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About city Gallery Where to stay

Vienna, the capital of Austria, is situated at the foot of the Alps, across both banks of the River Danube. It’s the tenth-largest city in the EU and home to around 1.7 million people. Since Vienna was ruled by the Habsburgs from the 13th century, it wouldn’t be entirely unfair to call it an imperial city. For centuries the city was famous for its turbulent cultural life, the traditions of which are still alive to this day. At one point or another, Vienna was home to Beethoven, Mozart, Johann Strauss and many other composers. Classical music, theatre and opera are integral parts of the city’s identity.

It would be difficult to find people who are not impressed by Viennese architecture, which encompasses every style from the Roman to the Modernist. Tourists, fascinated by what they see, are equally interested in visiting the elegant St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Hofburg Palace, the Schönbrunn Castle, and the more contemporary and colourful “crooked” house, designed by the architect F. Hundertwasser. Since protecting green spaces and ancient heritage is a priority, Vienna is almost devoid of tall buildings. The city centre is protected by UNESCO.

Tourists Visiting And Shopping On Graben Street
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Tourists Visiting And Shopping On Graben Street

If you want to explore the city thoroughly, be prepared – Vienna boasts more than a hundred museums, which have a special zone dedicated entirely to them called the “museum district”. Apart from the traditional museums (those concerned with art, nature, technology, warfare, famous composers and, of course, the Habsburgs) that figure in the “mandatory” tourist programmes, you can also find some rather unusual ones.

The Criminology Museum, for instance, will supply you with information about the most famous criminal cases, while the Josephinum, located in the Medical University of Vienna, exhibits wax models of human insides. The Mollard Palace hosts the world’s only Globe Museum.

This city can be considered to be the world’s capital of balls (‘ball’, of course, in the sense of the social gathering) – the famous Vienna Opera Ball is known all around the country. Every year the city hosts over 200 balls – dedicated to everyone from washerwomen to hunting enthusiasts – that sometimes have several orchestras playing at the same time. While most locals visit only a few of these events during the season, others celebrate for the entirety of the three months.

Schonbrunn Palace
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Schonbrunn Palace

Most summer evening concerts in Viennese parks are free. Here people can listen to symphony orchestras, jazz bands, pop ensembles or recordings of world-famous composers.

A visit to Vienna is also a real culinary feast. The first cafés in Europe originated here in the 17th century and became so popular that an international exposition that took place in 19th-century France set them as the model for all cities in the continent. For many locals, cafés have become an inseparable part of their lifestyle – they spend most of their free time here reading newspapers and magazines, playing chess or surfing the Internet. Every such establishment serves around 30 different types of coffee, including the local-beloved Melange, which is made with whipped milk and sprinkled with cocoa powder or cinnamon.

Vienna
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Vienna

And let us not even begin about the selection of pastries and other sweets – few tourists withstand the temptations of the famous Sacher cake or the strudel.

Those who would like to explore traditional Viennese cuisine would be best advised to find a diner further away from the city centre. We recommend you try goulash, fried ribs or the famous Viennese schnitzel someplace where the locals go – the small Neschmarkt cafés would be one such place. Just keep in mind that chefs here are very generous – you might want to start with a half-portion.

Where to stay

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