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Visit Vienna and enjoy the grand atmosphere!
Grand images pervade in Vienna, a city that traces a long lineage through the Habsburg dynasty, the Holy Roman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. And alongside its prominent place in history, the city has been a forefront of cultural and scientific breakthroughs, from the daring symphonies of Mozart to the new thinking of Freud.
Activities & Attractions
A refined city filled with prestigious palaces
A great place to begin your tour of Vienna is at the Innere Stadt, the historic centre of the capital which boasts an awe-inspiring array of imperial palaces, landscaped gardens and Gothic churches, all lined by the iconic circular road, the Ringstrasse. Your journey will take you past the famed Rathaus (City Hall), the Austrian Parliament Building and Votivekirche, all unforgettable sights during your time in the city.
It’s equally fitting that the so-called ‘City of Dreams’ should be seen as a place of enlightenment too. After all, the Austrian capital boasts an abundance of art galleries, museums and intricately designed churches. Its State Opera House looks as if it has been sculpted out of pure gold as dusk draws a blanket of darkness over the city.
Plus, if you’re thinking of enjoying a festive break in Vienna, you’ll find more than 20 Christmas markets in the city. Expect to see stalls selling authentic Austrian wares such as wooden toys, ceramics and even fine silk scarves.
It’s yet more proof that whether you’re soaking up the atmosphere of festive fairs or admiring some of the world’s most stunning stonework, Vienna is a city that’s always worthy of celebration.
The impressive style of a stunning city
To begin your exploration of Vienna, the best place to start is on the Ringstrasse. Originally created to replace the old city walls, this famous road rings the historic Innere Stadt, and takes in an immense wealth of the most famous attractions.
That includes the incredibly grand City Hall or Rathaus. It’s an intensely pretty building, as the elaborate arches and spires of its 19th century Gothic facade are lit up at night with silvery lights that sparkle like jewels.
Considering that the Ringstrasse also takes in the Vienna State Opera, with its elaborate interiors of marble and gold, and the Academy of Fine Arts, it’s little wonder that the street was a favourite daily walk of Sigmund Freud. The Austrian Parliament Building, with its grand neo-classical columns, is also placed nearby, while the 19th century Votive Church stands as an impressive monument to the Emperor Franz Joseph.
It’s also well worth venturing a little further out to the cream-coloured Schönbrunn Palace. Built back in the 17th century, the residence has enjoyed a prestigious reputation since its creation by the Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand II.
You’ll also be astounded by the enduring imperial beauty of Belvedere Palace created for Prince Eugene of Savoy, Hofburg Palace that once housed the rulers of Austria-Hungary, and Schottenkirche in the Freyung triangular square.
Hearty dishes and sweet treats
Viennese cuisine is rightly world famous for the quality of its delectable pastries, cakes and biscuits. It’s something you’ll discover when you try the ubiquitous sachertorte, an intensely rich chocolate cake layered with tangy apricot jam. Yet more sugar-coated delights come in the form of Apfelstrudel, a buttery pastry filled with apples cinnamon and raisins.
For something a little more filling, Vienna also offers an enticing array of hot dishes. Tafelspitz was said to be a particular favourite of a previous Emperor of Austria, Franz Joseph I. This select cut of boiled sirloin beef, infused with the sweet scent of a vegetable broth is still a delicious meal found on many restaurant tables today.
Plus, if you’re looking for delicious street food, you can even pick up hot snacks like a Weiner, the classic Viennese sausage which has the same texture and smoky, spicy flavour as a Frankfurter.
Go on a culinary adventure and you’ll be greeted by many specific districts and areas angled towards new eating experiences. For instance, the Seventh District has a Bohemian vibe and trendy coffee shops, the Karmeliter District offers international fusion food at its many restaurants, and the Nineteenth District has a distinct focus on fine wine and gourmet eateries.
Classy bars, coffee houses and markets at their most beautiful
Vienna’s famed café culture continues well into the night, thanks to their surprisingly late opening hours. The Viennese have a particular penchant for coffee, which ensures that the quality of the drink is uniformly high here. Order a fragrant espresso with a dollop of whipped cream, a speciality of the capital, or even opt for a Kaisermelange. Created with egg yolk, milk and cognac, it can be just as filling as a dessert!
As an alternative, you could head to a Heurigen. These quaint wine bars are dotted around the different districts of the city and even into its greener outskirts. Serving locally produced wine, alongside fresh bread and cheeses, they represent an excellent value, authentic way to spend an evening.
And despite Vienna’s rather refined reputation, it’s still possible to enjoy more informal evenings out at beer houses, bars and clubs. Much like the Heurigen, you’ll discover several microbreweries serving their very own variety of beer mainly in Districts 1, 3, 4 and 19. The typically copper-coloured dark lager is even said to have originated in Vienna back in the 19th century. But the party really gets started around the Westbanhof (West Railway Station), which is where you’ll find a selection of international bars and euro-dance clubs.
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A&O City Stadthalle
This city hotel was renovated in 2008 and comprises a total of 120 guest rooms. Guests are welcomed into a lobby with 24-hour reception service and a hotel safe, and on-site facilities include lift access, a games room, a TV lounge, a bar and a breakfast room. Guests can get tickets and ideas for wa...
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Austria Trend Messe Wien
A spacious and bright hotel, the Austria Trend Messe Wien is a great option for groups and budget minded guests searching for a simple base from which to explore Vienna.