Waltz around Austria’s capital city
Austria’s capital city and home to the UN, Vienna is a rich cultural feast. There are Hapsburg palaces, royal parks, theatres, museums, opera houses, fine buildings, ballet performances, markets and art galleries galore to saturate your senses. Not to mention Beethoven’s grave and the world’s oldest zoo! Pick up fresh produce, cheese and spices at Naschmarkt before browsing the boutiques in the shopping district. Head for the Kunsthistoriches Museum and the Upper Belvedere Gallery which houses the world’s largest Klimt collection, before revelling in contemporary works at the MuseumsQuartier. Grab a hotdog from a sausage stand or indulge in sachertorte and coffee at one of the myriad coffee shops, then take a ride on the Riesenrad Ferris wheel for an aerial city view. After dark, the city comes alive with theatre, opera, classical music and ballet performances, or you can sample locally-grown wine or beer in a typical Austrian ‘beisl’.
Go for a cultural top-up. There are so many places of interest in Vienna that one visit might not be enough. In winter there are Christmas markets, a ski slope, outdoor ice rink and spa therapies. Vienna hosts over 300 glittering Balls during January and February – book early for a Viennese waltz.
When to Go?
Vienna enjoys a moderate climate with summer temperatures averaging 26˚C. Winters are colder with snowfall between December and March. Spring and autumn are cool to mild. July-August and the Christmas season are the busiest, and usually the most expensive times to visit.
How to get there?
Vienna is served by Vienna Schwechat International Airport, about 18kms from the city. Direct flights are available from the main UK airports. The City Airport Train (CAT) will get you to the city centre in approximately 15 minutes, or you can take the S-bahn which is 10 minutes slower and cheaper. Vienna is the rail hub between the east and west of Europe and has two main train stations – the Westbahnhof and Sudbahnhof.
Hop on a tram and take a spin of the Ringstrasse to see its magnificent buildings twinkle by night. Don’t leave Vienna without sampling the national dish, Wiener schnitzel – it’ll be the best you’ve tasted. Virtually conduct the Vienna Philharmonic and compose a symphony at the Haus der Musik or join in the Sunday evening dance at Tanz Café in Volksgarten’s open-air ballroom.