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Vienna

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Dance to the sound of the waltz in the capital city of Johann Strauss and soak up the atmosphere of the chic traditional coffee houses and historic palaces. Traversed by the River Danube Vienna is the capital city of Austria and rich in culture.

Visit the Hofburg Palace, home to the Habsburg emperors until 1918. The buildings are full of precious items reflecting the opulence of the era (004315337570). Vienna’s Kunsthistoriches Museum houses the Habsburg art treasures with paintings by Titian, Vermeer and others (Maria Theresien Platz, 00431525244025).

At the Belvedere Gallery the world’s largest collection of works by Gustav Klimt is on display (Prinz Eugenstrasse 27, 00431795560). The gothic Stephansdom dominates the Vienna skyline and climbing the 343 steps to the tower gives panoramic views across Vienna.


Why not take a coffee at one of the traditional coffee houses like Demel (Kohlmarkt 14, 0043153517170), and taste delicious Sacher Torte or other mouth watering cakes in very elegant surroundings. Many people visit Vienna to see the beautiful Lipizzaner horses at the world famous Spanish Riding School. Performance tickets are booked months in advance but the training sessions can be viewed for a lot less (Michaelerplatz 1, 004315339031).

The Vienna Boys Choir sing on Sunday mornings at the Hofburgkapelle (43-1-533 99 27), and for another cultural treat, listen to a concert at the Vienna State Opera House (Opernring 2, 43 (0)1 51444-2250). Vienna has many spaces to walk such as the Vienna Prater with its giant Ferris wheel, immortalised in the film The Third Man.

The Schonbrunn Palace was the summer residence of the Habsburgs and has magnificent gardens and in summer concerts in the grounds. With fake Roman ruins and a hill overlooking Vienna this is the perfect place to explore (00431811130).

Historic streetcars can be seen at the Vienna Streetcar Museum (Ludwig-Koeßler-Platz, 7909-41800), and at the Old Vienna Schnapsmuseum the history of distilling this drink is on display (Wilhelmstraße 19-21, 815 73 00). In winter the city is treated to the smell of cinnamon as the Christmas Market is brought to life, and in summer live classical music concerts in the parks and gardens make this a beautiful city to spend a sunny evening.

Just outside Vienna in the foothills of the Alps are the Vienna Woods with over 2000 plant species and excellent walking trails. Vineyards in the area are known for their excellent wines. See resurrected Roman buildings and reconstructions at the Carnuntum Museum (43 2163/3377-0) and history brought to life.

A short drive from the centre of Vienna lies Esterhazy in Burgenland Esterhazy Palace is a magnificent building to explore and hosts Haydn concerts through the year.(43 (0) 2682 630040). There is also a museum dedicated to Haydn and one to wine. At Heiligenstadt, reached by using the U Bahn, you can see the house where Beethoven wrote the Heiligenstadt Testament (Probusgasse 6, 004313705408). With so much o offer in Vienna and the surounding area, the only problem is deciding which ones to choose during your visit.

 

 

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