It doesn’t take long, on arriving in the centre of Vienna, to realise that this majestic town must have been at the heart of a grand dynasty. And indeed it was, of course, the capital of Europe’s sprawling Austrian empire that for centuries dominated the continent’s political scene.
And all that grandeur, that pomp and hauteur can still be seen today in the magnificent buildings that line the famous Ring boulevard which encircles the old town. Massive and austere, they still command respect as they did from the days when the Emperor and his Court scurried from Palace to Palace administering their vast territories. In the Hofburg Palace marvel at the jewels and regalia of this all powerful dynasty, whilst at St Stephen’s Cathedral remember that the building, like the whole of the centre, was smashed almost to the ground by allied bombing in WWII.
For there is a lot of dynamism in the city now, a younger population, fresh ideas…we tend to think of Mozart and Brahms, of Strauss with his melodious waltzes, but there are exciting developments perhaps best expressed by the Museum Quarter, a brilliant new complex that brings together the city’s artistic heritage. This new Vienna, no longer capital of an empire but redefining itself at the epicentre of Europe, dazzles under a summer sun as it glitters in the winter under a canopy of snow.
Enjoy this wonderful city – at once grand and exuberant, closed and secretive – and be sure to enjoy a fine chocolate cake in an opulent café!
Known by some as the City of Music, Vienna is the home of many of the great composers of the world, most notable being Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert.
Follow in their footsteps and learn about their public and private lives whilst they were composing some of the most famous classical music in the world.
Also take the time to visit the Vienna Boys Choir, a breath-taking display of 100 choristers performing around 300 concerts each year.
Vienna’s vibrant and bustling markets offer a multitude of produce, perfect for getting a feel of the cities culture. The Naschmarkt is Vienna’s best known, and has approximately 120 stands and restaurants.
Kutschkermarkt has a fantastic farmers market on Saturday, perfect for picking up fresh fruit and vegetables.
If you are visiting Vienna in December, a trip to the Christmas markets is a must. Featuring festive lights and carol singing, and warming your hands on a mug of mulled wine.
Built in 1869, the Vienna State Opera is considered a must see whilst in the city. Whether this is to see an opera or ballet performance, or to simply have a guided tour around the building.
The opera plays host to the world’s most famous singers, and an incredible orchestra and choir.
In the summer months, the performances can be viewed in an open-air setting with a live projection on the walls of the State Opera, and a seating area.
Coffee houses have played an important part in Viennese culture since the 17th century. Whilst they have been replicated in other cities, the Vienna coffee house is quite unique.
The houses are designed as the perfect place to sit and read, chat with friends, people watch and of course, drink coffee. They played an important part in shaping Viennese history as they acted as meeting places for many writers, philosophers and artists.
Discover the mysteries of Vienna in bygone times. Take the time to find the hidden courtyards in the city, and learn about the history of Roman and Greek mythology.
There are many mythological facts to learn, as the city is immersed in status of ancient Greek Gods and Goddesses.
You can find out why the flea market is called that, what kind of creature the Basilisk was, and why Helios is on top of the Natural History Museum.
Please contact your Destination Specialist for more information on +44 (0) 1993 824198
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