Vienna Travel Guide

Why? Vienna is an ornate yet stately city where the strains of the great classical composers who lived and worked here seem to seep from the stones along with olde world charm. This is why a holiday in Vienna is enough to inspire anyone to hum the 'Blue Danube' and waltz around the sights before they head for the woods to end the day in the cosy atmosphere of a traditional wine tavern.

When? The loveliest times of year to travel to Vienna is in spring and autumn, when the weather is beautiful and the peak tourist season is beginning and ending. Easter sees the start of the summer season, which brings hordes of people to holiday in Vienna.

Who for? The whole family can find fun and fascination on a Vienna holiday, with plenty of sights to see from the performing stallions of the Spanish Riding School and the thrills of the Prater amusement park to the opulence of the Schonnbrun Palace.

More Info: Use our Vienna travel guide to plan a holiday in Vienna. The guide contains details of the main attractions, events and excursions, as well as restaurant recommendations, and can be printed out to take with you when you travel to Vienna.

Electric Vienna Austria © kainet

It is difficult not to be moved to hum a Brahms lullaby or a Strauss waltz as you explore the sights of Austria's beautiful Baroque capital, Vienna, which for centuries was the centre of the splendid Hapsburg Empire. The city remains infused with the grand imperial spirit in the form of magnificent palaces and grand mansions peppering the Innerestadt. The city's cultural heritage is mainly musical, the great composers like Strauss, Brahms, Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn and Mozart all having lived and performed here. Today the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the State Opera House help keep alive the city's tradition by offering more classical music performances a year than any other city in the world.

Vienna is a city of music, but it is also synonymous with gourmet fare, cream cakes, superb coffee, the angelic strains of the Vienna Boys' Choir and the proud prancing of the Lippizaner stallions at the world-famous Spanish Riding School.

Vienna started out as a Celtic settlement on the banks of the Danube and became one of the Roman's most important central European bases. Its central location on the strategic river contributed to the city becoming a mighty empire, reaching its peak during the tumultuous reign of the dazzling Hapsburg dynasty. At the end of the 19th century the golden age of empire began to decline as Vienna's coffee houses filled with radical intellectuals like Freud, Klimt and Mahler. The Second World War Nazi occupation left scars, but Vienna survived it all to remain a captivating capital that blends Italian romanticism with a Germanic orderliness.

Most of the city's tourist attractions are within the largely pedestrianised inner city area, which was once enclosed by the city walls. The walls have been replaced with the Ringstrasse, a wide ring road. Further out in the suburbs is the thrilling Prater amusement park with its massive ferris wheel, and the opulent Schonbrunn summer palace. Visitors also should not miss a trip to the Vienna Woods, peppered with ancient 'heuringen' (wine taverns).

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