The concert halls of Vienna have played host to many of the great names in classical composition; Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart and Strauss to name but a few. Grand palaces and parks; sparkling fountains and sweeping boulevards; with gothic, baroque, renaissance and neoclassical influences infusing a sublime cityscape there’s still plenty to here to recall the artistic inspiration that the city has for so long inspired.
‘Majestic’ is a word often ascribed to the city, but ‘modern’ is just as accurate. The city’s long cultural tradition is healthily maintained by a plethora of theatres and playhouses large and small, many of which continue to push the artistic boundaries of the twenty-first century. As a rule, the locals are a reserved people who appreciate the finer things in life; intelligent, wine-fuelled discussions after a great meal and a concert, or open air walks in the simpering evening sun. Vienna was a city custom-built for just such occasions.
Where to stay
Hotel Konig Von Ungarn is full of character, with a great location and top class service. The Ring markets itself as a ‘casual luxury’ hotel and the understated elegance and friendly informality of the staff is a hit with almost all who choose to stay there.
Where to eat
Sophisticated Altwienerhof marries traditional Austrian and French flavours to create a superb selection of subtle dishes; the real star, however, is the fantastic wine cellar, which houses over 18,000 bottles with over 700 labels. Bauer and Fabios are two more downtown favourites with excellent atmospheres and menus.
What to see
World Heritage Schonbrunn Palace is a little way out of the city but it’s worth the trip; not only is the architecture stunning but the magnificent interiors have been painstakingly recreated and the grounds also include a theatre and the world’s oldest zoo.