Austria’s capital is famous for its cultural events, imperial sights, coffee houses, cosy wine taverns, and the very special Viennese charm.
Vienna the capital of Austria
Vienna’s history dates back to the first post-Christian century when the Romans established the military camp Vindobona. Today’s cityscape is characterised by the abundance of baroque buildings created mostly under the rule of Empress Maria Theresia and Emperor Franz Joseph who was largely responsible for the monumental architecture round the Ringstraße
. Schönbrunn Palace
, the former imperial summer residence, is one of the most popular sights. The sumptuous palace with the beautifully tended formal gardens, the Gloriette monument, the Palm House and the zoo attract hordes of visitors each year. The huge Hofburg
(Imperial Palace) was the base of the Habsburgs for over six centuries.
The splendid baroque Belvedere Palace
today houses the Österreichische Galerie (Austrian Gallery) displaying the largest collection of works by Klimt
and Kokoschka, as well as famous paintings by Schiele. Vienna’s prime landmarks are the gothic Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral), the Giant Ferris Wheel in the Prater, Vienna’s old recreational park, and the Spanish Riding School
with their world-famous Lipizzaner horses.
Vienna has more museums and galleries of international reputation than you can shake a stick at. Take, for example, the Museum of Fine Arts
with the world’s largest collection of Bruegel paintings, MuseumsQuartier
with the Leopold Museum, the Museum Moderner Kunst (Museum of Modern Art), Architekturzentrum (Architectural Center) and the Kunsthalle, all ranking among the city's most important cultural venues.
Vienna owes much of its international fame to the many celebrated composer who lived and worked here including Strauß
, Beethoven and Haydn
. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the world’s best, the Staatsoper one of the world’s leading opera houses, the Vienna Boys’ Choir
one the world’s most famous.
In Vienna, the old coffee house culture
and rustic wine taverns stand alongside top restaurants and shops, time-honored events alternate with internationally-acclaimed extravaganzas (Life Ball
) to create a unique and very special ambiance. Another special feature of Vienna are its many greenspace and recreational areas such as the Wienerwald, the Prater and the Danube Island
.When visiting Vienna, make sure you benefit from the advantages of the Vienna Card
.Testimonial from Michael McAllister, UK:
"Arriving at the West Bahnhof after the hot train journey from Paris in a second class coach I stepped out into my dreamscape Vienna. After settling in a vintage pensione with frosted glass windows in all the doors. The parlor was a cool oasis. The first morning at the Sacher cafe with its newspapers in many languages rolled on rods for easy handling was like a time capsule. Over the next days, I eventually found the sublime and the spiritual, the Schonnbrun with its majestic porcelain heating stoves, the fountain and gardens. One could easily believe the swans were knights and ladies changed by a spell. Stephansdom, the Ring, and the magnificent statue of Maria Theresa and her ministers. That was the sacred moment. An elderly man stepped up beside me and, taking my elbow, guided round the arc of the statue while telling me the great deeds and court gossip of the august personages represented. The Wienerwald wein stube and Kaisersgruft and riding school were all to come, but that was the top."