Vienna is one of the world’s most evocative and romantic cities, conjuring up images of magnificent balls in grand palaces where couples waltz to the strains of the finest orchestras. Luckily for us, Vienna has lost none of its power to impress: stunning buildings and monuments, in styles from Gothic to Renaissance and Classical to Baroque, line the famous Ringstrasse that surrounds Vienna’s historic Innere Stadt, and the city, which was once the cultural heart of Europe, still breathes charm and sophistication.
A city so rich in cultural history, Vienna really does have something for everyone…
Best for… animal lovers
The Spanish Riding School, which is within the Hopfburg Palace complex, is the stunning venue for performances by the world famous Lippizana Horses. This experience needs to be booked in advance and is an amazing spectacle not to be missed.
Best for… art critics
The Kuntshistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Art) in Vienna is widely acknowledged as one of the finest art museums on the world, with highlights including works by Vermeer, Rembrandt & Raphael. The Belvedere Palace, as well as being one of Europe’s most stunning Baroque landmarks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also home to the world’s largest collection of paintings by Gustav Klimt, one of Austria’s most celebrated artists, including his most famous painting, “The Kiss”.
Best for… history buffs
Approximately 25 minutes out of the city centre is the world famous Schonbrunn Palace, the former imperial summer residence of the Austrian Royal Family. The palace has a long and rich history, having witnessed the birth and death of an emperor, hosted diplomats and received visits from iconic leaders such as JFK and Krushchev. Schonbrunn is now preserved as a museum and gained UNESCO World Heritage status in 1996.
Best for… music fans
A performance by the Vienna Mozart Orchestra at the beautiful Musikverein is a unique Viennese experience in an impressively opulent venue in the heart of the city. The performance includes iconic pieces by Mozart, easily recognisable even if you’re not a classical music aficionado. Singers join the orchestra on stage for some of the performance and all performers are dressed in traditional costumes from the period of Mozart’s life.
Best for… foodies
The Kaffeehaus is a Viennese institution, you can sit for hours with just a single cup of coffee or indulge in the patisserie and drink several. The Demel, which also has its own chocolate factory, is arguably the true home of Austria’s most famous cake. Invented by Austrian Franz Sacher in 1832 for Prince Wenzel von Metternich in Vienna, the Sachertorte is a true Viennese culinary specialty. Sacher’s eldest son Eduard perfected his father’s recipe, creating the Sachertorte as we now know it while he was training at the Demel.
If food is your passion then The Imperial Hotel is the place for you as the hotel has its own Michelin-starred restaurant, Opus.
From the moment you step inside the Imperial’s elegant entrance, you are surrounded by luxury. The Imperial Hotel is a 5* Deluxe property and it certainly doesn’t disappoint: beautifully furnished throughout with a wonderful grand staircase, wood panelling, tapestries and oil paintings. The décor is traditional and sophisticated; sumptuous materials and antique furnishings adorn the bedrooms while the marble bathrooms feature a decadently large bath tub.
Celebrating a special occasion? The Bristol Hotel is ideal for honeymooners or a big anniversary, splash out on a suite and indulge in your own luxurious corner of heaven.
Another 5* Deluxe hotel, this is actually the sister property of the Imperial and is only a short distance away in an outstanding location opposite the Sate Opera House. The Bristol really provides the “wow factor” and its vast suites are guaranteed to leave you lost for words as you grasp for every superlative going.
Those who come to Vienna for the art will love The Sacher Hotel, over 1,000 paintings that hang in the hotel make it the largest private picture gallery in Europe.
The Sacher was built in 1876 and is the Grand Dame of the city’s hotels, attracting many dignitaries and celebrities over the years. Indeed, a number of the Sacher’s famous guests can be spotted in the hotel’s Picture Gallery. The hotel is opulently decorated, with a wealth of antiques on display creating a unique eclectic style and subdued atmosphere. The hotel’s Café Sacher offers a mouth-watering display of cakes, including the world famous Sachertorte.
These top tips come direct from our Personal Travel Expert, Garry who visited the Austrian capital with Kirker Holidays just last year. To find out more about Vienna, call Travel Bureau on 0191 285 9321, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit travelb.co.uk. For more travel inspiration, click here to browse the rest of our blogs or click here to see our latest offers.