Viennese Insights

The Best Themed Tours in Vienna – Historic Knights and Their Secrets

June 14, 2018

Is the unusual tour always the right one in Vienna? Definitely. Read below about my experience attending a Secret Vienna themed tour, and get your 20% discounted ticket for the best tour in the city! 

 It was a glorious mid-May Saturday morning in Vienna, and the city center was bustling with activity. Everybody’s itineraries met in front of the Stephansdom, where the Steffl-Kirtag was celebrated. The stalls selling food, drink, or artisanal products had just opened. A miniature replica of the Stephansdom on the right of the main entrance was where I was headed – the meeting point for the Secret Vienna tour “Elitist and Discreet Societies- the power behind the throne?”. Although I had been looking forward to this tour for a long time, I could not help but feel a tiny pang of regret at having to leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind. 

But as soon as Tatjana started speaking, right then and there in the middle of the Stephansplatz, I did not hear the city anymore. I traveled to the world of cathedral builders, their guilds, and secrets, their craftsmanship. The majesty of the gothic enchanted and amazed me as if seen for the first time, since our guide adeptly encouraged us to contemplate it through the eyes of its contemporaries. 

During the next two hours, we would, in turn, look at and understand the world through the eyes of the Teutonic Knights, the Knights of St John, the Freemasons, distinct members of the Habsburg dynasty, Mozart, and Haydn. The perspective of each of them was presented objectively and was so well researched that it was stripped to the essentials, a take-home message very few people would manage to get across given the amount of hearsay and fabulation that surrounds the subject. I do not wish to divulge too much, but I will say that now I look with new eyes at Vienna and its history, from the Middle Ages to the birth of the European Union. 

Vienna! There is so much to discover on this tour about the city itself. A church I had always suspected to exist but was never quite bold to explore further. A hidden courtyard (and yes, I spotted the coffee/tea house, it is on my bucket list) I did not know right in the city center. A street I walked often, on which I would always think of ways to better myself from now on. A completely revised history of my favorite art gallery. A tremendous wish to go see The Magic Flute and visit the Peterskirche again. 

Finally, for the Dan Brown aficionado within me, there were hidden symbols on doors and sculptures, and an adroit discussion about the Knights Templars in the end, everything brought to life in Tatjana’s cursive and objective style, which was a complete delight. I went back to the city with a renewed love of Vienna and the secrets it always hides right under our noses. 

It is for all these reasons that I chose to wholeheartedly recommend Secret Vienna Tours to you. I will definitely go back for more myself. Whether you are for the first time in the city and are looking for an unusual activity or a long time resident, a history fan, dark tourism aficionado, or more of a hidden courtyards kind of person, there is definitely something for every taste. They constantly expand the topics of their tours, so it never gets boring – the world of literature, music in Vienna, the dark side of Vienna, Hitler’s time here, the museum of military history, the central cemetery – you name it, they have it!  

If you want to join, the tours can be found on the Secret Vienna website or Facebook page, and also shared on our Dream, Book, and Travel Facebook page. Our customers get in addition a 20% discount on Secret Vienna Tours, all the more reason not to miss them when in Vienna.

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Anca & Sinan
Vienna, AT

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