Vienna is a city of imperial history; of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, of Mozart, of international treaties, of majestic architecture and world-renowned art.
Those in search of artistic inspiration are in the right city. Hanging in the former Habsburg residence Albertina, are Klimt’s and Durer’s, impressionists Monet, Degas and Renior and Chagall, Rothko, Rainer and Katz. The Vienna Art House is home to Raphael, Rubens, Titian, and Rembrandt while the stunning Belvedere Palace complex houses Klimt’s iconic ‘The Kiss’.
For something more contemporary, MUMOK or the Museum of Modern Art, the Kunsthalle Wien and the white cube of the Leopold Museum house a spectacular array of cutting-edge international art. The Leopold’s glass-walled cafe continues the modernist theme.
Vienna’s musical lineage is undisputed. A visit to Mozart’s only remaining residence-now museum, the Figarohaus, is testament to this. Its fame in the area of psychoanalysis comes from another of its most famous residents, Sigmund Freud, who has a museum dedicated to his work.
Even Vienna’s parks have style. Prater Woodland combines fun and film with its famous 18th century Ferris wheel, the Riesenrad that featured in the film 'The Third Man'. It is also a delightful oasis of calm in the city. With over seven square kilometres of vineyards on the fringes of the Danube, Vienna’s Heuriger or ‘wine-taverns’ proudly serve their locally made vintage.
Around every corner of the city a new architectural vision emerges, from the grand baroque alters and high ceilings of St Stephen’s Cathedral to Vienna’s answer to Versaille; Schonbrunn Palace. Former 19th century summer residence of the Habsburgs, this UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts palm houses, sprawling gardens and unbelievable architectural detail. The Nationalbibliothek is perhaps one of the most beautiful libraries in the world while the Museum Quarter reveals old Spanish riding stables where dressage horses perform their equine ballet. Slicing through this historic skyline is the modern DC Tower, complete with luxury hotel.
The sights and sounds of the eclectic Naschmarkt and the grand traditional Austrian coffee-houses where Hitler, Marx and Freud all sipped cups of Viennese coffee now sit happily among live music venues, designer fashion stores and cutting edge architecture. This new capital of cool is giving the likes of Berlin a run for its money.
The following information is correct as of October 2014 and is subject to change. Please check with the airline directly for complete accuracy.
Vienna International Airport is located 12 miles east of Vienna. To reach the city centre by car or taxi takes approximately 15-20 minutes. The S-Bahn S7 line runs a service to the city centre in just 25 minutes while the more expensive but faster CAT train takes just 15. A handful of bus services also operate from outside the terminal building and reach the city centre in approximately 20-25 minutes.
What you need to know
Currency: The Euro (€)
Visas: British nationals or nationals of the European Union do not require a visa to enter Vienna. All visitors must have a passport valid for the duration of the trip. Nationals of countries outside the EU, for example Belarus, do require a visa for travel. More information can be found at a local embassy or the Foreign Office website.
Laws: A smoking ban has never been completely enforced in Vienna. Some places allow smoking indoors, in cafes of particularly sizes for example, however it is best to check what the smoking policy is on arrival. The legal age for consuming alcohol is 16 for wine and beer and 18 for liquor and spirits. The legal age for smoking in Austria is also 16.
Best Time to Visit:
Vienna has glorious weather with long hot summers and cold, snowy winters making it a perfect destination for swimmers and sunbathers as well as the avid snowboarder or skier. From December to February the temperature rarely gets above freezing whereas in summer it can reach up to 30 degrees, particularly in July and August.
In spring, Vienna’s classical music scene erupts with the Vienna Spring Festival and the Easter Festival with theatres brimming with performances. In May and June, the Vienna Festival takes place with international musicians playing from all over the world. The Danube Island Festival’s pop and rock music attracts a younger crowd while from July to September a Film Festival, a fake beach on the Danube Canal called Sand in the City, complete with palm trees and the International Dance Festival all come to town. As the winters draw in operas, choral recitals and an International Film Festival herald the start of the snowy season. Winter in Vienna also means Christmas markets and waltzing in the New Year at the world famous Imperial Ball held in the Imperial Palace.
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