021
About Gretl Guides (Welcome to Vienna! Info Pack)
A brief run-down on me and what to expect from my tours. Find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter—I love to hear from listeners! This content is free because of donations from users like you. If you’d like to donate, head to https://ko-fi.com/gretlguides or https://www.buymeacoffee.com/GretlGuides . Thank you!
07:08
July 11, 2021