Explore the “City of Music” on the Donau (Danube River). Dine in classy restaurants, dance in modern clubs and investigate the local arts scene. Step back in time and see splendid palaces from numerous architectural eras with impressive fountains, parks and monuments.
Wien (Vienna) has been Austria’s capital since the end of World War I, but before that it was the capital of the Hapsburg Empire for over six centuries. In the new Vienna, popular culture thrives, but you can still find a wealth of history and tradition in the classic heritage buildings, parks and coffeehouses.
From November until March, when the weather is cold, a stay in Vienna involves browsing the many museums and visiting cozy restaurants to try traditional sweet or hearty dishes, such as the Sachertorte dessert and Wiener Schnitzel entrée.
You can’t miss Vienna’s Hofburg Imperial Palace. Step inside to see the riches of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which collapsed just over a century ago. While in the complex, also visit the Albertina, one of the world’s most important art galleries, and the stylish MuseumsQuartier, a cultural gathering hub.
The Naturhistorisches Museum (Natural History Museum), the Rathaus (Vienna City Hall) and Vienna State Opera are other popular cultural attractions within the half-mile (one-kilometer) radius of the Inner Stadt. This central city is bounded by the Donau (Danube River) to the east and the loop of the Ringstraße (Circling Street). Vienna’s excellent public transportation system makes venturing outside the city easy too.
See Klimt’s paintings in the Burgtheater, Museum of Art History (Kunsthistorisches Museum) or the Belvedere. Families will love the Schönbrunn Palace, which houses the oldest zoo in the world.
Many influential composers, amazing artists and great thinkers have called Vienna home, so you’ll find references to creative geniuses like Strauss, Mahler, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Freud and Klimt everywhere. Many of them are interred in the Central Cemetery, which is testament to Vienna’s fame as a powerhouse for the arts.