Museums in New York City: American Museum of Natural History

When anyone thinks about the museums in New York city, they tend to think of three: The Met, with lots of classic art, MoMA, with lots of modern art, and the American Museum of Natural History, with animals, plants, and the cosmos. Natural history differs from art in that it wasn’t created by human hands. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy and its charm.” Indeed, some of this ecstatic appreciation for natural history can be seen in every exhibit, from the descriptions and interactive experience of outer space in the Rose Center and Hayden Planetarium, to the various stuffed animals from every biome and region throughout the first floor, to the giant collection of dinosaur fossils, to the exquisite life-sized blue whale at the Hall of Ocean Life. The AMNH is a truly awe inspiring learning experience about the world we live in.

Situated in a prominent location along Central Park West overlooking The Lake and Turtle Pond, the AMNH sits at 79th St and 8th Ave. In addition to the Museum of Natural History, you can head across Central Park to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a variety of other cultural institutions along Museum Mile. If you’d rather just relax, consider checking out the New York Historical Society just down the street or have a picnic on the grounds in front of Belvedere Castle. The Museum of Biblical Art is located a few blocks south and west. Visitors to the Museum of Natural History will have an easy time on the subway, as the museum has its own subway stop reachable on the B and C trains. The 1 train also stops within walking distance at 79th St. and Broadway just to the west. Visitors by car will be able to park at the museum facilities, an option many museums in Manhattan do not include.

There are so many things that are must-see exhibits at the enormous American Museum of Natural History that it would take a long time to examine every nook and cranny of this massive space. If you’re saving time to see other NY museums too, one area at the AMNH you should be sure to see is the Rose Center for Earth and Space. The Rose Center is the most modern area the museum has to offer, and the exhibits are hands-on and fascinating. You can get to the Planetarium from here, where you should be sure to watch a fascinating retrospective on the birth and development of the universe. Of course, you can’t go to the museum without seeing the dinosaur halls on the fourth floor. Another great area to look at is the Hall of Ocean Life on the first floor, where a life-size model of a blue whale hangs over the giant room. The Hall of Meteorites is host to “Ahnighito,” a 34-ton iron meteor from outer space. The newly opened Hall of Human Origins looks at early hominids before they evolved into modern day Homo Sapiens. The AMNH is one of the most well-known of all the museums in Manhattan, and this is why: nearly every exhibit is fascinating!

New York City Self-Guided Walking Tours

Visit Vienna – The City of Culture

The city of Vienna, the capital city of Austria, is a metaphor for the new and expanding Europe. Being richly cultural, Vienna has acquired a futuristic outlook in the past few years that makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the continent. The city which was once known as the “meeting point” for people has now become a favorite get-away spot.

Vienna has always been a cultural city and its tourist attractions bear testimony to this fact. The best example of this would be the royal summer palace or the Schloss Schonbrunn. This palace is one of the most visited sites in Vienna and is absolutely breathtaking in terms of its architectural beauty. This colossal structure contains about a thousand and four hundred rooms. Only forty of these rooms are open to the public and it can take one half of a day to finish touring the entire palace. Many like enjoying the scenic beauty of the garden which consists of a maze, a greenhouse and the Gloriette Monument. The palace also has its own zoo which is in fact the world’s oldest zoo. The kids who may get bored of the architecture are sure to have a great time at this zoo which has a fantastic collection of animals.

The next important place to visit in Vienna would be the University of Botanical Gardens. This garden encompasses almost 8 hectares of land and is home to about ten thousand different species of plants and herbs. There are many rare species that are grown in tropical greenhouses and palm houses which are styled in a Victorian manner. The Belvedere Gardens right next to it is also a famous attraction here.

Next on your list should be the Vienna State Opera. This is one of Europe’s most celebrated Opera companies and their performance will simply amaze you beyond your imagination. The opera house is a piece of art in itself. When completely illuminated, this 19th century building looks ravishing. This opera house also hosts the famous Vienna Opera Ball. Tickets for this opera are hard to come by; however, recently there is a new practice that has been taking place here. A few “standing place only” tickets are sold right before the start of the concert. You can stand and boisterously show your approval during or after the performance along with the local Viennese people.

If you are the adventurous kind then you can try the water sports on the Danube River. You can swim; do wind surfing or even sail. The river has unrestricted access and on a sunny day it attracts many sun worshippers. Many companies in Vienna also offer a Vienna city cruise that takes you on a ride across the Vienna stretch of the river, past the United Nations building, the Prater, Kunsthaus etc. On the way back, most cruise ships take the stretch across the Vienna woods. You can catch a spectacular view of the city from this stretch. You will also pass the highly romantic Grinzing village which is famous for its wine breweries.

The last destination in Vienna should ideally be the Prater Amusement Park. This Park is for tourists of all ages and is complete with many fun-filled rides and a variety of eateries. You can go karting, relax in the merry-go-rounds or feel the adrenaline rush in the roller coasters. The real star of this Park, however, is the Giant Wheel which takes passengers to about a height of sixty-five meters and has been the Park’s number one attraction for years.